Celtic’s Questions to Answer

There are a number of quite separate elements in the allegations of corruption which have been made against our Football Governance bodies and some of our clubs.

There is the allegation that RFC of 1872 lied to the Licensing Committee of the SFA about their tax indebtedness as at 31 March 2011;

there is the allegation that the Licensing Committee either colluded in that lie or, through carelessness and incompetence, simply accepted what RFC of 1872 told them , and passed that on to UEFA without any check as to its truthfulness and accuracy. The result of that was that RFC of 1872 was awarded a UEFA Competitions Licence to which, under the strict rules, they were not entitled.

The SFA has thus far refused to open up an independent investigation into all that was involved in the application made for that licence.

That refusal raised and continues to raise suspicions that the SFA has something to hide. [RFC of 1872 is in Liquidation, and TRFC are quite a different legal entity so are not involved and can legitimately say ‘nothing to do with us, Squire!’.. except, of course that some of the personnel involved in TRFC were also involved with RFC of 1872…at the material time.

As a football matter, until there is a full, independent investigation into the Licence matter, then the SFA is under a cloud of suspicion, and so are the then members of the Licensing Committee.

And as a football matter, the resistance by Celtic FC to the request that they insist on a full independent investigation being carried out within the football context is indicative of an unwillingness , rather than an inability, to do so. And that puts Celtic FC under suspicion of underhand complicity in a dirty football cheating arrangement.

And since no other club has raised any hue and cry about dirty work at the footballing crossroads [and the late Turnbull Hutton must have been sickened at their supine rolling-over], they all are under suspicion of consenting to dirty deeds destructive of the very essence of what their businesses are predicated upon being done in their name.

Taking the matter out of the football context and into the world of corporate business, there is the allegation that the Sports Governance body may knowingly and with deliberation colluded in fraud to obtain money by falsely representing to UEFA on behalf of a member club (RFC of 1872) that that club was entitled to a Licence to participate in a competition the mere participation in which would guarantee a financial gain for that club of £xM, with the possibility of £x+M more if the club achieved any kind of sporting success in the competition.

The consequence of any such alleged false representation was that the properly entitled club was denied such a Licence, and therefore was, in effect, cheated out of at least £xM.

Since that properly entitled club is a PLC, the Board of that club are required, required, by law to protect the interests of its shareholders.

It is not for the Board of Celtic plc to decide that the loss, in circumstances where there are prima facie grounds for suspecting that there may have been fraud and deceit [or even incompetence] involving some millions of pounds, should not be investigated.

It is not for the Celtic Board to try to kick a shareholders’ requisitioned resolution at an AGM into touch indefinitely without explanation, debate, and a vote.

It is failure by the Celtic Board to give adequate and justified and sufficient reasons as to why they have not insisted on such investigation that arouses suspicion in the mind of shareholders ,to whom they are accountable, that they too have something to hide.

This whole UEFA licence matter cannot be dismissed and corrected and put right until full investigation of the allegations is made, resulting in a proper assessment as to the truth or otherwise of the allegations.

The other allegation of corruption , namely that a huge lie was manufactured to try to have a brand new club regarded as being one and the same as the RFC of 1872 , and as being entitled to the sporting achievements of that failed club which currently exists as a liquidated football club, can be fixed almost overnight!

All the SFA has to do is renounce that part of a very dubious, highly secretive (and possibly illegal in itself) binding agreement under which it exceeded its legitimate Governance powers by awarding sporting honours and entitlements to a club that had not existed long enough to earn any one of them on the sports field.!

In doing so the SFA Board made a farcical mockery of the very idea of sporting competition and of their role as guardians of the Sport.

Let the SFA state publicly and with suitable apology that they gravely erred in so doing, and that the record books of the SFA (and the SPFL in consequence) will show that the Liquidated RFC ceased to be able to add to their impressive list of such honours and titles on the day they died as a football club.

Doing that will not, of course, save anyone from possible criminal investigation in relation to the Res 12 matter if that matter has to be referred to Police Scotland, but it would enable some kind of return to sane and proper and honest sports governance.

I will add one other remark. I have been posting for seven years or thereabouts about the cheating RFC of SDM and CW, and of the (what I believe to have been ) underlying dishonesty of the RIFC IPO prospectus and the blindness of the SMSM.

I would be some kind of hypocritical liar if I were to attempt to excuse or turn a blind eye to the possibility that the Celtic Board have questions to answer.

I think they do have questions to answer, but have shown a marked reluctance to do so.

And, as both a shareholder and supporter, I object to that.

This entry was posted in Blogs, General by Trisidium. Bookmark the permalink.
Tom Byrne

About Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

325 thoughts on “Celtic’s Questions to Answer

  1. Perhaps through a trusted Medium TRFC have consulted with Mary Shelley who has given them a few ideas. If the new club Sevco is about to shuffle off it’s mortal coil then why not use the good bits from Sevco and reanimate the old club. Hey presto, Frankenstein FC. Their could of course be a problem because having “stein” anywhere in club  name might cause some consternation in certain quarters. 

    Seriously thought this Times article is a huge squirrel ergo it’s a huge smokescreen for a major issue concerning TRFC/RIFC.

  2. @ExL

    If club* hadn't been wrongly treated , relegated , lost players , spent millions , if King hadn't had to depose Ashley spend millions on court battles , investing in players blah blah ……… it's an injustice………… not Kings fault admin 2 has happened . If they are going down then a scapegoat has to be prepared , I always thought Ashley would be favourite but Anyone, Everyone including Hector are fair game. 


  3. While Im on , Ive had a wee pop at Rangers so only fair I mention Celtic . The res 12 thing . With a heavy heart John , the only thing that makes sense to me is that in some way Celtic are not wanting something revealed hence the suits trying to bin artilcle 12. Hope Im wrong but nothing else makes sense. Pistol Pete said if Auldhied and the gang find proof he will pull the trigger ………By all accounts I think they have it ……why are you not taking aim Peter ????? Does not make one bit of sense because it is not Celtic V Rangers , its Celtic v SFA / SPFL and all cabal of crooks who are holding back Scottish football. Why would he not want to sort that out once and for all ? Everybody would benefit in the long run, even Rangers …….No sense at all , so as a Celtic fan in my humble opinion, Celtic are hiding something , something they dont want their fans to know. Its the only thing that makes sense to me sadly……..Go on Celtic please prove me wrong

  4. Timtim 13th November 2019 at 23:22
    Surely anyone wanting money ring fenced from Rangers* would have a cast iron case , just quote the Judge from South Africa , the words of the TOP and point to the going concern warning in the accounts. In fact I’m not sure why somebody hasn’t already done so
    That time Ahmad did just that to an ibrox club.

  5. John Clark 14th November 2019 at 00:45
    John McClelland, the former Rangers chairman, says that ambiguity over the…”

    What a load of absolute cobblers! The downfall was caused by the serial cheating by SDM, whether it was ten quid or 50 million, the man was a cheat.
    John McClelland EBT. £225,000 . Appointed a director in 2000. Chairman from 2002 to 2004.

  6. From a retweet by a Rangers minded correspondent. 

    Statement from BDO spokesperson:

    “Since we published the last creditors report in June, BDO’s tax specialists have been negotiating with HMRC over the size of the tax bill. There is no final decision, negotiations are ongoing and we expect a resolution of this in 2020.”

  7. StevieBC 14th November 2019 at 10:00
    1) For money.

    Soften up the fan base before asking for cash, donations, etc.?
    From the link i posted yesterday.
    LF: We had between 700-1000 new members in the week or two after the Mike Ashley share purchase and I think because it removed his influence from the club, you can’t underestimate or underplay the significance of the purchase, not just for Club 1872 because it saw us become the second largest shareholder, but for Rangers as well.
    When there is a crisis more fans join club 72.
    Has the membership eroded that much? Club 1872 – 2,500,000 – £500,000.
    With king not taking part in this latest share issue, is this a call to arms to get more members to join club 72, as it is beginning to look like club 72s money is all they have left to plunder and if there is not enough members(donations) it’s a bleak outlook for the ibrox club,company thing.

  8. naegreetin 14th November 2019 at 11:47
    22 0 Rate This

    Re : Squirrels

    Could be several reasons why this HMRC deflection has been introduced – possibly decisions from the SFA re CAS as suggested above or maybe re King’s Fit & Proper status after the cold shouldering –
    Forgot all about that, kings fit and proper. God they are taking there time are they not.

  9. normanbatesmumfc 14th November 2019 at 16:50

    '…I hope this means you took your dookers to the court, rather than you splashing about in your underpants?'


    Splashing about in my underpants, nbmfc?

    That's not what the girls in the 'aquafit class' think when they see my lean, muscular, Australian-bronzed body , wearing my  Men's Boom Splice Jammer Speedos,  slicing through the water at a rate of knots.

    Mrs C has tae haud them back!angry

  10. Rangers were behind paying their newsagent and the face painter.

    They diddled Her Majesty

    That's the kind of business they were running. 

    End of discussion.

  11.  King was originally indicted on 322 counts including fraud, tax evasion and evasion of exchange control regulations, as well as money-laundering and racketeering ,  I believe he was also originally charged with falsifying documentation and threatening witnesses.  A leopard doesn't change its spots and a question I see asked quite often is "where is the money coming from". Is it a stretch of imagination that he could be involved in money laundering ? "It will all come out in the wash" ,someone said.

  12. Have just seen Queen's Park have voted to become professional , I am devastated , lost for words. They might as well be liquidated , my club just lost its soul. 

  13. The Times article set loose this thought.

    "selling key players would have been one option open to the Ibrox management to meet the liability”

    The idea being that had the bill been smaller RFC could have settled the BTC making them more attractive to potential buyers.

    Well the core bill (£24m) was possibly manageable and had payment been made instead of player trading at £28.2m*  in August 2008 with the individual determinations of tax owed already on the desk at Ibrox from Feb to April 2008  then the blockage to sell would have been removed.

    Arguably it would have made Rangers a more attractive financial proposition with no debt and an affordable lower player wage bill to build a sustainable  future on.

    However the decision was taken by Sir David Murray  and Walter Smith  to try and trade their way out of trouble by guaranteeing access to the CL groups as title winners and the player trading money was spent instead  on players who won 3iar

    That dependency on CL money for survival started to end with the unforeseen bank crash in Oct 2008 when Lloyds took over from Halifax but finally  ended in Malmo and Maribor in 2011.

    * This angle with others  is covered by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain  at


    but it is just one part of a truthful narrative avoided by Scottish Main Stream Media because it exposes  the "victim" narrative for what it is – Fake News.

    The cause of Rangers downfall was SDM/WS who placed the insatiable appetite of their support ( who never gave a thought to where the money was coming from)  to be top dog in Scottish Football above the well being of not just Rangers FC, but as time is showing, of the well being  of the other Scottish football clubs.



  14. Timtim 14th November 2019 at 20:36

    Have just seen Queen's Park have voted to become professional , I am devastated , lost for words. They might as well be liquidated , my club just lost its soul. 


    So Rangers is no longer the newest professional club in the SPFL.

  15.     Now that is "offishul" it wasn't big Peter that topped Rangers, but actually "Her Maj", will her portrait still have pride of place in the bloo-room?….

        It's no wonder they didn't pay her after what she did. angry. ..

    Maybe Minty will send back his knighthood in protest…..Coupled with an indignant dignified open letter, its the very least he could do.. laugh. He can lead-off the march to Buck Palace with it on a wee cushion….. I'm sure the sodjers will let him in. mail .

        Jeezo they're bonkers.!


  16. StevieBC 14th November 2019 at 15:36

    This HMRC story has been cranked up to BS Level '11'.

    Headline from The ET;

    "Rangers vs HMRC: Ex-players and staff 'have EBT penalties wiped over incorrect tax bill…"


    No 'journalist' name is attributed to this nonsense.

    It's based "on a source" who is supposedly an accountant but "uninvolved"…



    Well, well, well…

    Mibbees The ET does have a bit of shame after all?

    I've just checked the above ET article for Comments: it is no longer available on their site, and disappeared into the ether.

  17. I don't see this nonsense as a squirrel , just a naked attempt to steal other struggling newspapers ' readers to avoid closure of your own , No honour among thieves .

  18. For all the rage and delusion displayed across the SMSM, on social media and – sadly unsurprisingly – for all the anger and abuse unjustly directed at HMRC staff…


    still absolutely nothing on the 'Rangers FC' website.


    Considering they cling to the belief that TRFC is in fact still the exact same club as RFC,

    you would think 'Rangers' would be even more vocal in its condemnation of HMRC?


    It's as if TRFC knows full well it's all BS…

    but the SMSM still have to follow the copy/paste instructions they are given, regardless.

  19. Haven’t commented today until I was able to read the article involved.  Wasn’t disappointed.  The Times deserves everything that’s coming to it.


    Actually thought Douglas Frasers wasn’t the worst stab at it, albeit it had obviously been sterilised (from using controversial terms like “clubs”)

  20. StevieBC 14th November 2019 at 22:06 

    StevieBC 14th November 2019 at 15:36 This HMRC story has been cranked up to BS Level '11'. Headline from The ET; "Rangers vs HMRC: Ex-players and staff 'have EBT penalties wiped over incorrect tax bill…"


    No 'journalist' name is attributed to this nonsense. It's based "on a source" who is supposedly an accountant but "uninvolved"…


    Well, well, well… Mibbees The ET does have a bit of shame after all? I've just checked the above ET article for Comments: it is no longer available on their site, and disappeared into the ether.


         The Sun also had a, "now you see it now you don't", stab at it Stevie……This was a bit more rational.


  21. macfurgly 14th November 2019 at 22:17

    '…Douglas Fraser's agonisingly twisted attempt to address the squirrel for the BBC:'


    Fraser has this sentence: 

    '..The stadium, the team, the brand and all the other assets are owned and controlled by a completely different corporate entity, Rangers International Football Club'


    Whose IPO Prospectus might be being looked at by the FCA, as perhaps being a little economical with the Truth?  

    Just a thought, to let Pan loose on the marble staircase.

  22. Just so that no-one is in any doubt.

    HMRC Press Office @HMRCpressoffice

    As widely reported today and to clarify: HMRC won against Rangers’ tax avoidance in the Supreme Court, and did not miscalculate anything

  23. Still scratching the napper about the timing of this massive HMRC squirrel.


    It's during the international break – so there's 'probably' not a footy related need for distraction just now at Ibrox.

    The Memorial Walls court case yesterday – IMO – wouldn't have bothered anyone at Ibrox, so no distraction needed.


    So, it's to distract from possibly something new / unknown to the Bampots currently?

    It could be related to a desperate need for more funding, or something about King, or about the disputed 2011/12 UEFA licence…or something completely different.  Who knows.


    But, to derive the benefit of this well executed squirrel, the bad news has to be made public soon, you would think?

    Are we going to see yet another RIFC statement released late on a Friday night?


    I'll keep the popcorn handy this evening, just in case.  indecision

  24. It was good to see the verified Twitter account of HMRC tweet this yesterday.

    As widely reported today and to clarify: HMRC won against Rangers’ tax avoidance in the Supreme Court, and did not miscalculate anything

    What was not good was the reaction of a huge section of the Scottish media to a story which had already been debunked as baseless by the Rangers Taxcase Blogger, who has been right on every aspect of this matter since it was first made public. The Journalist who wrote the story was given free reign without challenge by the BBC. The Daily Record headlined it as 'shocking'. Radio Clyde, who were never previously able to discuss financial matters, only football, devoted an entire show to it, relying on the 'expert' view of  pundits. The Herald turned to the renowned financial expert Ally McCoist for guidance. STV did what STV always do on matters relating to their favourite club. Add to that that the original story in the Times had only one name quoted in it, which was a former Rangers Chairman who had himself benefited from the illegal tax evasion scheme. 

    Soon after the Times story broke there was information out there for the layperson to easily understand how the story was nonsense. Initially you would wonder how it would pass the Editor, until you realise who the Editor was. 

    Was it it a Rangers supporting Journalist and Editor somehow trying to clear Rangers name? Or does the time lapse between the last BDO report and the story being written suggest it was a Rangers supporting Journalist and Editor doing someone a favour? Remember that these guys, along with the rest of the Scottish media, have never shown any interest in the overwhelming evidence offered to them by the Resolution 12 guys. However that might mean questioning the integrity of 'Rangers' so I guess that's why they don't go near that.

    To summarise the media have made utter fools of themselves yet again, but in doing so have reminded us just how biased they are. Where would they stop?


  25. Interesting comment on yesterday’s story from my unconnected high level must know what he’s talking about pure dead clever lad down the pub.


    RTC mentioned that a buyer for Rangers even with the minimised BTC still needed to find £65m for the purchase so accurately yet blandly described by Douglas Fraser.


    his reply “aye, and that figure still wouldn’t have rid you of King hinging about like a bad smell muttering about his £20m.”


    as I said, observant lad.


    must go to my tea and crumpets and this mornings Times headline.  Apparently there’s a guy works down a chip ship swears he’s Elvis

  26. upthehoops 15th November 2019 at 07:26

    “STV did what STV always do on matters relating to their favourite club.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Some poor wee lassie I've never seen before (although, to be fair, I seldom watch STV News) was wheeled out to front this load of bullocks at 2pm yesterday:

    “Today's top story: HMRC admits that they overtaxed Rangers Football Club by over £50M.”

    “The taxman originally claimed that the club's old operating company owed around £70m for using controversial Offshore Trusts, known as EBTs, to pay players and staff. The bill played a major part in the club's liquidation in 2012, but £50m could now be wiped off the tax bill after HMRC reportedly admitted overestimating its debts and penalties.

    That's according to the Times.”

    Forensic journalism at its best.

  27. The Rangers nil? Who missed the penalty @ 15/11/2019


    In my view HMRC should be pushing for a retraction and apology from the Times. STV and others should be checking their facts. The desperation to somehow clear Rangers name in all of this is disturbing, and it is little wonder that people scoff at Journalists who hold the media up as guardians of the truth. In this case the truth was there for them and still they chose to ignore it. Is it really so bad that they can't just admit Rangers cheated on tax, HMRC caught them, and beat them? The amount they owed meant liquidation with or without penalty charges. It really is as simple as that. 

  28. Staff at HMRC in Glasgow were told yesterday that they should remove their work ID's before leaving the building on the grounds of safety. 

    We as a society will eventually pay a very heavy price for allowing liars to  be weavers of our social fabric.

    My own thoughts on why the squirrel has been released are that "Rangers" are behind with tax payments

    and HMRC was considering issuing a winding up order.As Bertie Auld used to say "always get your retaliation in first".

  29. It is shocking how far our shameful smsm will go to aid this new club/company. It is past embarrassment, it is not funny anymore, it is sinister. To have the PR power to influence the Times to print lies, really. Why to this day is our smsm still protecting them?  The feeling is something big and damaging is likely to be coming out of Ibrox, because if not why this big lie. We can only guess of what it may be as there is so much we know that is going on behind the scenes at Ibrox, and likely events we do not know.  Whatever it is they deserve what is coming and so do their gullible fans and so does our pathetic smsm (apart from the odd few). Funny how things change but really stay the same.

  30. It may be the tax demands for the EBT recipients are just about to be delivered and not an issue related to the club* . After all a large percentage of people who work in the sport sections of our media are EBT recipients.I would much prefer if it involved King and Company but it may not be the case.

  31. Jabba really doesn't get the Squirrel/Dead Cat concept, does he?

    The idea is to distract and stop people looking at things which may be unhelpful. Instead Jabba is flagging up that something less than wholesome is coming down the tracks and rather than being distracted we are all concentrated on the undoubtedly bad news to come.

    Good work, Evil Genius/Useful Idiot.

    Even a brief look at the stauncher sites last night showed a desperate clutching at straws which was doomed to fail. It's a rum day when Spoutpish, sub nomine TheLawMan, came across as a voice of reason (compared to the rest) but he kind of gave the game away when he opined that one of the lowpoints was when 12 people failed to find Craig Whyte Guilty. I did not attend the Trial but I'm sure Spoutpish did. If you attended the Moon Landing, assisted in the hunt for Moby Dick and were on the Grassy Knoll you're not going to miss the Trial Of The Man Who Killed My Club. Given that he self-identifies, inter alia, as TheLawMan did he not look at the Jury and wonder why three random persons were sitting beside them?

    T'Rangers Statement O'Clock, which is a corner that the MSM and those enraged thereby have boxed them into, should be a thing of beauty.

    HMRC Statement:-

    "We won.

    We can count."

    TRFC Statement:- (?)

    "Naw ye didnae.

    Naw ye cannae."

  32. LUGOSI 15th November 2019 at 11:32

    ……. he kind of gave the game away when he opined that one of the lowpoints was when 12 people failed to find Craig Whyte guilty. I did not attend the Trial but I'm sure Spoutpish did.


    I think he only attended the summing up of both sides as he claimed to be a potential witness in the case.

    His recollection of events is a bit off in any event as there are 15 people on the jury in Scottish trials.

    It was also a majority verdict, but I don’t know how many of the 8 men and 7 women on the jury voted either way. It may be that it was 12-3, so perhaps he was right about 12 finding him not guilty. My own recollection was that it was either 10-5 or 9-6.

  33. Those pesky side letters did indemnify the ebt recipients by the club*, just wonder if someone has passed their tax demand to the same club* for payment. That would certainly cause a whole lot of issues and tricky explanations. I don't think they have much hope of RIFC/TRFC being liable as from memory the side letters were issued on Company notepaper but they may have to state that they are a new or different club publicly to avoid liability. 

  34. I am by no means a dedicated reader of the business pages or the Financial Times nor have I been particularly interested in even my own personal tax affairs, so I may very well be off the mark, but I do not recollect ever seeing HMRC publicly assert the truth of their calculations in relation to a named tax-payer .

    Don't they usually say they never comment on particular cases? 

    Has new ground been broken here by HMRC ? 

    We should perhaps see a lot more naming and shaming of the low-life ,would-be high-living turds who cheat  us all. 

    And if any such have been honoured, we should see them as publicly dishonoured as certain bank chiefs have been dishonoured. 

  35. I suspect the scale of abuse and the threats that usually accompany it was sufficient for HMRC to try and diffuse the situation before it got out of hand . The media role in this is highly irresponsible , they are well aware the reaction they will cause amongst this particular group of people.

  36. misterlightbulbjoke15th November 2019 at 10:50


    That was my first thought too. They have a crippling wage bill and therefore an onerous PAYE liability.

    As PAYE is dealt with in real time these days it doesn't take HMRC long to pick up non compliance.

    Best keep an eye on the Glasgow Courts for enforcement procedures.

    I ruled out an attempt to rescue the reputation of Oldco on the grounds that raking over the coals only highlights the fact they were tax cheats.


  37. I was quite pleased to find out HMRC Media had a Twitter account. Who knew? Unfortunately I missed the forensic analysis of The Rangers Tax Case which formed part of ClydeSSB yesterday evening. I’m sure it left no EBT unturned.

  38. Bogs Dollox 15th November 2019 at 13:22

    '..raking over the coals only highlights the fact they were tax cheats.'

    And  they were sports cheats!

    Doing the taxpayer out of money is one thing and damaging to the whole of society in a sort of abstract, non-immediately personal way.

    Telling lies to the other football clubs which are their 'sporting' competitors (via at the very least lying to the SFA about the payments they were making to their players and concealing the 'side-letters' and possibly having lied to UEFA about the European licence some years before that) is far more personally offensive and insulting to me and the rest of us. 

    RFC of 1872 deservedly are in Liquidation.

    Meanwhile TRFC continues to live a sports cheating existence in  claiming such sporting merit as the club in Liquidation had earned. 

    They have not yet been sorted out for that. 

    And the failure to deal with that is, one suspects, the clearest indicator that our football governance bodies are themselves so heavily involved in the sports cheating that they are themselves sh.t scared to act as they should.

  39. Wonder if Pistol Pete had anything to do with the Times story squirrel, deflecting attention away from 'Celtic's Questions to Answer'. ????

  40. I have to confess to fellow Bampots: I bought a newspaper today. I know, I know.  First time in many a year, and I did feel rather self conscious reaching out to the newspaper stand – as if I was reaching out to the top shelf for a dodgy magazine, [as I could only imagine it would feel of course!]


    But out of curiosity I bought The Times today as it used to be my daily read, pre-RTC, and I wanted to read their latest coverage of their HMRC 'scoop'.  [And I had no intention of subscribing online.]


    Rather than backtracking after the online backlash from more informed Bampots, The Times seems to be doubling down.


    On page 11 it was all about RFC and HMRC.  The whole page -with no adverts at all – so a lot of Times' resources are still being allocated to their story.


    Of the 3 headlines on that one page, the most prominent included a photo of an angry/concerned looking McCoist.

    That article included 14 paragraphs covering 3 sources of input.

    McCoist's input covered 7 paras.

    Mark Dingwall of the 'Follow Follow' fanzine covered 5 paras.

    A named EBT expert's input covered 2 paras.


    The EBT expert opinion aligned with the Internet Bampot's opinion.  This expert coverage was slipped in as token balance between McCoist and Dingwall.

    Dingwall's unchallenged input concluded the article with;

    "…assumptions were made that have turned out not to be true in terms of both legal and accountancy terms…"

    …from an unqualified lawyer/accountant running a rabid fanzine! And again: unchallenged by The Times.


    I knew the SMSM has been dumbing down for years, but it is sad to realise that a once decent paper has simply joined the race to the gutter with the likes of The DR and The ET.

  41. Why attack HMRC at this juncture? 

    You don't do that if you're on good terms with them, do you?

    Even if you were on good terms, you've opened yourself up to a potential world of hurt in the future. 

    Possibly a Ratner's moment by Level Sinko/RIFC/TRFC.


  42. Jim Harra, HMRC's Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary, has sent a letter to


    editor following a story written yesterday.

    I am writing in relation to your coverage of Rangers' tax affairs on 14th November 2019 . The article is incorrect: HMRC did not make any mistake that led to the club's insolvency. HMRC won against Rangers tax avoidance in the Supreme Court. We have a long standing claim with the liquidators to recover the money due as a result of this judgement. The UK has one of the lowest rates of unpaid tax anywhere in the world. Inaccurate and partial reporting only serves to undermine public trust in the tax system. HMRC is committed to getting tax right, for everyone- and to challenge tax avoidance wherever we find it. We make sure large businesses, like all other taxpayers, pay the taxes due under UK law.

  43. Hearts accounts have just been published.

    They show inprovements in Turnover, now up to over £15m, wages at £8.22m and a wage to turnover ratio at a healthy 55%.

    "Benefactors" continue to subsidise the club, this time with £2.25m towards general spending (mainly the continued development of the stadium) and a further £1m towards the playing budget.

    FOH donations (currently paying back the loan to Ann Budge) actually fell to £1.32m from £1.44m, probably reflecting a small drop off in pledger numbers in the wake of poor on field performances.  It will probably delay the handover of the majority shareholding from Ann Budge to the Foundation of Hearts by a month or two.

    Oh and Craig Levein's pay went up from £141k to £178k ………  not exactly good value for money.  

  44. TT, the HMRC CEO with the name James Harra?!

    Obviously a 'Rangers' hater, and this proves the conspiracy / cover up!

    Obviously…  smiley


    eJ, thanks for sharing that.

    It looks like Club 1872 could learn a thing or two from FOH?

  45. I was curious as to the Times follow-up today on its no-holds barred exclusive yesterday.  Thanks to Stevie BC, I now know the esteemed editor went full frontal with part II of the HMRC blunder.  In my previous post on the subject I did say that the Scottish version of The Thunderer is a different kettle of fish from its London parent.  Stevie BC has just confirmed that Mr Llewellin's version must be aimed at the lowest common denomination in our dear little country when he is giving so much valuable column inches to such distinguished correspondents as Messrs McCoist and Dingwall.  I wonder if the regulars at the Louden bar in Govan will now be taking the Times in preference to the Record? 

    HMRC's press releases are normally tweeted to all editors.  We must therefore assume that the latest one re: Harra's letter to Llewellin, will have been seen by rival newspapers as well as the Times head office in London.  This might cause a dilemma for Llewellin.  Does he persist with part III of his revelations or does he bite the bullet and print a retraction and apology?

    I don't think the Ibrox fans will be too enamoured with the heid taxman's term " led to the club's insolvency" either.  What has the rotund PR guru unleashed, I wonder?

  46. As well as the banner headlines in the sun to comfort the gullibles two small sections were printed alongside with some good details.
    Why did rangers go bust? …….the club was then Liquidated and it’s assets sold to charles Green.
    Febuary 2012 rangers put into administration.
    July 2012 gers are admitted to the third division.
    Oct 2012 rangers are Liquidated.

  47. Cluster One 15th November 2019 at 20:08


    Aye but…will Memorial Walls still be around in March to collect it. Oh wait…

    What time's statement o'clock agn?

  48. I wonder if there was a theory that 'purdah' rules during an an election would preclude a response from HMRC?


  49. Right! Not having received any reply from either of the two email addresses of the FCA, I have sent this email to the Clerk of the Treasury Committee.


    15 Nov at 22:18

    To: the Clerk to the Treasury Committee

    "Dear Gosia McBride,

    I  know  that the Financial Conduct Authority is not a Civil Service department and is therefore perhaps less under any obligation (other than those imposed by conventional good manners and custom)  to reply to individual members of the public than  is a regular Civil Service Department.

    I have a wee problem, though, that I hope you may be able to help resolve.

    Briefly, on 25 June I wrote to the CEO  of the FCA suggesting that the FCA may have  been in breach of its statutory duty in the matter of the authorisation of the Prospectus for an Initial Public Offer of a particular company.

    Since then I have received only one acknowledgement , to the effect that the FCA had no trace of my letters, and could I send copies, and carried with it the suggestion that if I were to use email matters would be speeded up.

    I promptly emailed copies of all that I had previously sent whether by Royal Mail or email.

    The forwarded email below is the tail  end of it, and brings us up to date.

    The FCA appears to be grossly inefficient in its routine administrative functions, or contemptuous of people who write to them or unwilling to reply to questions which seem to imply some fault on their part.

    I still have received no substantive reply to my letters/emails!

    Whatever the reason (and any one of the three possibilities I mention should be of some interest to the Committee) the FCA is ultimately accountable to Parliament (and the electorate) through the Treasury Committee.  

    It is on that basis I write to you to ask, please, that you pass this email to the Chairman of the Treasury Committee and/or direct to  the CEO of the FCA.

    Given that Parliament is presently suspended for the general election I thought it pointless to 'write to my MP' as I otherwise would have done . I suspect that he may have  other things to worry about.

    Yours sincerely etc etc"


    I forwarded only the most recent reminder that I had sent to the FCA, but that should provide enough general info.[I don't have a clue how to send an email chain, tried looking it up but couldn't find anything I understood. heart]

    The point in writing to the Treasury Committee clerk, of course, is that she will have to do something. She cannot deal conclusively with my email on her own authority. She cannot just bin it! She must either

    send it to the Chairman and do what he says ,which will be either to tell her to flog it straight off to the FCA- in which case the FCA will see that the Treasury Committee clerk will have it on record- or himself take an interest in the content and be curious enough to  ask a question or two.

    or, she herself will consider it to be simply a matter for the FCA, send it there, and tell me that she has sent it to them as being simply a  matter for them.

    Standard stuff. 

    But knowledge of the 'issue' is spread a wee bit wider!

    We'll see what  Gosia 's reply may be. ( Pronounced Gohsha, a Polish version of 'Margaret')


  50. ulyanova 15th November 2019 at 22:33

    '..I wonder if there was a theory that 'purdah' rules during an an election would preclude a response from HMRC?'


    If  Llewellin thought that, he's even more of a dolt than I took him for!

    There was, is, nothing 'political' in terms of 'party politics' in Harra's  matter of fact statement of fact. 

    If Llewellin thought that HMRC could not defend itself against false accusations he's just a singularly uninformed eejit of a newspaper editor, and possibly a badly motivated one at that!

    HMRC should demand an immediate retraction of the falsehood.



  51. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7691653/The-person-blame-Rangers-plunging-cliff-2012-Sir-David-Murray.html

    "The only person to blame for Rangers plunging off a cliff in 2012 is Sir David Murray – he triggered an unsustainable footballing arms race"

    It really is quite something when the msm start pointing the finger of blame at David Murray, maybe the attempt at blaming HMRC backfired and Level 5 needed to back off and direct the anger elsewhere. He who pays the piper calls the tune and the days of dining at Chateau Minty are long gone , he was as rumour goes no friend of Dave's any more anyway , no honour amongst thieves as they say. 

  52. Cluster One 15th November 2019 at 20:08

    '…A firm  suing Rangers following a shelved plan….'


    There is the SMSM at its best!

    Not a mention of 'breach of contract'.

    Oh ,no. A 'shelved plan!' A mere nothing that some wee company is making much of!

    Honest to God! Memorial walls is suing for a substantial some of money because TRFC is, they say,  in breach of contract. 

    in the same way  as Lionel Persey QC found them to be in the SDIR case.

    This pussyfooting about anything to do with 'Rangers' , the minimising and misreporting of the facts about anything to do with either RFC of 1872 or TRF of 2012 , marks the SMSM as perhaps the most untrustworthy aggregation of 'journalists' outside North Korea, China, and other such places where journalist means party propagandist.



  53. Several cryptic messages are appearing on social media that the current Rangers are behind on tax which is the reason for a couple of their fans getting a quite absurd story published in the Times.

    If, and it remains a huge if, they are currently behind on tax then HMRC would indeed be due criticism for not acting. Personally I can't see it. If there is one bill Rangers will want paid it will be the tax bill.

  54. John Clark 16th November 2019 at 00:17 Cluster One 15th November 2019 at 20:08 '…A firm suing Rangers following a shelved plan….' ++++++++++++++ There is the SMSM at its best! Not a mention of 'breach of contract'. Oh ,no. A 'shelved plan!' A mere nothing that some wee company is making much of! Honest to God! Memorial walls is suing for a substantial some of money because TRFC is, they say, in breach of contract. in the same way as Lionel Persey QC found them to be in the SDIR case. This pussyfooting about anything to do with 'Rangers' , the minimising and misreporting of the facts about anything to do with either RFC of 1872 or TRF of 2012 , marks the SMSM as perhaps the most untrustworthy aggregation of 'journalists' outside North Korea, China, and other such places where journalist means party propagandist.


    And the question of why was the memorial wall shelved in the first place is never asked, rhetorically or of the club, itself?

    Now we all know that the most likely true answer is that it was going to cost much more than the club could possibly afford, but that then begs the question, why wait to 'shelve' it until after the contract was signed? 

    Typical of the SMSM is that instead of asking these questions they introduce the idea that the memorial wall plan has been put on hold rather than abandoned because their favourite club has dire financial problems, with a board so hung up on 'Rangersness' that it abandons high publicity schemes after the contracts have been signed rather than biting the bullet at an early stage of negotiation/planning. What don't they get at Ibrox about contracts? would be another question the SMSM should see as worth their while asking!

  55.   BDO are gradually ticking the boxes and must be well down the line towards completing their task. That of Liquidating Rangers(I.L.)!. Some creditors have been given new buttons for a shirt. Negotiations drawing to a close, and court-cases concluding and tailing off.  That, and the dwindling money-pot, will soon have them saying, "Our work here is done.?" 

        Their affairs dealt with, I imagine the final report will be fairly damning and highly public. The very last words that Rangers can ever mutter, in any official capacity, in any form, ever again, will be delivered via BDO.

        I doubt they words will be, "The tax-man did it and ran away".    

  56. When Rangers plunged over a cliff in 2012, one of Scotland's cultural institutions was humiliated. And someone had to pay. Duff & Phelps administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark were hastily detained and, as it turned out, wrongly prosecuted by the Lord Advocate – and now want millions as compensation.

         Craig Whyte was placed on trial on charges of fraud, but found not guilty. Now it's HMRC in the dock for the reported 'multi-million pound blunder' which led to the club's implosion. The Times newspaper claims £50million could be wiped from the final tax bill owed by the Ibrox oldco to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs because Hector claimed too much money in the first place. The final tax bill could turn out to be no higher than £20m. The key word here is could. HMRC has dropped a pointless £24m penalty charge, but released a rare public statement saying they won the Rangers row and 'did not miscalculate anything'. Even so, a grossed-up, amended claim of £48m in respect of the big tax case is still in dispute. If an appeal succeeds next year, the final figure could finish up as low as £20m.

         But the could aspect of this is the nub of this whole oddly-timed business. Rangers fans argue that an accurate big-tax-case bill of £20m eight years ago could have saved their club a hell of a lot of heartache and humiliation. It could have persuaded a reputable buyer to step in and buy the club before Whyte got his grubby hands on the assets for a pound and stopped paying tax and national insurance, thereby driving the oldco towards administration then liquidation. When Whyte bought Rangers, no one knew for sure how much the big-tax-case bill would actually be. Speculation raged over tens of millions, but the actual figure of £94m didn't come out publicly until Duff & Phelps issued a report to creditors in October 2012. All people had to go on before that was guesswork. And because no one of sound mind or reputation would have taken that gamble, the only people prepared to risk it were chancers. During Whyte's trial, Sir David Murray's right-hand man Mike McGill described some of the wide boys interested in buying Rangers. Most you wouldn't trust with a five-year-old's piggy bank.       Two characters connected to an unnamed English football manager bore a letter promising funding of 50m Euros from a Belgian bank which looked the real deal, but later proved to be fraudulent. Also sniffing around was a Lithuanian banking institution with alleged links to organised crime and money laundering. Could someone decent and reputable have emerged from the chaos and led Rangers safely to the other side? Maybe. But that's a bit like saying the Titanic would have made it to New York had she struck a smaller iceberg. It's hypothetical, nobody knows for sure.

           The fact is that HMRC could have arrived at the projected figure of £20m for the big-tax case nine years ago and stuck it on a billboard in Glasgow Central Station for everyone to see. It wouldn't have changed the fact that, when you throw in an £18m bank debt and the £2.8m for the 'wee-tax case', plus a commitment to spend £1.7m improving the stadium, the price of saving Rangers would still have been £40m minimum. And the notion of captains of industry queuing up to buy a struggling Scottish football club at the height of the global banking crisis for that kind of money is optimistic. Ally McCoist spoke for the club's supporters when he insisted HMRC took Rangers down for no good reason.

           No one is defending the UK taxman. Hector is big and unpleasant enough to look out for himself. Yet, right from the start of this sorry, angry saga there has been a curious reluctance to point fingers at the actual architect of the Rangers downfall. Sir David Murray triggered an unsustainable footballing arms race.. And the EBT scam was the mechanism used to fire the bullets. If fans want to land a punch on HMRC or anyone else over the final tax bill, then that's fine. Take a swing. But there should never be a free pass for the man who brought the mess to the front door of Ibrox in the first place. The man who sold the club to Craig Whyte for a pound to salvage his own MIH business empire was Sir David Murray. With no mis-use of EBTs, there's no HMRC. It really is that simple


  57. ulyanova 15th November 2019 at 22:33

    I wonder if there was a theory that 'purdah' rules during an an election would preclude a response from HMRC?


    Nothing to do with purdah, HMRC would not normally comment on individual taxpayers positions as it would be a breach in confidentiality. They can only do that in specific circumstances, for example at Court during a fraud trial, it would be insane if they could not do that.

    Purdah is more to do with promoting the views and policies of a particular party, and in doing so potentially affecting the election. 

    They have been careful in what they said by not actually commenting in any meaningful way and have simply said the story first released in the Times is not true.

    The reality is boringly simple. They have withdrawn their claim against the creditors pot insofar as it relates to penalties, as it is simply not cost effective to argue the point. If they did and BDO fought them the money for that fight would come straight from the creditors pot and would be even more money lost to themselves and the other creditors.

    All they have said is that their figures were correct in the first place, they just aren't chasing some of that money now. 

  58. Corrupt official 16th November 2019 at 09:36

    '….But there should never be a free pass for the man who brought the mess to the front door of Ibrox in the first place.'


    And the Daily Mail should have followed through with a call for the man to be stripped ogf his knighthood!

  59. Oh well, popcorn put away for another Friday night.

    The Sun has an eye catching headline today;



    SPEAKING OUT Rangers break their silence over EBT claims as they vow to ‘consider best course of action’ 

    Phil Martin 16 Nov 2019…


    This 'EXCLUSIVE' is based on input from an unnamed "Ibrox spokesperson".

    And yet, curiously, there is still absolutely nothing at all on the 'Rangers FC' website about this HMRC firestorm. indecision


    But instead of seeking out an unnamed Ibrox spokesperson, The Sun – or any SMSM rag for that matter – could have produced a similar 'EXCLUSIVE' of similar value – based on a variation of equally relevant sources;


    "Charles Green breaks his silence over EBT claims as he vows to 'consider best course of action."


    "Gordon [“I know nothing about anything”] Smith breaks his silence over EBT claims as he vows to 'consider best course of action'.


    "Mr. Blobby breaks his silence over EBT claims as he vows to 'consider best course of action'.



  60. Rangers Tax Case

    Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!


    It seemed all was settled in the long running Rangers Tax Case saga. Yet after the Scottish press’ latest embarrassment, we can look forward to months and years of continued arguing over my favourite subject.

    The Supreme Court ruled on 5th July 2017 that Rangers’ efforts to “pay for players we could not otherwise afford” had failed. Their disguised remuneration scheme was so badly implemented the court had no hesitation in dismissing this wheeze. When you are trying to pull a disguised remuneration scam, a key component is that the payments are actually disguised. Detailed notes and side-letters explaining what is going on should not fall into the hands of investigators.  Just like with Al Capone, suspicions that a criminal network was operating out of Ibrox led to evidence of deliberate and concealed non-payment of tax being uncovered.

    It should have been all over with the Supreme Court decision. Rangers had been liquidated. A new club had been formed to take its place. Most of Scottish football, including the press, had agreed to pretend that nothing had happened. This same rogues gallery locked arms to block any meaningful punishment for the years of blatant cheating. Incriminated by their knowledge and involvement in Rangers’ various violations of the rules, there cannot be an investigation into the events surrounding the last years of that club’s existence.

    Such has been the determination to sweep over the past and pretend that nothing traumatic happened, today’s The Times gets tax story wrong tale really took me by surprise.

    On one level (or maybe a 5th level?) you have to stand back and admire the artfulness of the spin-doctoring behind this story. Twitter and Rangers’ fansites are ablaze with fantasies: the old club is coming out of liquidation; HMRC made a mistake; or that Rangers have somehow been victims of this process. With Magnus Llewellin’s Scottish version of The Times playing the role of duped conduit or willing participant in a lie, the way this story has been crafted is worthy of a round of applause. In these days of Brexit and Trump propaganda, we see it quite often.  Yet this “Rangers died for nothing” narrative stands out. Devoid of factual references or checkable sources, it is a golden example of the power of the press to inflame and deflect on command.


    What really happened?

    As laid out in the @rangerstaxcase twitter feed last night, HMRC have decided that it is not worth to keep fighting for two side-show elements of the Big Tax Case. The first part was the “net or gross?” question.  There was no dispute that Rangers paid about £49m to players through the EBT scheme. However, was that amount net of tax? i.e. the real taxable wage was about £100m and the tax owed would be about £48m.  Or was that the gross wage? i.e. the taxable wages were £49m and the tax due only about £24m. HMRC had submitted assessments to Rangers over the years on the basis that the amounts were “net”.  However, this was always going to be a contentious issue. My post of 11th November 2011 predicted that HMRC would be forced to back down on this point and to accept the lower number. It is always nice to be proven correct in the course of time.


    As none of the courts or tribunals that had looked at the Big Tax Case had ever decided on “Net v Gross”, Rangers’ liquidators argued that the issue remained unresolved. For HMRC to pursue the argument that they were entitled to the higher numbers, they would have had to have initiated a new FTT case. With only a tiny amount of money at stake for HMRC (they will only get a very small percentage regardless of the amount owed), they dropped the claim for the higher amount.  No “shock! horror! error!” involved here.  It was simply not worth HMRC’s time to pursue the higher amounts as there isn’t enough cash in the kitty to pay for more than a few percent of what is due anyway.

    Similarly with the penalty amount.  On 10th June of 2019, Rangers’ liquidators, BDO, confirmed that HMRC had been asking for a penalty amount of 65% of the amount of tax underpaid (excluding interest). This too required a new FTT case to confirm as HMRC had agreed to a Rangers’ request back in 2010 to separate the tribunals for underpayment and penalty.  BDO correctly pointed out that the penalty amounts had not been confirmed by any legal process.  HMRC would have to relitigate the whole issue again if they wanted to score a point on Rangers’ fraudulent conduct. However, with no prospect of yielding a worthwhile increase in payment for their efforts, HMRC agreed to drop the claim for penalties.

    This was all simply a cost-benefit expediency. There was nothing behind the decisions to drop the claims for net-of-tax payments or the penalties that indicated that HMRC was admitting to any error.  Yet that is how this event has been masterfully spun by the usual Ibrox lackeys in the press.

    If RFC 2012 plc had survived and was a going-concern with assets and revenues to be claimed, HMRC would not have given up the claim on the penalties. (Possibly not on the gross v net either- but it is quite likely they would have lost this point). BDO list the revised HMRC tax claim as being £68.3m now.  There was not- and is not- a chance in hell that Rangers could have found the funds to avoid administration. This “sensational” story is creating a false narrative from nothing. Old original Rangers is not coming out of liquidation!

    The story of Rangers’ descent into collapse is characterised by fans amassing around polar extremes. There is little rational discussion.  Almost to a man, Rangers fans have shown no interest is learning what was being done in their name. If a Celtic supporter said it, it must be disputed and scorned. Similarly, most Celtic fans have enjoyed this adventure for the many months and years of unrivalled entertainment. In many corners of the Scottish football interwebs there is little concern for accuracy in any story.

    Therefore, I write this blog mainly for the record. The facts as currently stated by BDO are here if you want them. I doubt reality will cause many who follow the tribulations of the Ibrox clubs to sway their view much at all.  There are flame wars to fight.  In the press, there are agendas to push and newspapers to sell.


  61. In relation to my email last night to the Clerk to the Treasury Committee, it was suggested to me (in a private message from a reader of the blog) that I should have sent a copy to the FCA.

    I have now done so.


  62. I don’t know about anyone else but I can’t wait for the intellectual discourse on Sportsound this afternoon as The Rangers Tax Case is unpacked and explained to the eager listener. Well it’s not like there’s any real football on today?

  63. Ex Ludo 16th November 2019 at 12:08
    Only there to talk about the football they once said.

  64. theredpill 16th November 2019 at 11:16


    The redpill,

    So would HMRC’s legal stance be described as, “Ye canna tak the breaks aff a Hielan’  man”?



    Rate This

  65. Corrupt official 16th November 2019 at 09:36
    That was a great post.
    Speculation raged over tens of millions, but the actual figure of £94m didn’t come out publicly until Duff & Phelps issued a report to creditors in October 2012.

    And just by accident i found this yesterday.

  66. I have to laugh when I read and hear media people saying people will argue about the Rangers tax case for years to come. There is no argument. The highest court in the UK found in HMRC's favour. Rangers lost. There is no further appeal. What is there to argue about?

    The only problem we currently have is that people in the employ of the Times Newspaper have twisted the narrative of a story for their own ends. So much so that it forced HMRC to go public on the matter when as a rule they never comment. I imagine the senior management of the Times will not take kindly to such an inaccurate article attracting the attention of HMRC in this way. What utter fools those behind this nonsense look today. 

  67. I just want to know what The Times Scotland was promised, [or threatened with?], for carrying the HMRC nonsense story?

    The Editor must have guessed that there would be huge interest in the story.

    And if only to cover his @rse he would have his in-house business experts validate Traynor's PR p!sh… you would think?

    I suppose in the past, an Editor would have immediately fallen on his sword for bringing his paper – and all of his colleagues – into disrepute?

  68. Cluster One 16th November 2019 at 14:07

    '..And just by accident i found this yesterday.'


    Was that from the BBBC, Cluster One?

    Oh the days of Truth:

    " He has since formed a new club, now playing in the Scottish Football League Third Division'"


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