It Takes Two to Tangle

 Guest Blog by Auldheid

When helping write up the previous blog on the matter of the (mis) commissioning by Harper Macleod, lawyers to the then SPL and current SPFL, of the Lord Nimmo Smith’s investigation into side letters arising from EBTs issued by Rangers FC from July 1999 ( ) .

I had it in mind that only the SFA had something to hide as a result of their President Campbell Ogilvie being fully aware of the history and distinction between the two illegal Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT ) ebts of wee tax case fame not declared to Harper Macleod and the more widely known Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (MGMRT) Big Tax Case ebts which were declared and on which LNS focussed after (wrongly)treating both types as regular.

The idea that I think most bought into in terms of the registration matters LNS investigated was that no one in football except players with side letters had participated in those schemes and that football authority, both SFA and SPL were unaware of them until their existence became public in Feb 2012. This is when the Sun first published a side letter and the possibility of mis-registration was raised, notably on Celtic Quick News then more widely particularly following an interview between Alex Thomson of Ch4 News and Hugh Adam an ex Rangers Director.

However when you think of the world of Scottish football where players socialise with each other and with journalists, then it does seem stretching it a bit to think that no one in football authority ever heard any gossip or had any enquiry and decided not to investigate the matter before 2012.

Well Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps thought so and their lawyers Biggart Bailie asked Harper Mcleod in March 2012 why the SPL had not investigated a lot earlier on the basis that

  1. There had been entries every year since 2000 in Rangers Annual Accounts of sums of money being placed in employee benefit trusts
  2. HMRC had written to the SPL at some unknown point in the past to ask about the existence of side letters in players’ contracts.

The first argument on annual accounts was one made once public awareness of ebts widened but it was dismissed on the grounds that no one knew much about ebts in those early years and in any case properly administered ones, which they would have been presumed to have been, did not have side letters.

However it does seem likely that having written to MIH/Rangers in 2005 to enquire about the existence of side letters to De Boer and Flo (which MIH/Rangers denied holding even though they did) HMRC would have written to the SFA or SPL sometime after 2005 whenever they first became aware of side letters in players contracts with regards to the MGRT ebts of Big Tax Case fame..

That the SPL had been contacted two or three years previous to 2012 by HMRC was confirmed at a SPL Board meeting in March 2012 as a result of a question being asked by Celtic, who were unaware in 2012 that such an HMRC enquiry had been made in 2009 or 2010.  It is possible of course that the connection to misregistration was not made then by the SPL executive asked, but had it been history could have been so different.

How that HMRC enquiry and what it contained was handled by the SPL executive perhaps explains not only why the SPL were so keen to take the lead on the investigation but why they were unaware of the different types of ebts at play, the enquiry in 2009/2010 presumably relating only to the MGMRT type.

The motivation of the SPL executive can be read into their advice to the SPL Board on 23rd February 2012 to instruct an immediate inspection and investigation of the financial records of Rangers with respect to the ebt payments under SPL Rule F1 and under Section G of the Rules on the basis that such an inspection and investigation might reveal prima facie evidence of a breach of SPL Rules independently of any Administrator decision or the outcome of the FTT.

The SPL Board were further advised that taking the lead on such grounds would also go some way to forestalling any attempt by the SFA to include any dependency on the outcome of either Rangers Administration (which they entered on 14th February) or the result of the FTT, (which came in November 2012.)

The desire and benefits of delinking what was at heart a registration enquiry   from the much more serious use of tax evasion methods to pay players was obviously not lost on those giving the advice.

In fact in directing LNS in the way the SPL did (possibly unaware that tax evasion had already occurred with Flo and De Boer) it avoided focus on the real and still unresolved issue, were players paid by unfair means from 1999 from which sporting advantage would naturally accrue with no need for proof that it had. You cannot say this had not been thought through in the advice given.

It was also the SPL’ stance that matters concerning player payments had traditionally been considered to be for leagues.

The narrative emerging here is one of the two football authorities keeping from public gaze what individuals in both, if not the whole organisations corporately, knew about the history of ebts; the SFA knowing the history of both types from 1999/2000 onwards and the SPL possibly only knowing something of the MGMRT ebts and side letters from 2009/10 as a result of HMRC asking them questions.

Thus it suited the SFA that the SPL take the lead as much as it suited the SPL to do so but for different reasons. The SFA to keep the existence of the wee tax case ebts hidden from public view and LNS scrutiny and the SPL to avoid answering any “when did they know and why did they not act” questions.

Also if the SPL were indeed unaware of the two distinct types of ebts at play (and they may indeed have been), it explains why they never picked up that the earlier illegal ebts were missed/concealed from them by Rangers Administrators.

Perhaps the SPL and SFA were aware of the benefits to them of focusing only on the registration aspect. This could be presented as an administrative error (which LNS basically decided) rather than the possible illegal nature of the big tax case ebts after the FTT (and which might still arise from the UTT) which would present both with much more difficult and unwelcome consequences to manage and certainly would have changed the nature of the investigation from the outset had the full evidence been provided.

However unless the questions put to the SPFL in the previous blog are answered, we will never know who did what and why, but we at least will know that the LNS Investigation and its findings were a sham from the outset and should be set aside.


Perhaps BDO who are investigating the role and behaviour of Duff and Phelps according to the latest report on their work should be asking Duff and Phelps about the circumstances surrounding the concealment of vital evidence from the LNS Commission?

Och why not?

To the BDO partner investigating. Dated 9th June by web site e mail

“ I see that BDO are carrying out a probe into the conduct of administrators Duff & Phelps. Does that cover the failure to supply SPL with full documentation requested to investigate side letters in 2012?

See for background. Missing evidence is available. ”

PS: I did try to ascertain if HMRC did indeed write to the SPL and when, but they were unable to confirm or deny that they had. The enquiry and response follow. The question on who is responsible for HMRC policy in respect of collection of tax from football clubs was not given but probably due more to an oversight than any attempt to stop the question being answered.








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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.

1,247 thoughts on “It Takes Two to Tangle

  1. Rangers died and were taken directly to the taxidermist.

  2. mayanman says:
    July 10, 2014 at 9:41 am
    6 0 Rate This

    Did Billy Dodds not say that his EBT was a termination Payment?

    From memory he not only said so but went on to describe the process in some detail

    What sickens me about this whole affair (which in itself is only a tiny example of how the little guy gets stuffed while rich folk laugh at them) is that we are awash with smart arse accountants who dream up these schemes, backed up by smart arse lawyers who defend them – both groups also being inordinately well recompensed for their efforts.

    I am – as the song goes – an ordinary man
    Although now happily retired, I had a number of different jobs throughout my working life.
    Some I loved, others hated
    Some paid very little, others probably more than I deserved
    Ultimately they all helped me provide for my family.

    However they all had one thing in common – each payday my employer handed over an amount of money to me from which the correct amount of income tax / NICs had been deducted and this money was remitted to the relevant authorities
    Like most people I often moaned about the amount of these deductions, but I always realised that the reason I was paying more was simply that I was earning more and no matter how much more I had deducted, the bottom line was that there was always more left for me.

    Imagine how much better our society would be if these rules didn’t only apply to the wee guys.

  3. Thanks DP.
    This from BBC’s Scotland’s website ;

    No side contract at Rangers – Billy Dodds
    Billy Dodds insists he never had a side contract during his Rangers days and was not aware of any others doing so.

    The former striker was paid using an employment benefit trust but told BBC Scotland that it was a one-off method of terminating his deal.

    The Scottish Premier League has now appointed an independent commission to rule on Rangers’ use of EBTs.

  4. Now that the bulk of the UTT stuff is being referred back to the FTT, does that now mean that Dr Heidi Poon’s summations can now be exercised also?

  5. hangerhead says:
    July 10, 2014 at 11:11 am
    Now that the bulk of the UTT stuff is being referred back to the FTT, does that now mean that Dr Heidi Poon’s summations can now be exercised also?
    It ain’t over ’til it’s over. HMRC are considering an appeal which could take a couple more years and lead to more detailed questioning of all involved under oath.

    Given HMRC’s investment so far and the possible gains, I would be surprised if they don’t find some grounds for appeal. This is not about Rangers, it’s about EBTs in the whole UK football industry.

    I think it would be foolish to exercise (sic) Dr Heidi Poon just yet.

  6. Bears long justified in slagging off BS.

    MSM recently joined the party – after months of non-reporting.
    All kinda missing some points

    If they didn`t know about Stockbridges `shares` – why pay out?
    Let it go to Court – embarrassing – but it would flush out the spivs and be done with
    But they didn`t want to do that for some reason.

    Now Stockbridge has shares and can spin any history he likes – The Board is responsible
    That should be a MSMs target – but surprise surprise – it isn’t.

    And, PR campaigns meaningless to the Accountants
    Who`ll fret what other treasures lie under the carpet

    That should be a real story – but they`re busy queuing up for SDMs words of wisdom

  7. Who is footing the bill to defend oldco rangers use of EBTs now ?

  8. My take for what it’s worth re the UTT.
    It makes no difference at all to the current situation over Govan way.
    What’s happening’s happening and we can all keep an eye on it.
    I feel that HMRC will take this all the way in the light of the bigger picture and those that move in the rarified and incestuous legal circles in Edinburgh know this.
    Who’d want to go down in Scottish Legal History as the Judge/Lord who pronounced against them? Not one of them, so let’s leave it to those nasty English Lordships in the Supreme Court.
    Thus the circus will move down south.
    Some of our older members (no offence JC!) may recall the case of Victoria Gillick back in the 80’s.
    Mrs G had 4 daughters under 16 and was against the idea of a doctor giving them contraceptive advice so in 1982 she took her local AHA to court and won.
    It carried on through the various appeal courts and some years later it ended up finally in the House of Lords.
    Mrs G had won the case at every stage and even after the Lords pronounced,the amount of judges on her side were more than those against.
    BUT what really mattered was that she lost in the Lords by a 3-2 judgement and the law was settled. The AHA won the important and binding case.
    So don’t be depressed. This will go all the way until the Supreme Court who will reach the one decision that really matters.
    Watch and wait.
    Finally, I note that the hordes are frothing at the mouth over this and looking for revenge against all and sundry.
    They were getting worked up anyway what with Saturday’s festivities coming up so this will only stoke things up. The timing could have been better.
    Here’s hoping it won’t be too bad.

  9. Alex tweet part1

    alex thomson @alextomo · 3h

    HMRC on Rangers tax avoidance case : “We are naturally disappointed with today’s decision and are considering an appeal….


    alex thomson @alextomo · 3h

    “…we win around 80% of cases taken to litigation by the taxpayer.”


    alex thomson @alextomo · 2m

    HMRC say they have a month to seek leave to appeal to High Court in Scotland over Rangers Tax.

  10. Keef really outdoes himself in the DR today. Keef whose archibald is red raw as he plays both sides of the fence on a weekly basis, says the Celtic fans at outraged at the recent tax case tribunal… Every tax paying person in this country, apart from those who benefited of course, should be outraged that an institution can so blatantly avoid their dues…Of course most rangers fans are loving it even though it has hee-haw to do with their present club (regardless of new club or old club debate), which once more shows the ignorant masses will never progress.

    I wait the day that Doddsy ( no side letter) and the rest who benefited get hit with a large tax bill plus interest, then and only then will justice be done and I do believe it will happen, I am not sure pleas of ignorance will help them. We will probably be on rangers #3 by then though.

  11. Guess who said this today.
    “Murray still insists that he was duped by this mysterious man whose PR flunkies packaged him up as a billionaire but whose actual wealth had slipped so far off the radar that it was hardly worth detecting. ”

    Step forward Keef!

  12. On reading Mr Jackson’s latest “work” I’m tempted to switch my attention to the old club / new club page, as there’s plenty in the article I believe posters here will wish to comment on!!

  13. Just Another Day Down The HMRC Office

    HMRC will probably appeal the UTT decision – because that is their job. This example shows that it’s run of the mill stuff and that FTT and UTT decision are there to be challenged and can be overturned without the sky falling in.

    My family (all mcfc fans) and a good mate’s family (all Sunderland fans) watched the League Cup final together. As my mate’s wife said to him at the end – well it’s not all bad, Sunderland did win the first half.

  14. enough is enough says:
    July 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    “Murray still insists that he was duped by this mysterious man whose PR flunkies packaged him up as a billionaire but whose actual wealth had slipped so far off the radar that it was hardly worth detecting.”…
    So, we all observed Keef fulfilling a de facto PR flunky role for Agent Whyte, when it was required.
    Now he is a de facto PR flunky for (S)DM, now it is required.
    [And with a persistent, ‘wee jokey line’ to cover his ‘off the radar’ revisionism.]

    I’m sure there must be a bad word for someone who so easily changes the recipient of their attention / obedience in search of a better pay off… 🙄

    ‘Journalist’ is not the word.

  15. It may be that HMRC will appeal and we will have another year to two to draw the matter to a conclusion.

    However if HMRC loose then I trust those who received loans have some money set aside just in case.

    Is it not the case that they will have tax to pay for the loan which was a ‘benefit in kind’?

    Also Oldco/The Murray Group need to ensure their tax affairs for PAYE and NI on the benefits are in order re the loans, as opposed to them being classed as wages. Can anyone recall if the appropriate taxes were paid for the EBT loan scheme.

  16. That is a very good article I think. In particular I haven’t heard the quote there from Paul Murray before, made in around 2012, which I thought was a very good statement and it’s a pity we haven’t heard more like that coming from within Rangers.

  17. Could someone please post the text of Graham Spiers’ article as I can’t access it?

  18. Hear You In Court

    After the UTT decision, lots of people are calling for lots of other people to be taken to court for all manner of offences that have somehow been made crystal clear by the consideration of arcane tax law.

    Notably, however, no word from the SFA, SPFL, RIFC or TRFC. If you listen carefully you may hear the subdued but insistent muttering of “shut the f**k up you morons – let sleeping dogs lie – ffs – let sleeping dogs lie”. But the hard of thinking are so often also hard of listening, so the baying continues.

    While unsophisticated paying customers rail against enemies, haters and conspirators throughout the land, the stewards of the national game and the newest clumpany in town live in fear of that little black book and the consequences of telling porkie pies after reading from the card in Her Majesty’s courts of law. They understand that the on-trend conviction du jour of the great and the good is perjury. What passes for fact, proof, cross examination and coherent logic in the MSM has lulled many into statements and convolutions that will supply copious grist to the mill of any decent QC – particularly those of an English persuasion unversed in the art of Rangersness.

    Whether it’s Craig Whyte, David Murray, David King, Ally McCoist or Charles Green – the very last thing on earth they want to do is give a cogent account of events and their own actions in an open court of law under cross examination and the Damoclean sword of perjury – and jail time.

    While many see the UTT decision as a vindicating victory – events are sneaking up behind them.

    What a great summer of sport we’re having !

  19. In the great scheme of things, currently the UTT decision is at most perhaps a convenient distraction for TRFC fans. An appeal maybe forthcoming anyway.

    But nothing has affected the most urgent/perennial question at Govan: how’s the cashflow ?

  20. Pedants’ Corner

    As one fond of a sweeping generalization and grammar what would make Messrs Partridge and Fowler wince, I must turn gamekeeper on one point. The UTT decision has found no-one and no organisation innocent of anything. Nor has it exonerated the same of anything.

    In a court of law, a judge or jury may return a verdict of “not guilty” or “not proven” when asked if the prosecution case is proven “beyond reasonable doubt”. There is no judgement of “innocent” and no judgement of “exonerated” available to the judge or jury.

    Even ignoring the fact that the legal process may continue if HMRC appeal, the UTT has no power to exonerate or find innocent. Anyone suggesting so should be treated with compassion and kept away from sharp objects.

  21. But nothing has affected the most urgent/perennial question at Govan: how’s the cashflow ?

    aw they’re no bringin him back anaw ur they?

  22. jean7brodie says:
    July 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Could someone please post the text of Graham Spiers’ article as I can’t access it?

    Here you are
    There is a wearyingly familiar outrage doing the rounds at Rangers after the UTT ruling which upheld the club’s appeal against HMRC over its controversial use of EBTs. This was an important judgement because it ruled that, despite the distaste many have for EBTs and their perceived manipulation for tax-avoidance, Rangers nonetheless had stayed on the right side of the law. What the ruling shouldn’t do – and I know this only too well – is forbid anyone among us from decrying the use of EBTs, at Rangers or anywhere else, as a crude means of abusing the law and, in effect, avoiding paying tax. Not for nothing were EBTs, when used in this way, widely referred to as “a tax loophole”. Everybody and their granny came to know what was going on.

    My own view on EBTs hasn’t changed. There have been different outcomes at various HMRC pursuits -such as at Aberdeen Asset Management and at the pre-2012 Rangers FC – but I viewed EBTs, when used as a vehicle for disguised remuneration, as a form of cheating. Evidently the British government felt likewise: they decided to put an end to the racket in 2010/11. At that point Rangers were force to write letters to various players saying they would no longer be able to compensate them in this manner.

    The tragedy that engulfed Rangers, springing from Sir David Murray’s policies, to the wretched arrival of Craig Whyte, to HMRC’s rejection of the CVA in the summer of 2012, has now spawned an industry of blame and witchhunt-calling. Some Rangers supporters remain upset – rightly – but phlegmatic about it all. Others, though, seek blame everywhere – at HMRC, at the SFA, at the (former) SPL, the media, at the BBC – everywhere except at the former Rangers itself. The truth of the matter is that the now dissolved Rangers FC plc was done-in by the very people who were charged with safe-guarding the club. Murray, Whyte and many of the old club’s directors bore a very heavy responsibility.

    In June 2012 it was also HMRC who, at the crucial CVA vote, drove the stake through the Ibrox heart. A combination of accrued, unpaid debts by Rangers to the tax authorities totalling £21 million – it excluded any projected EBT bills – meant that HMRC in effect dealt the fatal blow. This was no witch-hunt. HMRC had the mere temerity of wanting its taxes paid. On the contrary, this was dire recklessness by those charged with safe-guarding Rangers. This was self-destruction.

    When I look back now to April, 2012, the words of Paul Murray, a former director of the club who tried to beat Charles Green to the rescue act, seem particularly honest. Murray and I crossed swords on a number of occasions over the Rangers saga but he always struck me as honest and conscientious in wanting to resolve a dire situation. Just weeks prior to the Rangers CVA being rejected, Paul Murray said: “In my view we have got to try to save the club. The CVA is the only thing that the Rangers supporters want. Speaking as a supporter, I do not want a situation where the club’s history – the timeline – is broken. We are trying to save this club.

    “I am very clear: the club has had a number of misdemeanours over the years, and these have to be faced up to. The club has to be punished: I am 100% in agreement on that. We have done things wrong. But any penalties we face must be fair and they must be transparent.”

    These days you very rarely hear such openness and clarity about the Rangers case from a Rangers principal. On the contrary, cyber lynch-mobs set after you if you dare to address the Rangers collapse as Murray did in these words. All this said, yes, there is absolutely redress that needs to be secured over the Rangers collapse. BDO, the liquidators, should ruthlessly investigate alleged fraud around the club over this period. So should the police who, to the best of my knowledge, still have an open book on the case. Pursuit of criminality in the destruction of the former Rangers should be relentless.

    But at some point, the re-writing of history will have to stop. No vendettas did for Rangers FC in 2012. On the contrary, this was a spectacular and tragic self-immolation.

  23. pau1mart1n says:
    July 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    But nothing has affected the most urgent/perennial question at Govan: how’s the cashflow ?

    aw they’re no bringin him back anaw ur they?
    My sides are splitting 😆

  24. Think what Bears have had done [and being done] to them is outrageous IMO.

    Not sure selective headlines [re: UTT] from MSM is going to help.
    In fact, it borders on irresponsible.

    Bears above all want to get to the bottom of this.

    An interesting rumour is that CB has settled out of court. This really cheered up the Bears, adding – correctly – that fraudulent behaviour contributing to this mess is a live possibility, but forgetting if that true, GW and Co will not now need to give witness statements under oath of what happened. Some may also need reminding that liquidator’s reports on director’s actions remain confidential. Add that, to settling with BS on shares, despite horrendous negative PR [and any Deloites `upset`] – to avoid court action. And add to that `Independent Inquires`. Add also, a calculated avoidance of admin through the Court of Session – even though that option open.

    Bears by now will understand that Court Action will be avoided at all costs by the `hierarchy` to keep secrets buried forever. Bears I believe now understanding the MSM is little more than a PR publication device.

    Does anyone really expect the `frontman` now `scapegoat` CW to appear in Court?
    [He didn`t even turn up for the SFA]

    And yet that was the implied message yesterday from the MSM.
    Who are not only aiding the cover-ups of the reprehensible behaviour, but misleading.

    Personally, I`d be delighted if the whole rotten shower were up in Court.

    But the way things are going – and importantly being allowed to go – and no sign of change – it seems some rotten characters supported by the MSM are going to get way with it

  25. I tuned into “Scotland 2014” on BBC2 Scotland tonight. The presenter, Sarah Smith, was asking, “Was it a HMRC witch hunt that destroyed the (Rangers) club?” As he did on the BBC Scotland news bulletin yesterday evening, Richard Wilson ‘sports writer’ gave a pretty poor summary of the EBT case.

    Fortunately, Angela Haggerty was in the BBC London studio. She gave a succinct account of all the shenanigans down Govan way and made the point that the demise of Rangers was far more than simply being faced with an EBT bill. It was as if she was repeating all the posts that have been made on here in the last 24 hours concerning the extent of the Rangers debacle i.e. Rangers were not innocent as there was the WTC and Lord Docherty had referred back certain elements to the FTT. In addition there was the small matter of Whyte deciding not to pay Hector £21m in PAYE and VAT as well as Rangers stiffing hundreds of creditors for millions.

    Finally, that Sons of Struth chappie Craig Houston came on to say that it was the media who told the nation that Rangers were guilty of tax evasion and they were aided and abetted by Mark Daly in his TV investigation programme. They should be held responsible.

    Sarah Smith in reminding us of Rangers troubles, used the now favoured phrase “that they were too toxic to sell”. She did inform the viewers that Rangers ‘were relegated to the third division’ – oh, dear.

    Overall, the programme was misinformed and shallow but, thanks to Angela Haggerty, BBC Scotland have salvaged some credibility out of it. I don’t think Ms Haggerty will have won many friends among The Rangers support after spelling out to them the facts of the case.

  26. My Guess is HMRC will continue to appeal. For a number of reasons.

    Firstly , they have aleady invested signicant resource into this case . So far without getting the return they feel they are due.

    Secondly , It is clear from the language used by their legal team, they feel not only was the Murray Group use of EBT’s illegal , it was accompanied by flagrant misrepresentation and deception

    Thirdly, this appears to be a key case where a positive outcome for HMRC will in all probability result in significant amounts of collectable tax from business’ using similar schemes

    Fourthly, and this one may be highly significant from a tactical perspective. MIH are in their death throws. Murray said so in his last annual report. MIH are not able , as has been widely reported, to fund the defecit in their staff pension fund. MIH based on this are unlikely to be around to pay for a legal defence.

    MIH , as admitted by Murray, will cease to trade in the not too distant future. The normal course of events would be to appoint an administrator. However the way MIH is being run down smacks entirely of doing everything to avoid an administrator and then liquidator being appointed. MIH have lost £390 million in the last 4 years alone. Lloyds have converted close to £300 million of debt to utterly worthless equity. My guess is trade creditors, who only amounted to £4 million at last look, will be paid in full and a deal will be done with the bank in yet another inexplicable debt for equity swap, which will result in no other creditors and no justification for an administration.

    MIH has the feel of a business that is desperately keen to avoid anyone having a look under the bonnet. The bank seem to be complicit in this , they may have as many reasons to keep the real picture from being investigated.

    The question is would they be brazen enough to use even more taxpayers money to continue to prop up this charade.

    As a seperate matter, there should be an independent investigation into the actions of Lloyds equity injections into MIH

  27. There is rightly huge rage on here at Murray’s tax shenanigans. Where is the anger at the fact that Craig Whyte just decided not to pay tax?! Thing is, when someone owns or runs a club as is widely recognised here the actions of that persons are legally the actions of the club. The indisputable fact is we were screwed by Craig Whyte, as well as David Murray, and that has to be recognised as well.

  28. Barcabhoy,

    You and I have crossed swords in the past.

    I think your point three above is perfect. HMRC will make no money from Rangers. But they may make a fortune from proving that Rangers were wrong. As a taxpayer, I hope they win

  29. RyanGosling says:

    July 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    No argument here on that one.
    I believe that Whyte got unlucky in his choice of manager.
    If the manager had got past Malmo, Whytes gamble would have paid off and money would have been available to pay tax.
    The people most culpable in the demise of Rangers are Murray, Whyte and McCoist.
    The present incumbants are not really interested in a football club only money.
    Murray’s attempt at re-writing history is pathetic.

  30. Barca

    Absolutely HMRC will follow through.

    I described a case on RTC many moons ago I was personally involved in – duty and tax case that dragged on 10 years. Fianally ended at ECJ.

    Times nothing – principle is all.

  31. Ianagain

    Principle is all.

    On that basis, I hope all avoided tax is reclaimed.

    Thing is, and we are possibly going beyond the scope of the blog now, the law is the law. That these people managed to, legally, according to the UTT, avoid tax, speaks volumes to how poor not Rangers but the government were. Tax to me means one thing and one thing only when I see it deducted from my wage. If you complain about the tax, don’t use the NHS. Don’t phone the police. Don’t phone the fire brigade. Don’t turn up on Remembrance Sunday. Because tax is our way of contributing to a fair society. I abhor tax avoidance or evasion, and draw no distinction between the two. If you try to avoid paying your fair share, you are a **** who wants to be rich and doesn’t care about his fellow man. I’m rambling I know, and none of this makes sense. But I love the honour Rangers pay to our armed forces and detest the fact that we have tried to avoid paying for them. I’d like to slap (Sir) David Murray, pure and simple. He destroyed my club, my faith in them, and my faith in knights of the realm.

  32. jean7brodie says:
    July 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm
    6 1 Rate This

    pau1mart1n says:
    July 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    But nothing has affected the most urgent/perennial question at Govan: how’s the cashflow ?

    aw they’re no bringin him back anaw ur they?
    My sides are splitting 😆

    It’s probably obvious, but can someone explain the joke to me? (I was blonde as a child)

  33. RyanGosling says:
    July 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm
    1 1 Rate This

    There is rightly huge rage on here at Murray’s tax shenanigans. Where is the anger at the fact that Craig Whyte just decided not to pay tax?! Thing is, when someone owns or runs a club as is widely recognised here the actions of that persons are legally the actions of the club. The indisputable fact is we were screwed by Craig Whyte, as well as David Murray, and that has to be recognised as well.

    Start with the idea that the question of Rangers’ administration/liquidation was simply a matter of timing. Follow on with the notion that he was hand-picked to take the brand through this “transition”.

    Had Mr Whyte paid debts as they became due, the club would have just run out of money and been unable to see out the season he had in charge. Not paying tax & NI allowed the transfer of full SFA membership to the new club. They also envisaged the SPL membership to go the same way; but failing that, the entry into the SFL could not have happened mid-season.

    For those who have taken solace in the same club spin, how would failure to fulfil their fixtures have affected that idea?

    Keeping the lights on till the season’s end allowed the current incarnation to be born and the believers to keep the faith.

    To be honest, if you support the current version of Rangers, I don’t understand why Mr Whyte is not lauded as the man who made it all possible.

  34. Just before I go to bed, as a hopelessly trapped PAYE civil service pensioner, can I just remind ourselves that whether or not RFC ( still languishing in liquidation) illegally evaded paying tax is NOT the primary focus.
    It does not matter a damn in terms of football integrity .
    They lied to the SPL and to the SFA about the payments they were making to their players. End of story. They ought to have been kicked out of Scottish Football if the rules had been applied.
    They cheated big time.
    But worse, that cheating was KNOWN to people in the SFA, over many years.
    And not dealt with.
    And wholly disregarded in the frantic, panic-stricken ‘Armageddon’, ‘Civic unrest’ response by the SFA to the death of a club, a club most favoured by lying referees and prejudiced ‘Peter Thomson’ BBC radio sound-alikes over the years.
    I doubt if anywhere else in the world of football an individual club so flagrantly in breach of its National Association’s own Rules has been so protected and defended by its Association.
    With the backing of the ‘media’.
    A great wrong has been done and, in effect, covered up. What was the old phrase? -‘cover your work’?
    The football crime is of more relevance to this blog than any tax-evading/avoidance scam.
    Let’s not forget it, because we all in one way or another, were victims of it, whether in sporting terms or in hard cash terms.

  35. enough is enough says:
    July 11, 2014 at 12:08 am
    ‘….It’s probably obvious, but can someone explain the joke to me? (I was blonde as a child)’
    It puzzled me with its cleverness as well. But I think Torre Andre Flo’s ebt is the reference ‘ How’s the cash, Flo?’.

  36. I was prompted by exchanges on Twitter re the real cause of Rangers downfall to find a file on Rangers spend in 07/08. In doing so I came across this from October 2010 when we were all learning about EBTs.

    I cannot remember if the article got posted on any Celtic Blog, E Tims or Celtic Underground being the most likely but I have uploaded it here.

    To non Celtic supporting readers I crave your indulgence in recognising its target audience in 2010 when the Celtic family was seriously divided as a result of Rangers title success (2 iar going on 3) By God were we hurting then, something that I had forgotten, as divided then as TRFC are now..

    I also came across this article using the same data approach but with the emphasis on the use of debt to buy trophies that I think CQN magazine published in Sept 2011..

    Note Rangers debt position in 2006 £5.9M! They never mention that when they talk of debt coming down it spoils the why the banks wanted out narrative.

    Anyway I hope both are readable and I encourage folk to read them because they contain facts to back the argument of Why Celtic Lost (the first article’s title) when they seemed to have finance in their favour and what played a huge part in Rangers going under (switching to debt from EBTs in 2007/08) to pay the wages to get the debt of paying wages down.

    The alternative of simply putting wage controls in place and competing fairly being by Walter Smiths own admission something the support would not tolerate.

    This is the kind of fact based analysis that should be informing Scottish football of the way ahead, not the nonsense that kept lamb munchers in fine fettle as they ignored what was going on under their noses.

  37. Billy Boyce says:
    July 10, 2014 at 11:20 pm
    I saw Sarah Smith on the early evening news bulletin promoting this programme. She referred to the club from Ibrox as ‘the Gers’. Her use of this pet name, and the loaded nature of her question, i.e ‘did the taxman kill Rangers’, simply pushed me towards not watching. It is no surprise that Richard Wilson was on and although he writes well and is an intelligent man, he is a Rangers man through and through. and he is paid from the licence fee. If Angela Haggerty brought some balance to the debate then good on her, but it sounds to me like the show was just another attempt to exonerate the real villain in why Rangers were liquidated – David Murray.

    There is a good chance the club from Ibrox will be in the top league in season 2015/2016. Who knows who will own them then. The media will be lined up behind them like never before, with a few notable exceptions, who even then will be under editorial pressure.

  38. John Clark says:
    July 11, 2014 at 1:19 am
    9 0 Rate This

    enough is enough says:
    July 11, 2014 at 12:08 am
    ‘….It’s probably obvious, but can someone explain the joke to me? (I was blonde as a child)’
    It puzzled me with its cleverness as well. But I think Torre Andre Flo’s ebt is the reference ‘ How’s the cash, Flo?’.
    JC…thank you for that!
    Thanks to all others who also asked the awkward question (it was a tad too subtle for me!)
    PS I was blond as a kid too!

  39. Danish Pastry

    Cheers. A Danish I take it? Aye I was surprised at its length myself when I came across it.

  40. RyanGosling says:
    July 11, 2014 at 9:25 am
    4 1 Rate This

    “…. I’d pay a good chunk of my post tax income to….” (my edit)
    Ryan, I think you have coined a phrase which may be readily adopted by the football/chattering classes in days and weeks to come…it may even get up there with our other old favourite “omnishambles”.

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