Whose assets are they anyway?

ByBig Pink

Whose assets are they anyway?

It has recently been suggested to me quite strongly by two separate Finance Industry experts that no matter the outcomes of the forthcoming criminal trials into the sale of Rangers and the subsequent disposal of the liquidated assets, it is highly unlikely that the sale will be reversed. In fact BDO (the liquidators of Rangers) see the path of least resistance to any remedy (if guilty verdicts are returned) through the professional indemnity insurance held by organisations involved (I am choosing my words carefully here to comply with the rules surrounding the court case).

There is of course still the dispute between the owners of Sevco 5088 and Sevco Scotland to consider (although depending on the outcome of the criminal cases, that may be moot).

On the face of it, all of this is good news for TRFC and Dave King. After all, one of the main problems they have been facing is the uncertainty over the ownership of the assets, and if BDO are swinging in the direction indicated above, King and his board are free to move forward – you would think.

The recent plans to raise cash from the fans is I think a smart one, but it is still a sticking plaster applied to a gunshot wound. Rangers already have a gate income which is the envy of not just most Scottish clubs, but clubs much further afield. Their problem is their astronomical fixed costs, their dilapidated infrastructure, and possible cash outflow through the fabled ‘onerous contracts’.

Even putting in place a severe austerity package (which may be unpalatable to fans being asked to part with their cash to buy off pesky shareholders who don’t share King’s vision) does not remove the need to capitalise urgently to repair the stadium and build a squad capable of competing in Scotland. So they need to raise cash, and they need it quickly – because soft loans cannot be provided forever.

So the share issue route is the obvious way to go, and to do that effectively, a listing on an exchange is required. However our sources in the financial world don’t think it is possible that this could happen with the current regime for the following reasons (not in order of importance);

  1. They have absolutely no credible business plan to move forward over the next five years – only a commitment to limping on with soft loans;
  2. The current chairman is a convicted felon;
  3. Two directors of the new company were directors of the company now in liquidation;
  4. They have no line of credit;
  5. They are already in debt to the tune of at least £12m – increasing as I write;
  6. They are unable to repay that debt;
  7. There is still a nominal (even if we accept the BDO position above) doubt over the ownership of assets;
  8. The football team does not play in the top league – and European income isn’t coming soon;
  9. The company have astronomical fixed costs which are way in excess of their income.

So even if the doubt over the ownership of assets is removed, there isn’t an easily navigable route for TRFC into calmer waters.

My own conclusion is that perhaps the biggest single thing that is holding Rangers back is Dave King. I really don’t know what his motivation is. There is speculation that he has his eyes on the increasing cash-pot and diminishing creditor list at the Oldco. Some Rangers bloggers are suggesting  that a land-grab play is taking place. I think the former is far more plausible than the latter, but if we take his RRM credential at face-value, it seems to me that the Rangers-minded thing for him to do would be to reverse himself out of the position he is in.

That might enable the company to raise some of the cash they need to repair the stadium, rebuild the infrastructure within the club (players, management, youth and scouting etc.).

Are King, Taylor and Park really in this so they can indefinitely fork out £10m per year? Will Taylor and Park continue to ally themselves with King if he is the impediment to inward investment that we think he is? Park will most certainly not, and my information, from sources very close to him, is that he is done.

The fractures in KingCo are beginning to appear, and King himself may come under increasing pressure to do what is best for the future of the club, which is to remove himself from the equation and allow those better placed to take it forward.

It is often speculated elsewhere that SFM is a Celtic blog, and even those who give us credit for being a much broader church than that will still insist that we are anti-Rangers, obsessed with Rangers, and out to get Rangers.

The occasional outburst of Schadenfreude from commenters aside (it IS a football forum after all guys) SFM is quite definitely not editorially anti-Rangers.

I think the evidence shows that we are nothing of the kind, and it doesn’t do Rangers any favours to conflate our position on the corrupt nature of the governance of the game with that of the Ibrox club – new or old. Where we do discuss Rangers (as we have in this article), it is with an acknowledgment that the money flying around in football makes all of our clubs vulnerable to the kind of rip-off merchants who have wandered in and out of Ibrox in the past few years.

There are many areas where the SFM consensus is unpalatable to Rangers fans. But protecting all of our clubs and their fans from mismanagement is hopefully not one of them.

Also, despite the many rivalries within the game, Rangers are an important focus (old club or new) for tens of thousands of fans. As such they are of interest to ALL of us who support football in this country. Anyway, I tend to be more obsessive about my own club – and find it rather easier to be objective about others 🙂

My own preference in moving the debate forward is to get the perspective of Rangers fans on these issues. I am ever hopeful that we can have Rangers fans engage with the blog and look for areas where we have common purpose.

Nobody at SFM wants Rangers fans to have no team to support. Nobody here wants the SFA to stay unregulated and unaccountable. Nobody at SFM wants people to make up rules they go along just for the sake of a few quid. I can’t believe that Rangers fans don’t share those values.

I agree that Rangers fans are victims of this affair to a large extent, but the culprits are quite definitely not us at SFM. They need to look closer to home to find them.

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

1,787 Comments so far

SmugasPosted on9:27 am - Nov 6, 2015


And to back up my point at 9.14 see exhibit A posted by clumps at 9.19

Like it or not, if I’m a diddy, of which there’s no doubt, the fact RFC have a tin pot is neither here nor there quite frankly. The fact I almost bankrupted myself just trying to stay a diddy is the key point that shouldn’t be lost in the fug of what’s oors etc…

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bluPosted on9:28 am - Nov 6, 2015


TheClumpany 6th November 2015 at 9:19 am #                 

Poor Derek, a bear of little brain.

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wottpiPosted on9:38 am - Nov 6, 2015


I note it is being reported that Big Mike has gone an appointed himself to the board of Rangers Retail Ltd

Seconds out, Ding Ding!! 

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SmugasPosted on9:39 am - Nov 6, 2015


I love how they becomes them becomes us becomes we by the end of the article.03

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valentinesclownPosted on9:44 am - Nov 6, 2015


What is the time limit for any appeal on the HMRC verdict (common sense type of verdict)?.  The reason being until then I will sit back and wait. Once that time period is over and the verdict is not challenged then I as a fan who was a season ticket holder during this whole debacle will then write to my club and ask them to contact the SFA concerning the trophies that were won by the EBT team. I do not want my team to claim any of these tainted trophies I just want them removed from the EBT team’s history.
Common sense should prevail and they should be removed, we shall see.  All fans were effected by this one team and all fans may have to do what we done back in the day when we said no to keeping the Govan club at the top level and second top level of football.  This time we have the chance to all say yes remove the trophies.  Maybees aye maybees naw.
I am a yes fan.

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SmugasPosted on9:46 am - Nov 6, 2015


wottpi

Would that circumvent the voting restriction proposed in the accounts for involvement at a different club/FA?  Wouldn’t have thought so.

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dj7Posted on9:46 am - Nov 6, 2015


http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ebt-cup-finals-players-who-6778766

very interesting take on not stripping cup finals from rangers – they found JUST 1 player in each opposing side to say they don’t want title stripped….

For balance why does TSFM not phone and find any 1 player on the loosing team that does want title stripped… we only need one player from any losing team to say yes – to break the records argument….!! Player or manager or shareholder of any losing team.

this is what TSFM should be doing – setting the record straight…. search the records, contact the old players and find one who can be quoted saying they want the record changed….

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dj7Posted on9:47 am - Nov 6, 2015


28 days is time limit on appeal.

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futbolPosted on9:49 am - Nov 6, 2015


Honest Man 5th November 2015 at 12:17 pm


It’s a good time to be an Ayr United fan. We sit proudly at the top of Division 1 and could be heading back to our rightful place (the Championship). If things go the right way, we could win the 2002 League Cup which we were cheated out of 4-0. If only the Ayrshire Cup was still on the go, we might be heading for a glorious treble!

It could have been worse.  So much worse.  Had Murray been given the green light in Ayr we could have been sitting very uncomfortably on the outside of all this looking out …

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easyJamboPosted on10:13 am - Nov 6, 2015


wottpi 6th November 2015 at 9:38 am #
I note it is being reported that Big Mike has gone an appointed himself to the board of Rangers Retail Ltd
Seconds out, Ding Ding!! 
=======================
AP01 attached

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SmugasPosted on10:30 am - Nov 6, 2015


dj7 6th November 2015 at 9:46 am
very interesting take on not stripping cup finals from rangers – they found JUST 1 player in each opposing side to say they don’t want title stripped….
For balance why does TSFM not phone and find any 1 player on the loosing team that does want title stripped… we only need one player from any losing team to say yes – to break the records argument….!! Player or manager or shareholder of any losing team.
this is what TSFM should be doing – setting the record straight…. search the records, contact the old players and find one who can be quoted saying they want the record changed….

OK, promise I’ll try to make this my last comment on what is clearly going to become my newest bug bear in life.  The media would gobble up any attempt to “set the title record straight,” and, as proven by DJ’s laughable effort today sell papers on the back of it (that might be the first and only time I’ve ever read an ET article!).  I’ll repeat a comment I made yesterday, that there are certain parties involved, albeit with different motives, who specifically want this to become a Ours versus Yours argument.  Witness Richard Wilson almost falling over himself to make the point on Wednesday night.

Go to the clubs if you wish and get involved in a trophy argument, and watch the debate disappear up its own erchie.  Go to the clubs Financial Directors and ask, in the cold light of day, what cumulative impact they felt trying to match the financially doped club had had over the space of 12 years and the answer I suspect will be more damning.  Again to highlight a diddy perspective I would argue the impact was even more damaging, certainly collectively, since the ripple effect all through the leagues was created not only by having to compete with the doped, but the large, well supported direct competitor that felt obliged  (to be fair correctly in my opinion) to try to match them toe to toe.

Less headline grabbing, but all the more damning for it.  

Valentine’s Clown at 9.44.  What bothers you more?  The trophy you want stripped?  Or the cumulative effect it had on your life shelling out for the Season Ticket over the period?  I know which bothers me more!  Less Brasso, more brass! 

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AuldheidPosted on10:38 am - Nov 6, 2015


I see that the SPFL are meeting today to discuss ramifications of HMRC winning their ebt appeal.
This SFM blog that will be in SFM archives too will remind us of our letter to Harper MacLeod and copied to SPFL Board members last year and why they must now take account of the points we made in reaching any decision.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9ZWwyMHozSWNORXc/view?usp=sharing

I’ll post actual blog next.

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andygraham.66Posted on10:40 am - Nov 6, 2015


Given the stories earlier in the thread about some people having pics of their kids put on Rangers sites I dont think there will be any losing finalist about to put their head above the parapet

Scotland 2015

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AuldheidPosted on10:43 am - Nov 6, 2015


How Not To Govern Scottish Football
Introduction
It has been some six months since we drew readers’ attention to documents that should have been provided by Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps in March 2012 to Harper MacLeod who acted  on behalf of the then Scottish Premier League to investigate the use of side letters and employee benefit trust payments made by Rangers from the inception of the SPL in July 1998.  You can read the previous blogs/correspondence for background at

http://archive.sfm.scot/scottish-football-an-honest-game-honestly-governed/

http://archive.sfm.scot/an-honest-game-convince-us/

http://archive.sfm.scot/it-takes-two-to-tangle/

In the latest letter below sent to Harper MacLeod and SPL Board members on 5th September 2014, you will find the story of what happened when the LNS Decision was delivered to the SPL Board and how the withholding of those same documents not only meant The Commission was misled from the outset in its terms of reference, but how the SPL Board were also incorrectly advised as a consequence of the same concealment.
It is a matter of some regret that secrecy, concealment and non-accountability continues to be the order of the day, not only in Scottish football but in the media coverage of this particular part of its history, but if this series of blogs does nothing else it will bring out the truth not only about the use of ebts but the deceitful attempts thereafter to try and minimise the damage caused. The Inaction will also stand as an indictment against all those responsible in the game and the media  who cover it.
Letter to Harper MacLeod
Dear Mr McKenzie
We  write further to our letters of 19th February, 29 March and reminder letter of 18th May 2014 to ask if the SPFL are now , after studiously ignoring for 6 months the correspondence and evidence provided, going to reconsider their position in respect of the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission and Decision of 28 February 2013?
In the detail of our letter of 29 March we suggested that It may be prudent to wait for the results of HMRC’s appeal to the UTT concerning the regularity or otherwise of ebt payments made under the MGMRT arrangement before embarking on any premature decision on the integrity of the LNS Commission Decision with regard to the true nature of the REBT payments being concealed from it.
The UTT have ruled and we know that payments under the MGMRT ebt arrangement are, for the time being and until the Court of Sessions re-examine the case at some future date , “lawful” or “not irregular” in tax terms.
However convenient as that may be to put off addressing the wider issue of the true nature of the MGRT ebts used by Rangers,   it is no reason in terms of the  LNS Commission, not to examine the effect of the concealment from yourselves as commissioners and the SPL  of ebt payments made from 2000 to 2002/03 under the REBT arrangements to Tor Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer which were already ruled irregular by a separate FTT investigating the use of the same Discounted Option Scheme by Aberdeen Asset Management.
We remind you that in the earlier undated letter sent on 19th February we provided irrefutable evidence that
Yourself, acting as the investigating agent for the SPL, was not provided with all the documentation you requested on 5th March 2012That documentation clearly demonstrated that in the case of two players named on the Commission list (Ronald De Boer and Tor Andre Flo) payments were made via an irregular ebt mechanism that subsequently rendered them subject to tax which HMRC has been trying unsuccessfully to collect since May 2011, a year before the commissioning process commenced.That in both cases side letters concealed from both football and tax authorities were a feature, whilst later relevant documentation revealing their true irregular nature was not provided as directed by yourselves to the Commission itself.It is now our firm contention that  
The findings of Lord Nimmo Smith from paras 104 to 106 of his Decision that no sporting advantage accrued must be set aside where now known irregular payments have occurred. Using Lord Nimmo Smith’s argument sporting advantage had to accrue from season 1999/2000 to 2002/03 and the SPFL need to address that truth and consequences for our game to move on.Whilst  it is unclear which SPL/SFA rules would have been breached by making irregular payments, it was not the rules the Commission was directed to  examine as,  according to the Lord Nimmo Smith Decision para 88  “ There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset “ Payment by irregular means clearly constitute such a fundamental defect and so an extreme case. These payments should not have been conflated with other payments which are for the time being not irregular and to allow an investigation to stand that wrongly treated them under the same rules as the Commission did for regular payments would be a clear miscarriage of justice caused itself by apparent deception of the Commission by those whose very behaviour it was commissioned to investigate!  (If we were using lay man terms we could say that the SP(F)L clubs and their supporters were and are being treated like mugs by those governing our game.)On the matter of that apparent deception we can even go further on its impact. It is a fact that the SPL never made any public announcement as a Board of acceptance of the Lord Nimmo Smith decision. There was one individual statement but no official SPL Board announcement.
We understand that the matter of making an appeal was raised by the SPL Board on 28 Feb 2013 during a telephone conference meeting, not a face to face one, to discuss the most serious issue ever facing Scottish football and that a decision was delayed for 7 days by which time the date for lodging an appeal was about to end.
During the discussions by e mail some Board members expressed dissatisfaction at the token nature of the punishment for what Rangers had been found guilty of (basically misregistration of players) but also concerns about how no sporting advantage had been obtained through the use of ebts with side letters.
The Board were persuaded by your good self that Rangers had a sound argument that no sporting advantage had accrued. The Board were told that Rangers in effect had said that if the EBT details were required to be disclosed, the reason they did not disclose them was because of an error by Rangers in understanding what was required to be disclosed and that in any event they had secured no competitive advantage from not disclosing since the tax position would have been the same whether they disclosed to the SPL/SFA or not.
Given our opening points we suggest that during the investigation had you had in your possession the withheld evidence we supplied in our letter of 19 February 2014 (and notwithstanding the point re different terms of reference resulting) you would have been able to demonstrate the flaw in this argument to the SPL Board when they were asking your advice on the legal position in early March 2013.
It is difficult to accept that there was an error in understanding that side letters should not be disclosed as part of player registration when our supplied evidence shows that in 2005 Rangers deliberately concealed the existence of side letter for De Boer and Flo from HMRC.
Far from suggesting an error in understanding, this suggests that Rangers understood that to reveal the existence of such letters would remove the tax advantage that ebts gave them and that this advantage depended upon side letters being kept secret from authority and that includes football authority, lest informing them alerted HMRC to their existence. The QC advice contained in the withheld documents is that this deliberate concealment in 2005 demonstrated Rangers true intention of putting cash in the hands of player as part of their remuneration package.
It is also clear that revelation of these particular side letters and their circumstances would indeed have changed the tax position since HMRC have billed Rangers for the tax due on the payments to De Boer and Flo.
HMRC have not done so for Moore because the absence of a side letter puts the tax due on that transaction outside the extended time limit rules that allowed them to pursue payment for Flo and De Boer, but regardless of this and regardless of whether it was notified to the SFA, Moore was paid by an irregular means not available to other clubs..
The questions for yourself Mr McKenzie is had you been in possession then of the information supplied by TSFM would you at the time of investigation been in a better position to either refute the case Rangers made in their defence or to advise the SPL Board that the evidence of deliberate concealment from HMRC in 2005 of what transpired to be irregular payments, gave the SPL Board reason for entering an appeal?
Did the very absence of that material, which was not your fault, prevent you from briefing the SPL Board in a way that you might have done had you had all the evidence to hand?
We think the original evidence supplied and the questions raised now as a result of more fully appreciating what was hidden from the then SPL Board (and so SPL clubs) in March 2013 requires that the SPFL conduct a new cleansing investigation into :
The apparent deception by Duff and Phelps of the SPL led Commission , Why the SFA President, Campbell Ogilvie, did not advise or correct Lord Nimmo Smith or The SPL and The implications of the use of now revealed irregular payments by Rangers FC during seasons 1999/2000 to 2002/03.This letter has been sent by e mail to the current SPL Board members and also by mail or e mail to the then Board Members who, whilst no longer in position might have their own views on what needs to be done on this issue to restore integrity   to the very processes Scottish football relies on to ensure fair play.

TSFM
5 September 2014
As before copies have gone by e mail to the current and previous SP(F)L Board and CEO.

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Paulmac2Posted on10:59 am - Nov 6, 2015


With the CoS decision still fresh in my mind…a question now jumps out at me…

If the view taken by Mr. Doncaster and the SFA are to have us believe the current club is in fact the old club…then does this mean with a crystalised tax bill of close to £50 million pounds…the old club that apparently is the same club will not be eligible for a European licence anytime soon until that tax bill has been paid? 

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:06 am - Nov 6, 2015


dj7 6th November 2015 at 9:46 am
this is what TSFM should be doing – setting the record straight…. search the records, contact the old players and find one who can be quoted saying they want the record changed…
    —————————————————————————————
   How about a podcast with Chris Sutton? I’m sure he has plenty to get off his chest about Minty’s appointment at Dunfermline.

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Kid GlovesPosted on11:07 am - Nov 6, 2015


I’m very disappointed that Martin O’Neill has come out against the stripping of titles.
We all know that he studied Law at University and, you would assume, would therefor have an interest in seeing justice being served, if not for his own sense of glory, then surely for the tens of thousands of football fans who were wrongly deprived of the success that their teams would likely have had.
I’m starting to get an uneasy feeling that certain clubs/people don’t want the can of worms opened. I really hope that this is not the case.
Players may not want a new set of medals, I completely understand that. However if Clubs take their fans hopes, sweat and tears for granted and don’t stand up for them at time when unprecedented levels of cheating have been uncovered, they should not be surprised if they take their attention, affection and money elsewhere.

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neepheidPosted on11:09 am - Nov 6, 2015


Smugas 6th November 2015 at 10:30 am
Valentine’s Clown at 9.44. What bothers you more? The trophy you want stripped? Or the cumulative effect it had on your life shelling out for the Season Ticket over the period? I know which bothers me more! Less Brasso, more brass!

What got to me a couple of years ago was the amount of money I had wasted over at least 10 years (probably more like 20 years in fact) watching rigged competitions. Which is why I haven’t put a penny into the game since.
However I’m certainly never getting that money back- and neither is anyone else. If I was to see some recognition of this by the authorities, and rewriting the record book is really the only way they could do that, then I would consider resuming my generous funding of the game they are supposed to be the guardians of.
I have no expectation that anything will happen, though. It doesn’t matter what the weight of evidence is. Nothing whatsoever will be done. The whole thing is just a sick joke, in my opinion, especially when you compare the treatment dished out to the likes of Spartans and Livingston with the SFA’s absolute subservience in its dealings with the “establishment club”.
So I am very confident my money will be staying firmly in my wallet, and I’m not the only one by a long shot. This is the permanent loss of vital income, but  the SFA/SPFL and the clubs treat it with complete indifference. They have very strange ideas about how to run a business, that’s for sure.

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TheClumpanyPosted on11:10 am - Nov 6, 2015


Good Morning.
The Clumpany has written to Celtic Football Club about the ‘Big Tax Case’.
It will be interesting to see whether I get a reply. Other fans (including those of other clubs) may wish to think about writing in similar terms.
Enjoy the rest of the day.

The Clumpany
[Still blogging over at https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/%5D
>>>

Dear Mr Lawwell.
I wanted to express my grave concern about the outcome and implications of the so-called ‘Rangers Big Tax Case’.
Assuming that the judgement in favour of HMRC is not appealed and overturned by the UK Supreme Court, then the implication is that Celtic and the rest of Scottish Football were playing in a rigged game for the best part of a decade. One of the competitors had a colossal unfair advantage by being able to employ players on the back of not paying the tax due on their wages.
This meant that myself and thousands of others were unwittingly paying millions of pounds into a grotesque parody of sport. It meant we were most likely deprived of more happy memories and wonderful trophy-winning days. It also meant that the strategy and investment of Celtic’s Board on behalf of its shareholders was being systematically undermined by ‘questionable’ methods.
And it stinks.
I don’t doubt that the outcome of the previous Lord Nimmo-Smith Commission into side-letters will muddy the waters in some way (and may be used by some in a spurious ‘double-jeopardy’-based argument for taking no action). However, let us be clear: confirmation of players being employed without paying due tax is something new. And something that needs to be considered by proper inquiry and disciplinary processes.
Should the SFA and SPFL fail to take action it will be a shameful admission that the concept of sport counts for very little in Scottish football. There will be no moral hazard and no justice for all of us who love the game and who were misled for the best part of a decade.
As the Chief Executive of Celtic, I hope you are making the strongest possible representations to the SFA and SPFL (and if necessary UEFA) over the issue of Rangers’ apparently stolen titles and trophies. I also hope that you are speaking to other clubs to build a groundswell of support in favour of disciplinary action being taken.
As members of the SFA and SPFL Boards, I hope that you and Eric Riley will vote in favour of the instigation of disciplinary proceedings against Rangers. I note that the current incarnation of the Ibrox club maintains that the Big Tax Case outcome has nothing to do with them, while still proclaiming that they are the proud owners of 54 titles and numerous other trophies. This obfuscation cannot be allowed to stand in the way of justice being done, and being seen to be done.
I have written a summary of what the Big Tax Case ruling means to fans of all Scottish Clubs,which you can read here https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/the-biggest-lie-of-all/
I have no doubt that many fans of all clubs will vote with their feet and wallets if Rangers (IL)’s apparent systematic cheating is not addressed ‘without fear or favour’.
I know I will. Because it would mean that the game is utterly worthless.
Thank you for your time.

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Honest ManPosted on11:12 am - Nov 6, 2015


futbol 6th November 2015 at 9:49 am #Honest Man 5th November 2015 at 12:17 pm
It’s a good time to be an Ayr United fan. We sit proudly at the top of Division 1 and could be heading back to our rightful place (the Championship). If things go the right way, we could win the 2002 League Cup which we were cheated out of 4-0. If only the Ayrshire Cup was still on the go, we might be heading for a glorious treble!

It could have been worse.  So much worse.  Had Murray been given the green light in Ayr we could have been sitting very uncomfortably on the outside of all this looking out …

Fortunately, Ally McLeod had done due diligence on Murray and threatened to resign if he took over. This persuaded the shareholders not let him buy the club.

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DeekbhoyPosted on11:50 am - Nov 6, 2015


valentinesclown 6th November 2015 at 9:44 am #
What is the time limit for any appeal on the HMRC verdict
———————————————————————————–
I am not sure what the time limit is but DJ has posted 28 days. 
I suppose the real talking point is who would want to launch an appeal and on what grounds?
The next stage would be the High Court or something similar I presume in London. Such an appeal would mean big money being passed to QC’s etc. to act so it is going to be a hefty bill for whoever loses. Not sure how costs were disposed off in the CoS judgement?
My understanding as a layman is that nay appeal would have to be on a point of law not just I do not agree with the judgement. An appeal on these grounds seems remote as a very clear judgement that has been given. Still with our legal friends who knows what they might come up with. If that were the case who might seem likely to appaeal should they wish to do so?
Liquidators on behalf of the creditors? I cannot see the liqudaters putting any creditors funds at risk for that and to what end. I suppose in real terms this was a victory for them because RFC(IL) owes more. MIH? This would be around what Murray recieved but I would think that MIH will probably just settle quitely any liability and move on. So in real terms there might no appitite for an appeal especially when the HMRC are after ‘bigger fish’ than RFC(IL) andneeded a successful judgement on EBT’s so would fight on.
Some of those ‘bigger fish’ might want to risk it but the sounds coming from HMRC are that they are willing to discuss settlement with oustanding EBT’s so organsiations with liabailities may just go down that road. 
SFA/SPFL?…….

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SmugasPosted on11:56 am - Nov 6, 2015


Neepheid,

Agree wholeheartedly and I refer you to (hardly the most balanced or informative source, granted) DJ of this morning.  Talking about stripping titles he states, “There is no outcry over the seasons we didn’t win anything.” 

Yes, in my mind at least, there pissin’ well is!  

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TartanwulverPosted on11:59 am - Nov 6, 2015


Smugas 6th November 2015 at 9:14 amSorry to prolong the point, I know it won’t be popular and I’m not picking on you per se Tartanwulver but I can assure you that you and others have to get away from “reviewing the EBT situation in light of new information (the latest EBT appeal verdict)” and immediately jumping to a consequence/conclusion of stripping titles in the same breath
—————————————
 
I’m not feeling picked upon Smugas, I appreciate your point, and I too come at this from a ‘diddy’ perspective. The only trophy I have been directly affected by was a Hampden cup final where the financially-enhanced ones won the game and the trophy. Personally, if that final result was to be reversed, it would not make me feel that I had attended a great victory, it was too long ago.

But this has gone on long enough – the connivance of the football authorities in the oscillation between the old club (for trophies) and new club (in avoiding liability for debts) is plain ridiculous. The tax appeal result gives an opportunity that must not be missed to raise it again to demonstrate the depth of feeling that remains that Scottish football as a whole was cheated.
 

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DeekbhoyPosted on12:00 pm - Nov 6, 2015


valentinesclown 6th November 2015 at 9:44 am #
What is the time limit for any appeal on the HMRC verdict
———————————————————————————–
I am not sure what the time limit is but DJ has posted 28 days. 
I suppose the real talking point is who would want to launch an appeal and on what grounds?
The next stage would be the High Court or something similar I presume in London. Such an appeal would mean big money being passed to QC’s etc. to act so it is going to be a hefty bill for whoever loses. Not sure how costs were disposed off in the CoS judgement?
My understanding as a layman is that any appeal would have to be on a point of law not just I do not agree with the judgement. An appeal on these grounds seems remote as a very clear judgement has been given. Still with our legal friends who knows what they might come up with. If that were the case who would be likely to appeal should they wish to do so?
Liquidators on behalf of the creditors? I cannot see the liquidators putting creditors funds at risk and for what end. I suppose in real terms this was a victory for them because RFC(IL) owes more. MIH? This would be around what Murray recieved but I think that MIH would want to settle quitely and move on. So in real terms there might no appetite for an appeal especially when the HMRC are really after ‘bigger fish’ than RFC(IL) and need a successful judgement on EBT’s so would fight on regardless.
Some of those ‘bigger fish’ might want to risk it but the sounds coming from HMRC are that they are willing to discuss settlement with oustanding EBT’s so organsiations with liabailities may just go down that road. 
SFA/SPFL?…….

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DeekbhoyPosted on12:07 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Apologies for duplicate posting.
It had been a while since I posted and the new fangled editing option done for me. I was ‘editing’ original to sort out some typos but it seems both have appeared. 
Technology is wasted on some people! 

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zerotolerance1903Posted on12:14 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Deekbhoy 6th November 2015 at 12:00 pm #I am not sure what the time limit is but DJ has posted 28 days. I suppose the real talking point is who would want to launch an appeal and on what grounds?The next stage would be the High Court or something similar I presume in London. Such an appeal would mean big money being passed to QC’s etc. to act so it is going to be a hefty bill for whoever loses. Not sure how costs were disposed off in the CoS judgement?

The Court of Session is effectively the High Court for Civil cases in Scotland.
The only remaining avenue of appeal is to the Supreme Court.

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tayredPosted on12:24 pm - Nov 6, 2015


A poster on a fan site dug up this: 
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/the-story-of-marseilles-tainted-1993-cup-triumph-2222683.html

When Hateley was sent off against the Belgian side earlier in the group, he stormed into the dressing room and started kicking things around. “I knew that something had gone off there,” he said. “It was a bitter pill to swallow. Maybe I should have made the accusations back then, absolutely. But we [Rangers] have always felt 100 per cent cheated.”

So they know how it feels to be cheated. But no hint of remorse when they themselves get caught. 

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y4rmyPosted on12:31 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Just catching up, and Martin Williams at the Herald had a real scoop on Sunday.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the company rules for Rangers Retail Limited were changed in November 2012, three months after the joint venture was established. Rangers Retail’s amended Articles of Association showed Sports Direct receive two votes for every share on “financial matters”, ensuring Mr Ashley’s company has effective control.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/13187483.Ashley_firm_had_financial_control_of_Rangers_Retail_two_years_ago/
Except, of course, that was this was all pointed by Barcabhoy, easyJambo, and possibly others at the time. Perhaps the SMSM (and the Rangers support) simply didn’t notice, however it’s worth remembering that the media narrative at the time was that Big Mike was going to fund a multi-million pound assault on the Champions’ League in order to promote Sports Direct in Europe.
Anyway, why has MA joined the board of Rangers Retail. Is it a precursor to kicking King off the same board? (And would he need to join the board to do that anyway?).

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on12:33 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Afternoon all.
Firstly,congratulations to the blog on it’s incorporation.
For future reference,just remember that a “Football Blog,once incorporated,is indistinguishable from its corporate entity!!!.
Next;
easyJambo 6th November 2015 at 10:13 am #Attachment  2015-11-03-Mike-Ashley-appointment.pdf
 wottpi 6th November 2015 at 9:38 am # I note it is being reported that Big Mike has gone an appointed himself to the board of Rangers Retail Ltd Seconds out, Ding Ding!!  ======================= AP01 attached
————————
I wonder if Mr Ashley is positioning himself to take full control of RR.Relationships have obviously broken down and if I recall correctly,he can buy what he doesn’t own for 50% of last years profits.
May not be much more in it for him financially but it would fire a mighty warning shot against those standing in his way.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on12:35 pm - Nov 6, 2015


There is a causal link between the EBT inflated salaries and the rest of the Clubs having to pay higher wages to compete in the rigged game.  Not only that but I would bet that higher transfer and signing on fees were also induced by the rigging. Those effects are an addition to the iprize money and other consequences.
Although the clubs and supports were disadvantaged there is a plausible argument to make that the players and football staff of the other clubs benefitted by receiving more money. That caws the legs from ex players regarding their not wanting to have titles stripped or other sanctions taken. The longer run effects of the bubble are now being worked through. The near Armageddon prior to 2012 is directly consequent on the actions of Rangers.
However that is not to argue that the cheating did not aid the cheats;  for a player on a particular  wage  the cheats could afford to pay the best part of 80% more ( backward percentages being what they are.) That must defeat the 11 versus 11 argument Damon Runyon said that “the race is not always to the swift or the strong but it is the best bet in the long run”- from memory but that is the gist of it

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on12:40 pm - Nov 6, 2015


While we’re discussing Ashley.
From RST:

RST Statement on Sports Direct Following 2015 Annual Report
Following the release of Rangers accounts for the year ended June 2015, we feel it is important to highlight the ongoing disgrace of the Sports Direct merchandising deal – facilitated through a clearly dysfunctional Rangers Retail joint venture.
As has become customary, there has been a degree of misinformation spread in the days following the release of the accounts. Those who seek to talk up this deal with inaccurate analysis are no friends of Rangers Football Club.
In the year ended 27th April 2015, Rangers fans spent £4.262m on merchandising. Rangers’ accounts for the year ended 30th June 2015 show only £301k profit attributable to the club. This means that for every £10 spent by fans, the club benefited by only 71p. If we were to use only the 7 month figures shown in the accounts then the club benefited by only 50p per £10 of revenue.
The figures flag up serious issues with the Sports Direct stranglehold over profit distribution from Rangers Retail. Sports Direct, having failed to pay out any significant amount in 2013 or 2014, decided to pay a dividend following the deal put in place by Derek Llambias and Barry Leach which saw the Sports Direct share of those dividends raised to 75%. This meant Rangers received only £300k when, if the dividend had been paid prior to that deal when funds were available, the club could have received £600k.
Whilst this would still have been a paltry amount, the timing of this deal and the subsequent dividend payment are highly questionable and in our view demonstrate more appalling business practice from Sports Direct. Any dividend payable to the club from merchandise profits is entirely at the discretion of Sports Direct. They have failed to pay out any significant dividend to Rangers since the inception of the deal.
The Sports Direct arrangement remains terrible for Rangers and fans should be aware that any official merchandise purchase, from any retail outlet, is simply strengthening the ability of Mike Ashley to hold our club to ransom.
We would urge fans not to buy any official merchandise until there is a comprehensive revision of the existing deal.
– See more at: http://www.therst.co.uk/news/rst-statement-on-sports-direct-following-2015-annual-report/#sthash.Apcpvipg.dpuf

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AuldheidPosted on12:42 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Just some quick thoughts but today could be Judgement Day for Scottish football.

If ethics and morality lose out what are we left with rebuild on ?

Is it back to an industry based on hate? An industry doomed to fail?

If ethics win I think The Scottish football industry, given its social importance, needs Gov’t help and public money to turn football into a more family occasion as well as legislation that encourages supporters to attend .
I don’t just mean removing the OBB, I mean enabling legislation, supported by grants and soft repayable loans to improve environment around grounds and turn them into community focal centres.

You cannot fix a problem with minds that created it so let’s bring in fresh thinking backed by  public and private cash to align our game with a more ethical future.

When Regan said Armageddon I doubt he knew today was the day

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ZilchPosted on12:44 pm - Nov 6, 2015


That Rangers cheated has been firmly established in a Court of Law. Subject to an appeal, of course.

If no appeal is launched within the given timeframe, or the Supreme Court upholds the CoS judgement, then the way is clear, IMO, to completely reassess the validity of any Rangers trophy success during the years EBTs were in play.

Just as important, the way would be clear to completely reassess the governance of our sport during those years and in the subsequent years up until this point.

Title stripping would be an appropriate way to provide a historical marker for the fate of cheats.

Cheats must not be allowed to win. Taught to me as a child, and never found a reason to doubt it.

I don’t want tainted titles redistributed – don’t see the point – I wouldn’t be able to celebrate such an award.

I do want to titles removed from the clutches of cheats.

Of course, to do this requires the acceptance of cheating and its permeation throughout the higher echelons of the sport’s administration during those years.

That our game has been brought into disrepute would be beyond argument.

Those that perpetrated premeditated cheating, and those that connived and collaborated should be banned sine die from future participation in the sport.

This means the SDMs and other board members, it means the COs and others from the governance, it may even mean recipients of EBTs, including the Cardigan and Souness. (Can you imagine the hostility to that?)

We will never get back the years when our sport was robbed of integrity.

We can however ensure that it has a future.

The sport, our clubs, the fans as a collective, has to make an unambiguous statement that sporting integrity is paramount.

The future will be won by clearing out the corrupt from the administration (see above) and putting in place stringent new processes that do not permit repeat of the shame that has robbed us of real sporting competition for so long.

We need a democratic administration where the rights and interests of ALL member clubs are fairly represented, without fear or favour.

And we have to recognise the failings in our own clubs and apply pressure on them to forge a new community that recognises that without other teams there is no game, and without fans football is nothing.

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AuldheidPosted on1:11 pm - Nov 6, 2015


The smart move would be for TRFC to say they concede that the titles won by RFC were won by breaking the rules intended to protect the spirit of sporting integrity and they are surrendering (oops maybe not) giving up the titles and trophies won in that time.

I’m sure there is a flaw there somewhere but it escapes me ?

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Matty RothPosted on1:18 pm - Nov 6, 2015


valentinesclown 6th November 2015 at 9:44 am #What is the time limit for any appeal on the HMRC verdict (common sense type of verdict)?.  The reason being until then I will sit back and wait. Once that time period is over and the verdict is not challenged then I as a fan who was a season ticket holder during this whole debacle will then write to my club and ask them to contact the SFA concerning the trophies that were won by the EBT team. I do not want my team to claim any of these tainted trophies I just want them removed from the EBT team’s history. Common sense should prevail and they should be removed, we shall see.  All fans were effected by this one team and all fans may have to do what we done back in the day when we said no to keeping the Govan club at the top level and second top level of football.  This time we have the chance to all say yes remove the trophies.  Maybees aye maybees naw. I am a yes fan.

It would be fantastic if someone with a really good grasp of the current situation could draft a standard letter taking into account the new BTC result, implications of the DOS scheme, formulation of the LNS commission and anything else pertinent we need to raise with out clubs.
Then supporters of all clubs could be invited to personalise the letter/email and send to their clubs to register their anger with the lack of action being taken and lack of leadership in our game.
Does anyone else think this would be worthwhile?

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y4rmyPosted on1:35 pm - Nov 6, 2015


I can’t find anywhere in the RST statement where it mentions that overall retail revenues were reduced because of a merchandise boycott wholly supported by the, um…RST.
Now the plan is to reduce the amount that Rangers get from something to nothing. Right.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhus_of_Epirus

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erniePosted on1:37 pm - Nov 6, 2015


I’m glad the HMRC case has been won not only as it puts to bed all the faux victim talk from the old and new bears but also, in the wider world, is a defeat for the small minority of the very rich who manage to remain subsidised by the taxpayer, or as the politicians call us as a final insult as they shaft us, “hard working families”.  However, in Scottish fitba terms are we not creating a diversion? The timing of the legality of the EBT’s is neither here nor there in terms of fitba and it matters not how the money got there or even if tax was paid. Side contracts is the fitba issue.  The fact is that side contracts undeclared to the SFA made these players ineligible to play.  The question is how many ineligible players do you have to play before appropriate and normal action is taken?

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on1:42 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Good Afternoon.

As we sit here today, the Court of Session ruling in the big tax case stands and will remain standing until someone marks an appeal to the Supreme Court. I believe they have 42 days to mark any such appeal, and as stated yesterday, many in the tax planing world are of the view that there are grounds of appeal shouls someone want to take matters further.

However, as I said yesterday, it might be the case that no such appeal is marked. We will have to wait and see.

However, in the world of Scottish Football a different problem arises.

Scottish Football now sits on a decision from three judges sitting in the highest civil court in Scotland which says that not only was the tax scheme one which was unlawful and which attracts tax and PAYE as a consequence, the same judgement also makes it plain that amaterial part of this same tax scheme, whether it was legal or not, was the creation of side letters and contracts which were deliberately witheld from the Governing bodies of Scottish Football with a view to ensuring that those contracts, and their fiscal and legal consequences, were never seen by the Governing bodies, the tax man or anyone else.

Further, the three judges say that it is a matter of common sense that this whole scheme, including the witholding of the docunemts and the covering up of the side contracts was designed to give Rangers PLC a clear commercial, financial and consequently sporting advantage in the market place within which the company operated.

As we are aware, the unpaid tax on the contractual payments concerned amount to some £49 Million plus interest and now expenses.

What this means is that the accounts of Rangers PLC did not disclose additional liabilities of not only the £49 Million but also the sums that the company had contractually obliged itself to pay by way of the side letters concerned. That sum comes to approximately £45 Million.

This then makes the Rangers accounts, as declared and exhibited, short by some £94 Million over a period of some 10 years or so.

However, some of the players who were paid under the scheme were undoubted stars in a blue jersey and as a consequence many fans will have bought replica shirts with their names on the back and so boosting the Ibrox coffers over the same period.

In short, the use of this tax scheme, legally or otherwise, totally taints the accounts of Rangers PLC and leads to a totally false impression of the company’s earning power and its liabilities.

It may be argued that without the EBT’s some or even none of the players concerend would have played for the club and so would not have had their names on shirts and boosted gate receipts let alone win titles and cups.

However, the real point is this:

Scottish Football and football in general relies upon a system of trust. Without it the game does not exist.

Each year, before a player can be registered, before a ball can be kicked, before a team shirt is printed, The Governing body ( The SFA or SPFL ) has to grant the club a licence to play in competition for the following year.

Without that licence, the club cannot sign and register any player or take part in a competition.

When granting that licence, The SFA MUST have regard to the financial statements put forward by the club and determine if the club meets the SFA’s financial rules and whether the financial information provided allows the SFA to safely reach the conclusion that the club concerend has sufficient finances to fulfil its fixtures.

When it came to making thise assessments, the SFA relied and were allowed to rely on completely false financial figures for a decade or more. The figures submitted were deliberately doctored to exclude any sums due under the side letters, and any tax which may have fallen due as a result of those side letters.

Irrespective of whether the tax scheme was legal or otherwise, the financial statements must show all sums due to be paid to players or actually paid to players. Further, no player is alloed to receive payment from a third party such as a trust.

Accordingly, long before any commentator ( and there are several radio and tv pundits amongst the recipients of these payments ) can pose the question would the players have played for the club even without the EBT’s etc, the question has to be asked would Rangers PLC have passed the financial tests had the EBT payments and tax due been disclosed and would the club have in fact received a licence to play any football at all.

Remember, that no Rangers Chairman before or since Sir David Murray has steered the club, or any subsequent club, to anything approaching the level of losses that accumulated throughout the Murray era – and that is not accounting for this additional £90 million or so of employee and tax liabilities.

It should be further noted, that those who benefited from these schemes include two National Managers, several former captains of the Scotland national team, many Scottish International players, and of course the former President of the Scottish FA as well as other officials who have held roles of importance within the hierarchy of Hampden.

It strkes me that in light of the judgement, whether it is appealed or not, that there has to be a full and independent inquiry into the events which have led to this judgement and how they went undetected and ignored in the main by those who run Scottish football and those who have or had a major say in how competitions were organised and ran during the period concerned.

Any such enquiry should also allow fans from all clubs, including those of Rangers who may well have invested time and money into the club based upon the declared and issued accounts of the time, to make representations and submissions on the matters in hand.

To me, that makes for common sense.

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bluPosted on1:43 pm - Nov 6, 2015


ernie 6th November 2015 at 1:37 pm #                 

Back to basics Ernie, apply the rules without fear or favour. It’s an easy kick down the road for SPFL/SFA though, until all legal proceedings in Murray Group et al v HMRC are exhausted.

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SmugasPosted on1:44 pm - Nov 6, 2015


TJB @12.40
Where to start with the RST statement.  The inability to comprehend the difference between turnover and profit?  The right of the Ashley camp to vote a dividend whenever they like – dividneds after all being a “financial matter”?  The mock indignation at the 75% voting rights, whilst completely ignoring the £5m crisis loan that gave rise to it?

If it helps them Tesco have singularly failed to pay a significant dividend to me personally since I took out a clubcard with them either but you don’t see me bleating to the newspapers about it!

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jimboPosted on1:44 pm - Nov 6, 2015


I see the SPFL are holding an emergency conference today, the main topic for discussion being the EBT decision.

I don’t hold out a lot of hope that anything we would like to hear will come from it.

The problems are that the CEO will not want old ground going over.  But he is not alone.  The SPFL Board consists of 8 members.  It is inconceivable that Doncaster makes any major decisions on his own without reference to the board.  That would make them complicit for the actions of 3 years ago and since.

I couldn’t find anything in the SPFL site which categorically states this but I did on the SFA website.

The SFA Board is 7 members strong. Their job is ‘Strategy and Top Line Decision Making’.
I would imagine the SPFL is similar.

This is why fans appeals to their clubs to exert pressure on the football authorities over this cheating issue might sadly fall on deaf ears, especially if their club’s board contains a ‘complicit’ one.

I think it would take something of the magnitude of ‘No to Newco’ to get them to listen.  problem is this time we months away from season ticket renewals.

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:49 pm - Nov 6, 2015


     If stripping titles is not important…..Then neither is holding on to them

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on1:52 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Sorry can I add that I am on the mooch for charity?

According to Shelter, over 1000 children in Glasgow will wake up on Christmas day to find that they are homeless. The same organisation says that throughout Britain, some 90,000 kids will have no home on Christmas Day.

Homelessness is a growing problem in our country and it has seen a significant increase in the last few years. It affects every town in Scotland.

The biggest single cause of homelessness is the break up of a relationship. There are any numbers of videos on you tube which shows you how bad the situation currently is.

By all means look at some of the short videos you will find in the side bar too.

See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUarQvYHuvI

Next Saturday I am going to sleep out with some other football fans to raise some money for the homeless this winter and at the same time hopefully raise awareness of the situation.

If you can spare any money for a donation to help with the campaign that would be great.

If not thanks for reading and please pass the message on if you can.

My Donations page is here. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jamesmcginley1?currentPage=2&update=new

Thanks

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SmugasPosted on1:58 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Have to say if all they have to discuss with regards to Sevco is the EBT decision then I will be quite disappointed!

  1. Non payment of LNS fine and costs
  2. Points deduction would seem appropriate – b*ll*x, damn those hibees!
  3. Accounts with going concern notice
  4. Accounts with cash projection confirming black hole
  5. Oddly no reconciliation with cash projection forwarded previously as requested
  6. Oddly no cash projection forwarded previously as requested
  7. Oddly no request. 
  8. Notes of comfort from Certain shareholders that seem to be less note, more nod, wink, kick and scream (order may not be accurate)
  9. Pending Court Cases – Disrepute?
  10. Pending Court Cases – See point 4.  Multiply significantly.
  11. Pending Court cases – tapes?

Should at least get them to lunch.   

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jimboPosted on2:07 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Just to be clear, I still wholeheartedly support fans contacting their club.  I did.

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Matty RothPosted on2:36 pm - Nov 6, 2015


ernie 6th November 2015 at 1:37 pm #I’m glad the HMRC case has been won not only as it puts to bed all the faux victim talk from the old and new bears but also, in the wider world, is a defeat for the small minority of the very rich who manage to remain subsidised by the taxpayer, or as the politicians call us as a final insult as they shaft us, “hard working families”.  However, in Scottish fitba terms are we not creating a diversion? The timing of the legality of the EBT’s is neither here nor there in terms of fitba and it matters not how the money got there or even if tax was paid. Side contracts is the fitba issue.  The fact is that side contracts undeclared to the SFA made these players ineligible to play.  The question is how many ineligible players do you have to play before appropriate and normal action is taken?

ernie, I think I understand your point but I wonder about another aspect of this cheating –
Did the rules at the time (FFP and Club Licencing or any relevant equivalents) permit clubs to compete in our competitions if they did not pay their taxes? I’m sure the current rules do not allow for this.
We know now that Rangers did not pay the taxes as required by the law of the land.
We also know they want to some lengths to avoid paying those.
And to some lengths to keep the fact hidden from full view.
So were Rangers even elligable to be competing in those competitions back in the day?

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y4rmyPosted on3:03 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Me from earlier today:

Anyway, why has MA joined the board of Rangers Retail. Is it a precursor to kicking King off the same board? (And would he need to join the board to do that anyway?).

…and John James latest:

The balance of power has always favoured Sports Direct, but Ashley’s move could be perceived as a precursor to removing Dave King from the Rangers Retail board.

20
Hmmm, maybe I am John James.

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dj7Posted on3:16 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Smugas   – if title stripping cant occur because the MEDIA don’t want it – whats the point of this site……?
This site aim is to monitor and highlight fan concerns….. if we can only highlight issues media allows – closedown now.

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tykebhoyPosted on3:18 pm - Nov 6, 2015


@MattyRoth I’m going to be a little Brysonesque here.

I don’t think the UEFA licence requiring no outstanding overdue taxes was relatively new even back when the subject of Res12 the granting to RFC of the 11/12 licence happened, so yes potentially RFC should not have been licenced for European football for several seasons before that.

However, despite the deliberate obfuscation because they knew the EBTs were dodgy not even RFC knew for certain tax was due on them.  HMRC certainly didn’t know there was tax due because they didn’t know about the EBTs.  When they found out about them HMRC did decide Tax was due on them and made an assessment which RFC rejected hence the FTTT and HMRC’s subsequent appeals to the UTTT and CoS.  If the CoS judgement is not appealed or not appealed succesfully then yes RFC did owe tax in those years although its taken till now to confirm it.

What we can’t do is wipe the fact that RFC played in Europe when they shouldn’t.  What we can do is wipe from the records that RFC qualified for Europe by stripping titles, cups and league positions.  It does though open several cans of worms.  I think it was Barcabhoy who tweeted on Wednesday an image showing the minimum at least a dozen clubs had lost, presumably in cup or league prize money having been runner-up, and that is just domestically.  Then there are all the European teams who RFC prevented progressing further in European competition.  Finally, from me because I’m sure I haven’t been comprehensive, if we accept that the players were not correctly registered to play for the club were they elligible to be picked for international matches.  If not that makes World Cups and Continental Championships tainted too (I was going to put European Championships but also the Oceania and North and South American Equivalents too)

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SmugasPosted on3:39 pm - Nov 6, 2015


dj7 @ 3.16,

Not the point I was making.  If you jump straight from the EBT verdict (ignore the appeal for now) and go straight to title stripping I’ll give you pretty accurate odds on your chances of success now.  Media fanfare for sure.  Success?  meh!

Is that fair?  Nope.  Should we all give up?  Nope.

The titles were a by-product of RFC’s success on the field.  What the Derek Johnstons of this world will never understand (and I deliberately include my response to Neepheid earlier below) is that the remaining 41 clubs were not weighed down by the relative weight of the chips on their shoulders following an RFC win.  They were weighed down by the lack of profit, liquidity and fan indifference caused by chasing what turned out to be a bent deck.

Addressing and seeking acknowledgement of the harm done to the game caused by years of cheating will still catch the titles by default (at least it would in normal circumstances) .  Simply going after the titles, well just coz, will sell lots of papers, produce committee after committee but contribute little else towards the future prosperity of the game. 

Of course I suspect our movers and shakers will continue to look at that type of atmosphere – one of distrust, antagonism, point scoring and general whatabootery and thing yeh, that’ll sell tickets, bring it on.  I contend not in the bigger picture it wont!  
===========
Smugas 6th November 2015 at 11:56 am #

Neepheid,

Agree wholeheartedly and I refer you to (hardly the most balanced or informative source, granted) DJ of this morning. Talking about stripping titles he states, “There is no outcry over the seasons we didn’t win anything.”

Yes, in my mind at least, there pissin’ well is!

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HirsutePursuitPosted on3:43 pm - Nov 6, 2015


The SPFL shouldtoday be discussing the quantum of their claim against oldco for the return of ALL prize money awarded during the cheating years. 
The SPFL board have a fiduciary duty to its members (all 42 of them) to put this claim to BDO. 

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HomunculusPosted on3:51 pm - Nov 6, 2015


I have been reading a lot of sites where it is being argued that Rangers / MIH took legal advice on the use of EBTs and that since they were told EBTs were legal they decided that there was nothing wrong in using them. As such they could not have been cheating.

I ask the simple question, if Rangers thought that it was OK to use EBTs then why did they fail to reveal the side letters to the SFA, risking being caught, fined heavily and potentially losing trophies they had won, by failing to follow the rules.

I can only come up with one reason. They knew what they were doing was wrong, and if the side letters came to light they would risk losing tens of millions in tax.

Basically they had to lie to the football community so as not to get caught lying to the tax authorities

I believe that is known as “mens rea”. They were cheating and the knew they were doing it.

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SmugasPosted on3:53 pm - Nov 6, 2015


dj7

Of course if it helps, if you’re telling me Fitba has the balls to stand up and say we’re striking every cup and title during the WTC and BTC years off the record, and whilst we’re at it since the LNS fine is outstanding and per the terms of the 5WA that you signed up to – pay up or we’ll deduct meaningful points AND here’s the judgement, just so you know, in case you do qualify for Europe regarding the whole ‘club’ situation then fire on.  I certainly won’t be the one standing in its way.    

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Jimmy BonesPosted on4:14 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Following on from Auldheid at 1:11pm today. It may have been a jocular comment but it is nevertheless the ideal way forward.  How does a new, young academy player – is it Barry McKay – feel pulling on a jersey with the notorious 5 stars on it?  Perhaps he is reminded that they may still be cheating. 
I agree that Rangers should admit they were in the wrong – per DCK in a 2012 article in the Mail which I read today – apologise to Scottish football and Scottish society at large and derogate their claims to all titles, cups etc. won in the years from 1999 onwards when the tax avoidance/evasion started, and, in a demonstration of their sorrow, remove all the stars from the famous jerseys.
Truth & reconciliation – it would be a start. 

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StevieBCPosted on4:15 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Paulmac2 6th November 2015 at 10:59 am #With the CoS decision still fresh in my mind…a question now jumps out at me…
If the view taken by Mr. Doncaster and the SFA are to have us believe the current club is in fact the old club…then does this mean with a crystalised tax bill of close to £50 million pounds…the old club that apparently is the same club will not be eligible for a European licence anytime soon until that tax bill has been paid? 
======================================
Oh you have a twisted mind Paulmac2…but I like it !

broganrogantrevinoandhogan 6th November 2015 at 1:42 pm #
…Any such enquiry should also allow fans from all clubs, including those of Rangers who may well have invested time and money into the club based upon the declared and issued accounts of the time, to make representations and submissions on the matters in hand.
To me, that makes for common sense.”
============================
Beat me to it.
A worthwhile and positive PR step would be to invite fans’ reps from all 42 senior clubs to Hampden.  The purpose of this get together would be for SFA & SPFL senior management to simply LISTEN to their customers opinions and suggestions.  
Then the SFA & SPFL could claim to acknowledge fans’ grievances and their opinions on how both organisations can be improved. The question of ‘title stripping’ would only be one theme of many, IMO.

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wottpiPosted on4:29 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Homunculus 6th November 2015 at 3:51 pm

If you watch the Men Who Sold the Jersey’s you will see that the person who devised and advised on the EBTs, Paul Baxendale-Walker states that he designed and gave them a bus but he cannot be held responsible with regard to how Rangers drove that bus.

The problem was that from the off, in relation to the players, they botched the operation of the scheme being that to keep clear of the taxman the EBTs and the resulting loans had to be discretionary. The side letters made them contractual and right from the off the Murray Group must have known they were in danger of sailing closer to the wind than even Baxendale-Walker had proposed.

I just put it down to some folk getting caught up in their own hubris and believing themselves to be invincible.

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yourhavingalaughPosted on4:29 pm - Nov 6, 2015


I wonder who is struggling the most out all that is/was going on at the club from Govan,accepting the years of cheating that went on and having to hand back the loot that came with this or now being at the head of the new company and having to change your own ways of operating your ethics,I suppose it might compare with a heavy drug user,can be very hard to kick old habits without severe withdrawal symptoms ,it only takes one bad trick to fall off the wagon.
time will tell

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AuldheidPosted on4:31 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Posted by  me on CQN in response to another post on LNS

The charges were registration ones and if you read the blog I linked to earlier you will see what LNS said about what rules would have been broken were ebts illegal.
“Whilst it is unclear which SPL/SFA rules would have been breached by making irregular payments, it was not the rules the Commission was directed to examine as, according to the Lord Nimmo Smith Decision para 88 “ There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset “
This is why the matter of that blog is so important. There was a fundamental defect in the registration so the registration MUST be treated as invalid from the outset.
That was true of the then DOS ebts he was kept in the dark about and is now true of all ebts.
 
 This is a crucial point that is being overlooked by msm trying to defend a revisit.
 What should be done now is there in LNS words.
Don’t let anyone deflect from it.
The Commission was a sham but because it got screwed (by Campbell Ogilvie as is being pointed out by John James and who I identified did not correct LNS in his testimony ) those doing the stewing have screwed themselves.


Karma eh?

 
– See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/ladbrokes-spfl-pr-warning-media-to-stop-title-stripping-talk/comment-page-3/#comment-2713087

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DeekbhoyPosted on4:38 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Seems to be a lack of clarity of the timeframe for any appeal in the BTC case. I have seen 28, 42 and even 56 mentioned. Obviously the Football Authorities cannot act on the ruling at this stage until the time laspses for the appeal or any such appeal is heard. It seems to be that BDO would be the most likely to acting in the interests of the creditors.
Just a point. Do BDO need to seek creditors approval before embarking on such an appeal as this has the potential if lost to be very costly and would reduce the ‘pot’.
HMRC was a creditor (PAYE,NI and VAT) prior to the BTC but it was appealling. The postion is now reversed and as HMRC would now be by far largest creditor (additional £90m with interest and penalties?) would it be able to block any proposed appeal?
  

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HomunculusPosted on4:40 pm - Nov 6, 2015


wottpi 6th November 2015 at 4:29 pm

=======================================

Whoever thought a football player and his agent would accept “discretionary” payments into a trust, leading to them being able to apply for “loans”, without something in writing outlining that must have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

I can see how some of the executive types would understand that it all had to work on a nod and a wink, and that is just how these things went. However footballers and agents, I just don’t see it.

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ProhibbyPosted on4:40 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Homunculus  at 3:51pm.
If Rangers/MIH took legal advice over the legality of EBTs, they really need to name who these legal people were, for the common good, like! 03

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comeongetaffPosted on4:42 pm - Nov 6, 2015


@Jimmy Bones 4.14p.m
Regarding the ludicrous 5 stars on their jerseys.
Let them keep them.
Just rename them as asterisks.

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BallyargusPosted on4:50 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Like many I hardly ever post but read avidly all that is going on. At 1242 pm today our revered “Auldheid” wrote “I don’t just mean removing the OBB, I mean enabling legislation, supported by grants and soft repayable loans to improve environment around grounds and turn them into community focal centres.”
Unfortunately I don’t understand the term “OBB” and would like some kind soul to interpret.
Thanks, now back to reading the great posts on here.
P.S. How do you add the Smiley things?

 

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Corrupt officialPosted on4:52 pm - Nov 6, 2015


jimbo 6th November 2015 at 2:07 pm #Just to be clear, I still wholeheartedly support fans contacting their club.  I did.
     ———————————————————————————–
  Ditto Jimbo.
However I couldn’t find the contact info for Scottish clubs on the contacts page. Some folk might find such a list helpful. 

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Big PinkPosted on5:05 pm - Nov 6, 2015


New Podcast with David Low on the TRFC accounts – and the BTC result
http://podcast.sfm.scot/e/roundup-s01e03/

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easyJamboPosted on5:08 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Deekbhoy 6th November 2015 at 4:38 pm #Seems to be a lack of clarity of the timeframe for any appeal in the BTC case. I have seen 28, 42 and even 56 mentioned. Obviously the Football Authorities cannot act on the ruling at this stage until the time laspses for the appeal or any such appeal is heard. It seems to be that BDO would be the most likely to acting in the interests of the creditors.
=====================================
https://www.supremecourt.uk/docs/practice-direction-01.pdf
28 days according to pages 6/7 – see Civil appeals from Scotland.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on5:10 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Homunculus 6th November 2015 at 3:51 pm #
I have been reading a lot of sites where it is being argued that Rangers / MIH took legal advice on the use of EBTs and that since they were told EBTs were legal they decided that there was nothing wrong in using them. As such they could not have been cheating.
I ask the simple question, if Rangers thought that it was OK to use EBTs then why did they fail to reveal the side letters to the SFA, risking being caught, fined heavily and potentially losing trophies they had won, by failing to follow the rules.
I can only come up with one reason. They knew what they were doing was wrong, and if the side letters came to light they would risk losing tens of millions in tax.
Basically they had to lie to the football community so as not to get caught lying to the tax authorities
I believe that is known as “mens rea”. They were cheating and they knew they were doing it.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 
IMO
There`s another reason
I have a vague recollection of a post on RTC which suggested Baxendale Walker did an EBT presentation to officials at Hampden. Fortunately, this failed to persuade them to set up a similar scheme
Also
The very idea that the governing bodies were completely unaware of undeclared side letters for 10 yrs. simply beggars belief. The thought that all these star players flocked to Ibrox to be paid a pittance is simply nonsense. Too many players, agents and lowly staff all over the place must have known and gossiped about it
So
Everybody that mattered at the SFA and SPL knew for years that RFC plc had an EBT tax avoidance scheme using side letters which were undisclosed with the connivance of the governing bodies  
The Connivers fell into two camps
1 Card carrying goats at the SFA/SPL and many clubs who kept quiet out of love for the Brethren and simply a desire for RFC to gain a sporting advantage  
2 People who did nothing out of fear of RFC Loonies and a worry about losing or reducing the size of their share of the blue pound
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 What we now have is a forced conspiracy of silence involving dozens of club Chairmen, ex Chairmen and past and present Hampden Officials
They are all caught in the trap of being found out and being accused of cowardice
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. That explains why CO stayed in his job
That explains Armageddon
That explains why the LNS enquiry was rigged
That explains why fines went unpaid
Indeed
 That explains everything

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wottpiPosted on5:10 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Homunculus 6th November 2015 at 4:40 pm

Exactly, the whole EBT wheeze was designed for folk who could control their own finances and make the key decisions with regard to when to pay into the scheme and when to take money out along with being able trust to those and such as those with regard to everything being done on a nod and a wink
My guess is that it was never designed to assist the normal ‘Joe Employee’.

Arsenal may have used EBTs but like the Juninho case it may have just been for a select few. Rangers on the other hand used it on an industrial scale, which again, I doubt was ever the intention of such scheme.

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on5:21 pm - Nov 6, 2015


A number of points.

Auldheid

LNS considered registration issues surrounding players. He relied on a) Bryson and Bryson alone regarding that process and there was no one there to question Bryson on any flawed logic in his evidence and opinion and b) the presumption that the EBT’s were legal as per the FTT decision.

What he did not consider was the criteria for gaining a domestic football licence in each of the years concerned and whether or not Rangers PLC falsified their application for a licence in each of those years by submitting accounts which did not show all of their liabiilities including tax and contractually agreed wages per the side letters.

If the existence of the side letters were hidden in terms of registration and disclosed contracts, then they were also hidden and excluded from the financials submitted by the club each year. 
In essence, when determining the licence application each year, the SFA were lied to and deceived as per the European Licence in 2011.
LNS considered none of that.

He also predicated his whole opinion on the basis that the EBT scheme, as administered, was legal and that the trusts and loans were not shams as per the original HMRC submission.

If he were asked to deliberate today, he would have a decision of three judges from the highest court in the land to lean on, and that says that the trusts and loans were clearly devices for diverting undeclared income unlawfully, and that those payments completely contravene the footballing rules as they are income payments and not loans.

That is a whole new set of rule breaches from the notion that there were contacts and side letters which were not disclosed.

Now we have side letters, contracts, payments and unpaid taxes which were not disclosed.

Finally, in such circumstances, any judge or commission looking at these facts and circumstances must ask whether or not the other teams in the league or the SFA were in any way disadvantaged or potentially disadvantaged by Rangers flouting rules which every other team followed.
It is a pre requiste of particpation in any competition that you have submitted an application for a licence to play and that the information contained therein is open, truthful and submitted in good faith. All the teams rely on each other for that.
In the absence of a truthful, open and good faith submission it is clear that you should not gain a licence to play.
In any kind of licence application, the resulting licence is only as good as the submission that was made to persuade the authority granting the licence to issue a “permission” – as that is what a licence is – a permission based on the information submitted in the application.

I say again that the administration of the tax scheme was amateurish by Murray and his cohorts which is why HMRC chased them and why the Baxendale Walkers will throw the Rangers case under the bus saying it doesn’t apply to many of theur clients because they do not have any side arrangements etc with employees and that the Rangers case was different because the Directors completely flouted the EBT rules and have been rightly made to pay.

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Billy BoycePosted on5:50 pm - Nov 6, 2015


wottpi 6th November 2015 at 4:29 pm
I just put it down to some folk getting caught up in their own hubris and believing themselves to be invincible
—————————————————————– 
I wish I had the time to look at the early RTC blogs.  From memory, when HMRC discovered that RFC had issued the EBT recipients with side letters it wrote to the club requesting production of them.  An ex-Inland Revenue officer at Ibrox was the designated club official who dealt with tax matters.  This official repeatedly fobbed off HMRC by denying such side letters existed or simply refused to give visiting Revenue officers access to the relevant staff files.  This procrastination was carried out with the full knowledge and, no doubt, encouragement of SDM.  They must have assumed HMRC was a toothless tiger, hence the contemptuous attitude down Govan way – and, of course, the shredder.
 
In my view this was tantamount to criminal conduct and could have rendered certain individuals liable to legal proceedings.  However, being primarily a tax-collecting department, HMRC took the decision to recover the outstanding tax with interest and impose monetary penalties on RFC (the ‘taxpayer’) under the provisions of UK tax regulations.
———————————————– 
 On a lighter note, I wonder what the late legendary Nottingham Forest manager would had said in the wake of the Court of Session appeal verdict yesterday?
 https://youtu.be/NRVaLs4cBlg

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HomunculusPosted on6:02 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Prohibby 6th November 2015 at 4:40 pm

=====================================

Andrew Thornhill QC and Paul Baxendale Walker. Though to be fair, Rangers clearly never intended using them properly anyway. Discretionary payments to football players, aye right.

Thornhill is a man who was old to repay £500,000 by the charity commission. He repaid the first £75,000 with a cheque … which bounced.

Baxendale Walker now makes and stars in pornographic films.

The sort of people you want to be taking legal advice from, no way either of them would lead you down a dodgy path. Maybe David Murray was “duped”.

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LUGOSIPosted on6:02 pm - Nov 6, 2015


“SFM is an online community drawn from fans of all Scottish Football clubs. Its overriding goal is to see sporting integrity restored to paramountcy in Scottish Football. To help achieve that SFM will ask the questions that the mainstream media consistently fail to ask of the authorities, who in turn consistently fail to govern the sport in accordance with their own rules.”

What’s the question going to be?

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justshateredPosted on6:41 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Would it be possible for The Scottish Football Monitor to write to BDO referring to the latest ruling and ask them to voluntarily give up the honours won and at the same time ask them, for the good of our sport, to issue an order to ‘The Rangers’ to cease claiming to be that which it clearly is not.

If BDO, as the rightful custodian of the honours won, went to the SFA and told them they were relinquishing those trophies it would finally bring matters to a head.

Ignorance is no substitute for reality and for far too long too many people have lived in ignorance of the basic facts in this debacle.

The media are desperate to keep alive that which is dead to enable them to try to recover sales and make money on the back of the Old Firm label. They pay people to speak in support of their agenda.

BDO is now in the process of winding up RFC but while that process goes on they have a duty, not only to their creditors, but to the sport that the club used to participate in.

Just a thought.

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AuldheidPosted on7:03 pm - Nov 6, 2015


BRTH

So you are saying there was a fundamental breach?

In the interests of brevity. Lol

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dj7Posted on7:06 pm - Nov 6, 2015


Smugas …. Rangers should give up titles (not their players) for the good of the game – end of.
Otherwise they wait for any (repeat) any club to raise claim to CAS (UEFA) – who will find Rangers guilty and bring massive punishments by way of 10-20 years banishment from UEFA competitions..
FFP been used and tax cheats (Sion) heavily punished by UEFA – if SFA deal (not slap wrists) with Rangers then UEFA will turn blind eye – if SFA ignore any realistic punishment – am sure Celtic (as their shareholders will push for it) will raise issue at UEFA level.
its only a matter of time… and while this is up in the air – more fans leave – more stadiums empty on the TV – sponsors leave or cant be found – and the game withers…..
Several small clubs would win their first titles – if runners-up awarded to them…..
Your Ayr United fan – you could have 1 major trophy in 100+ year history or none… You choice – but how will Ayr every amount to anything in future it is 0 ?
If its 1 – there is always hope for the small (diddy) teams – as they can win against the odds..
If Rangers (and others) can gamble and win – no matter what – there is no chance ever for the smaller teams – and its a two-horse race….
PS: I don’t watch much Scottish football – mostly EPL (far more exciting) – because empty crowds, poor quality games in Scotland a turn off –  Scotland loosing its fans if it lets Rangers win.
Game needs sorted – or its doomed.

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