Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?


Essexbeancounter says: Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 14:50 ———————— EBC, credit where it’s …

Comment on Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show? by slimshady61.

essexbeancounter says:
Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 14:50
EBC, credit where it’s due – Andew Thornhill comes out with his reputation not just untarnished but positively enhanced.

That was an outstanding result for him, just shows he still has his mojo, even if we may question some of the company he keeps

slimshady61 Also Commented

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?
onceabhoy says:
Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 00:58
Yes, the law can be an ass and any lawyer worth his salt will tell you it always carries the risk of being a lottery; look down the years, from Christ in front of Herod, to Thomas More, to Oscar Slater, to Paddy Meehan, the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four.

If HMRC believes it has been an ass on this occasion, it has the right to appeal.

On the RTC blog, there was a certain amount of hubris but only to the extent that if anyone expressed an opinion that there was still a chance of HMRC not prevailing, they were rubbished. There was too much of the view that Rangers being found ‘guilty’ was a done deal. Anyone going into a court of law will always be told that the result can never be considered a foregone conclusion.

My view was always that the longer we waited for a decision the more likely it was that there was uncertainty amongst at least one of the judges on the tribunal. Certainly once April had passed, it seemed clear that they were in a real struggle, each trying to persuade the other to his/her point of view.

But English is being wise after the event and displaying the very hubris he loves to accuse other of.

No one as yet has asked the hard question of Murray:

Why did you say “for every £5 they spend I’ll spend a tenner” when what you actually did was
only spend a fiver and get the wholly independent trustees of an offshore trust in Jersey, over whom you had absolutely no control (though you gave those trustees every single penny they possess and told them where it was to go and when) to lend a fiver ?

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?
beatipacificiscotia says:
Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 20:41
Who knows who owns MIH nowadays though? Lloyds have been taking an increasing stake in the business as the losses & debt grew over the past few years.

Last time I looked it didn’t have the cash to settle more than about £10M. The bank is too committed so I suspect if that company has to fork out for the admitted PAYE & NIC, the bank will simply take more of the equity of the business to try and cut its losses.

And no one has yet commented on why, on 5 May 2012, Murray changed his title at Companies House to Mr David Murray from Sir David Murray

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?
Long Time Lurker says:
Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 18:29
Loans are ok?

Let’s say it’s the last week of the Premiership down south, Man U are a point ahead of City and Etihad Airlines makes Rangers-type loans (i.e. no need to repay ever) of say £10M to each Man U player.

Strangely the Reds fail to win their last game and City clinch the title as they did last season in the last minute of the last game at the Etihad Stadium

In Jabba’s world that would be alright then

On the appeal there’s a 56 days time limit which expires at 5pm on 24 December.

Recent Comments by slimshady61

The Offline Game
I wonder if Ali Coote is the person who is going to break the dam on this. A hitherto little-known 17 year old DUFC player, seemingly ineligible to play against Partick Thistle at the weekend, the he played for all of 20 minutes or so and has landed his club with a fine & points deduction “off the radar” in comparison to recent punishments.
If Stephen Thompson chooses to dispute the severity of the sanction, and uses precedent to argue his case, it may be that Sandy Bryson is finally called to account for his actions, and perhaps others – Regan, McKinley the legal eagle etc.
The SFA may be thanking their lucky stars the 3 point deduction has not been material in deciding whether or DUFC is relegated but something tells me there may be a sting in the tail for some least expecting it.
In other (non) news, Rangers continue to fail the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations and so will not be eligible to compete in any European competition next season should they qualify, and unless there is an equity injection of c. £35Million within the next 6 weeks, they will fail the regulations in relation to season 2017/18 also.

Look Back to Look Forward
Cluster One
I think there are between 15-20 names unaccounted for.  Some may well be other MIH employees but it would be good to hear Gavin Masterson & Jimmy Calderwood confirm they never received one and for the SFA and SPFL (formerly SPL) confirm that no one who was ever a member of either of those organisations received one (other than Campbell Ogilvie of course).
Perhaps each journalist could also confirm they have never been a beneficiary?

I was at Celtic Park today and thought it was an excellent game from start to finish. Hearts to me have played better football than Aberdeen for much of the season, but allowed too many inconsistent performances to intervene (SJFC last week for example).  
Today Hearts stood toe to toe with Celtic for the first half hour and scorned a couple of great chances, but as soon as Celtic matched them at the pressing and closing down, the game turned their way. Still second place not impossible, given the last 5 games are all against the other top 6. As against that, it looks as if Hearts will have to come to Celtic Park for a 3rd time this season the way the top 6 is panning out. 
Whatever, it is clear that whoever comes up from the Championship will struggle to get into the top 6 next season. 

Look Back to Look Forward
April 1, 2016
“Lord, who is my neighbour?”  You might as well ask  “M’lord, who is my adviser?”  For with Rangers we have (i) Grant Thornton, (ii) Rob McGhee of Argyle Consulting who made the fateful introduction of David Murray to (iii) Paul Baxendale-Walker, and (iv) West End Consultancy Ltd who produced the EBTs.  No doubt all have escape clauses in their engagement terms. Incidentally, Rob McGhee was introducing Murray to PBW 2 years after I had advised one of my clients to have nothing to do with the guy (PBW that is….).   
The players can only sue their own advisers, not Rangers’.  Or they may seek to claim on the indemnity in the side letter (those that had them – Ian MacMillan the former Murray group tax manager actually lied in a letter to HMRC when he averred that there were no side letters).  
To answer Red Lichtie, the indemnifier was Rangers Football Club plc (now RFC 2012 Ltd (In Liquidation). I am not an insolvency expert but my guess is they are time-barred from making a claim because at the date the company was taken over by BDO, no loss had crystallised and no claim made.   Perhaps a better-advised former player should have made a protective claim at that time, but maybe Ally Jambo or another insolvency pro can confirm? 
54 to 0

Look Back to Look Forward
De nada & thanks EBC! Finding it hard to express myself in 140 characters all the time and saw some interesting stuff on here recently.
This I think is a two pronged approach.
On the one hand the Supreme Court will wend its way to a conclusion which is important for the 40,000 or so cases (yes 40,000) for which, in the winner’s eyes, this decision will set a precedent.  
I’ve always felt HMRC would succeed, it’s just a pity they advanced such a paucity of argument at the FTT and UTT and wasted 5 years (Heidi Poon’s decision was almost in spite of the piss-poor performance offered up by HMRC’s counsel but she as a non-native accountant stood no chance sat beside two Edinburgh lawyers of David Murray’s acquaintance).  Thankfully at the CoS a good Scots QC, Julian Ghosh, set them on the right path last year.
There could not be a clearer case of diversion of income than this he said, and really that’s all it amounts to; doesn’t matter if the income was diverted to the family dog, Broxi Bear, Tiny Gallacher in the kitchen, or Trident Trust in the Channel Islands. Player X diverted income away from his own, highly-taxed self, to a lower-taxed / untaxed person, with the sole or main purpose of avoiding tax.
The second prong is the Finance Bill 2016 which if enacted will deem that any pre-2011 payments that are now defined as disguised income (those pesky side letters) will become subject to income tax on 6 April 2019, unless the arrangements giving rise to the disguised income have been unwound (i.e. in the case of EBT loans, the loans have been repaid).  
I don’t see it as retrospective (in the same way that I don’t see RIFC or TRFC being retrospective; they both date from no earlier than 2012).  
I suspect many of the participants had some doubts initially but thought Murray and Rangers would always be there for them and placed heavy reliance on the indemnity offered by “the Club”.  
It remains to be seen if some clever lawyer decides to go after RIFC or TRFC, being “the Club”, to meet that indemnity in 4 or 5 years time – I rather think one will.  There are plenty of ambulance-chasers in the legal profession these days and, around Ibrox, there will be no shortage of victims.
But the focus really should move from those poor individuals to the people who oversaw all of this; the chairman of Rangers, his directors and Murray Group Tax Manager (who reported to HMRC that no side letters existed when they did), the SFA and SPL (as was).  
Theirs is the greater culpability. When you see a letter from Douglas Adams (every word approved by Murray) to Flo, putting £2.95M at Flo’s disposal and telling him in the same breath that this payment is entirely gratuitous and is specifically NOT for past, present or future performance, you wonder what parallel universe they were living on at the time and why no-one responsible for oversight of the game in Scotland either at the time, or in 2012 when drawing up the LNS Kangaroo Court, could see what the ordinary fan in the street can see, that this was cheating on an industrial scale.  
Let justice be done though the heavens may fall; this will have been a long time coming. It may, eventually, lead to a clean up amongst the game’s administrators but I suspect most of the culpable will simply retire/head back south rather than be held properly to account.  The same happened in 1999 when Farry, about to take the stand and reveal dishonesty at the heart of the SFA, was summarily dismissed before he could croak. The SFA hierarchy, glad to have kept their blazers, then happily settled with Celtic.  Remember in the previous 3 years they had held 2 independent, if internal(!), investigations that completely exonerated Farry and the SFA.  
Incidentally, for what it’s worth, Osborne & Cameron’s offshore arrangements are I think a little more complex and won’t be caught by this legislation. (Remember they offered in 2010 to publish their tax returns and then, once elected, decided not to?) 
[DOGC = Drop Of Good Chianti]

Look Back to Look Forward
EBC, apart from Murray, I suspect the other 86 recipients of EBT monies have long since spent them so it may be academic anyway, but you can’t just “close a trust”, so in theory they could repay before 6 April 2019. Any trust I have seen has generally been open-ended or with a 99 year term.
After April 2019, and assuming most have not repaid anything, I suspect HMRC will have brought in some sort of variation on Accelerated Payments Notices (which only apply to DOTAS schemes at present) so the beneficiaries will be issued with those and invited to pay up within 30 days or be taken to court.
Probably the most interesting question so far as Rangers is concerned is whether and to what extent non-UK resident individuals will be pursued. Under the present APN regime, I have a German client – a peripatetic professional and never UK resident – who engaged in a DOTAS scheme (before he knew me obviously) and he was issued with such a notice last spring, sent to his home in Germany.
Because he wants to be able to visit the UK in future to carry out his professional engagements without fear, he has paid up without a whimper, rather than face a “Hear My Song” scenario. (For those not familiar with Josef Locke, see  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear_My_Song or better still get the film – it’s very funny – with David McCallum as the tax inspector).
What the likes of Flo, Advocaat & Novo will want advice on is what risk they run if they try to enter the UK at some later point. 
Whatever, the procession of ex-Rangers players being taken to court and or made bankrupt will bring home once and for all the blatant cheating that was carried on between 1998 and 2008.

About the author