Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

ByTrisidium

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

A Blog for Scottish Football Monitor by Stuart Cosgrove

At the height of summer of discontent I was asked to contribute to a BBC radio show with Jim Traynor and Jim Spence. ‘Armageddon’ had just been pronounced and if the media were to be believed Scotland was about to freeze over in a new ice-age: only a cold darkness lay ahead.

To get the radio-show off to a healthy and pretentious start I began by saying that Scottish football was experiencing an “epistemological break”. It was an in-joke with Jim Spence, who I have known since we were both teenage ‘suedeheads.’ I was a mouthy young St Johnstone fan and Jim was an Arabian sand-dancer. But even in those distant days, we shared a mutual distrust of the ‘old firm’ and in our separate ways wanted a better future for our clubs. We both grew up to become products of the fanzine era, Jim as a writer for Dundee United’s ‘The Final Hurdle’ and me as a staff writer for the NME. Without ever having to say it, we had both engaged in a guerrilla-war against what Aberdeen’s Willie Miller once characterised as “West Coast Bias”.

The term ‘epistemological break’ was shamelessly borrowed from French Marxist philosophy. It means a fundamental change in the way we construct and receive knowledge and although I used it on air as a wind-up to test Spencey’s significantly less-reliable Dundee schooling, deep down I meant it.

Social Media has proved to be one of the greatest disruptions in the history of the football supporter – greater than the brake clubs of the 19th century, the football specials on the 1970s; or the fanzine movement of the post-punk era. The pace of change in the way we send, receive and interrogate information has been so dynamic that it has wrong-footed administrators, asset strippers and sports journalists, alike. No matter who you support we are living through media history.

2012 had just witnessed an unprecedented summer of sport. The Olympics provided a snapshot of how sudden and pervasive the shift to social media has become. Over 40% of UK adults claim to have posted comments on websites, blogs or social networking about the Olympics and in younger age-groups that figure tips conclusively to a majority – 61% of 16-24’s posted Olympic comments. Think about that figure for a moment. Well over half of the young people in the UK are now participants in social media and pass comment on sport. The genie is out of the bottle and it will never be forced back. That is the main reason that Armageddon never happened: we no longer live in an age where the media can guarantee our compliance.

On the first day of the 2012-13-season, Rangers were in the deep throes of administration and facing certain liquidation. With no accounts to meet the criteria for SPL membership, one among a body of rules which the old Rangers had themselves been an architect of, the new Rangers could not be granted entry without a wholesale abandonment of the rules. It was not to be.

St Johnstone launched their new season at Tynecastle so I travelled with misplaced hope. We were soundly beaten 2-0 and both Hearts goals were entirely merited. On the day, I did a quick if unscientific survey of two supporters’ buses – the Barossa Saints Club, a more traditional lads-bus and the ‘208 Ladies’ a predominantly female and family-friendly bus. On both buses, over 75% of fans had mobile phones with 3G internet access and the majority of them posted updates or pictures before, during or after the match. They mostly posted via micro-blogging sites such as Facebook or Twitter, many commenting on the game, their day-out and the surroundings. Most were speaking to friends or rival fans. Some were publishing pictures and updating forums or blogs. And when he second a decisive goal went in some were undoubtedly taking stick from Gort, Webby DFC and DeeForLife, the pseudonyms of prominent Dundee fans, who as the newly promoted ‘Club 12’ were suddenly and very temporarily above St Johnstone in the SPL.

By my rough calculations, well over half the St Johnstone support was web-connected. I have no reason to think the Hearts supporters were any different. This small experiment reflects an unprecedented shift in the balance of communication in Scottish football and in the truest sense it is an ‘epistemological break’ with past forms of spectatorship. Social media has been widely misrepresented by old-style radio ‘phone-ins’ and by journalism’s ancien regime. The presumption is that people who are connected to the web are at home, in dingy rooms where they foam at the mouth frustrated by loneliness and mental illness. The term ‘internet bampots’ (coined by Hugh Keevins) and ‘keyboard warriors’ (Gordon Strachan) speaks to a world that is fearful of the web, irked by alternative opinions, and the threat that the new media poses to the traditional exchange of knowledge.

It further assumes that opinion from social networks is naïve, ill-informed, or unreasonable. Whilst some of this may be true, mostly it is not. No one would dispute that there are small enclaves of truly despicable people using social networks and comment sites, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the multitude of fans who simply want to talk about their team and share their dreams and memories.

Social media is porous. By that I mean it has cracks, lacunae and fissures. This inevitably means that information leaks out. It can be shared, released and in some cases becomes so energetic it becomes a virus. It is no longer possible to ‘keep secrets’, to withhold information and to allow indiscretions to pass unnoticed. Newspapers have been caught in a whirlwind of change where views can be instantly challenged, authority quickly questioned and pronouncements easily disproved. Many papers – almost all in decline – have been forced to close down their comments forums. Undoubtedly some of that is due to breaches of the rules, the cost of moderation, and the rise in awareness of hate crimes. But another significant factor is that ordinary fans were consistently challenging the opinions and ‘facts’ that newspapers published.

Talking down to fans no longer works and we now have evidence – Armageddon did not happen. The beast that was supposed to devour us all was a toothless fantasy. In the more abrasive language of the terraces – Armageddon shat-it and didn’t turn up.

In one respect the myth of Armageddon was an entirely predictable one. Tabloid newspapers make money from scaring people – health scares, prisoners on the run, fear of terrorism, anxiety about young people, and most recently ‘fear’ of Scottish independence is their stock in trade. Almost every major subject is raised as a spectre to be fearful of. Most newspapers were desperate to ‘save Rangers’ since they themselves feared the consequences of losing even more readership. It was easier to argue that a hideous financial catastrophe would befall Scottish football unless Rangers were fast-tracked back into the SPL. Newspapers found common cause with frightened administrators who could not imagine a world without Rangers, either.

So we were invited to endorse one of the greatest circumlocutions of all time – unless you save a club that has crashed leaving millions of pounds of debt, the game is financially doomed. You would struggle to encounter this bizarre logic in any other walk of life. Unless Rick Astley brings out a new album music will die. That is what they once argued and many still do. That is how desperately illogical the leadership in Scottish football had become.

Armageddon was a tissue of inaccuracies from the outset. It tried to script a disaster-movie of chaotic failure and financial disaster and at the very moment when senior administrators should have been fighting for the livelihood of the league, they were briefing against their own business.

Armageddon was a big inarticulate beast but it faced a mightier opponent – facts. One by one the clubs published their annual accounts. Although this was against the backdrop of a double-dip recession and fiercely difficult economic circumstances it was not all doom and gloom. The arrival of Club 12 (Dundee) meant higher crowds and the potential for increased income at Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Johnstone. To this day, this simple fact remains unfathomable to many people in the Glasgow-dominated media. The arrival of Ross County meant an exciting new top-tier local derby for Inverness Caley Thistle and a breath of fresh air for the SPL. St Johnstone insisted on the first ever SPL meeting outside Glasgow to reflect the new northern and eastern geo-politics of the Scottish game.

European football meant new income streams for Motherwell. Of course times were tight, football is never free from the ravages of the economy and some clubs predictably showed trading losses. But the underlying reasons were always idiosyncratic and inconsistent never consistent across the board. Inverness had an unprecedented spate of injuries and over-shot their budgets for healthcare and so published a loss £378,000.

Meanwhile Dundee United published healthy accounts having sold David Goodwillie to Blackburn. Celtic reached the Champion’s League group stages with all the new wealth it will bequeath. St Johnstone – led by the ultra-cautious Brown family – had already cut the cost of their squad, bidding farewell to the most expensive players Francisco Sandaza and Lee Croft. The club also benefited from compensation for their departed manager, Derek McInnes and player-coach, Jody Morris. Paradoxically, Bristol City had proven to be more important to the club’s income than Rangers. Again this was not part of the script and proved unfathomable (or more accurately irrelevant) to most in the Glasgow media.

Hearts failed to pay players on time due to serious restraints on squad costs and internal debt. They were duly punished for their repeated misdemeanours. Motherwell and St Mirren despite the economic challenges were navigating different concepts of fan ownership. By November most clubs – with the exception of Celtic – were showing increased SPL attendance on the previous season. Far from the scorched earth failure that we were told was inevitable what has emerged is a more complex eco-system of financial management, in which local dynamics and a more mature cost-efficient reality was being put in place.

It may well be that Armageddon was the last desperate caricature of a form of media that was already in terminal decline. Flash back to 1967 when Scottish football had a so-called ‘golden age’. There was European success, we tamed England at Wembley and names like Law and Baxter brightened dark nights. Back then access to knowledge was a very narrow funnel. Only a small cadre of privileged journalists had access to the managers and players, and so fans waited dutifully for the Daily Record to arrive at their door to tell them what was happening. That system of ‘elite access to knowledge’ was in its last decadent throes nearly thirty years later, when David Murray would dispense wisdom to his favoured journalists. We now know they drank fine wine and ate succulent lamb in Jersey and the most loyal attended Murray’s 50th birthday party at Gleneagles. One journalist was so proud of his invite he danced round the editorial office mocking those who had not been invited. This was the early height of the Rangers EBT era but it is now clear that difficult questions went unasked by either journalists or by football administrators.

Although it may not suit the narrative of this particular blog my first realisation that David Murray’s empire was living on leveraged debt was from a small cadre of Rangers fans. It was around the early years of the Rangers Supporter’s Trust (RST) and they were determined to shake more democracy from the Ibrox boardroom. Whilst real fans of the club argued from the outside, the press took Murray at his loquacious word. He was in many respects their benefactor, their visionary – their moonbeam.

By the 1990s onwards, football journalism had ritualised and festered around the inner sanctums at Ibrox. This was an era where relevance meant being invited to a ‘presser’ at Murray Park, having Ally’s mobile or playing golf with ‘Juke Box,’ ‘Durranty’ or ‘Smudger’. Many journalists, showing a compliant lack of self-awareness, would use these nicknames as if conveyed closeness, familiarity or friendship. It is desperately sad that careers have been built on such paltry notions of access and such demeaning obsequiousness.

Around this period I had become a freelance radio-presenter and was presenting Off the Ball with my friend Tam Cowan, a Motherwell fan. We both wanted to fashion a show which saw football not trough its familiar narratives, but through the lens of the ‘diddy’ teams, a term so demeaning that we tried to reclaim it. Refusing to peddle the inevitability of ‘old firm’ power we sensed that journalistic compliance at Ibrox was now so ingrained that it was ripe for satirising. This was the main reason that Off the Ball branded itself as ‘petty and ill-informed.’ It was a self-mocking antidote to those journalists that could ‘exclusively reveal’ breaking stories from ‘impeccable sources,’ which usually meant they had heard it on the golf-course, from Walter, a man who needed no surname.

Many fans are astonished when I tell them how the journalism of this era actually functioned. On Champions League nights, journalists from opposing papers gathered together to agree what to write. Circulation was in decline, money was tight, agency copy was on the increase and foreign trips were under-scrutiny. No one dared miss the ‘big story’. So sports journalists who commonly boasted about their toughness and who ‘feared no one’ were often so fearful of returning home having missed an angle, that they agreed by consensus to run with variations of the same story. Celtic fans may wish to recoil at the image – but journalists would go into a ‘huddle’ at the end of a press-conference to agree the favoured line.

So the summer of 2012 witnessed an ‘epistemological break’ in how knowledge and information was exchanged. But let me go further and taunt Jim Spence one more time. It was the summer we also witnessed an ‘amygdala-crisis’ exposing the way the media works in Scotland. Amygdala is the nuclei in the brain that manages our tolerance for risk and is the key that often unlocks creative thinking. Many people in relatively high places in the media – a creative industry – demonstrated that they could not conceive of change, nor could they imagine what football would look like if Rangers were not playing in the SPL. They not only resisted change but lacked the imagination to think beyond it. A common language began to emerge that tried to ward off risk and an almost a childlike fear of the dark. ‘Scottish football needs a strong Rangers,’ ‘But there will no competition’; ‘other clubs will suffer’; ‘Draw a line in the sand’; ‘It was one man – Craig Whyte’, ‘They’ve been punished enough’ and of course, the daddy of them all – ‘Armageddon.’

The biggest single barrier to change was the lingering and outmoded notion that Rangers subsidised Scottish football. As a supporter of a club that had spent seven economically stable years in a league that Rangers have never played in made me deeply suspicious and I was in the words of the we-forums ‘seething’ that St Johnstone were portrayed as somehow ‘dependent’ on a club that was already fatefully insolvent. Because so little is known about the experience of the fans of smaller clubs, they are often misrepresented. For seven years my friends and I, travelled home and away in the First Division, often narrowly missing out on promotion as rival clubs like Gretna, Dundee and Livingston all used money they did not have to ‘buy’ success. It remains an incontrovertible fact that St Johnstone FC has been among the most consistent victims of fiscal misdemeanour in Scottish football. That is the irreducible issue. Several clubs have very real reasons to loathe financial mismanagement, rogue-trading and those that gain unfair advantage on the back of unserviceable debt.

Social media has allowed these smaller incremental versions of history to be told when the established media had no interest in telling them. Blogs can dig deeper than the back pages ever can and fans are now more likely to meet on Facebook than on a supporter’s bus. Many players now bypass the press completely and tweet directly with fans. Rio Ferdinand’s recent attack on racism in English football has been conducted entirely via social media, over the heads of the press. In the Rangers Tax Case context, restricted documents are regularly shared online, where they can be analysed and torn apart. Those with specialist skills such as insolvency, tax expertise or accountancy can lend their skills to a web forum and can therefore dispute official versions of events.

Not all social media is good. Open-access has meant a disproportionate rise in victim culture. The ‘easily-offended’ prowl every corner of the web desperate to find a morsel that will upset them but that is a small price to pay for greater transparency and even the most ardent bore is no excuse for limiting the free exchange of information.

We have witnessed a summer of seismic change. A discredited era that largely relied on ‘elite access to knowledge’ has all but passed away and information, however complex or seemingly unpalatable, can no longer be withheld from fans. The days of being ‘dooped’ are over.

It has been a privilege to participate in the summer of discontent and I yearn for even greater change to come. Bring it on.

Stuart Cosgrove
Stuart Cosgrove is a St Johnstone fan. He was previously Media Editor of the NME and is now Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, where he recently managed coverage of the Paralympics, London 2012. At the weekend he presents the BBC Scotland football show ‘Off the Ball’ with Tam Cowan. He writes here in a personal capacity.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

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

3,744 Comments so far

StevieBCPosted on5:48 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Can’t help feeling somewhat deflated.

Skimmed read the FTT and whilst there are still outstanding questions re: improper player registration I fully expect that this result will simply fuel the unsavoury/supremacist elements down Govan way.

Not good.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on5:48 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Rangers Tax-Case ‏@rangerstaxcase
FTT result worded to downplay impact of illegally avoiding millions in tax (plus interest). Reality: RFC proven to have cheated.
—–

An interesting comment, which could do with some flesh on the bones.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on5:52 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Robert Coyle says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 17:40
1 0 Rate This
Rangers Tax-Case ‏@rangerstaxcase
FTT result worded to downplay impact of illegally avoiding millions in tax (plus interest). Reality: RFC proven to have cheated.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

I take RTC’s word for it, when he picks it apart and explains it in Layman’s Terms we will learn the full extent of what has gone on. One thing is certain, the wall of silence will be shattered as self preservation kicks in.

View Comment

ikiPosted on6:01 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Murray threatens to sue.
Case to be heard in camera and verdict to be colour coded?

View Comment

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on6:10 pm - Nov 20, 2012


So. Did Rangers FC commit suicide? Surely Liquidation was unneccesary?. Still never mind eh!

View Comment

ExiledCeltPosted on6:11 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Well – the ironic thing for all of this is that SDM got into a panic and sold the club because he thought BTC would go against him – Swally got them knocked out of Europ and then CW spent the season trying to bluff Hector – and so they ended up dying.

Now it seems with a bit of better planning they could still be alive………….

However, expulsion for cheating could have come into play…

Stipping of titles, dead club and a new Tribute Band not permitted to get into any division it wants to be in and may struggle to keep its head above water this season – seems about fair result!

View Comment

Blindsummit63Posted on6:13 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I want to offer my thanks and support to RTC for what they did and I hope continue to do.

seconded. Stay strong RTC.

I hope Murray does try to sue. Only in an open court, no closed door tribunals etc, will Rangers be truly be called to account.

View Comment

nickmcguinnessPosted on6:15 pm - Nov 20, 2012


The verdict of Mure and Rae seemed to hinge on whether the loans would be repayable after the death of the recipient. The HMRC witness was unsure at that point, and that seemed to sway this pair.
But it read to me like they were very keen to be swayed.
The evidence could hardly have been more black and white:

Were these payments agreed during contract negotiations? Yes. Half pay and half loan.
Did RFC PLC forward agreed sums to the Trustees on behalf of named players, who confidently expected to receive these sums (and did) in the form of non-repayable loans (a bizarre concept!)? Yes.
Did they include bonuses? On occasions (such as the UEFA Cup Final), yes.
Were the broad details of these arrangements detailed in “side letters” or “Letters of Intention”? Yes, with HMRC obtaining copies of these documents via the police.

All of this was agreed in evidence. Yet two members of the tribunal still stuck to a very literal definition of the term “loan”, while the other member was quite adamant that all of this constituted thinly (very thinly!) disguised remuneration or emoluments.
Very strange.
If HMRC appeal, and the appeal is heard south of the Border, I’m fairly confident this perverse verdict will be overturned.

By the way, what’s the name of that secret society based over in Edinburgh? I just want to check its membership list for a name or two . . .

View Comment

ikiPosted on6:17 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Simple question, I think.
Is tax voluntary now?

View Comment

wottpiPosted on6:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Posted a number of times in the past about my fears of two things happening.

1) the possibility of the FTTT deeming the payments as being loans.
2) the mention of the EBT’s being somewhere on the players registrations or a legal argument that there was no need to detail loans on the registration that would allow Rangers furtherwriggle room

I am afraid I, like many, thought it most likely that the FTTT would find the loans to be contractural based on the solid existence of the side letter, however it now seems its 2:1 in favour of them being loans.

Therefore my second question still gives me concern and I include an earlier post below

===========================================================================
WOTTPI says:
Monday, August 13, 2012 at 17:23

…………………..Therefore it is most likely we can rule out the oldco being done for unauthorised payments from a third party as the HMRC says that the money coming out of the EBT is an employment related loan.

The question is therefore how the footballilng authorities view the loan from the EBT.

The HMRC appear to say they are employment related and we know that since 2008 the FIFA minimum requirements on player contracts must detail :-

a) Salary
b) Other financial benefits
c) Other benefits (Non financial such as car, accommodation etc)

However that is only from 2008. What were the FIFA requirements before then and what were the SPL/SFA requirements from 2001 onwards?

Therefore the questions are

1 Did loans, especially those that do not appear to need to be paid back, need to be detailed on the players contracts as per the requirements at the time the loans were made?

2. Are the loans related to performance and if so should they be treated as contractural payments by the footballing authorities?

The FTT will most likely come out and confirm that they believe the loans were actually contractural payments, invariably related to apperances and performance, that should have been subject to tax.

That should give some guidance to the SPL inquiry but that doesn’t mean that the footballing authorities will not say that these were merely loans and there is nothing in the football rules current or past that these have to be detailed on players contracts.

I think that is where SDM is looking for wriggle room by saying the loans still require to be repaid.

As RTC has confirmed the existance of side letters and the like appear to have them banged to rights with the HMRC/FTT but I still fear given the level of bending over backwards shown to date that this does not leave it cut and dry with the footballing authorities.

View Comment

abcottPosted on6:26 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Some are saying that players will be asked to repay loans and may then dispute this by providing contracts, side notes etc saying they were not loans;
Did HMRC interview all the players concerned as part of their investigations? If not then why not?
If they did then they surely the players involved cannot change their tune and now say they were not repayable.

View Comment

Madbhoy24941Posted on6:29 pm - Nov 20, 2012


ah ye of little faith… As a fan of the RTC and TSFM sites and someone who felt this case was cut and dried, I am feeling somewhat happy this evening. Best possible result in many respects. Now sit back and watch the ignorant scribble wholly inaccurate versions of what has just been released, the best is still to come my friends.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on6:32 pm - Nov 20, 2012


johnboy5088 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:15

Yet two members of the tribunal still stuck to a very literal definition of the term “loan”,
——

Aye. Definitions and interpretations are what constitutes much of their job.

I think we need to drop the suggestions that the FTTT were in any way corrupt, or members of secret societies, or attempting to do RFC(IL) a favour. It does not become us.

Had the result gone the other way, I suspect there would have been much trumpeting about justice having been done.

Well, maybe it has.

That isn’t to say that I welcome the verdict – but if it is the correct verdict then none of us should be complaining about it. Fact.

Before reaching for the TD, please consider what I’m saying. Many of you know I have no love for Rangers, but I do respect legal process – and HMRC may yet appeal.

View Comment

redetinPosted on6:34 pm - Nov 20, 2012


tomtomaswell says:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 17:47

Still don’t understand how a loan can be subject to tax though.
__________________________________________________

Dinnae worry, HMRC understands it:-

17.1 A Director or employee obtains a benefit by reason of the employment when he or she, or anyof his or her relatives, is provided with a cheap or interest-free loan. The employee is generally
taxable on the difference between interest at the appropriate official rate and the interest, if any,
actually paid. Such loans are called beneficial loans.

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on6:34 pm - Nov 20, 2012


abcott says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:26

Who would be pursuing these players for payments?

HMRC? The loans are not taxable (I stand to be corrected).

The trust and club/company who paid to the trust no longer exists (I presume).

Perhaps there is an MIH connection. Would they be inclined to chase players for mayments?

Otherwise it seems to be a fantastic result for Mr Nosurname, Souness et al. The liquidation of the club has turned out to be manna from heaven for them

View Comment

Lord WobblyPosted on6:38 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Rangers Supporters @rangersfctrust 5m
@CatrionaShearer We are still Rangers Football Club est 1872.
As designated by SFA, SFL, SPL and many others. Club not
liquidated.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Er….no.

View Comment

readceltPosted on6:39 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Be interesting to hear what is said on newsnicht

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on6:40 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Some interesting comments from The Minority. I think they are more in accord with what a “reasonable person” would understand. It really is worth a read, particularly in relation to Rangers’ conduct, how HMRC got the evidence, the reliability of witnesses etc.

If someone has said that HMRC intend to appeal it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

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

Summary of Findings-in-Fact

166. The salient findings-in-fact are summarised as follows:

(i) The Appellants implemented the trust scheme in 2001 with the understanding
that it was for the purposes of avoiding PAYE and NIC.

(ii) Baxendale Walker was the architect of the scheme and this type of scheme
was the reason behind the Langley Report of 2003 commissioned by the Law
Society. The Appellants continued to seek the advice of Baxendale Walker
during his period of suspension and after he was struck off by the Law
Society. The Jersey courts had been hearing cases on Baxendale Walker-advised trusts.

(iii) HMRC opened enquiry into the use of the MGRT in January 2004. The
progress of the enquiry was protracted and chequered due to key documents
being withheld or actively concealed.

(iv) The impasse in obtaining information was broken in the autumn of 2007 by a
separate enquiry conducted by the City of London Police into Rangers,
which had resulted in information being made available to HMRC for the
first time, such as the side-letters, from the seized documents related to
MGRT.

(v) It would appear that the side-letters were actively concealed in the course of
HMRC’s investigation because they answered the central question raised by
the enquiry regarding the basis of determining the amounts to be contributed
to the main Trust and the sub -trusts. The side-letters also evidence the
existence of some form of contractual agreement between the employer and
the employees.

(vi) Mr Red was an incredible witness. It would appear that he was obstructive in
his conduct during the HMRC’s enquiry, and obscurantist in the way he gave
evidence on what could be called a ‘virtual reality’, one that conformed to his
own understanding of how the trust scheme should have functioned to stay
within the bounds of legitimacy as a tax-saving scheme. It would also appear
that he tried to influence Mrs Crimson (and possibly Mr Scarlet) in their
giving of evidence.

(vii) The auditors of Rangers did not express an opinion on the efficacy of the
trust scheme and relied on the information given to them by the management;
there appeared to be a lack of candour from the management towards the
auditors over the remuneration trust payments, for example, in respect of the
nature of Mr Purple’s loan advanced on the occasion of his employment
being terminated.

(viii) The trustees’ functions in reality were passive and perfunctory and consisted
primarily in the processing of loan requests without any exercise of discretionary powers.

(ix) The loan requests were prepared by the Appellants and signed by the
employees and served as ‘instructions’ to the trustees in allocating the funds
arriving in the main Trust into the respective sub-trusts for remitting into the
personal bank accounts of the employees.

(x) Loans were invariably granted; the trustees acted ‘in breach of trust’ in
granting loans without the exercise of discretionary powers; the trustees have
been indemnified by the Appellants to act in breach; the scheme depended on
the trustees to advance loans in breach of trust to achieve its purpose.

(xi) There was control of the trustees by the Appellants in the power of
appointment and removal, in the direction of how the main trust
contributions should be allocated, in the interest rate to be set for the loans, in
the way that loans should be processed, and in setting the terms and
conditions for these loans to be advanced to the employees of the Appellants.

(xii) Mrs Crimson was an ineffectual witness. Her ineffectualness, ironically, was
an effective testimony of the subservient position of her role as a trustee an d
representative of the trustee company. The trustees acted as a ‘cipher’ in the
scheme, and their role was to process the trust payments as directed by the
Appellants, and to act in accordance to the wishes of the
protector/employees.

(xiii) The loan structure was criticised by Jersey Financial Services Commission as
not being ‘commercial’; it was designed not to be commercial to achieve its
purpose; no security was ever requested; no interests ever required to be
paid; no expectations of repayment from employees; no intentions of
enforcement for repayment by the trustees.

(xiv) For bonus payments to ordinary employees, there appeared to be a ‘choice’
between having the bonus paid via the trust or the payroll; there was
‘consent’ from the employees if the trust route was chosen; and there was the
understanding that if the trust route was not chosen, the bonus would be paid
through payroll.

(xv) For salary increase to ordinary employees, there appeared to be an agreement
of an increase, and in cases where the trust mechanism was used, ‘what was
to be done’ was to address the salary increase as a discretionary bonus for
processing through the trust mechanism.

(xvi) For bonus payments to the footballing employees, there appeared to be a
schedule agreed for the start of each season and lodged with SFA as a matter
of normal practice. The bonus entitlement should be the same for each
player in the team squad in accordance with the schedule agreed. It would
appear that the bonus and appearance money for players with a sub-trust had
been paid via the trust mechanism while other players without a sub-trust
received their entitlement through payroll.

(xvii) The UEFA bonus for 2005/06 was the subject of intense cross-examination.
It would appear that the Appellants’ witnesses (Mr Red, Mr Scarlet and
Mr Magenta) tried to suggest that 2005/06 was ‘exceptional’ and that no
bonus schedule was agreed until Rangers reached the qualifying stage.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that 2005/06 had not been an ‘exceptional’
year for bonus agreement being in place.

(xviii) Mr Scarlet was an unreliable witness. His account of the UEFA bonus
settlement was somewhat fraught with implausibility. He was an elusive
witness, and attributed to ‘a lack of understanding and his need to rely on
others’ or a lapse of memory for the convenience of not answering
inconvenient questions. From the documentary evidence, he demonstrated
full command of the details and intricacies in the use of the trust scheme; he
had the authority to decide whether a sub-trust was to be set up f or a player
or not (as in the three aborted numbers to settle UEFA bonuses); he gave
detailed instructions to manage the interchange of payment between trust
mechanism and payroll; he represented Rangers in agreeing pay deals with
the players and their agents; he was deferred to in termination situations to
decide whether the trust mechanism was to be used; he represented Rangers
in ending the trust arrangements unilaterally with the two players when the
legislation for ‘Disguised Remuneration’ came in.

(xix) The trust payments made under the terms of the side-letters appeared to be,
in effect, a way of structuring a remuneration package. A percentage of the
agreed remuneration would be paid by the trust mechanism, and in some
instances, the amounts per annum paid via the trust exceeded the sums going
through payroll.

(xx) The Appellants, the players and their agents seemed to be in full agreement
that the trust payments should be taken into account in setting the agency
commissions; all parties concerned gave effect to the trust payments as part
of the remuneration package in achieving the ‘ballpark figure’ in arriving at a
pay deal agreement. Rangers factored in the trust payments in setting the
insurance premium to cover a player’s earnings during a period of injury.
These are facets illustrating how the trust payments were regarded in the
‘real world’ of business transactions.

(xxi) In the termination of employment of some 35 employees, it would appear
that payment in lieu of notice, transfer fee entitlement, inducement payment
were paid through the trust mechanism. What would appear to be s403
payments were also settled via the trust with the £30,000 exemption being
utilised through payroll.

(xxii) On the occasions when the trust arrangement and the payroll were used
interchangeably to settle the contractual obligations by the Appellants, the
underlying contractual obligations had not altered as such. The trust
arrangements were effectively converted into payroll payments, and this
points towards the trust mechanism was utilised in effect as an alternative
method of discharging an obligation that would have been processed
otherwise through the payroll.

(xxiii) The example of Mr Evesham’s sub-trust operation illustrates how the trust
was used to arrange and re-arrange part of his remuneration package, to meet
his bonus entitlement, to set the insurance premium against his injury. His
sub-trust also illustrates how indemnity would be granted in relation to the
trust payments and the steps that could be taken to terminate the sub -trust.

(xxiv) In the request and the granting of indemnity, there appeared to be an
underlying agreement between the Appellants and the employees that the
deployment of the trust mechanism was exposing the employees to some
kind of financial risk. That tacit agreement between the parties came in the
form that the employer was under some obligations to guarantee the net
payments to the employees, and it is evidenced by communications from the
employees to the employer in this respect, including Mr Scarlet, that the
agreement to use the trust mechanism was to oblige the employer in the
Appellants’ effort to make savings in tax.

(xxv) The act of terminating a sub-trust was initiated by the employees. The
further and specific steps were taken depending on the legislation in force at
the time, and invariably the ultimate purpose of terminating the sub -trusts in
each and every case was to deliver the same result of releasing the loans,
thereby rendering the trust funds (in the form of loan capital) the absolute
property to the employees.

(xxvi) The role of the protector appeared to be a design to give the employee the
key to exercise the powers accorded to a settlor over his sub-trust. In more
than one manner, the protector had played the role of the settlor, in procuring
the creation and termination of his sub-trust, in appointing a new protector in
his place, in the naming of beneficiaries including himself.

(xxvii) The employee/protector had control and access to the his sub-trust funds
through the request of loans, the performance of asset management functions,
the termination of the sub -trust, and the assignation of the trust property to
himself. In his role as protector of his own sub-trust, the employee was
accorded the freedom of access and de facto control of the trust funds.

(xxviii) The Respondents have registered three major areas where the Appellants
have not discharged the onus of proof in respect of the production of
documents: (a) regarding the rationale in the adoption and implementation of
the trust scheme; (b) regarding the pay negotiation process that resulted in a
contract being signed with trust payments being incorporated as part of the
agreement; (c) regarding the compromise agreement that should exist to set
out the terms of severance on the termination of employment in each of the
cases identified where trust payments appeared to have been used as part of
the termination settlement

View Comment

cmontheshirePosted on6:41 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Having read the document through, I really believe that there is still enough in there for HMRC to get its fangs into. Hector (ie The Treasury) just cannot afford to let this one go without further fight, since there is a real mood amongst citizens to have these ‘privileges’/ ‘avoidance vehicles’ of the wealthy, radically restricted, if not outlawed. This is particularly true with the often stellar wages of top footballers. HMRC will chase and hound this one to the wire. The judgement seems a little bizarre to me.

It is interesting that Dr Heidi Poon……. someone with real experience of accountancy and accountancy practices ( and who has probably come across nefarious financial arrangements before) ….. viewed things quite differently.

I wonder if the EBT pigeons will start squawking more truthfully, when Hector’s boys and girls turn up at their doors for any due cash?

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on6:41 pm - Nov 20, 2012


So now Jack and his lackeys will start their PR offensive ?

Everybody just hated Rangers – but the FTT ‘proves’ they did nothing wrong.

Rangers was ‘forced’ into liquidation by Rangers-haters as the negative publicity about the FTT meant that the club could not attract bank credit or another ‘sugar daddy’.

Rangers had no choice and ended up with Whyte – who caused all the ‘real’ trouble with HMRC.

So, TRFC might consider returning to the top league, [next season ?], as they had been ‘relegated’ for sectarian/conspiracy reasons only ?

Oh, and there’s no way they will accept ‘stripping’ of any titles.

I fear it’s all going to kick off now, and get nasty – and personal.

Best solution might be if TRFC went into administration soon…

View Comment

BrendaPosted on6:43 pm - Nov 20, 2012


They are still dead 🙂 long live RTC and TSFM ……. Female intuition but the best is yet to come!! the web of lies is likely to unravel whenever those horrible things ‘truth and tax’ are examined properly 🙂 good luck to Celtic Football Club tonight 🙂

View Comment

coineanachantaighePosted on6:45 pm - Nov 20, 2012


johnboy5088 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:15

Very strange.
If HMRC appeal, and the appeal is heard south of the Border, I’m fairly confident this perverse verdict will be overturned.

By the way, what’s the name of that secret society based over in Edinburgh? I just want to check its membership list for a name or two . . .
——————————————————–

Oddly enough something along these lines occurred to me when I noticed the dissenting voice was a woman (Dr Heidi Poon). They don’t get into the men’s clubs do they? Where the likes of millionaire businessmen and football club owners can chat freely with their chums in the city and other top people.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on6:47 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I am feeling deflated by the FTT ruling and let down by the legal establishment once again. I wish I was younger and financially stable, I would leave this corrupt little country and never look back.
The actions of all concerned in keeping this corrupt organisation alive, has sickened me completely.
What we require now is for HMRC to appeal and have the appeal taken out of this country for it to have any chance of getting a true and honest result.
Do I think it will have an effect on the dual contracts investigation, yes.
Do I think it will be seen as proof of dual contracts no.
Why because the SFA through CO will decide that there are no requirements to let then know about loans.
Game over the cheats have won.
I so wish I felt differently.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on6:47 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Spoke too soon !
Thread from RM.
=============

“I want Charles Green to issue his strongest worded statement yet, making it clear to all in the world’s media, that there has been a disgusting injustice done to Rangers by the Scottish Mhedia, the SPL and the SFA.

Get it drafted by lawyers, and endorsed by Walter Smith.”

Strongly worded enough that it will be picked up widely as a story, and making it abundantly transparant that any continued attempts to strip Rangers of titles can only be driven by bigotry and hatred.”

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on6:50 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I just thought.

If BDO seek repayment of these “loans” then the players will end up paying back all of the money, not the tax due on it.

Oh dearie dearie me. HMRC wouldn’t be vindictive like that would they. A list of debtors to old Rangers, and money which the liquidator can recover for the creditors. I wonder if malcolm Cohen will be approaching these debtors, to collect that money.

It really is a bad day for Rangers supporters, and beneficiaries of EBTs

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on6:53 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I’ve read over and over that we can trust the judiciary to make the correct decisions. Makes you wonder though. Be ironic if all the efforts to offload and phoenix Rangers turn out to have been for the avoidance of a mere paltry sum.

View Comment

redetinPosted on6:54 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I assume all players receiving loans whether in £ or Euros will have completed Form P11D. I attach a link in case anyone needs it for return for this tax year return 🙂

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/p11d.pdf

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on6:59 pm - Nov 20, 2012


redetin says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:34
3 0 Rate This
tomtomaswell says:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 17:47

Still don’t understand how a loan can be subject to tax though.
__________________________________________________

Dinnae worry, HMRC understands it:-

17.1 A Director or employee obtains a benefit by reason of the employment when he or she, or anyof his or her relatives, is provided with a cheap or interest-free loan. The employee is generally
taxable on the difference between interest at the appropriate official rate and the interest, if any,
actually paid. Such loans are called beneficial loans.
————————————————————————————-

Maybe, but the key phrase that jumps out is “actually paid” i.e. none.

View Comment

albabhoyPosted on6:59 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Does this mean that every employee in the UK (either on their own or via their Trades Union) can now ask to get loans instead of wages? Said loans being non taxable with no predetermined repayment date?
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Starbucks and now well renumerated football players of the former Rangers FC no longer need to pay UK tax but ordinary people do.
What sort of message does that send out?

View Comment

neepheidPosted on7:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:50
0 0 Rate This
I just thought.

If BDO seek repayment of these “loans” then the players will end up paying back all of the money, not the tax due on it.
==================
I don’t think that BDO will be in a position to ask for repayment. These loans were made by a trust, whose trustees won’t be answering the phone to BDO.

View Comment

Lord WobblyPosted on7:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Danish Pastry says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:53
0 0 Rate This
I’ve read over and over that we can trust the judiciary to make
the correct decisions. Makes you wonder though. Be ironic if all
the efforts to offload and phoenix Rangers turn out to have been for the avoidance of a mere paltry sum.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rangers knew that HMRC were chasing potential tax liability. If Rangers had made provision instead of spending on players, the club might not have died. They didn’t and it did. Rangers gambled and lost. No-one’s fault but their own.

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on7:04 pm - Nov 20, 2012


redetin says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:34
3 0 Rate This
tomtomaswell says:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 17:47

Still don’t understand how a loan can be subject to tax though.
__________________________________________________

Dinnae worry, HMRC understands it:-

17.1 A Director or employee obtains a benefit by reason of the employment when he or she, or anyof his or her relatives, is provided with a cheap or interest-free loan. The employee is generally
taxable on the difference between interest at the appropriate official rate and the interest, if any,
actually paid. Such loans are called beneficial loans.
————————————————————————————-

Maybe, but the key phrase that jumps out is “actually paid” i.e. none.

Bur running with the scenario where HMRC go after players who then turn round and say ‘these were contractual earnings and I have the documents to prove it”, what is the mechanism for re-visiting the judgement? Presumably by going after the far smaller sum that may be due if these were characterised as beneficial loans they would be recognising the judgement? The response to said players may be “The court says no so cough up”. One might foresee the Establishment rallying around to see that any individuals pursued in this manner are seen OK by means, for a random example, of a Fighting Fund

View Comment

abcottPosted on7:09 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia) says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:34
0 0 Rate This
abcott says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:26

Who would be pursuing these players for payments?

——————————————————–

The liquidators should pursue it. It is money owed by employees to the old club and to its creditors

View Comment

creepylurkerPosted on7:12 pm - Nov 20, 2012


If the ‘its a loan’ viewpoint is upheld and they go after the players/boardmembers for the loans in full, where does the money go, the creditors pot or somewhere else?

View Comment

briggsbhoyPosted on7:19 pm - Nov 20, 2012


If didn’t need to show my earnings for mortgage purposes then I would instruct my company to pay me a pittance and tax me on that amount and give me a loan for the rest of my salary which I shall pay back on my death bed. Sounds like deal to me or should I say scam. I shall of course be skint on the day I die and have no possessions or money in the bank.

I could have sent my 13yr old in to argue that case and have come out with a win in favour of Hector, what is going on?

View Comment

Blindsummit63Posted on7:19 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I wonder if Mr Scarlet is Campbell Ogilvie?

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on7:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


abcott says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:09

thanks. It was a genuine question. Not sure how likely that is mind you. Nobody, right up to the judiciary seems to have the stomach to take the Establishment club on

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on7:21 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Rangers Tax-Case ‏@rangerstaxcase
@GordonWBell We will need to see a final amount due to RFC before declaring a winner or loser. Strangely does not state how much RFC do owe

So no exact figure after all this time? The extent of the cheating is in the figure owed by RFC.

View Comment

Bill1903Posted on7:23 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Bit gutted here that all the ‘everything will be ok nudge nudge wink wink,cough nuclear cough’ has turned out to be garbage. The cheats have gotten away with it it seems to me.

View Comment

MikeCPosted on7:24 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Re the FTT result – me thinks this has still some way to go!
Leaves many questions still to be answered, from what I have read it appears that when a loan was paid over to the individual, at that point it became taxable? I think.
Should have been reported on their P11D as a benefit.
Next few months should still be very interesting.
As for the possibility of RTC being sued by all and sundry ,lets hope that is the case since it will be interesting to hear the evidence in an open court.

View Comment

onceabhoyPosted on7:26 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Has the FTT tribunal been clever? Does this mean they can now chase ex employees who may pay rather than a dead club who can’t pay?

Also, does the mention of not registering side letters leave the Oldclub without a proverbial leg and the Newclub holding the licence fighting financial claims?

Will the ex employees with side letters use these as a defence if/when taken to court for payments?

It appears to me that if oldco board had weathered the storm or Craigy not been let down by his coaching team that Oldclub would not have been liquidated and the money men who stood by while the club died could have managed to cover whatever the final bill determination may be. What is a fraction of the whole???

View Comment

auldleithexilePosted on7:31 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Very sad to read some ridiculous comments re. ‘ Edinburgh secret societies ‘ above. It is simply indicative of the Glasgow bubble into which this blog has descended.

I was a follower of, and sometime contributer to, the original RTC. I felt able to comment as a former tax official over some twenty years. I was Customs & Excise, not Revenue, but know the mindset.

This ruling is of great interest to tax saddoes like me. I am not that surprised given the recent issues with Amazon, Starbucks et al. Will the government go after them any time soon ?

RTC was correct to go after this. It stank. Would the establishment follow up ? Well someone tried. They lost. I took on a major distiller back in the day. I was right, they hired a QC, end of story for my seniors.

There will be no appeal. RTC was good while it lasted. He/she had a well informed punt as to the disgusting manipulation of the system conducted at Ibrox. It was the system however and they have got away with it. End of.

If I may close with a critique of TSFM ? You are a parody of a monitor. I have spent an hour going through recent comments. You are a ‘ bash rangers’ forum with a touch of ‘ honestly-we-are-not-Celtic-minded-and-support-all-of-Scottish-football-really ‘.

Good luck to you all. I feel sorry for RTC. At least he/she tried in an intelligent manner.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on7:36 pm - Nov 20, 2012


MikeC says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:24


As for the possibility of RTC being sued by all and sundry ,lets hope that is the case since it will be interesting to hear the evidence in an open court
======================================

Would be interesting, but don’t expect it will happen.

But after such a significant judgement, why did Murray bother – at this stage – to insert the final sentence;

“…We have instructed our lawyers to retrospectively review online and printed publications relating to the case to identify whether legal redress is either appropriate or necessary.”

Is this just a continuation of TRFC lawyers ‘chat’ with Paul McC, and the veiled threats from the man with the wee white bricks that TRFC will now be ‘fighting back’ ?

Jack and his lackeys have to try and assert some control/threat over the Internet Bampots, to allow his PR campaign in the MSM to succeed IMO.

The theme might be : TRFC has been ‘victimised’, and should be returned to the top flight ASAP.
Any talk of title stripping would be further proof of this victimisation and it must stop now, etc…

They might have won the battle, but not the war…

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on7:37 pm - Nov 20, 2012


neepheid says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:00

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

It seems they are effectively loans from Rangers and the players owe them the money back. Well that’s my reading of it.

The players are debtors to Rangers, and Craig Whyt bought rangers for £1, that included their debts. So those are assets of the liquidated club.

So BDO would be contacting the players to get that money paid.

View Comment

Night TerrorPosted on7:38 pm - Nov 20, 2012


My my.

Who here feel like they are wearing egg on their face?

I must confess I do a bit.

Crucial to see how much is owed to HMRC and by who.

View Comment

readceltPosted on7:40 pm - Nov 20, 2012


66. Mr Magenta spoke to documentation setting out the “benefits” payable to
players. There was a distinction, he insisted in cross-examination, between
contractual payments and payments into trust. He spoke to a series of documents
recording these. He insisted that there was no obligation on Rangers to report trust
30 payments to the SFA and in cross-examination maintained that notwithstanding
Rule 4 of the SFA regulations a trust payment need not be disclosed to them. Only
payments from the footballer’s Club qua employer needed to be registered, he
insisted.

————————————————————
Wow. Mr Magenta sounds like a great administrator.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on7:41 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Evidence detailed and judgement given by the two gents in 59 pages.
90 pages of rebutall by Ms Poon

Methinks this may be where the case turned

230. During his closing submissions we invited Mr Thomson to give us a
considered reply as to whether or not HMRC would regard the loans as debts on an
employee’s estate in the event of death. He replied (two days later) to the effect that
HMRC preferred not to commit itself. We would have expected such a claim of
indebtedness to be vigorously disputed.

Appeal likely?
Cant see any money coming back from the recipients as outwith reach now.

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on7:43 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Oh and this should not be ignored

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

Footballers: guaranteed bonuses

210. Finally, Mr Thornhill noted five cases where peculiarly trust payments were made in respect of guaranteed bonuses. These relate to Messrs Selby, Inverness, Doncaster, Barrow, and Furness, as confirmed by his instructing solicitor’s letter of 29 September 2011. The Appellants concede that in these cases there is a sufficient nexus with a contractual right to create a tax liability (paras 19 and 20 of Supplementary Skeletal Argument of 4 November 2011).

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

Wonder if the SFA / SPL were informed of those 5, and if not how often they played.

View Comment

ekt1mPosted on7:52 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag at 19:37. They are loans from the trustees, It is no longer RFC(il)s money, Repayments can only be to the Trust. IMO. Would it be legal for the trustees to declare that the loans do not need to be repaid, or can they insist that the loans only be repaid on the death of the recipient?

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on7:57 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:43
0 0 Rate This
Oh and this should not be ignored

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

Footballers: guaranteed bonuses

210. Finally, Mr Thornhill FIVE CASES WHERE PECULIARLY TRUST PAYMENTS were made in respect of guaranteed bonuses. These relate to Messrs Selby, Inverness, Doncaster, Barrow, and Furness, as confirmed by his instructing solicitor’s letter of 29 September 2011. The Appellants concede that in these cases there is a sufficient nexus with a contractual right to create a tax liability (paras 19 and 20 of Supplementary Skeletal Argument of 4 November 2011).

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

And this is crux of it all. This is where all payments come into question, why would anyone believe that they only used dodgy payments in the cases where the paperwork wasn’t shredded? RTC and many other legal minds were clear that if a few cases of dodgy payments were made, IT HAD TO be assumed that other payments were. I’m unsure of the exact wording, but I think it meant that a precedent was set by those administering the payments.

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on7:58 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I fear the judges (the two of them at least) have unleashed the gates to hell.

There shrill cries of persecution will pierce our ears as the hordes demand everything from immediately reinstating The Rangers to the SPL to stripping Celtic of last season’s title on the basis of the biggest miscarriage of justice since some nazarene was nailed to a cross, and probably worse than that.

The genie is out of the bottle.

Any appeal from HMRC will be hate-filled anti-Rangers victimisation

Highlighting pertinent parts of the judgement a-la Agrajag @18:40 will be obssessed bigoted Rangers-haters going through it with a fine tooth comb to justify their hatred.

Already the interweb is drowning in a tsunami of delusional righteous indignation from sevconians who have just had 18 months of paranoia, denial, whataboutery and claims of victimisation validated by two of three judges, despite what the detail says.

Whatever transpires from here, the sevconians will always return to this judgement to justify their walter mitty interpretation of their club’s existence – 54 and counting, already they are saying they were never liquidated and should be “reinstated”.

This is going to get messy. This judgement almost makes the SFA and Doncaster look competent. Almost

View Comment

layman00Posted on7:59 pm - Nov 20, 2012


One thing i have to ask what was all the secret nuclear chat in the past? Contributors to RTC blog and TSFM have hinted at something bigger or ‘nuclear’ lurking under the surface that could not yet be disclosed. Forgive me for getting the feeling now that this was all wishful thinking but I hope someone can say different and reverse the disappointment of anti-climax.

What I can’t understand is we had Billy Dodds discussing his payment through EBT live on BBC radio saying it was wages owed and at no point he was told it was a loan to be repaid. I would’ve thought this would have been the majority of players take on the monies they received. So why today are we being told that Rangers have won their FTT appeal??

View Comment

Geordie BhoyPosted on8:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:40

Section xx: If insurance values of players were partially calculated on the basis of unrepayable loans, how can they not be contractual? The FTTT finding stinks to high heaven.

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

blindsummit63 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:19

“I wonder if Mr Scarlet is Campbell Ogilvie?” This is going to be the new parlour game, matching pseudonyms to real people. Will SDM sue if his name is mentioned after demanding anonymisation?!

View Comment

Night TerrorPosted on8:01 pm - Nov 20, 2012


ianagain says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:41

Evidence detailed and judgement given by the two gents in 59 pages.
90 pages of rebutall by Ms Poon

Methinks this may be where the case turned

230. During his closing submissions we invited Mr Thomson to give us a
considered reply as to whether or not HMRC would regard the loans as debts on an
employee’s estate in the event of death. He replied (two days later) to the effect that
HMRC preferred not to commit itself. We would have expected such a claim of
indebtedness to be vigorously disputed.

Appeal likely?
Cant see any money coming back from the recipients as outwith reach now.

I agree with you on this, ianagain.

Why wouldn’t HMRC view the EBT loans as not being repayable, ie that they are emoluments?

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on8:04 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Lord Wobbly says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:38
24 1 Rate This
Rangers Supporters @rangersfctrust 5m
@CatrionaShearer We are still Rangers Football Club est 1872.
As designated by SFA, SFL, SPL and many others. Club not
liquidated.

………………………………………………………………………..

And which one of the Rangers would he be a supporter of if that was true!?

View Comment

iamacantPosted on8:10 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I’ll join the parlour game. Is Mr Evesham “der goalie”?

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on8:13 pm - Nov 20, 2012


@NewsnightScot: Rangers win the big tax case – we’ll discuss the implications for Scottish football & the tax system. BBC2 at 11pm

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on8:44 pm - Nov 20, 2012


bill1903 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 19:23

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

By dying!

That’s an interesting view.

View Comment

Ian58Posted on8:48 pm - Nov 20, 2012


There are many aspects of this ruling that I will await wiser counsel on but there is one thing that I wouldn’t mind an explanation of just now, if possible.

On the subject of BDO and/or HMRC getting money back for the loans given out through the EBT. How does that work in practice?

On the surface it seems too removed from oldco to me.

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on8:56 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Kilgore Trout says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 20:48

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

It’s olco which is being liquidated.

Therefore if anyone owes money to oldco (a debtor) the liquidator will try to get that money. The ruling seems to acknowledge the “loans” as outstanding debts rather than payments to the players.

BDO will try to collect those debts and put the proceeds in the creditor’s pot.

That’s my understanding.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on8:58 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Kilgore Trout says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 20:48
1 0 Rate This
There are many aspects of this ruling that I will await wiser counsel on but there is one thing that I wouldn’t mind an explanation of just now, if possible.

On the subject of BDO and/or HMRC getting money back for the loans given out through the EBT. How does that work in practice?

On the surface it seems too removed from oldco to me.
===================
The only people who can get these loans back are the trustees of the EBT. They won’t be asking any time soon. BDO and HMRC can go whistle. HMRC can tax the players on the benefit they received. That’s just on notional interest, not on the loan itself. BDO have no claim. In my opinion.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on9:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I could have sent my 13yr old in to argue that case and have come out with a win in favour of Hector, what is going on?

………………………………………………………………

Well God forbid Rangers take responsibility for their actions.

View Comment

Ian58Posted on9:03 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag/neepheid.

Thanks.

That’s the bit that’s puzzling me.
From oldco to trustees to loan recipient.
I don’t quite get how BDO can go straight to the loanee.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on9:03 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Oh, look who’s popped up again to add his tuppence-worth ;

“…Speaking to STV, Alastair Johnston said that the “whole concept of Rangers being stripped of titles should go away — and go away quickly…”

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/201754-alastair-johnston-says-tax-ruling-means-rangers-must-keep-titles/

So will Jack have Souness, McLeish, Gaza, Laudrup, Peat, Smith etc. queued up to repeat the mantra in the MSM ?

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on9:07 pm - Nov 20, 2012


neepheid says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 20:58

The ruling, in my views, sees the players as being debtors to the club which is being liquidated. If that is correct then it is very much a concern for BDO

View Comment

campsiejoePosted on9:17 pm - Nov 20, 2012


StevieBC @ 21:03

Trying to muddy the waters by, I would think, saying the FTT equates to dual contracts investigation

If the idiot had read the document before opening his mouth and letting his belly rumble, he would have noticed that part of the judgement actually hangs RFC(IL) out to dry on this
It confirms that side letters were deliberately withheld from the football authorities

Now Sevco and all of the other apologists, get out of that one

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on9:24 pm - Nov 20, 2012


campsiejoe says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:17

StevieBC @ 21:03

Trying to muddy the waters by, I would think, saying the FTT equates to dual contracts investigation

If the idiot had read the document before opening his mouth and letting his belly rumble, he would have noticed that part of the judgement actually hangs RFC(IL) out to dry on this
It confirms that side letters were deliberately withheld from the football authorities

Now Sevco and all of the other apologists, get out of that one
================================================

Can’t help thinking that TRFC and assorted cheerleaders will go “all in” to shout down / intimidate / threaten all and sundry that the dual contracts investigation should now be dropped – regardless of the FTT detail.

If they can wriggle out of the dual contracts investigation then they have won – and the Scottish game’s a bogey ! ;(

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:27 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:07
0 0 Rate This
neepheid says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 20:58

The ruling, in my views, sees the players as being debtors to the club which is being liquidated. If that is correct then it is very much a concern for BDO
=======
Money was given to the trust by the club (or MIH, makes no difference). The EBT then “loaned” that money to the players and others.

The club (represented now by BDO) can’t claim the money back from the trust, they have no grounds to do so. That is the whole point of a trust. The trustees could, in theory, claim these “loans” back from the players, but they won’t. That, of course, is why the whole thing is a scam.

View Comment

finchleyflyerPosted on9:38 pm - Nov 20, 2012


It’s seems clear now that Smith and Souness have put their heads above the parapet because they knew the outcome in advance, as I always suspected.

As the monies are loaned by the trustees of the EBT, and not oldco, BDO wil not be able to touch them.

By any standards, it’s a win/win for oldco and their support, much as it pains me to admit. Many of the posts on this blog and RTC have been guilty of wishful thinking and listening to what was clearly uninformed gossip.

Make no mistake, Sevco and the MSM will revel in this; to my mind, it’s a game changer, and couldn’t have come at a better time for the share offering. Like it or not, newco will thrive on this.

Who said life was fair?

View Comment

Long Time LurkerPosted on9:40 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Quick poll if you are so inclined: thumbs up if you think HMRC will appeal – thumbs down if not.

View Comment

arabest1Posted on9:45 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Trust………….what an abuse of language!

View Comment

tic6709Posted on9:58 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I dont think Rangers (dead) have won anything,the amount they would have paid may be less but it was still a judgement that went against them.
The panel more or less called the directors liars,and accused Red of trying to get others to lie.
As campsie said above they would not disclose documents when asked,if it was not for HMRC going into Mordor looking for proof of double dealing (Baumsong ?)with Newcastle they would never have found or been given the side letters.So no worries there.
Titles will be stripped,of this i am positive.There is a very fine line here,on one side you have dead rats,on the other side live rats.
The decisions made in the next few weeks will determine the fate of Scottish Football,it truly is a pity the people who will make those decisions are as corrupt as the corpse of Rangers.

View Comment

Blindsummit63Posted on10:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Oh, look who’s popped up again to add his tuppence-worth ;

“…Speaking to STV, Alastair Johnston said that the “whole concept of Rangers being stripped of titles should go away — and go away quickly…”

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/201754-alastair-johnston-says-tax-ruling-means-rangers-must-keep-titles/

So will Jack have Souness, McLeish, Gaza, Laudrup, Peat, Smith etc. queued up to repeat the mantra in the MSM ?
__________________________________________________
I wonder how much Johnston’s talk of points of the compass and spheres and all the guff had to do with this decision??

View Comment

TommyBPosted on10:00 pm - Nov 20, 2012


What is it that they have won, I don’t see it myself. I’m reminded of Alanis Morrisette,”” Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think ? “.

View Comment

OldcobrokemyheartbycheatingPosted on10:01 pm - Nov 20, 2012


A give up man. When is tax no tax lol This country with energy prices, fuel prices etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.What a joke this country/little empire is done.

View Comment

Leave a Reply