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

tomtomPosted on9:37 am - Nov 22, 2012


ja606 says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 08:57

I would suggest that RTC has went dark because he/she has no credibility left
====================================

Did RTC ever state as fact anything that wasn’t true?

Did RTC not always say that, despite the overwhelming evidence, the judgement might go in RFC’s favour?

Im my opinion RTC’s credibility is even stronger today. The facts that have been disclosed in this case show a tax avoidance scheme that was conducted on an industrial scale. That two people managed to plot their way through the evidence and manage to come to the conclusions they did says more about our society and the way it operates than anything else. It is very easy to make the crime fit the evidence.

RFC didn’t “win” the tax case. They just didn’t lose by as much as they could have. Perhaps the media should be reminding people of this.

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TaysiderPosted on9:41 am - Nov 22, 2012


monsieurbunny says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 09:24

“So (and again the more expert will no doubt correct me, in fact please do if I’ve gone wrong here) surely this must mean that they “won” a lot of these cases because the evidence was hidden or destroyed by people at MIH or Ibrox? And if that’s correct I’d say that just as we can look at a legal case and see for instance a guy got off because witnesses myseriously didn’t turn up and we are entitled to draw our own conclusions, we can look at all this lost evidence and wonder how many cases MIH/Rangers would have “won” if it had been available.”

If you are talking rubbish then I’ve been thinking it as I’m wondering about exactly the same point. Is it the case that after years of obstruction a police raid reveals side letters in files they seized but no such letters appear in files provided, in which case what reasonable inference surely can be drawn from that? As someone queried earlier, isn’t there a case for Mr Red to answer under the terms of S.50 TMA 1970?

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dedeideoprofundisPosted on9:43 am - Nov 22, 2012


fanclubcharity says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 23:59

Is it not slightly ironic that the party who has evidently done the most shredding in the whole Rangers episode is none other than RTC himself
——–
What?……………………What?

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SmugasPosted on9:43 am - Nov 22, 2012


Yup, well done to Tom English as well. Ultimately its the delay wot done for them, nothing else. Mr Red deserves to be outed as the clear mastermind behind the scheme and the strategy of how they played the BTC. How badly does the “fantasies” quote read for him? To be clear the use of the word mastermind should immediately preclude anyone with the initials O or C, except in a case of bizarre and unfortunate coincidence I believe.

Meanwhile on a completely unrelated topic does Mr Warhols soup label not seem to be going a drab shade of purple recently?

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thebasharmilestegPosted on9:45 am - Nov 22, 2012


neepheid says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 09:12
0 0 i Rate This

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20439036

Guess who is rewriting history now? The wit and wisdom of Craig Whyte- only for those with strong stomachs.
———–

You just long for a journalist to ask a pertinent question.

“So Mr Whyte, you claim you could have done a deal with the taxman when you took the club over. Just how would you have funded that given you had to borrow £24m from Ticketus just to pay off the bank debt?”

“So Mr Johnston, you claim you could have done a deal with the taxman years ago. If so, why didn’t you instead of spending the money on new players?”

BTW well done Tom English, probabaly the only balanced article on the result in sthe Scottish MSM. you just about get forgiven for describing us as nasty.

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coineanachantaighePosted on10:15 am - Nov 22, 2012


ja606 says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 08:57
7 68 i
Rate This
I would suggest that RTC has went dark because he/she has no credibility left
——————————————–
Our wee troll is back.

You get no traction here because we only pay attention to stuff backed by evidence/good armument.

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bect67Posted on10:25 am - Nov 22, 2012


I think us bampots , for the time being at least, just have to accept that the MSM propaganda machine is in the ‘driving seat’.

They have already gone into ‘overdrive’ and have trotted out a successsion of the usual suspects (Johnston, Blue Knight Murray, Whyte (a real irony!), Goram (nuff said), RST …) to prove how RFC (in liquidation) was ‘done wrong’ by HMRC.

No sense of dignified relief (which ordinary mortals would feel in a comparable situation), at what was but a majority verdict; no acceptance of blame or wrongdoing – just a continuation of the entrenched supremacist attitude from a bloodthirsty pack out for its ‘pound of flesh’ from the authorities.

So, its about ‘keeping the faith’, as there is still a ways to run on this with many recriminations and much mud slinging.

HMRC will, I feel, appeal, whilst the SPL and the SFA are now on a survival course as this ‘conflict’ escalates.

Tom English is excused from criticism for his article today.

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coineanachantaighePosted on10:26 am - Nov 22, 2012


Ooops, that’s “good arguement”. Although some of my stuff might be armument.

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stmileyPosted on10:29 am - Nov 22, 2012


The liability for the BTC was £75M before the result came in.

MIH admitted liability for 30% of the sub-trusts, this is roughly £22.5M. – (I know sub-trusts varied from £50k to several £M’s, it’s an estimate!)

RTC predicted in recent weeks the liability would be £18M – you could say he was on the money then!

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obonfanti88 (@obonfanti88)Posted on10:38 am - Nov 22, 2012


Funny how all the ex-RFC directors and fan groups are desperately trying to derail the SPL investigation. After all the FTT judgement seems pretty damning when it comes to the issue of dual contracts and they all know they are guilty as sin.

Whether the SPL has the balls to do what’s right is debatable. I fully expect them to cave in and hide behind the FTT judgement. I would expect nothing less from Doncaster.

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tomtomPosted on10:41 am - Nov 22, 2012


monsieurbunny says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:26

Ooops, that’s “good arguement”. Although some of my stuff might be armument.
————————–

argument. Sorry 😀

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jimlarkinPosted on10:42 am - Nov 22, 2012


monsieurbunny says:

Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 09:24

25

2

Thank You

beatipacificiscotia says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 23:00
———————-

FTT isn’t a trial: it decides whether or not they are due to pay tax HMRC claims they should. There were apparently c. 90 cases. They admitted they should in 30 cases, contested the rest and lost in 5 cases (I think that’s accurate but I know I will be corrected here if not).

They “won” in the sense they won’t have to pay tax in about 2/3rds of the cases. But there was no guilty/not guilty verdict. You could say (in a sense) they were found guilty in 1/3rds of cases but that wouldn’t be correct in a strictly legal sense though I think it is in an every day use of the word sense.

Rangers didn’t win – they are being liquidated. Their trubute club is in a bad way. But Murray to an extent has won (his business is still a mess) as have a few guys connected with him and Rangers who might have been pursued further over this if the case had gone the other way.

However regarding guilt – OK in the everyday sense – didn’t this FTT report state strongly that evidence was hidden, disappeared – in fact the only side letters they could get apprently the ones collected in a raid on Ibrox (assumption here but how else do you interpret “However, in files seized unexpectedly from the Club side-letters were present.”

So (and again the more expert will no doubt correct me, in fact please do if I’ve gone wrong here) surely this must mean that they “won” a lot of these cases because the evidence was hidden or destroyed by people at MIH or Ibrox? And if that’s correct I’d say that just as we can look at a legal case and see for instance a guy got off because witnesses myseriously didn’t turn up and we are entitled to draw our own conclusions, we can look at all this lost evidence and wonder how many cases MIH/Rangers would have “won” if it had been available.

Or am I talking rubbish here??
==================================================================

bunney

you are talking rubbish here = SHREDDED RUBBISH !?

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wottpiPosted on10:46 am - Nov 22, 2012


Nobody seems to be sure of the ‘quantum’ of the tax due on the conceeded cases and those limited cases mentioned in the decision.
Am I right is saying the figures will have to be published somewhere at some point?

Presumably we should be able to see thenm in future BDO reports to creditors?

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beatipacificiscotiaPosted on10:48 am - Nov 22, 2012


I’m still seeing figure flying around with nothing to substantiate them. £18-22.5M liability, plus penalties – this is highly significant. Much as I would like to believe it, I won’t until I see something more than whisper and rumour.

It looks on the face of it that Rangers have been found guilty in 5 cases, no more.

Guilty is still guilty though.

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jimlarkinPosted on10:49 am - Nov 22, 2012


btw – as certain documents were hidde/concealed and various witnesses were aleegedly being evasive and less than helpfull

should this be an issue that the SFA and UEFA should be investigating as a seperate issue from the rest of the issues.

shirley this in itself brings the game into disrepute !?

thumbs up for YES
thumbs down for NO

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caolisPosted on10:50 am - Nov 22, 2012


MIH admitted liability for 30% of the sub-trusts, this is roughly £22.5M. – (I know sub-trusts varied from £50k to several £M’s, it’s an estimate!)

WHAT??????

Can I see evidence for that?

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Night TerrorPosted on11:04 am - Nov 22, 2012


If I were in the market for a corporate tax accountant with a history of minimising tax liabilities, especially on PAYE and NI, could you recommend anyone?

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goosyPosted on11:08 am - Nov 22, 2012


Well
I can only speak for myself
But after 3 days of reading about the FTT result I`m getting bored with it
The FTT isn`t half as interesting as the rest of the saga even if it was the starting point
The 3 Dec Creditors Mtg is much more interesting
If Ticketus don`t register themselves as a Creditor then their £40m ST contract must be alive and well and ready to bite Sevco
Particularly since Octopus did not write off the Ticketus contract in their June 2012 annual accounts

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TaysiderPosted on11:09 am - Nov 22, 2012


Apologies in advance for the length of this, but there is something about this FTT decision which to me looks unusual.

The length of the decision itself is striking at 145 pages. But what also catches the eye is that the majority decision comes to an end at page 59! The dissenting decision begins on page 60 and ends at page 145, that is 85 pages compared with only 59 for the original decision. How does that compare with your typical FTT decision?

Dr Poon’s dissenting opinion is so long because she not only has a different interpretation of how the legislation applies to the facts, she also cannot subscribe to the conclusion reached by the majority
that: (page 60)

‘we are unable to make further Findings-in-Fact in support of there being an orchestrated scheme extending to the payment of wages or salary absolutely and unreservedly to the employees involved’

A critical role of the FTT is the findings of fact that support their decision. If their decision is appealed to the Upper Tribunal, that body’s role is essentially to decide whether the FTT decision was wrong in law. They are not a fact finding body and the facts they will rely on in determining whether the FTT decision was wrong will be those found in the FTT decision.

Here is what Dr Poon says, bottom of Page 60:

“A body of evidence that is not narrated in the majority Decision, which seeks to give a judgment in principle on the efficacy of the trust arrangements as a tax avoidance scheme, is of critical relevance in forming my view of the transactions in their real terms. On the whole, in my quest ‘to find the realities of the arrangements that were agreed’ [Lord Morris], I place more reliance than my colleagues do, on the
documentary evidence. As regards the oral evidence, so far as the corporate witnesses and the trustee representative of the Appellants are concerned, their Witness Statements convey to me an element of choreography, perhaps due to the active involvement of counsel in their preparation. More specifically, I have reservations about the credibility of certain witnesses, namely, Mr Red, Mrs Crimson and Mr Scarlet. The oral evidence has already been narrated in the majority Decision, and the Respondents’ major concern is noted (para 152 MD) regarding ‘the English practice (followed here) of Counsel drafting the initial form of Witness Statements’. In making my extra findings-in-fact, I have accorded greater coverage therefore to the admitted documentary evidence as providing a more realistic record of the nature of the transactions. Obliterated in some instances and by no means complete, nonetheless the documentary evidence that spans over a decade provides a
contemporary record of the transactions as they happened at the time, and affords an
account of the true intention and role of the participants in the scheme.”

To summarise, she placed greater weight on the documentary evidence over 10 years than the witness statements for the reasons she gave.

Key issues to me are:

1) How unusual is it for a dissenting opinion to not only give reasons for dissenting in terms of interpretation of law but also interpretation of fact and at such length, 62 pages of fact (pages 60 – 122) compared with 40 pages (pages 4-43) for the majority opinion?

2) Why did Mure and Rae decide they could not make further findings of fact on the evidence that Dr Poon refers to between pages 60 and 122?

3) In any hearing at the Upper Tribunal, is it open them to consider both the evidence supporting the majority decision AND the evidence supporting the minority decision?

4) The evidence supporting the minority decision would for sure not be available to an upper tribunal and the public without the dissenting opinion, that is all the evidence between pages 60 and 122 where Dr Poon found documentary evidence that supported her findings as to the “realities of the arrangements that were agreed.”

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on11:18 am - Nov 22, 2012


stmiley says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:29

The liability for the BTC was £75M before the result came in.

MIH admitted liability for 30% of the sub-trusts, this is roughly £22.5M. – (I know sub-trusts varied from £50k to several £M’s, it’s an estimate!)

RTC predicted in recent weeks the liability would be £18M – you could say he was on the money then!
======================================================
Morning all.
Fag packet time again(I’m developing a bad cough here and I don’t even smoke 😆 )

Taking an average of the 2 figures above tax due could be £20m.
Add,
1.CWs unpaid Paye/Nic…………£14m
2.Debenture holders…………….£ 7m
3.WTC………………………………..£4m
4.Creditors on D&P report……..£55m.

That’s a total Debt still outstanding of circa £100m.

A win’s still a win though,eh!

Now with BRTHs post basically saying(I think) that we have a case of a Third party,paying a Third party to pass on employment remuneration,a fact admitted by RFC lawyers,then how can the SPL inquiry reach anything other than a guilty verdict,the punishments for which could and should be draconian.

A win’s still a win though :mrgreen: .

P.S.
BRTH,were you sitting at table 19 at the race night?.If so I was behind you at Table 20.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on11:28 am - Nov 22, 2012


Taysider says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:09
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
Taysider,
To summarise your post,
The lady decided to go with the facts as she was not convinced of the veracity of the evidence given by “Red,Scarlet & Crimson!.
She goes as far as to say that,in her opinion,they were in cahoots.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on11:34 am - Nov 22, 2012


I firmly believe that should either Mark Daly or Alex Thomson (or any other interested party) get the nod they will tear these findings apart. This is not finished by a long shot. This is no longer about a football team that avoided paying the correct rate of tax. This judgement goes right to the heart of our judicial processes. It needs to be exposed for what it is.

“there can be no whitewash at the big hoose”

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on11:36 am - Nov 22, 2012


Celtic Directory ‏@CeltsDirectory

Let’s be clear. Gers found n/guilty of SOME charges, guilty of others & admitted some others before trial! Tax bill will still be £10m+

2h Auldheid Auldheid ‏@Auldheid

@CeltsDirectory is that from ebts only or is the unpaid VAT under CW included?

28m Celtic Directory Celtic Directory ‏@CeltsDirectory

@Auldheid RFC pled guilty to several items on HMRC’s list, plus were found guilty on 5 other items. Taxes due, interest & penalties > £10m+

18m Auldheid Auldheid ‏@Auldheid

@CeltsDirectory Was core ebt bill back in 2008 not around £24m? Nothing changed then except its a mix of ebt and VAT:) Will penalties apply?
on the unpaid VAT/PAYE/NI which is serious

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on11:42 am - Nov 22, 2012


Phils latest:

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/a-case-of-very-bad-timing/

View Comment

thespecialswonPosted on11:47 am - Nov 22, 2012


We are all in danger of missing the main point here.

The Tax Case and the SPL enquiry were always capable of coming to different conclusions.

Had the majority decision been different, Rangers would STILL have claimed that they did not need to register these payments, as they were loans; taxable or otherwise.

Rangers have been found in certain cases, to have operated an illegal tax scheme, it’s also been confirmed that these payments, loans or otherwise, were contractual, in that they were guaranteed and were negotiated at the time of acquisition.

So, Rangers did not submit all the necessary information to the SFA, just as they did not provide all the information to the Panel. Why? Because had they done either it would have proved they were negligent in BOTH a footballing AND tax situation.

It was a deliberate cover-up; avoid teling the SFA, to prevent their being a paper-trail for HMRC.

The SFA rules are clear. But we’re now in the arena of semantics. Ralngers are not ‘innocent’ nor are they completely ‘guilty’, as far as HMRC are concerned.

But they DEFINITELY avoided tax AND failed to submit the correct paperwork to the SFA.

View Comment

auchinstarryPosted on11:48 am - Nov 22, 2012


My very humble and uneducated opinion is simple:: If HMRC appeal against this majority decision then the case against the old club continues. The Upper Tribunal will decide, and that decision will be Final.
The most important, fundamental fact remains, was this tax avoidance through a scheme which is at best legal, at worst illegal.?
The MSM now find themselves with a ball at their feet, and to coin a phrase, seem ready to “kick everybody who questioned the integrity of the Dead club while they are down.”
Ex players, ex Directors connected to old Rangers are now squealing the same message, that HMRC with the help of a few Bloggers mainly of the T&mmy variety are culpable.
Law suits have been threatened, and all the Creditors of old club have been forgotten. Why? Because quite simply the “We won” mentality has taken hold.

I personally have not heard a “Fat lady sing” yet.

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on11:49 am - Nov 22, 2012


Guess who is not taking the blame!

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11781/8270544/Former-Rangers-owner-Sir-David-Murray-insists-club-is-destroyed-despite-tax-case

View Comment

Humble PiePosted on11:50 am - Nov 22, 2012


An Uneasy Truce

Over the last few days I got two unexpected surprises. The first was by way of the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the current Israeli Palestinian conflict and the other was the announcement of the long awaited yet still ambiguous ruling from the FTT (otherwise known as Rangers big tax case).

The first was a very welcome surprise particularly given the Israeli governments’ call up of 75,000 reservists and the public declaration of their intent to enter Gaza to ‘root out Hamas once and for all’. The potential for many more thousands of innocent civilians being killed or injured in this scenario is very real, and, in my humble opinion, it should be vigorously opposed by all right-minded persons.

You may not have read it in the MSM but the current crisis began on November 8th when an Israeli soldier in a helicopter gunned down a Palestinian teenager playing football on a PA funded pitch in Gaza, This provoked a predictable response. Palestinians shot at some Israeli soldiers, whereupon Israel gunned down two more children playing football (Israel later claimed that these football pitches provided cover for underground bomb-making factories). The following day they opened fire on one of these children’s funerals. It was only at that point the rockets began to fly. Then there was a ceasefire which Israel broke when they executed a Hamas’ commander, who was holding a draft of the treaty from Israel in his hands when he was blown to bits

A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty or as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces. Albeit a temporary and conditional truce, one would hope that this ceasefire brings about a swift end to the daily death and destruction being dished out on ‘the most densely populated city on earth’.

The second surprise, while altogether less important in the scheme of things, nevertheless came as a bit of a shock. The evidence that had been brought to light regarding Rangers’ decade-long, unethical use of tax avoidance measures in order to impose their presumed superiority on the Scottish game while simultaneously denying the public purse the funds required to provide the necessary services to all members of our society, seemed , to a layman’s eye, overwhelming. Yet it was announced in the early evening that Rangers had won the Big Tax Case.

Whilst initial reports suggested that MIH and RFC had been entirely vindicated of any wrongdoing by the tribunal, a more thorough reading of the ruling shows that, while the majority of EBT payments were deemed to be loans (therefore not subject to PAYE and NI), around 25% of these payments were considered a form of ‘disguised’ remuneration and therefore subject to some tax recouping. Further reading also pointed to wilful obstruction on the part of MIH and Rangers directors, agents and employees, as well as the surreptitious ‘passing of brown envelopes’ between various complicit parties.

The fact that a unanimous ‘verdict’ could not be reached in this complicated and convoluted case leaves the door open to an appeal by HMRC. While some would have you believe that the verdict effectively nullifies the SPL’s ‘dual contract’ investigation, the reality is that the text of the final report could instead provide evidence ‘for’ the prosecution with regard to undeclared third-party payments to players. The battle over the legalities of Rangers’ implementation of EBTs may be over but it may be no more than a temporary ceasefire in the ‘war’ to reclaim the moral high ground.

This is not meant to deny the Rangers’ fans their day in the sun. It would be puerile and disingenuous to suggest that this should not be treated as ‘good news’ for this much maligned decent supporters of the old Rangers. To be fair, they haven’t had much good news lately, however to suggest that they have ‘won’ anything at this point would be grossly misleading. The fact is Rangers lost, Rangers fans lost, Rangers’ many creditors lost, HMRC lost, the SFA lost, the SPL, the mainstream media lost, we all lost, each and every one of us.

Rangers FC PLC didn’t win – they are in the process of being liquidated and they are still being investigated by the SPL appointed independent commission for failing to properly register players payments.

The Rangers FC Ltd didn’t win – as Mr Green is always at pains to stress – it was never anything to do with them anyway.

Rangers fans didn’t win – they have been royally shafted by the guardians of their once-proud institution and have had to suffer the ignominy of having to form a brand new club and start again in the lowest tier of Scottish football. The loss of titles won but deemed to have been unfairly awarded could still be on the cards and they may yet be shafted again by the current corporation at the helm of ‘The Rangers’.

The creditors didn’t win – this is the story that was never really told by our Scottish media, who investigated the impact of the loss of hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of pounds on the lives and families of the small businesses who didn’t receive their expected payments from Ibrox? How many jobs lost, holidays not taken, presents not bought?
HMRC didn’t win – whether this was a ‘test case’ or just due process, they must have spent untold millions of pounds pursuing this case and this precedent set by our learned friends implies that ‘income tax is only obligatory if you can’t afford a good lawyer’. Many wealthy football club owners south of the border will no doubt rest easier in their beds tonight.

The SFA and SPL didn’t win – both of these bodies have lost all credibility during this fiasco and are now viewed, across the board, as dysfunctional, unscrupulous, inherently ‘conflicted’ and wholly inept institutions. The game in this country is in a shambolic state, both administratively and financially. Talk of coming Armageddon in the midst of TV contract negotiations was reckless and unforgivable and has likely deprived the game of much needed revenue. Worst of all their inability to apply their rules ‘without fear or favour’ leaves them open to accusations of ‘bias’ by fans of all clubs.

The mainstream media didn’t win – notwithstanding the sterling work carried out by the likes of Mark Daly and Alex Thompson, many of the scoops and most of the investigative reporting on this saga was undertaken by the new media (chapeaux RTC, TSFM, PMG etc al). Much of which was picked up and re-spun to suit their corporate agenda. All we got from Jabba and his ilk throughout was lies, half-truths and innuendo, polarising the debate and fermenting suspicion and mistrust between supporters, talking down the game and deriding the very notion of ‘sporting integrity’. No doubt they will claim to have won but I can assure you that they will have ‘claimed’ victory no matter what the outcome of the case.

The truth is, we all lost – no matter how you cut it, tens of millions of pounds has been lost from the public purse over the last decade. In a time of austerity and loss of public services, this money would have been better spent feeding, clothing, educating and protecting our citizens rather than lining the pockets of already over-paid and unworthy individuals.

So who really won here ?

I’ll tell you who won- greedy corporate interests, morally bankrupt men who think nothing of putting people out of work or business in order to make a fast buck. Powerful individuals who have brought disgrace, shame and ruin, not only on Rangers, but on Scottish football as a whole. They don’t care about us, the fans, our families, our wellbeing and they certainly don’t care about children playing football three thousand miles away. People who care more about Gazza’s strip than the Gaza strip.

Yet the compliant Scottish mainstream media falsely proclaim ‘Rangers Win Big Tax Case’

In the coming weeks, I expect more sycophantic puff-pieces around Messrs Murray, Bain, Johnson, Smith(s) et al, from the complicit media hacks telling us all how we were wrong while they were wronged. Poor souls !

As Malcolm X said “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on11:53 am - Nov 22, 2012


ja606 says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 08:57
8 111 Rate This
I would suggest that RTC has went dark because he/she has no credibility left.
————–

As more or less a neutral on here I’d say it was quite the opposite. Not everyone was eating jelly and ice cream. Some of us football fans were – and are still – interested in truth and justice in our sport. RTC, I believe, only expected a more damning judgement than that which has fallen. Any lack of credibility shown throughout this has been on the side of the club now in liquidation. The two final owners and board members of Glasgow Rangers don’t exactly come out of this smelling of roses. Neither do those who will get a tax bilI. I would not be celebrating if my club, via a technicality, partially got away with what some have described as cheating both the taxman and fellow clubs. In fact, far from being a menace to the former Rangers, I’d say that if Gers’ fans had taken note of the revelations on the RTC blog the club might still be in existence. But who knows, perhaps RTC’s revelations inadvertently helped those putting Rangers’ case across to the tax authorities? In the end, what does it say about people who threaten a whisteblower merely because he or she attempts to reveal the truth?

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SeniorPosted on12:01 pm - Nov 22, 2012


I think us bampots , for the time being at least, just have to accept that the MSM propaganda machine is in the ‘driving seat’.
___________________________________

In minds eye the average profile on here is of fairly mature? grizzled, hardbitted old dogs. That being the case patience should be second nature to us. When this sham outrage subsides let us return to the oars and continue our journey to the promise land (a clean and fair game for all in Scotland) This skirmish has been inconclusive, first reports has it that the favoured few had made a breakthrough but the up-to-date position sees this breakthrough as pyrrhic and the relentless march of the majority of fair-minded fans seem irrepressible.

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readceltPosted on12:14 pm - Nov 22, 2012


goosygoosy says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:08
10 0 i
Rate This
Well
I can only speak for myself
But after 3 days of reading about the FTT result I`m getting bored with it
The FTT isn`t half as interesting as the rest of the saga even if it was the starting point
The 3 Dec Creditors Mtg is much more interesting
If Ticketus don`t register themselves as a Creditor then their £40m ST contract must be alive and well and ready to bite Sevco
Particularly since Octopus did not write off the Ticketus contract in their June 2012 annual accounts

—————————–

Got to agree with the above, to an extent.

Would we not also find out how much HMRC are owed here as well?

Mon Dec 3rd I think for the news.

The only issue I have around HMRC and the EBT case is that it was and is being used to justify the legitimacy of not registering players correctly when it shouldnt really have a bearing.

View Comment

SeniorPosted on12:14 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Oh nearly forgot. An under-aged team are up in front of committee to defend their action that they played an illegal player. The committee are not as wholesome as might be expected.
Their decision is to take no action as the guilty team played only one illegal player.
The victims in this case then ask the committee how many illegal players are each team allowed.
The committee say in theory the club could play 11 such players!

View Comment

SmugasPosted on12:15 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Humble Pie,

Not to besmirch the palestinian israeli conflict in any way, but the gazza’s strip quote is pure genuis!

Excellent reporting of the final score. Or has it gone to extra time?

View Comment

expectinrainPosted on12:25 pm - Nov 22, 2012


After a bit of a wobble, it’s good to see the real meaning of the FTT findings starting to be set out here. In terms of the immediate implications, it seems there are two main points:

1. Of the totality of the payments made via EBTs, some were wrong from a tax point of view: a proportion admitted by the defendants before the FTT, and a proportion of the remainder found to be so by the FTT.

The majority opinion found it not proven that the entire scheme in toto was wrong from a tax point of view – based on an absence of the ‘smoking gun’ material found in those specific cases where they did make this finding, or where it was admitted beforehand. Given the lack of cooperation from the defendant, potentially designed to prevent such information coming out, the minority view was the opposite.

2. That same lack of cooperation resulted in the case being greatly prolonged from the first moment of HMRC investigation – and the defendant continued to expand the scheme throughout most of the period, creating greater potential liability and hence financial uncertainty all the time.

*

The second point has made it into the media coverage of the FTT (at least in Tom English’s piece); the first has, by and large, not. Indeed, the overwhelming presentation has been as a victory, or a finding of innocence, for the defendant. That presentation of innocence has even been extended in some cases to the separate issue of whether the arrangements were wrong from a football perspective.

As TSFM has rightly pointed out, this is not a site to attack Rangers, or to hope for the worst for them. Our common interest is – I hope – in seeing fair play in this case if possible, in the short term, and more importantly over the longer term in seeing that the lessons are learned and such changes as necessary put in place for the future. Specifically, this would have the aim of preventing, or at least minimising, the possibilities (i) of clubs being able to benefit in football terms from an un-level playing field in non-football terms; and (ii) of clubs being managed in such a way as to threaten their viability and so damage the fans who are the only reason clubs exist.

I would hope that over time, as happened (albeit only slowly) with the initial RTC revelations, the facts do come to dominate the media and popular understanding of events – so while the immediate coverage of the FTT findings have largely missed point 2 above, and completely missed point 1, these will gradually come to form part of the accepted narrative.

This is important both for the prospects of justice being done, and seen to be done in the current case; but also (and again more importantly) for the right lessons to be learned for the future.

This latter point raises a further set of questions, and two stand out – I’d really like to hear people’s thoughts on these:
* What type of financial disclosures are needed from clubs (or from companies that run clubs, if we think this is a valid distinction) to allow fans a better chance of seeing, and disciplining, inappropriate behaviour?
* What type of fan involvement in club/company ownership and leadership is needed?

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on12:33 pm - Nov 22, 2012


ja606 says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 08:57
10 140 Rate This
I would suggest that RTC has went dark because he/she has no credibility left.

………………………………………………………..

What, even though he was right about RFC being tax evading, law breaking, dual contract using cheats?
(Which they have ADMITTED to!)

View Comment

Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on12:53 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Right, try again

posted this last night and tried to post it again today, but seems to have disappeared

this is not directed at you personally monsieurbunny, just that yours is one of many posts alluding to this.

————————————
monsieurbunny says:

FTT isn’t a trial: it decides whether or not they are due to pay tax HMRC claims they should. There were apparently c. 90 cases. They admitted they should in 30 cases, contested the rest and lost in 5 cases (I think that’s accurate but I know I will be corrected here if not).

—————————————

can someone please confirm WHERE it is confirmed that they admitted liability and that the assessments were correct for the 30 cases?

I take it they were admitted/agreed before (or during) the FTTT and therefore there is no reference to them in the FTT output?

Or are they referred to EXPLICITLY in the FTT findings?

I find it amazing that if a third of the cases were admitted and given the lack of co-operation/document shredding that 2 out of the 3 judges can say it wasn’t an elaborate/abused ploy to avoid paying tax or to be able to pay more for these palyers.

Anyway, before we witter on about that

PLEASE CAN SOMEONE CONFIRM WHERE RFC ADMITTED LIABILITY TO 30 ASSESSMENTS/CASES

I thought we dealt in facts here?

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on12:55 pm - Nov 22, 2012


raycharlez says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 02:10
12 1 Rate This
http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/sfl-division-three/tom-english-if-only-murray-and-his-men-had-been-co-operative-from-day-one-1-2650192

……………………………………………………………..

Tom English pretending to be naive as usual.
If Murray had been co-operative from the beginning, he wouldn’t have had time to shred every piece of paper within a 5 mile radius of Ibrox,, and place Walter Smith, Ogilvie, Wiggy Smith and others where he needed them.
Plus Tom English could have made reference to the time at the start of the Tribunal where Murray was somewhat co-operative, the point where he accepted liability for Tax Evasion and using Dual Contracts.
Tom English surely understands, that if Murray was co-operative from the beginning, he would currently be slopping out in Bar-L with a few of his cronies as company.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on1:00 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Senior says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:01

let us return to the oars and continue our journey
———————————————————–

I’ve thrown away the oars and bought an outboard to get there quicker 🙂

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tomtomPosted on1:05 pm - Nov 22, 2012


ecobhoy says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:00

Senior says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:01

let us return to the oars and continue our journey
———————————————————–

I’ve thrown away the oars and bought an outboard to get there quicker

————————————

Now that’s not very eco friendly is it 😀

View Comment

Night TerrorPosted on1:09 pm - Nov 22, 2012


ordinaryfan says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:55

Tom English pretending to be naive as usual.
If Murray had been co-operative from the beginning, he wouldn’t have had time to shred every piece of paper within a 5 mile radius of Ibrox,, and place Walter Smith, Ogilvie, Wiggy Smith and others where he needed them.
Plus Tom English could have made reference to the time at the start of the Tribunal where Murray was somewhat co-operative, the point where he accepted liability for Tax Evasion and using Dual Contracts.
Tom English surely understands, that if Murray was co-operative from the beginning, he would currently be slopping out in Bar-L with a few of his cronies as company.

What are you talking about?

I find such wild conspiracy and speculation difficult to take. Any evidence at all?

View Comment

texaspedroPosted on1:13 pm - Nov 22, 2012


As an early reader of the RTC blog when it first started, the blog was at its best when the conversation moved away from the tax case and onto Craig Whyte and the goings on after he took over. That was genuinely interesting and eye opening, even for a Rangers fan. The blog excelled.

However, whilst bringing the tax case into the public light is commendable, you have to question the discussion and issuing of facts about the case. Rangers were (and still are) entitled to a fair hearing under the FTT (or UTT if it comes to that). It is always innocent until proven guilty not the other way round. And if I was one of the parties involved, I would not be happy at the issuing of private documents that could have affected the outcome. The fact that people can’t see this worries me, particularly people that claim to be on the moral high ground.

As for the decision – I get that people on here who have followed the case from day one on RTC have invested a lot of time in it, and it wasn’t what they hoped for. But the reality is, the case put forward by Thornhill was good enough to sway 2/3 of the judges. There has been and no doubt will continue to be accusations aimed at the judges – however, when the QC representing HMRC admits the loans are not sham loans, and will not put down what the view of HMRC on if the receipent of said loan dies, they made it extremely difficult for themselfs to win.

People can clutch onto the minority opinion all they want – no doubt if it had been the other way other people would have done the same – but it doesn’t change the decision.

Also, the mythical figures put forward to what might be owed are desperate – nobody knows, until it is issued, so people should stop embarrasing themselfs with their hopes, although what difference it makes is anyone’s guess.

As for the stripping of titles – well, people can continue to cling onto that, and it may well happen. It will be interesting to see how it pans out, I am sure you will all discuss it to death.

This is my last and only post on here – I felt the need to express a different view from the one’s continually regurgiated. Take it at face value – I know it may will be ripped to shreds, some with valid points potentially, some with just nonsence, and maybe it will just be ignored ! It is certainly not a wind up. Morally, I don’t agree with agressive tax avoidance schemes – yet, I still buy from Amazon, have a vodafone contract, and use google – and yes, support Rangers. I accept that until HMRC get their act together it’s these companies rights exploit them to make as much money as possible. Morally wrong, yes – illegal & law breaking, No.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:13 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Not The Huddle Malcontent says: Or are they referred to EXPLICITLY in the FTT findings?

I find it amazing that if a third of the cases were admitted and given the lack of co-operation/document shredding that 2 out of the 3 judges can say it wasn’t an elaborate/abused ploy to avoid paying tax or to be able to pay more for these palyers.

Anyway, before we witter on about that

PLEASE CAN SOMEONE CONFIRM WHERE RFC ADMITTED LIABILITY TO 30 ASSESSMENTS/CASES

I thought we dealt in facts here?

…………………………………………………….

Good point, we need it in black and white, I have mentioned it several times because I read it in RTC’s Scotzine piece, and BRTH also mentions it in his post last night but doesn’t mention a specific number, RTC says 30 plus.
Anyone on Twitter might be able to ask RTC for a Link?

View Comment

ShooperbPosted on1:16 pm - Nov 22, 2012


ordinaryfan says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:13

Must admit that I was taking it from the Scotzine piece as well. Does it mention it in the verdict in the paragraphs immediately prior to the ‘ allowing the appeal in principle’ bit? or am I confusing it with something else?

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:17 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Night Terror says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:09
1 1 Rate This
ordinaryfan says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:55

Tom English pretending to be naive as usual.
If Murray had been co-operative from the beginning, he wouldn’t have had time to shred every piece of paper within a 5 mile radius of Ibrox,, and place Walter Smith, Ogilvie, Wiggy Smith and others where he needed them.
Plus Tom English could have made reference to the time at the start of the Tribunal where Murray was somewhat co-operative, the point where he accepted liability for Tax Evasion and using Dual Contracts.
Tom English surely understands, that if Murray was co-operative from the beginning, he would currently be slopping out in Bar-L with a few of his cronies as company.
What are you talking about?

I find such wild conspiracy and speculation difficult to take. Any evidence at all?

……………………………………………………

No, don’t have evidence, it’s been shredded and hidden by strategically placed Murray men.

View Comment

Robert CoylePosted on1:28 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Some guesswork from The Black Knight on twitter.

Is Mr Magenta – MacIntyre? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Scarlet – Bain? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Newport – RatNovo? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Norwich – Prso? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Evesham – Klos? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Ipswich – BFergusson? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Violet – McLeish? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Purple – Dodds? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Purple – McCann? #RangersCluedo
is Mr Grey – N Murray? #RangersCluedo
is Mr Grey – Nimmo? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Gold- Van Bronkhorst ? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Silver – Lera? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Blue – Wilson? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Indigo – McClelland? #RangersCluedo
Is Mr Red – Macmillan? #RangersCluedo
is Mr Black – Murray? #RangersCluedo
————————————————————
Apparently all we had was a bit of hope when proclaiming that RFC were guilty.

http://scottishreview.net/AlasdairMcKillop37.shtml

View Comment

coineanachantaighePosted on1:28 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:53
———————————————

Totally appreciate that NTHM. In fact I realise now I maybe made the mistake of accepting that as I’m pretty trusting of most of what’s what’s posted here. In fact I’m almost sure I do accept the 30% (or is it 25%?) figure as I doubt the folk bandying it about imagined it.

Maybe it was mentioned and sourced ages ago and folk think it’s not necessary now but there are always new posters and old ones like me whose memories are a bit soft. I tried googling for it but unfortunately this is one of these things for which Google is poor – too much noise and difficult to weed irrelevant stuff out.

So you guys who are in the know or have better memories – for me, NHTM (and beatipacificiscotia) could you dig out the source (and not just another blog where it was quoted) – I like to throw these things in in the faces of disagreeing orcs and would appreciate your help.

View Comment

Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on1:34 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Loans

if an employee (player) receives a loan from their company, then unless that loan is at a commercial rate of interest it is treated as a benefit in kind and this attracts taxation

I wonder if all the players, when submitting their annual self assessment tax return included details of the loans they received from their employer

Will HMRC be reviewing all of these players annual returns and asking every player who received a loan details of the interest charged and then reviewing the tax owed

If the players haven’t declared these, they are in trouble and they owe tax.

Then we’ll see if these really are loans!

View Comment

AgrajagPosted on1:38 pm - Nov 22, 2012


beatipacificiscotia says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:48

I’m still seeing figure flying around with nothing to substantiate them. £18-22.5M liability, plus penalties

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

There was a figure of around £15m agreed in relation to unpaid VAT and PAYE.

There was a figure of around £3m agreed, commonly referred to as “the wee tax case”. That’s the one HMRC sent Sheriff’s Officers into Ibrox for, and arrested Rangers’ bank accounts.

So all that’s outstanding is tax interest and penalties from the EBT case

Add the three together and I think it’s reasonable to conclude that Rangers owed HMRC £18m – £22m when they were liquidated. The bulk of which was money they had collected from other people and simply decided not to give to HMRC. As Craig Whyte himself admitted they had two choices, pay the tax they owed or keep the business afloat.

Most of this is fairly common knowledge.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:43 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:34
0 0 Rate This
Loans

if an employee (player) receives a loan from their company, then unless that loan is at a commercial rate of interest it is treated as a benefit in kind and this attracts taxation

I wonder if all the players, when submitting their annual self assessment tax return included details of the loans they received from their employer

Will HMRC be reviewing all of these players annual returns and asking every player who received a loan details of the interest charged and then reviewing the tax owed

If the players haven’t declared these, they are in trouble and they owe tax.

Then we’ll see if these really are loans!

……………………………………………………………..

I believe that if Players were pulled into this it would open up everything. Whatever evidence was being “concealed” by RFC may be copied and in agents and players files. What I don’t understand is, if HMRC know for certain that some of the EBT’s were definitly contractual, why haven’t they demanded all relevant paperwork from players and agents?
Contracts are not just for employers, employees must have copies, so in the unproven cases were players asked for their EBT and contract paperwork or is that outside their reach for legal reasons? It would be bonkers if HMRC simply didn’t ask for the paperwork if they were capable of doing so.

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mickleenPosted on1:44 pm - Nov 22, 2012


http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/revealed-the-former-rangers-players-paid-1447843

I don’t see the price of a good night out on this list. Can someone enlighten me?

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ordinaryfanPosted on1:50 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Agrajag says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:38
0 0 Rate This
beatipacificiscotia says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:48

I’m still seeing figure flying around with nothing to substantiate them. £18-22.5M liability, plus penalties

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

There was a figure of around £15m agreed in relation to unpaid VAT and PAYE.

There was a figure of around £3m agreed, commonly referred to as “the wee tax case”. That’s the one HMRC sent Sheriff’s Officers into Ibrox for, and arrested Rangers’ bank accounts.

So all that’s outstanding is tax interest and penalties from the EBT case

Add the three together and I think it’s reasonable to conclude that Rangers owed HMRC £18m – £22m when they were liquidated. The bulk of which was money they had collected from other people and simply decided not to give to HMRC. As Craig Whyte himself admitted they had two choices, pay the tax they owed or keep the business afloat.

Most of this is fairly common knowledge.

…………………………………………….

Any Links?

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coineanachantaighePosted on1:50 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Peter Campbell (@acmepd) says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:37
3 0 i
Rate This
Why TSFM is a “problematic form of media” …

http://www.scottishreview.net/AlasdairMcKillop37.shtml

Robert Coyle says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:28

Apparently all we had was a bit of hope when proclaiming that RFC were guilty.

———————————————-

At first I thought this was a poor student-type piece*, deliberately taking the ‘controversial’ view to sound clever but I googled the guys name and discovered it’s just another rangers fan in denial.

(*Apologies to those students who do write decent stuff but you’ll know the type yourself).

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Robert CoylePosted on1:51 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Mr Black and son 🙂

211. While we do not express a concluded view on the following persons’ subtrusts, we consider that exceptional considerations may arise occasioning PAYE and
NIC liability. Firstly, in the case of Mr Black, in view of his active control exercised
generally over the Group’s activities, he seemed able to decide his own bonus
apparently without reference to his co-Directors. Next, in the case of his sons’ sub-
10 trusts we refer to our reservations about their competence set out in para 180.
Thirdly, Mr Indigo seemed to acknowledge that in view of his unexpectedly onerous
commitments, he would have expected some reward. The payments into his sub-trust
in view of that expectation, and made subsequent to the rendering of the services,
might arguably be taxable as a deferred bonus (Notes of 7 November 2011 p9).
15 Finally, in the case of Mr Red’s sub-trust a complication arises inasmuch as his
nominated beneficiaries (his nieces) fell outside the prescribed class of qualifying
beneficiaries. Nonetheless, in the case of Mr Black’s sons and Mr Red, the loan
arrangement in itself might preclude a consequent tax liability.

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AgrajagPosted on2:00 pm - Nov 22, 2012


auchinstarry says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:48
16 0 i
Rate This

My very humble and uneducated opinion is simple:: If HMRC appeal against this majority decision then the case against the old club continues. The Upper Tribunal will decide, and that decision will be Final.

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

As I understand it the Upper Tier Tribunal is anything but Final. Cases can then be appealed to the civil Courts proper and can go as far as the Supreme Court and even into Europe. Happy to be corrected if that is not the case (pun intended).

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ordinaryfanPosted on2:04 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Agrajag says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 14:00
1 0 Rate This
auchinstarry says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:48
16 0 i
Rate This

My very humble and uneducated opinion is simple:: If HMRC appeal against this majority decision then the case against the old club continues. The Upper Tribunal will decide, and that decision will be Final.

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

As I understand it the Upper Tier Tribunal is anything but Final. Cases can then be appealed to the civil Courts proper and can go as far as the Supreme Court and even into Europe. Happy to be corrected if that is not the case (pun intended).

…………………………………………

Would be interesting to find out just how far it can go. Do you know where I could find out?

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neepheidPosted on2:08 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Agrajag says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 14:00

As I understand it the Upper Tier Tribunal is anything but Final. Cases can then be appealed to the civil Courts proper and can go as far as the Supreme Court and even into Europe. Happy to be corrected if that is not the case (pun intended).
===================
You are correct, although I doubt Europe would get involved in this sort of domestic tax matter. In my opinion, HMRC will take this to the UK supreme court if necessary, A lot of other cases are hanging on this. I am confident that the higher level of the tax tribunal will dispose of this nonsense once and for all. It’s just a question of how soon.

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bogsdolloxPosted on2:15 pm - Nov 22, 2012


I have now read the FTT decision in full.

What a clever chap Mr Thornhill is. His dilemma was that the facts surrounding the actual operation of the “scheme” did not correspond with what needed to happen to keep the whole show legal.

This was resolved by submitting witness statements after Thornhill’s review and supplemented later if it was believed they were not helpful enough. In this way they could all get their story straight (it was I understand something of an oddity for this to happen in a Scottish Court). Under cross examination, As Dr Poon points out in her dissenting judgement, at least three of the key witnesses were shown to lack credibilty, tried to mislead the tribunial and connived with other witnesses.

In fact, Mr Red passed documents, he referred to in his evidence, to Mrs Crimson, but which she had not seen,just before she gave evidence. Why is Red not in contempt of court?

Let us also not forget the lack of cooperation and failures to supply the documents requested by HMRC and the non-existence and reappearance of documents post the visit by the Police to Ibrox.

By controlling the flow of information and presenting a corporate line and trying to create an impression that it was run as instructed by Baxendale Walker Thornhill could then move the argument on to more esoteric tax technical points. This he did and convinced 2 FTT members who have take upon themselves to add little or no weight to the obvious inconsistencies of the witnesses who contradicted the picture Thornhill tried to paint.

The use of a Trust expert to bolster the legal standing of the Trust was a good idea, except as Poon points out the trust were set up to operate in “breach of trust” in the first place and this was confirmed by the Law Society and the Jersey Courts.

The dissenting opinion is a very detailed and strong one and has technical merit but more importantly it analyses and judges the evidence before it and not the technicalities of tax law and how the Appellants said the scheme worked.

For me there are more than adequate grounds for appeal and HMRC would be daft not to pursue it. Costs shouldn’t be a problem as they will recover some tax to make it worthwhile as there are MIH EBT’ers and MIH are the party to the original Appeal.

In short – there is hope yet justice will be seen to be done and this perverse judgement overturned.

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coineanachantaighePosted on2:16 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Agrajag says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:38
—————————————————-

Ah, so it wasn’t the EBTs and it was under Whyte (or rather he was the final guy at the helm when it went pear shaped). But that means someone’s wrong because it means they ‘won’ 90% of the big tax case. Or are people conflating the different tax things together?

It’s one thing to say they admitted guilt on not paying various VAT/PAYE bills and then got (mostly) off with a Tribunal on EBTs. But one or two folk seemed to be saying that 30% of the EBT cases were found against them when in reality it was a lot fewer than that.

Not defending or attacking anyone but with the rabid (though innacurate) nonsense coming from the MSM we ought to be as exact and sourced as we can possibly be.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on2:19 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Did the RFC lawyers not agree that the EBTs were contractual?.
This IMO includes the ones deemed legal by the FTT.
If so,then would would surely be included in the “Dual Contract” investigation if they were not declared to the SFA/SPL.
Am I right?.

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coineanachantaighePosted on2:22 pm - Nov 22, 2012


When I say found, I mean they admitted them which amounts to much the same thing.

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ordinaryfanPosted on2:23 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Does anyone know. Would Players and Agents involved have been asked for all relevant contractual and EBT paperwork they hold?
Surely if that was possible HMRC would have just gone to the players as soon as Murray and co were found to be withholding and concealing contractual documents, because legally players would certainly have had to be been given exact copies.

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jimlarkinPosted on2:26 pm - Nov 22, 2012


is this “french” perhaps for sevco ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevso_Treasure

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SmugasPosted on2:31 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:34

re the loans. The cycle as I understand it (I’m neither an accountant nor a lawyer remember). Also arithmetic is rubbish so sorry for the big round numbers. Artisans are directed to the the book Discounting for Numpties.

Player requires £1m net as that was what he agreed broadly with Mr Black and in detail with Messrs Red, Scarlet and Magenta but was absolutely not contracted to receive m’lud, honest.

Rangers/MIH placed a notional sum of 1.5m – an i.o.u if you like – into the main trust and then allocated it to an individual player in a sub trust with said notional funds bequeathed to the players widow and children after his death. The player then applies for a loan of £1.5m against these notional trust funds. The sub trust notionally pays out a different and completely separate but remember still notional £1.5m and immediately takes back an equally notional £500,000 in forward paid interest. At this point an actual £1m arrives in the subtrust account and is paid out, sorry silly me, loaned out, to the player. The player has thus ‘paid’ £500,000 in interest so the loan is not on preferential terms and thus not taxable. I believe it should still have been declared of course!

OK so roll on thirty years. The player dies and for the sake of arguement is worth in total £1m. BUT he still has a loan outstanding against him of £1.5m so the estate is no more and no inheritance tax is payable. Player is dead, so trust now pays out the original notional 1.5m to the kids which the kids promptly use to pay off the debts of exDad’s estate.

Two things.

One it is feindishly brilliant and I wish I had thought of it.

Two. Those of you thinking but common sense says that that doesn’t work are falling into the trap. You are foolishly assuming that the body physically loaning the real and touchable money actually wanted it back at some point.

Apologies again for the learning by numbers approach but I’ve just a 145 page tax verdict

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bogsdolloxPosted on2:36 pm - Nov 22, 2012


ordinaryfan says:
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:13

Not The Huddle Malcontent says: Or are they referred to EXPLICITLY in the FTT findings?

I find it amazing that if a third of the cases were admitted and given the lack of co-operation/document shredding that 2 out of the 3 judges can say it wasn’t an elaborate/abused ploy to avoid paying tax or to be able to pay more for these palyers.

Anyway, before we witter on about that

PLEASE CAN SOMEONE CONFIRM WHERE RFC ADMITTED LIABILITY TO 30 ASSESSMENTS/CASES

I thought we dealt in facts here?

…………………………………………………….

Good point, we need it in black and white, I have mentioned it several times because I read it in RTC’s Scotzine piece, and BRTH also mentions it in his post last night but doesn’t mention a specific number, RTC says 30 plus.
Anyone on Twitter might be able to ask RTC for a Link?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’m not convinced either that 30 or so cases were conceded prior to the hearing because the FTT says it is considering 108 cases in total and found 5 (relating to jiggeypokery with recharacterising termination payments) and 2 MIH cases to be illegal.

Do we know exactly how many cases there were 108 or 138?

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ordinaryfanPosted on2:37 pm - Nov 22, 2012


And why are Jabba and the Succulent Lambers now so keen to jump on the bandwagon.
HMRC were proven right to a large extent, plus they still have an option of appeal. When RFC were originally billed for Tax Evasion, all we were ever told was they hadn’t been found guilty of anything because they could and did appeal.
So why has that supposed “moral” standpoint changed?
Now appeals are being touted as HMRC having a conspiracy type vendetta against the poor wee victims at RFC.
Not to mention these “journalists” claimed not to know their ar£e from their elbow when it came to legal issues, now they are all experts.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on2:38 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Just “read” a 145 page verdict …in case anyone thought I’d redacted the word “issued” or something

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SeniorPosted on2:43 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Huddled Malcontent

‘Loans

if an employee (player) receives a loan from their company, then unless that loan is at a commercial rate of interest it is treated as a benefit in kind and this attracts taxation

I wonder if all the players, when submitting their annual self assessment tax return included details of the loans they received from their employer

Will HMRC be reviewing all of these players annual returns and asking every player who
received a loan details of the interest charged and then reviewing the tax owed

If the players haven’t declared these, they are in trouble and they owe tax,.

Simples but Brill

This appeals thing for HMRC is a no-brainer. It’s like pushing an open door.
If these loans were not declared to HMRC (they have the records) then there will be many a fat lady singing! This is a disaster for the people who received those loans. the compound interest will be enormous and ruinous on a lot of these loans – this, I guarantee, will have the fat ladies singing – unfortunately, to a single member audience……….. HMRC!!!
The more I read the findings the more it appears like a trap – ‘if you will not answer our questions, well, then maybe you will respond to HMRC!

Then we’ll see if these really are loans!’

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wottpiPosted on2:45 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Paul McConville mentions the figure of 30 accepted cases were tax was payable in his guest article at Scotszine

http://www.scotzine.com/2012/11/the-legal-view-rangers-tax-case/

However I note that on twitter on 27 October he refers to seeing a document that has pages at least up to 246-252 with those being ‘devastating’.

https://twitter.com/Paulmcc12/status/262182975897227267

Now the other day’s Decision and Dissenting Opinion was only 145 pages.

Therefore it appears Paul has been duped by a false document or has in some way managed to gain or been given access to other documentation relating to the case, be that additional documentation or an earlier and longer version of the decision. That may explain how he arrives at the figure of 30.

Paul may well be able to explain where the 30 number comes from in his awaited ‘more detailed analysis’ of the FTTT decision.

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oldconewtricksPosted on2:48 pm - Nov 22, 2012


If this is indeed a ‘victory’ as sems to be the case by the MSM and fans of the club (old and new), then it is a Pyrrhic one as it would seem to provide clearer direction on other issues relating to player registration and, the concealment and/or destruction of records. The first of these would be a matter for the footballing authorities to deal with whilst the latter is one that the police may find to be of interest.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on3:03 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Following what seems to have been a perverse judgement there’s been a lot of discussion over the past 48 hours about institutional bias in the legal system. I stand by my comment yesterday that such conspiracy theory is far -fetched, that judgements that fly in the face of good sense are pretty common in my experience and that 3 QCs automatically equals three sets of fees, er, I mean 3 different opinions.

However if there is an area where there is clear institutional bias and maybe even a conspiracy to hoodwink the public it must be in our mainstream media. Apart from Tom English has any journalist tried to properly examine the verdict and accurately report its findings? Even English’s piece is merely limited to criticism of Murray for not coming clean sooner. Has anyone put their head above the parapet and said Rangers were broke anyway with or without the tax case when all in sundry were bleating about a “Scottish Institution” being brought down by that evil taxman?

I look in vain for any analysis which states quite simply,

“Rangers appealed on 30 individual cases, were cleared on 25. They were not cleared on five of the cases submitted and another 30+ on which they did not appeal. Money is still owed to the taxman by the defunct club and possibly also the players.”

And I haven’t seen a single reference in MSM to the smoking gun paragraphs –

“Side-letters, of course, had not been registered with the football authorities, the SFA and SPL. …Non-registration of side-letters was incompatible with both authorities’ policing and disciplinary powers … Rangers could have sought a ruling from the SFA or SPL about disclosure of side-letters but, clearly, they had chosen not to do so. There was a conscious decision to conceal their existence,…”

The man (or woman) in the street who takes his news at face value from the MSM has been completely deluded. Not one of the Govan apologists who trotted out statements yesterday was challenged or asked a difficult question. Their statements are accepted at face value without comment or challenge.

So MSM journos, enjoy your succulent lamb last night? You really are a disgrace to your profession. Whatever happened to true investigative journalism ? Nixon would still be in the White House if you lot had worked for the Washington Post.

No wonder people who want to know what’s really going on get onto the Internet and track down sites like this or RTC.

And a final thought. It was never a matter of Rangers being presumed guilty by we the internet bampottery. Guilt and innocence are criminal law terms, the Tax Case was a civil matter. HMRC had already held Rangers liable to the tax bill, they had appealed to firts Tier Tax Tribunal. H

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easyJamboPosted on3:05 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Re the accepted or additional liability resulting from the FTTT. I counted up to 10 possibles :

From para 233

It was conceded that advances in favour of certain players are taxable and liable to NIC, and we have found that in certain other limited instances, there may be a similar liability. To that extent the assessments should stand. In these circumstances we expect that it is sufficient that we allow the Appeal in principle. Parties can no doubt settle the sums due for the limited number of cases mentioned without further reference to the Tribunal.

The “certain players” will be the five previously mentioned, i.e. Selby, Inverness, Doncaster, Barrow, and Furness

The “certain other limited instances” are referenced in para. 211

While we do not express a concluded view on the following persons’ subtrusts, we consider that exceptional considerations may arise occasioning PAYE and NIC liability. Firstly, in the case of Mr Black, in view of his active control exercised generally over the Group’s activities, he seemed able to decide his own bonus apparently without reference to his co-Directors. Next, in the case of his sons’ sub trusts we refer to our reservations about their competence set out in para 180. Thirdly, Mr Indigo seemed to acknowledge that in view of his unexpectedly onerous
commitments, he would have expected some reward. The payments into his sub-trust in view of that expectation, and made subsequent to the rendering of the services, might arguably be taxable as a deferred bonus (Notes of 7 November 2011 p9). Finally, in the case of Mr Red’s sub-trust a complication arises inasmuch as his nominated beneficiaries (his nieces) fell outside the prescribed class of qualifying beneficiaries.

Para 211 goes on to mention two others

Mr Thornhill seemed to concede that the decision in Shilton v Wilmhurst could have relevance to the circumstances of Mr Purple and Mr Ely

So Messrs Black, his sons, Indigo and Red may have tax to play. Black and Red were identifed as Murray Group employees, so funds should be available from them. Indigo was an RFC board member and Purple and Ely were RFC players so it may be more difficult there

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Madbhoy24941Posted on3:06 pm - Nov 22, 2012


monsieurbunny says:

Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 13:50

—————————————————

Being a Rangers fan does not mean his point of view is not valid, taking that logic, none of our opinions should be seen as neutral. Part of the problem with most Rangers sites are that opinions from fans of other teams are not deemed relevant, in fact, they are dismissed, deleted and abused if they do not conform to a specific point of view. I would hate to see this site do the same.

I personally disagree with some of his points of view and also believe the partisan nature leaves it open to criticism but I think it is important to critique only the information, let’s play the ball and not the man.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on3:10 pm - Nov 22, 2012


Sorry, lost last para.

It should read, It has also been conveniently forgotten that they lost the Wee Tax Case and by Whyte’s own admission traded while insolvent and withheld payment of NIc and VAT. Which, irrespective of guilt or innoence is hardly a record to be proud of.

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forweonlyknowPosted on3:16 pm - Nov 22, 2012


My tuppence worth! Again it’s the media that ends up boiling my blood! ;

http://forweonlyknow.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/shred-it-owed-444-00/

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Robert CoylePosted on3:18 pm - Nov 22, 2012


It seemed that the employee’s duties as Protector
were never explained. Mr Thomson noted in particular the £50K paid for a sub-trust
for Mr Sheffield. He had no formal contract of employment or duties within the
Group but was described as Mr Black’s “fixer”. This payment into trust had to be for
services, Mr Thomson argued.

(iv) 108 sub-trusts were established subsequent to the date of the
Definitive Deed. These are in name of individual employees of
companies in the group and bear to be for the benefit of their families
individually. The Deeds purporting to create the sub-trusts referred to
and adopted the terms of the Definitive Deed.

96. Of the 111 sub-trusts, Inspector 2 explained, 108 were actively used. Of these
81 were for Rangers FC players and 27 for other Murray Group employees. Initially
the Murray Group had provided only limited documentation but in the course of the
enquiry further material emerged from other sources. As a result of the enquiry
determinations of liability under PAYE and NIC were made. Essentially HMRC’s
approach was to view all payments made into a sub-trust as emoluments of the
particular employee’s employment. The sums assessed were viewed as net of tax and
accordingly grossed-up.
——————————–
Differing numbers on the amount of sub trusts being used.

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