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Describe him as a billionaire

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Today, the Daily Record give a remarkable admission on how they report goings-on at Rangers.  Allegations have long been made that some in the old media replaced journalistic analysis with note-taking at the foot of PR agents.  The Record not only admitted this practice, they made a headline story out of it.

Apparently, when asked by the Record about Rangers’ owner Craig Whyte’s wealth, “PR gurus” said, “Describe him as a billionaire”.  At that moment, the legend of the Motherwell born Billionaire took life.  The claim was never interrogated by those present.

Under this cover, Whyte breezed into Ibrox without any of the analysis outside the Celtic online community of where his funding came from, and pitched Rangers onto the path they are now on.

At Celtic we get proper financial information on what’s going on at our club – on time, but we have been fed hoary old tat like “Where did all the Seville/Aiden money go” as though there was any doubt on where our money goes (mostly on wages, before you ask).  Feeding distrust in a club causes harm, but what causes more harm, distrust or utterly ignoring potentially damaging facts about a club?

It wasn’t quite a Mea Cupla from the Record today, in fact, I’m not sure they realise the admission confirms their role in the whole matter, but they also put in print today what has previously scarcely been mentioned outside the Celtic online community, more on this later.  Welcome to the ‘news’.

For the ‘record’, the CQN community were first to describe Mr Whyte as a Thousandaire.  What, still too high?  Mea Cupla!

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  1. I think everyone should go oooooooot a buy 2 daily records 2day.

     

     

    If the sails go up, we might get some more anti-hun storys

     

     

    BigJoeOFf2theSHJOPS

  2. Here is the full article Mort :)

     

     

    Rangers owner Craig Whyte admits he sold four years’ worth of season tickets to keep Ibrox club running

     

     

    Jan 31 2012 Exclusive by James Traynor & Keith Jackson

     

     

     

    Craig Whyte Image 5

     

     

    CRAIG WHYTE sold off four years of fans’ money to help fund his Rangers buy-out, it was revealed last night.

     

     

    And Record Sport can also reveal high-ranking HMRC officials are investigating alleged non-payment of VAT since Whyte gained control of the club last May.

     

     

    Current director Dave King and former board member Paul Murray have been quizzed by the tax authorities as part of their enquiry which has revealed £24.4million has been borrowed against future season-tickets sales.

     

     

    Tranches of tickets over four seasons have been sold to Ticketus, a London-based group linked to Octopus, and it’s claimed this deal helped finance Whyte’s operating costs after the takeover.

     

     

    Whyte himself last night confirmed he had sold off the tickets but denied he used the money to pay off Lloyds Bank. He insisted the £18m for the bank came from one of his companies.

     

     

    When Whyte took over Rangers’ debt was £18m to Lloyds Bank and their wage bill had been reduced to £14m but it is believed the club could owe much more than that.

     

     

    It’s thought the current debt is £21m to Ticketus plus £5m VAT on the ticket deal. But there could be other bills due and of course Rangers are awaiting the final verdict on their £49m EBT (Employee Benefit Trust) tax case.

     

     

    Last night Whyte insisted the Ticketus deal was normal practice for clubs and his spokesman said: “The suggestion that the Rangers takeover was funded through financing arrangements on season tickets is categorically untrue.

     

     

    “Rangers FC is no different in that it has a working capital facility with Ticketus, as have many, many other clubs. It is a common arrangement in football. This facility was in place at Ibrox long before the takeover.”

     

     

    The EBT ruling is due within weeks and if Rangers lose they will be facing financial meltdown.

     

     

    Their debt could then be in the £75m region with liquidation a stark reality.

     

     

    But many now fear Rangers could be tipped over the abyss and into some kind of insolvency even before their Judgment Day over the tax case.

     

     

     

     

    Rangers fans put their faith in Whyte believing he would get rid of the club’s debt and also provide transfer money for manager Ally McCoist, who has been an impoverished bystander during this transfer window.

     

     

    But the Ibrox club’s support will be shocked by the detail of invoices and letters now in the revenue’s possession. It is claimed these show Whyte sold off massive chunks of Rangers’ future season-ticket sales.

     

     

    And former board member Murray believes the takeover wouldn’t have been possible without the fans, even though they had no idea future tickets had been sold off to raise extra cash.

     

     

    Murray said: “These documents prove to me that Rangers fans have actually paid and will continue to pay for the sale of their club.”

     

     

    He added that HMRC have told him they are also due VAT, as much as £5m, on the deal with Ticketus and insists he has seen details of letters and invoices held by HMRC.

     

     

    Murray claims that in one of the documents, a letter dated March 8, 2011 and signed by Whyte, it is alleged he made it clear that through Wavetower, his bid vehicle at the time, he would be entering into a deal to sell the season tickets to a company called Ticketus.

     

     

    They are part of London-based Octopus, a perfectly legitimate lender who grant immediate loans based on future ticket sales. Record Sport managed to speak with most of the people who were on the Rangers board at the time of the takeover and they insist they knew nothing about the sale of season tickets. In fact they tried to ring-fence supporters’ money.

     

     

    The papers, which are being pored over by HMRC officials, are said to reveal borrowing against ticket sales for seasons 2011-12, 12-13 and 13-14 that Whyte was able to raise £24.4m.

     

     

    Then on June 27 he was hit with the first of his repayment bills from Ticketus, who were demanding a total of £9.5m, their share of that summer’s season-ticket sales. Whyte could only come up with £3.5m cash and to fill the shortfall mortgaged off part of season 2014-15 to the value of £6m.

     

     

    Opening in March last year Murray claims the detail contained within HMRC’s file is extensive and explosive.

     

     

    This is the timetable and interpretation of events: March 8, 2011: A letter from Liberty Capital (one of Whyte’s companies) is signed by Whyte and addressed to Ticketus.

     

     

    In the letter Whyte confirms the intention to sell Rangers’ season tickets to Ticketus.

     

     

    April 7: Lawyers on behalf of Ticketus deposit £24.4m into a Collyer Bristow (lawyers for Whyte’s bid) client account. A further £2m was placed in the same account from a company called JLT Benefit Solutions with £1m from the Merchant House Group, a firm of corporate finance specialists with whom Whyte is closely linked.

     

     

    May 9: An agreement was entered into between Ticketus and Rangers to sell the season tickets.This was just three days after the takeover date of May 6. The bank was repaid the £18m.

     

     

    June 27: Ticketus raised an invoice to Rangers seeking first repayment of £9.5m on their agreement. Rangers paid only £3.5m of that amount in cash and borrowed £6m more from Ticketus by selling another portion of 2013-14 as well as a portion of season 2014-15. Analysts stress there is nothing illegal in selling future ticket sales. In fact, it is common practice in British football, although the problems encountered by Leeds United and Newcastle United, who both borrowed too often and too much, are proof of the dangers.

     

     

    Whyte has never declared the deals with Ticketus although HMRC documents suggest he has cashed in on fan loyalty.

     

     

    The tax officials quizzed Murray and South African-based King, who was on conference call, as recently as last Friday morning.

     

     

    They insisted they had no knowledge of what had been happening and Murray, who last year offered to take the club off Lloyds’ books and invest £15m in the team in a last-ditch attempt to prevent Whyte from getting the club, said he couldn’t believe what he was reading when presented with the HMRC file.

     

     

    “HMRC asked for a meeting at the end of last week to find out what knowledge I, having been a director of the club at the time, had of these transactions prior to the takeover,” Murray said.

     

     

    “I knew nothing about this and although I have been questioned by HMRC and seen some especially revealing documents which are in their possession, it is still very hard to take in what has been going on.

     

     

    “Collyer Bristow were acting for Craig Whyte during the takeover and I have been shown their client account, from the opening of it until today.

     

     

    “I’ve also seen all invoices from Ticketus to Rangers and Rangers to Ticketus supporting all these actions.

     

     

    “I can’t believe Rangers have been handed over in this way.

     

     

    “Remember also, the Independent Board, set up to make sure any potential buyers were capable of making the purchase and then funding the business, asked repeatedly where Craig Whyte was getting the money.

     

     

    “He said it was from his own personal wealth and through Liberty Capital, which he insisted he owned 100 per cent, in the British Virgin Islands.

     

     

    “Plans were being made to sell off future ticket sales but the directors were never told. This was all being done behind our backs.”

     

     

    King was also shocked to learn of the seasonticket sale and said: “Securitising season tickets is a valid seasonal funding strategy to smooth cash flows within the year – but no longer.”

     

     

    Whyte’s spokesman added: “The takeover team instigated discussions with Ticketus prior to the takeover because the relationship with Rangers was already in place and the new owners wanted to continue it.

     

     

    “They were clear from the outset they wanted to ensure there were robust working capital provisions in place that could deal with the many financial challenges the club faces.

     

     

    “The takeover was funded by one of Mr Whyte’s companies. Several months before then – and long before any discussions with Ticketus – Mr Whyte was asked to provide proof of funds for the takeover and he did that to the satisfaction of the previous owners, Lloyds Banking Group and professional advisers.”

  3. twists n turns on

    If Davie Moyes plays it clever he will sign Jelly and simply “delay” the payment.

     

     

    “Yeah yeah it’ll be in the post soon Craig, btw, why the rush?” :-))

  4. Lafferty would not pass a medical so there is no way he can move and get insured, it would have to be a loan.

     

     

    Davies is the only real opportunity to raise any cash but nobody seems interested surprisingly

     

     

    Oh and of course Healy who is about to score and then kick off on a spectacular run, according to the bampots on Clyde.

  5. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Whyte said getting pumped out of Europe created another £10 mil hole in this season’s budget.Davis, McGregor will be getting touted round the EPL right now.

  6. Great article , Paul. Kinda makes you think does it not.

     

    For the record, I was once in Italy on holiday prior to them joining the Euro and with a load of lira in my wallet, I was a millionaire too. QueenLuBo always reminds me of that fact.

     

    I think boiling point is about to be reached, warch this space with interest.

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    KINGLuBO

  7. Pesky new article….

     

     

    Wonder if Dundee Utd will get half the gate money from the Scottish Cup tie this weekend at the soon to be Asda Govan??? If I were their chairman I’d be wanting some assurances NOW!!

  8. lochgoilhead bhoy on

    dirtymac says:

     

    31 January, 2012 at 09:42

     

     

    The problem with plan A and plan B was that Whyte had no control over the execution – that was in the lap of Coisty and the players.

     

     

    The problem with plan C was that Whyte had no control over the FTT (Tax) timings. Murray ensured he controlled that (privacy, adjourned from November to January etc) and so Whyte would run out of working capital before the tribunal issued the death blow.

     

     

    Whyte needed a plan D – pocketing of the VAT on the Ticketus deal. That is where he is at the moment.

     

     

    My guess plan E will involve a fast plane out of here to a place where there is no extradition treaty with the UK.

  9. The Bhoy from the Village on

    hamiltontim says:

     

    31 January, 2012 at 09:41

     

     

    Thats because they have been conditioned by the Scottish Media

     

     

    My sister made a similar comment to me about Neil, I almost self combusted….. needless to say she has a different opinion when I explained the facts.

     

     

    New Media has had a phenomonal impact upon getting the truth out there, there is no going back thankfully

  10. FTLT

     

     

    “EXAMPLE COMPANY – TICKETUS

     

     

    THE BUSINESS

     

     

    The Ticketus business model is based on purchasing an allocation of tickets for an event, up to two years in advance. (An example of this will be season tickets for English Premiership Football Clubs.)

     

     

    Event organisers receive a discounted price versus face value for their tickets in return for an immediate level of ticket sales. Ticketus is then able to sell the tickets on to the general public at face value, to mitigate the potential distribution risk. The event organisers will distribute this portion of tickets first through their normal distribution channels, which allows Ticketus to recover its original investment, plus a margin.

     

     

    Get investment advice now or call us on 0800 678 5929

     

     

    PROTECTION

     

     

    Ticketus only buys tickets for well established, long running events that regularly sell out. It only buys a portion of the tickets available, and ensures its tickets are sold ahead of other stocks available. By buying in bulk and in advance, to the price at which it intends to sell the tickets.”

     

     

    This is from “principlefirst.com Financial Advisers commenting on Octopus Investments whose own site makes no mention of Ticketus. Note that the business model is based on purchasing tickets “up to 2 years in advance” (not 4) and “Ticketus is able to purchase at a discount”. I wonder how much a discount they got for 4 years’ worth of season tickets.

     

     

    Anyway, Celtic to keep their eyes on the prize. No slip ups and a more vital and energetic performance than Sunday with a much higher level of concentration please. (We’ve lost a couple of first game post Jan window in recent seasons.

     

     

    ICT 0 TIC 5 (maks sense tae me…. though mo’s puzzled)

  11. Will Rangers do a buy one get two free today?

     

    They might not even have enough players for the weekend. Lump your cash on United to dump them out the cup!

     

     

    LB

  12. I hear their latest signing target has been spotted heading into Auchinleck Talbot’s ground with his boots slung over his shoulder for a trial.

     

     

    Something to do with being unhappy about being asked by Whyte to provide his own towel for a post match shower at Ibrox?

     

     

    Might be rumour though……………..

  13. Davis

     

    Mcgregor

     

    Edu

     

    Goian

     

    Bocanegra

     

    Wallace

     

     

     

    These guys could fetch them some money but no one is interested.

     

     

    I wonder why?

     

     

    Whittaker

     

    Lafferty

     

    Ratboy Naismith

     

     

    All injured – no chance of selling them

     

     

    Ortiz gone away on loan

     

    Fleck away on loan

     

    Weir off the wage bill

     

     

    Jelavic being sold to Everton and the money being divided up to Rapid Vienna, the player’s agent and everyone else leaving Rangers with ??????

     

     

     

    Would anyone be daft enough to buy other players?

     

     

    McCulloch

     

    Broadfoot

     

    Papac

     

     

    Maybe Craig Whyte could ask Sone Aluko for the money.

  14. Paul

     

     

    You scoundrel!

     

     

    You’re hammering my already shaky prodcutivity levels with this stream of articles.

     

     

    The fact that they are all brammers is beside the point.

     

     

    Keep it up!

     

     

    FF

  15. Dharma Bam says:

     

    31 January, 2012 at 10:05

     

    “D’you think he even borrowed the pound to buy Rangers? ”

     

     

    He just didn’t buy a lottery ticket that week thinking that he’d get a better return on it by purchasing Rangers….who’s to say he was wrong? So far!

  16. I can’t wait to read the Swiss Ramble do an article on them.

     

     

    Mind you, I don’t think he’s ever done one on a former football club.

  17. Their pain will be televised live at the weekend for the world to see.

     

    That will be amazing viewing.

     

    Waited since 1994 for this day.

     

     

    LB

  18. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on

    What a delightful stramash we are getting to watch.. The only an excuse Xmas special was not far off the mark…. They ll be selling light bulbs.. Players will be told if you want a name and no on your kit, you’ll need to pay for it…

     

     

    HH

  19. Bankiebhoy

     

     

    I’ll leave them in their ignorance…..the other comments were along the lines of, “What’s that about Gail Sheridan on the front page?”

     

     

    Oh dear!

     

     

    BMCUW

     

     

    My comment was similar to that so I’ll be eating my play piece in the car today :-))

     

     

    BFTV

     

     

    Try as I might, I can’t get many if them to enjoy the virtues of CQN :-))

  20. When I see a picture of whytey as Hunpty Dumpty( front page) falling off the ‘magnicent’ crumbling facade……….when davie and aleister are portayed as Tweedle dee……etc etc………….then there might be something worth reading………

     

     

    Until then…

     

     

    Tease and Reveal CSC.

  21. A re-release. (though not cashing in)

     

     

    Apologies to Dr Hook though I’d love to hear them sing this version

     

     

    Before we begin, thank you

     

    Thank you, oh thank you, thank you

     

    Thank you

     

     

    I’m not a bad person, though I try not to be good

     

    I’ve got no evil habits though I know I probably should

     

    I don’t walk like David Murray, or march at the Glasgow Fair

     

    But there’s one thing in my favour, (what) I’m a thousandaire (that’s beautiful)

     

     

    And I got less money than a horse has legs

     

    And it’s such a worry, almost cacked my kegs

     

    But having bought the Rangers for one whole pound

     

    There isny nae mair money for me to spread it around

     

     

    I could drop this obfuscation and only deal in facts

     

    But it ain’t no use being truthful, ’cause I’d have to pay the tax

     

    The fans don’t seem to love me but it’s not love I’m trying to buy

     

    though we’ve got so much in common cause I’m a pretty ugly guy

     

     

    And I got less money than a horse has legs

     

    And it’s such a worry, almost cacked my kegs

     

    But having bought the Rangers for a single pound

     

    There isny nae mair money for me to spread it around

     

     

    I don’t mind if I have to sell our assets

     

    and lease out all else that we’ve got

     

    Except for the replica marble staircase

     

    I don’t think we’re doing all that hot

     

     

    And I got less money than a horse has legs

     

    And it’s such a worry, almost cacked my kegs

     

    But having bought the Rangers for a single pound

     

    There isny nae mair money for me to spread it around

     

     

     

    Hey you, come here babe

     

    Stop crying

     

    Spare no quarter for the Ibrox

  22. OK, so another CQNer has just been on the phone, well connected at Everton, Jelly is looking for £50k a week. No chance of getting it. Unless there is a seismic shift this deal won’t happen (no chance of a make weight pay off from Ibrox of course) and the deal is £4m, plus take on the ‘sell on’ clause that Rapid have with the huns.

  23. It is reported that Jelavic passed his medical – given he was so ill at the weekend and unable to play I’m surprised he was fit enough to complete all those running tests!!!!!!!

  24. mhaddog Is Mise Niall Lennon on

    I can tell you’re enjoying yourself Paul. Well you deserve to. You, RTC and PMG have done a power of good work.

     

     

    All you tims who live abroad keep an eye out for the GEF. We may have a Hun on the Run (apologies to GerryAdamsBeard for stealing his joke)

  25. get talksport on to hear gray stutter his way through the topic. Funny. wont go into admin.

     

     

     

    KLV

  26. Ok was not going to bring it up paul67

     

    But! How can we sell Aiden for 10m then pay 5m off our debt( info From those accurate accounts) and a CEO who says ” all money brought in transfers would be reinvested in the team” wages or transfers fees. Not repaying debts

     

     

    Boring yes, but never received an answer

     

     

    Sorry but the financial mess at Rfc should not take away from poor decisions taken at board level at Celtic park the last 4 years

     

    St

  27. Was it wrong to feel like a little boy on Christmas morning this morning, desperately hoping Santa had brought what I wanted?? LOL

     

    (it hasnt arrived…. yet. Maybe tomorrow.)

     

     

    I will be following todays events carefully.

     

     

    P.S. for anyone who missed it, young Oscar had a very very special visitor at the house on Sunday evening!

     

     

    Only Mr Hartson himself!!!!!!

     

     

    An absolute legend and gentleman. Respect always to Big Bad John!!!

     

     

    Read about his visit on Oscar’s blog… http://www.oscarknox.blogspot.com/2012/01/not-your-typical-sunday-afternoon.html

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    p.s. you can follow Oscar on his journey on Twitter @Wee_Oscar

     

     

    Knoxy

  28. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Sad to report the ole crest remains firmly uncracked….

     

     

    …and a bit cheeky of Jacko and Trayno to claim ‘exclusives’ when the work’s been done for them by the likes of CQN, a community which stretches from here to Poland, and beyond! ;/)

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