It is scarcely credible that directors of newco Rangers have failed to maintain National Insurance (and, I presume, PAYE) obligations to HMRC. The arrival of a seven day winding-up notice from HRMC last week brings serious consequences for the listed company, who have now required three short-term loans for over the last two months.
This payment is due on the same date every month, it will not be subject to dispute and failure to maintain payments brings the club into dispute with the SPFL, who six weeks ago deducted fellow Championship club, Livingston, five points and fined them £10k, for non-compliance of the league’s tax and reporting rules, which Neil Doncaster said were “an integral part of maintaining a fair league competition”.
The club already have an outstanding charge from the SFA over their failure to stick to a written agreement over the shareholding of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. A five point penalty would bring them within three points of fifth-placed Falkirk, who are outside the play-off spots but have won six of their last seven games, pay their bills and will not be subject to a player fire-sale this month.
While newco are clearly short of cash their outlook is not as bleak as it may appear. They have assets they should be able to sell quickly in order to raise cash, specifically players, Murray Park and Ibrox. Rangers went into administration as their liabilities were considerably higher than the value of liquid assets, this is not the case with newco, whose liquid assets will be worth considerably more than immediate liabilities.
In short, an administrator will be able to sell players, Murray Park, Ibrox, or all three, and pay all creditors, so there is no reason the directors should not do so themselves.
There are a couple of observations worth noting:
I’ve never known a company to get to the stage of receiving a 7 day winding-up notice from HMRC which didn’t have many more stressed creditors.
National Insurance and PAYE for wages pad up to 30 November are due at HMRC on Wednesday 7 January. It’s unclear if the £500k loan from Sandy Easdale is sufficient to cover this payment.
Lots likely to happen over the coming weeks but keen an eye on the financial fundamentals: it will take tens of millions of pounds to keep this club afloat over the next few years, even on a very limited football budget.
No one has explained a scenario under which this club is viable. This story only ends one way.[calameo code=0003901718eccc6101c78 lang=en page=1 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]