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Killing Rangers was an inside job

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The Upper Tier Tribunal (UTT) sitting on HMRC v Murray International Holdings (MIH) has ordered HMRC’s demand for unpaid tax to be reduced substantially.  Claims Sir David Murray Employee Benefit Trust should be taxed were dismissed, but the UTT was not prepared to endorse that guaranteed bonus payments paid to Rangers players should not be taxed.

During the First Tier Tribunal MIH acknowledged tax should have been paid on EBTs given to a further five players, who were removed from the judgement (although the tax was never paid).  Lord Nimmo Smith’s SPL Inquiry found Rangers guilty of not disclosing side-letters given to players which contractually bound EBT payments and arrangements.  The Inquiry issued Oldco Rangers with a fine of £250,000.  Newco Rangers agreed to pay all of Oldco’s football debts as a price to gain entry to the SFA and league structure.  It is anticipated this fine will be collected in the event the club reaches top flight football.

Rangers did not dispute they operated an illegal Discount Options Scheme, which was uncovered by Craig Whyte’s investigators, when he carried out due diligence before buying the club from Sir David Murray.  Tax due on this scheme was never paid.

Once in control, Whyte continued to operate the club’s tax arrangements in similar ethical standards.  He failed to pay VAT, PAYE or National Insurance.  Several hundred other creditors were left in the lurch as the club was liquidated.

At its heart, this is a morality tale.  The first lesson which should be drawn is that it is far better to disclose your tax arrangements to the authorities than to hide them.  When Celtic employed Juninho, who had an earlier EBT, they disclosed this fact and subsequent transactions to HMRC (Celtic never issued rule-breaking side-letters either).

Perhaps the most important lesson is not to allow debt to get out of control.  Armed with the Discount Options Scheme and tax not paid on contractually guaranteed bonuses, HMRC were legally bound to pursue the club for money the tax payer was due – and will almost certainly never be paid.

Once that train was in motion, the club was at the mercy of its bank.  MIH held substantial commercial property assets at this time, when the UK commercial property market took an average 45% nosedive.  Then the bank itself (HBOS) was sold, exposing legacy arrangements to full commercial scrutiny.

Even then, even then, Rangers could have used the bonus of Champions League income to either rapidly pay-down their bank debt, or retain as a hedge against the consequences of the on-going tax dispute.  Instead Walter Smith returned to the transfer market, spending what he could to keep his nose in front of Celtic.

This was an arrogant and fatal mistake.

When Whyte put his £1 on the table there was nothing the Independent Board Committee could do to dissuade Sir David from selling, but by then all the cards had been played, an insolvency event was on the horizon unless someone coughed up £18m to repay the overdraft, and no one was prepared to do this.

In the unedifying final days the club was reduced to turning, cap in hand, to lifelong adversaries to ask for rule changes which never arrived.

Despite all of this, humility among this lot is scarcer than a fully paid up tax receipt.

It took dozens of people working to promote Rangers on-field activities to kill the club.  Those who failed to disclose side-letters, those who allowed debt to get out of control, those who sat on boards which endorsed Smith’s spending knowing the potential consequences, those who campaigned against the people who disclosed Whyte’s background, were all necessary for this outcome.  Their reputations are now co-dependent

Celtic fans, HMRC nor the SFA killed Rangers.  None of them* knew about the Discount Options Scheme, the undisclosed side-letters, the unpaid VAT, PAYE or NI bills.  None of them decided to spend more than was prudently possible.

Killing Rangers was an inside job. The biggest rivalry in football is gone; we won, by an avalanche of own goals.

*apart from SFA president Campbell Ogilvie, who knew exactly what was going on.

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  2. Despite all of this, humility among this lot is scarcer than a fully paid up tax receipt.

     

     

    Very possibly your finest line Paul67, great article today.

  3. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    ‘The biggest rivalry in football is gone; we won, by an avalanche of own goals.’

     

     

    Is that what Celtic think or can’t they wait to renew rivalries?

     

     

    Sadly I’m guessing the later is nearer the truth!

  4. Doc

     

     

    Enjoy Germany. I was worried cowiebhoy had locked you in his shed!!!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  5. bognorbhoy oscar in my thoughts on

    COME ON THIS IS THE BEST LINE

     

     

    Killing Rangers was an inside job.

  6. bournesouprecipe on

    Craig Whyte is Scotlands most wanted man, and by the weekend Sir David will be asked back to Diedbrox to lead Sevco from the wee diddy leagues. The Sunday Mason might refresh the casino story and refloat the floating pitch. But despite MSM denial the UTT case was never going to help Sevco 5088 whether it was won, or lost.

     

     

    It couldn’t even help old Rangers it’s all too late, and the irony is if they hadn’t cheated then continued to cheat even after Sir David back in the day offered the tax man a 10million settlement, the new club might have been delayed, or avoided. They knocked him back, and Rangers died.

     

     

    The slight of hand for the ex Rangers Support, MSM SPL SFA and Scotland at large (nobody else is interested ) occurred when ‘the assets’ weren’t seized for sale to re-imburse the creditors. A phoney licence was granted, and yes it’s all in the history between Rangers and Sevco and a liquidation that they don’t acknowledge happened but comically this morning, they are going to have heads that will roll.

     

     

    They died, they know they died and they know we know they died CSC

  7. bhoylo83

     

    the difference imho is none to the current or future incarnation of of sevco but the main thing as far as i’m concerned is that for every decision that goes in favour of oldco t lessons their tainted image…basically the cheats won but got found not guilty of cheating blah blah…………though i’m willing to be corrected!!!

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Well said, Paul. Spent WAY beyond their means for at least 15 years and eventually paid the price.

  9. fanadpatriot on

    Glad the Netherlands got beat last night,flying into Amsterdam tomorrow,and didn’t want to see them celebrating.

     

    Moving on to Maastrcht on Saturday ,going to the Andre Rieu concert,any CQN’S going,I told my wife there will be a least one fellow Tim there.HH.

  10. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    bhoylo83

     

     

    If yesterday had gone HMRC’s way as many had claimed was a penalty kick. Then the excrement would finally have hit the fan. Unfortunately this decision just helps add to the myth that so many like to peddle.

     

     

    HH!

  11. BognorBhoy, opinions and all that!

     

     

    Jamesgang, I’ll have nightmares for weeks!

     

    At a training course in Knittlingen, between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, lovely place.

     

    Finishing tomorrow and heading up to see Awe_Naw, he is going to show me the delights of Germany.

     

     

    I was here for the Semi Final Brazil v Gemany, what a party that was!

  12. Love this line

     

     

    ‘*apart from SFA president Campbell Ogilvie, who knew exactly what was going on.’

     

     

    Says it all really

     

     

    HH

  13. Great blog, no doubt the re-writing of history will continue unabated. Truth is Rangers are gone,dead, buried. It’s all so sweet!

  14. We may have won.

     

    An entity that looks like Rangers, smells like Rangers and is followed by thousands of Rangers fan is making its way up the divisions.

     

    The President of the SFA is still Campbell Ogilvie.

     

    Hugh Dallas has a cushy number in UEFA and Dougie McDonald is on his way back.

     

    Doesn’t feel much like Lisbon to me.

  15. Doc

     

     

    Would be great if you were still there for the final. ? Can’t see past a German win.

     

     

    Stunningly intelligent football the other night. Like the Tic under Ronnie and Jonnie!

     

     

    To be fair to cowiebhoy he did go and check his shed….just in case.

     

     

    Slightly worryingly he apparently got tooled up before doing so! Obviously the prospect of confronting a cornered Doc filled him with disquiet!

     

     

    Right. Edinburgh. Meetings. Bah.

     

     

    Laters Dudes & any lurking Dudettes

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  16. Some excellent points made regarding the latest cover up to protect the ghost of the establishment club.

     

     

    Auldheid keep up the good work but like ellbhoy I fear the worst.

     

     

    Scotland is institutionally sectarian and is rallying round it’s main vehicle to deliver that sectarianism.

     

     

    That’s why thugs in NI are described as blood of our blood and bone of our bone.

     

     

    That’s why it’s okay for anti catholic organisations to march again and again despite the fear intimidation and violence that follows it.

     

     

    That’s why when the green brigade attempt to walk to celtic park they are kettled.

     

     

    That’s why it’s illegal to bless yourself in the wrong way.

     

     

    That’s why singing Irish folk songs can be illegal.

     

     

    That’s why the OB was passed (to criminalise celtic fans and Catholics).

     

     

    That’s why people need to leave Scotland to get promoted.

     

     

    That’s why it was deemed fair to be able to sign players you can’t afford (no sporting advantage).

     

     

    That’s why politicians and the media in Scotland are in denial that the Huns died with my whole new language being invented.

     

     

    That’s why the armed forces are allowed to sing sectarian songs with impunity.

     

     

    That’s why the Huns were allowed to practice apartheid even after South Africa ended their regime and we were told there just wasn’t a catholic good enough.

     

     

    That’s why scottish referees went on strike even after one off their own was caught cheating (they were defending heir right to cheat).

     

     

    I could go on…….

     

     

    But the real worry is that celtic have joined in on all this. res 12 is critically important. If celtic stay completely silent and then we all return to being cheated and pretending nothing happened then what’s the point in effectively supporting sectarianism and our own subjugation.

  17. BSR

     

     

    I hear you….

     

     

    the Court Of Public Opinon adjudicated……. (in the embra sense)…..has sat and scoddland will be of one view – ranjurs were done wrong. The Busted Flush will be seen as a victim, incredible as this is…..

     

     

    In a week or so, I will have colleagues here and in London tell me ranjurs have been cleared and what an awful mess its been etc…..etc

     

     

    Nobody will even refer to the liquidation. No-one else is that interested.

     

     

    Reporters and journalists in every scoddish oulet will be ‘on-message’….. victory, ranjurs now an’ forever etc….etc ad nauseum. The vast majority of journalists elsewhere will let this slide, there simply isn’t the interest.

     

     

    Our challenge as Celtic supporters is how we handle this apparent ‘truth’ and what position the club takes……

     

     

    This is the reality now.

  18. Jamesgang, Germany, for sure, as they say here.

     

    Poweer, pace accuracy, if they get any where near the level of Tuesday unstoppable.

     

    Going home Saturday though:-(

     

     

    Pau67, the whole article is excellent btw.

  19. traditionalist88 on

    bankiebhoy1

     

     

    We stand up to it, like we have many injustices since our formation, and we will overcome like we did in 67, 98 and 2012 when they met their end.

     

     

    The difference is this time we have fans of other clubs with us because they were all victims here too.

     

     

    HH

  20. If DOUGIE McDonald gets the job of teaching young referees in the laws of the game here in Scotland, then you may as well let phedo files drive schools buses

  21. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Deadco(club)s 1872-2012 (Deceased) registration number at companies house SC004276.

     

     

    Newco(club)s registration number at companies house SC425159

     

     

    Celtic FC Plc registration number SC003487

     

    Incorporated 12/04/1897…..

     

    Unchanged & unbroken since that day.

     

     

    Pauls best lineCSC

  22. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Did anyone else think of Terry Butcher when they read “an avalanche of own goals”?

  23. bankiebhoy1

     

     

    Afraid to say I agree with ALL of that.

     

     

    Best we can do is keep it simple:

     

     

    1. Were you(se) liquidated?

     

    2. Do you have secret contracts you hid from the authorities while your ex CEO was SFA president?

     

    3. Did he have one?

     

    4. If you were in the right why did you choose to fold rather than fight?

     

     

    Even that however will be like spitting in the wind I fear… Know.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  24. Doc

     

     

    You def need a 24 hour delay!

     

     

    I’ll tell cowiebhoy to make up the ‘bed in the shed’ for you!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

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