Season will be decided on the field, not in the courts


I received a text early evening on 18th August last year: “Gongalves starts”.  Former Hearts player, Jose Gongalves, was one of a handful of players FC Sion signed illegally in the summer 2011 transfer window and he had been named to start against Celtic in the Europa League qualifier, first leg.

As a contest, the tie was over.  There followed two matches with considerable effort and drama from both teams but the eventual outcome was, literally, never in doubt, the courts would have their way.  Sion would be expelled from the competition and Celtic would progress to the group stage.

Today Celtic’s only remaining competitor from the chasing pack for the SPL title is up in court to face the HM Revenue and Customs.  The courts will have their way again but although you may feel the outcome of Rangers tax case is inevitable (I do), the impact on this season’s league championship is less assured.  Should they lose, Rangers have the option to appeal, postponing any negative impact on the company until next season at the earliest.

If Rangers have, or can generate, enough cash to keep the lights on this season the league will be nip and tuck until the end of the season. The tax case will attract most attention but if you are looking for indications of how the season is likely to go, keep an eye open for cash related incidents.

Well done to Rangers’ broadcast partner, STV, for their story this morning on SPL discipline.  They report the Ibrox club have the worst disciplinary record in the league, having accumulated a total of 41 bookings, contrasting starkly with the cool class at Celtic Park who are best behaved in the league with only 20 bookings.

With Beram Kayal out for the season Ki Sung-Yeung is the Celtic player closest to a suspension, a further three yellow cards would put the Korean over the threshold.  Rangers have Lafferty one booking, Edu and Bocanegra two, with Goian, Broadfoot, Bartley and Whittaker all three away from a suspension.  Lee McCulloch has only been booked twice this season but shows enormous potential.

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  1. ernie lynch says:


    17 January, 2012 at 10:54



    “HMRC’s counsel in the house of lords was Timothy Brennan QC.”




  2. RogueLeader says:


    17 January, 2012 at 10:53



    ‘I would think it is more than likely that these side letters contained far more than just a note as to tax liability. That would not satisfy mercenary footballers and their agents…… ‘




    I suspect that’s the case.



    There’s no way a football agent would take anything on trust.

  3. I think people are talking about March/April for a decision on the tribunal simply because that is typical of tribunals.



    However this is a tribunal that has been running well over a year and this final sitting is only 3 days compared the the previous diets of 2 weeks when the majority of the evidence and arguments will have been heard and contemplated by the Chairman. I reckon a decision will be much quicker than 2 or 3 months. Of course at any time during the proceedings HMRC may look to have the appeal dismissed, or part of it, and if that is for the Rangers part then at that point it’s game over immediately, but that’s just a possibility, not a probability.



    The interconnection with Rangers and MIH is a complexity that has not been explored a great deal I don’t think. I just wonder if there will be some sort of move to have MIH carry the can.



    The contract revelations, if proved and not buried in the confidentiality order, are potentially just as damaging to the football club (sic(k)) as the tax, and leaves the SFA, Ogilvie et al in a worse position that Farry was over Cadete.

  4. On the issue of fraud, the law requires three elements to be present – there must be a false pretence, a practical result and a causal link between the pretence and the result. It appears the foe malign has been paying players sums of money on the false pretence that these sums were loans. The practical result is that HMRC does not receive any tax due in respect of the sums paid. The pretence that the sums paid do not constitute taxable income has resulted in HMRC being denied the payments due. I’d hate to have to attempt to argue that that is not fraud.

  5. DBBA


    I have only ever seen it used as a kind of sign-off.On blogs facebook etc…until last week when i saw it used in a much more ‘official’ way…..

  6. BlantyreKev – “I just wonder if there will be some sort of move to have MIH carry the can”



    Can’t see how that is possible. It is tax. Tax for employees of Rangers Football Club PLC. Only Rangers Football Club PLC is liable for the tax of their employees. If they are not, that means the players were not employees of the club and that opens up a whole other can of FIFA worms which would see them relegated at the very least anyway…..


    south of tunis 1012




    Don’t mind if I borrow this,do you?






    ” If you gave him an enema -you could bury him in a matchbox






    Superb put-down,I bow before you….

  8. Monaghan1900 says:


    17 January, 2012 at 11:01



    The architect behind Murrays use of EBT´s is now a very poorly endowed porno star.



    I personally cannae wait for Hollywoods treatment of Dignity FC it could have more parts than rocky



    Hail Hail

  9. Gordon J



    I heard the main prosecutors are Kim Culley and David and Barbara Leggate.




  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo said:


    The architect behind Murrays use of EBT´s is now a very poorly endowed porno star.



    Does that mean he was once a very well endowed porno star?




  11. Bobby Murdoch ——



    Not my put down ——- as DBBIA posted the credit belongs to Christopher Hitchens . Not everybody’s cup of tea !

  12. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:


    17 January, 2012 at 11:05



    Aye – and be marginally less credible than Rocky!




  13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Baxendale-Walker



    . He is, together with Andrew Thornhill Q.C., the author of The Law and Taxation of Remuneration Trusts[1] (Key Haven, 1997) and also Purpose Trusts[2] (1999, 2009 [2nd ed.]).


    Paul Baxendale-Walker was born of Anglo-Brazilian parents, but was orphaned and grew up in a variety of Children’s Homes. He took a degree in law at Hertford College of Oxford University and went on to qualify as a barrister and later solicitor. He worked in taxation law at the Bar in Lincoln’s Inn and then in various City law firms and Arthur Andersen, before establishing his “Baxendale Walker” practice in Mayfair in 1994.


    In 1994, Baxendale-Walker advised on the taking of loans from a pension fund established for the benefit of employees. The borrowers were fraudsters and £2,135,000 went missing. In subsequent civil proceedings, Mr Justice Etherton found Baxendale-Walker was not guilty of dishonesty.[3][4] In the course of the civil trial it transpired that he had given a reference for an associate of the fraudsters without any proper basis for the factual assertions in the reference. In consequence in 2005 the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal suspended him as a solicitor for three years. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision in 2007.[5][6]


    Baxendale-Walker was struck off the roll of solicitors by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal on 11 January 2007.[7] He subsequently claimed that the Law Society and others had conspired to put him out of business. On 18 April 2011, his claim was struck out by the High Court on the basis that it had no real prospect of success.[8]


    Baxendale-Walker is the author of the EBT (Employee Benefits Trust) tax strategy implemented by Glasgow Rangers FC, which is currently (April 2011) being challenged by HMRC in the first tier tax tribunal.[9]







    He now calls himself Paul Chaplin



    Paul Chaplin = Paul Baxendale-Walker



    I wonder what the judge thinks when he see this is the great mind behind Hun FC financial strategy






    and that´s only the trailer




    Hail Hail

  14. Question



    If Rangers Tax Case not decided fully till mid season, then SFA eventually meet to discuss punishment, and that results in a points deduction, to what season will it apply? Retrospectively? What if,heaven forbid, they had won the league?

  15. pintaguinness says:


    17 January, 2012 at 11:16





    If Rangers Tax Case not decided fully till mid season, then SFA eventually meet to discuss punishment, and that results in a points deduction, to what season will it apply? Retrospectively? What if,heaven forbid, they had won the league?






    It all depends if the Tribunal states there were 2 contracts and Rangers lodged false contracts with the SFA. If it does the SFA have to do them, if not they’ll get away with it unless a criminal investigation/trial discloses it.



    Points deductions for Admin will come into effect immediately!

  16. Is it only me who is quite amazed that the paper talk of M£10 bids – or indeed ANY bid – for Jelavic seems to suddenly have totally disappeared.



    Any idea why this should be?

  17. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon says:


    17 January, 2012 at 11:18





    Didn’t get that one at all – until I Googled the names!







  18. I imagine being a fly on the wall at the tax tribunal right now would be like watching a scene from My Cousin Vinny.

  19. WATP… Maybe they stole it like everything else…



    “We . . . are no petty people. We are one of the great stocks of Europe. We are the people of Burke; we are the people of Swift, the people of Emmet, the people of Parnell. We have created most of the modern literature of this country. We have created the best of its political intelligence and we won the European Cup before anybody else in these isles did”




    W. B. Yeats (1865–1939)



    speech in the Irish Senate, June 11, 1925

  20. Jimmci



    Because 1. He’s no very good


    2. Chairman urnae daft and will wait til 31st jan and offer 3 to 4 million upfront


    3. He may also wait til the “event” and skip out the door for he haw and negotiate a big signing on fee and wages himself.



  21. WATP —–



    Psalms 95 .



    ” For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture. ”



    We Avoid Tax Payments

  22. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    give keevins as much notice as he did when he decided to call you good name into queston, consult a lawyer now, chances are there will be someone on here who could advise if it would be worh a bash.

  23. 1/Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side “shut down” and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female’s two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.



    2/Echidna, character in the video game The Bouncer



    – two apparently random monotremic facts, lifted from Wiki/EWTB/EWLM.



    Will the circle be unbroken?

  24. RogueLeader says:


    17 January, 2012 at 11:04



    Totally appreciate that, I just wonder if one of the contracts was in Rangers name and on which they paid tax and the players were legitimately registered, and the 2nd was with MIH? Nothing to do with football registration, just a 2nd source of income.



    Probably not, just thinking the whole 2nd contract thing is an area not subject to as much scrutiny as all other parts of the case so far. Fair play to Auldhied, BRTH and yourself among others who have been mentioning it.

  25. cadizzy says:


    17 January, 2012 at 10:46



    If the side letters offer some sort of tax protection, I’d like to see HMRC arguing that Rangers had agreed to pay players net in which case the PAYE tax itself becomes income and should be grossed up. Not even a hun-dredaire has pockets deep enough for that.




    I was wondering about this myself.



    Essentially, for those who are wondering what difference this would make:


    £50m or so was paid into the EBT scheme over a number of years. Tax and NIC is payable on this sum amounting to around £24m. Interest accrued on this will be about £10-12m and penalties up to a half of the original bill ergo a total of around £49m or thereabouts.



    If the contracts state ‘Net’, this then becomes:


    £50m or so was paid into the EBT scheme to be classed as Net pay, i.e. after Tax and NIC were paid. In order to pay the tax and NIC, the gross pay required must be found, or approximately £45-50m. This provides us with a gross pay of around £95-100m (before deductions).



    The £45-50m shortfall will be subject to the same rate (note: rate, not amount) of interest and penalties as described previously ergo a grand total tax bill of somewhere in the region of £85-95m.



    This latter scenario is the actual amount the orcs cheated on btw, irrespective of whether the contracts actually stipulate ‘net’ or not – this £95-100m is the amount of remuneration they would have required to pay out to their players for the players to receive the benefits they actually did.



    This last bit is very important when considering any punishments if they survive this.