HMRC have confirmed their actions today leave open “potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years”.
Chances are, HMRC will investigate the actions of SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, more thoroughly than the investigation carried out by the Association which allowed their chief executive, Stewart Regan, to tell the media that:
“We are all aware of businesses being run where you have one owner and operator running the club and a number of directors sitting below. The way this process has been managed, a lot of this correspondence was done much higher up the chain than Campbell Ogilvie.”
Stewart (if I can be familiar), you’re better than this. Try reading this story one page ahead, figure out where this one is going and start acting accordingly. Of course, President What-school-did-you-go-to then told Scotland on Sunday:
“I might have signed some documents from time to time”.
Mr Regan had better make sure he knows what Mr Ogilvie signed, and I recommend he doesn’t relay exclusively on Mr Ogilvie’s memory.
“Those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years” includes Mr Ogilvie throughout his period as a director of Rangers. His position has been untenable for months and his continuing presence at the top of the Scottish FA only further contaminates those who claim otherwise.
The former directors of Rangers will not be the only ones alarmed at this development, recipients of EBTs (including the directors, who will have a second matter to consider) have reason to be concerned.
Not only do Her Majesty’s officers want any potential wrongdoing investigated, they also want their money.
Rangers EBTs were a loan. HMRC will tell recipients of this loan that their side letters (you better believe they’ll all find those side letters now) are not worth the paper they’re written on. If the money was indeed a loan, a demand for repayment will be made. If this is disputed, you can expect to hear the phrase Gratuitous Alienation to enter the lexicon soon. Gratuitous Alienation is the Scots legal term describing when property (or cash) is transferred to another party without any, or adequate, consideration.
I hear HMRC have all their ducks lined up for this one.
Internecine strife doesn’t begin to describe how things will end up.