Furious Rangers fans, buoyed by the recent decision by the First Tier Tribunal into the Ibrox club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts are demanding to know how confidential documents were released to the public domain through various outlets – including the Rangers Tax Case Blog.

Fans have created a petition calling on the government to investigate HMRC and their handling of the EBT investigation into Rangers Football Club.

With the verdict in the FTT going the way of Rangers, the fans are now looking for action against those who leaked confidential information relating to the club’s finances, their employees and the progression of the investigation also.

According to those who started the petition, they said: “The source of this leak must be identified and dealt with accordingly due to the serious breach of protocols and completely undermining the role in which HMRC are charged facilitating.”

Glasgow South West MP Ian Davidson, whose constituency covers Ibrox, said: “There is an issue for HMRC about what seems to be a steady leak of information about Rangers’ financial circumstances and the progress of the tax case which causes some concern — and I think that is an issue for them to examine internally.”

“Leaking information in this way about the confidential affairs of a taxpayer is, as I understand it, a criminal offence, so it is not just a matter for the HMRC. What we need is for those who have relayed their concerns to me to approach HMRC or the police with any evidence that they have.

“Once the evidence has come forward then there should be consideration given about the appropriate route to take. In the event there is no formal proof coming forward then HMRC will have to consider — given what seems to have been happening but what is not provable — what internal inquiry is appropriate.”

Two out of the three judges who oversaw the FTT, ruled that the money in the EBTs were loans and not illicit side payments given to players and directors of the club, however despite these being ruled as loans and claimed to be as loans by the club it is reported that those who benefited from the EBTs would not need to pay the money back.

There has also been musings from the likes of Craig Whyte and former members of the board before Whyte took over, that the big tax case, chased off potential suitors and that forced the club into the spiraling decline we saw start from February 2012. With that perceived debt hanging over the club, the old club went into liquidation – on the back of Craig Whyte failing to pay PAYE and NI that was owed to HMRC from when he took the club over – with the new side playing in the Third Division, after losing its top players and being blocked entry to the SPL following a fans revolt demanding sporting integrity wins out.

There has been much finger pointing over the course of this long drawn out saga, however the Rangers fans must remember that those to blame are much closer to home. They took up residence in the Ibrox board room, they failed to pay what was owed to HMRC and while they now claim that the big tax case scared off potential suitors – so did the level of debt that was at the club out with the tax case, and Sir David Murray’s attempts to negotiate a deal with them for around £11 million didn’t help the side either.

New media has also been blamed for conducting a campaign of attrition against Rangers during the issue. You could argue for and against this stance, but one thing is clear up until February 2012 when the club went into administration, the mainstream media were failing its dwindling readership. They peddled articles that were hand fed to them first by Murray and then by Whyte claiming that everything was rosy etc. If these journalists and editors had bothered to do a wee bit of digging then maybe just maybe the truth could have come out quicker than it did, maybe just maybe Whyte would never have secured the club for that £1 he paid with.

Bloggers, the twitterati and a small band of journalists did look into Whyte and his dealings, but for Rangers fans it was seen as an attack on their club and the man who saved them from Sir David Murray – a man who they rounded on for causing huge amounts of debt at the club in a bid for glory domestically and in Europe. It was only near to the time that the club went into administration that the Rangers fans began to believe the worst, that these bloggers, the small band of journalists and twitterati were right about Whyte all along.

One particular blogger, the Rangers Tax Case blogger, won the Orwell Prize over his investigation into the Whyte saga and the big tax case. His blog posts have now disappeared, but one remains, a statement released after the FTT decision was announced.

It read: “The tax case result released yesterday afternoon was obviously a surprise. After reading the findings, it is still difficult to understand how two of the three judges arrived at such a decision. The third dissenting judge’s opinion was clearly more in line with expectations. However, in the First Tier Tribunal it is a case of majority rule.

“If an appeal is launched, it will take several more months before we get the next level of decision. Appeals are not automatically granted, but in this case- with a dissenting judge and where a dispute over legal interpretation exists already- it seems certain. At the Upper Tribunal, new evidence is not introduced and the case is not re-argued. The judges at the Upper Tribunal will hear legal arguments over whether the First Tier Tribunal judges made an error in interpreting the law and will rule accordingly. This blog brought light to a matter of public interest. This blog has been accurate on all of the major points of the case except the one that matters most to date- the FTT outcome.

“We thank everyone who has participated. Hopefully, we will see the result reversed on appeal.”

Hindsight is a wonderous thing, and we have all had opinions on this issue and not just from the Celtic-minded fraternity, but from those whose allegiances are of the blue, white and red persuasion also.

HMRC had every right to investigate whether Rangers legally or illegally paid their players through EBTs, if they did not then they would have faced a barrage of criticism from the government, from the ordinary paying punters that they let off another big business from paying its taxes – just like it had done with Vodafone.

While there have been calls for a police investigation to take place into the whole issue, Strathclyde Police have already commented yesterday morning that there is no investigation into HMRC and such an investigation at any rate must go through the Metropolitan Police in London rather than a regional force.

We have contacted the Rangers tax case blogger asking some questions, in particular if his obtaining of information was illegal and that should the Police contact him will he disclose his sources and co-operate fully with an investigation. We are awaiting his reply.

About The Author

Scotzine is a Scottish football website covering all aspects of the Scottish game from the national team to the SPFL, Highland & Lowland Leagues, the Juniors and the Women's game.

31 Responses

  1. i.middleton@live.com'
    Minty

    There is no doubting that the blame for this saga starts with Murray and Whyte.

    However, the fact still remains that documents were illegally leaked and used by various parties to try and assume guilt before the actual verdict arrived.

    There has been a lot of talk over the past year about “transparency” and “integrity”…not to mention the morals attached to this case. Taking all of that on board, it seems only fair to me that the people who broke the law should be accountable for their actions.

  2. racshade42@hotmail.com'
    Peter

    Agree with all on this page. But I wouldnt hold my breath on recieving a reply from RTC. The man wasnt interested in debate. When evidence was presented to him that was in opposition to his line it was not posted. Many complaints were made to the Orwell award folks as a result of this as disallowing opposition wasnt something Orwell was a fan of as anyone who read his articles or books will know.

  3. s.a.cameron@hotmail.co.uk'
    Scott

    Guilty until proven innocent ,you don’t get the result you want and are proved to be biased in your option , hiding behind a website with a Scottish name and even a thistle .Cutting your nose off to spite your face springs to mind. Look at the damage you have caused but what would you care . Sporting integrity will come back to haunt you oh financial doping almost as bad as match fixing . The good thing to come out of this is that you have helped rangers fans reunite and we will never forget ,

    • Andy Muirhead

      Scott you seem to be blaming me for the demise of rangers? Are you kidding? I reported facts I never stated that i hoped rangers were found guilty I stated IF they were found guilty. A huge difference. Seens the blame for the.clubs woes are being shifted from those who actually perpetrated the whole mess to those who reported the facts and offered opinions.

      But blaming me for Rangers’ demise is laughable and your last sentence sounds like another in a long line of threats.

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        Exactly Andy,

        Ignorance is Bliss.

        RFC(IL) died because of bad Management & the Commercial decisions they took, NOT because of any ill founded HMRC examination.

        Murray sold Rangers for ONE POUND, Why? Because he had lost money hand over fist in his businesses & his Bank had crashed.

        When Lloyds took over they were not as easy on Murray as the BoS was, MIH had to make Debt for Equity deals with Lloyd’s to survive.

        Rangers were not Financially well run nor were they a profitable Club, that is OK when there is a Sugar Daddy to pick up the tab. Rangers failed to cut their cloth to suit their situation, again this was their decision to make.

        Under Murray, RFC was actually run on a BoS loan & overdraft scheme, even the failed Share Issue was funded by a BoS Loan.

        When Lloyds took over they declined to follow suit. They were entitled to do this. They required RFC to change their business model & The Rangers Board were reluctant to do so.

        Both Murray & Lloyds expected the worst from the FTT & Rangers had become a burden they both wanted rid of, hence the decision to sell for £1 + The repayment of the BANK’s Debt of £18m. It was a Commercially sound decision.

        Murray sold to a Vulture Capitalist who creamed Rangers in more ways than one. First he pre-sold Season Ticket Books to Ticketus to fund the Bank debt repayment & then he WITHHELD tax to fund the running of the Club because it was insolvent. Again BAD Commercial decisions by Rangers Management put them in jeopardy.

        This time though the ONLY way out of their problems was to pay HMRC the withheld tax, Rangers did not pay & went into Administration… FOR TAX AVOIDANCE, IE non payment of PAYE, VAT & NIC not anything to do with EBT’s or the FTT.

        The Administrators made a Commercial decision to lump ALL the RFC EXISTING debts + those they EXPECTED together & offer a CVA which was rejected.

        This resulted in Rangers Liquidation & the sell off of assets to Sevco.

        The rest is a JOKE.

        So let’s recap.

        Rangers failed because of Bad Management, living beyond their means & not cutting costs when they could. They then withheld TAX & TRADED While INSOLVENT thus making HMRC the biggest creditor.

        Rangers made the Commercial decision NOT to pay the PAYE, VAT & NIC. this decision led to their demise. If they had paid the Tax man they would have survived… The Tax bill was approx THIRTEEN MILLION POUNDS.

        YES, that’s right, Rangers died because they declined to pay a £13m tax bill.

        As an aside HMRC did NOTHING wrong, their job is to chase up these types of Tax Avoidance Schemes.

        MIH decided to prevaricate & delay for as long as possible by not co operating with HMRC,(the denial of documentation’s existence, is a perfect example of this, copies came into HMRC possession due to the Police raid & YEARS after the HMRC requests)

        While this delay suited MIH, it destabilised RFC because no reputable buyer would take the chance. Murray REFUSED to take possible FTT penalties out of any deal thus making the Club virtually impossible to sell while the Result remained outstanding.

        Like I have already said RFC(IL) died of self inflicted wounds.

      • i.middleton@live.com'
        Minty

        Ian,

        Just out of interest, why do you think Rangers won the big tax case?

      • kevinjamesdoranprofessional@gmail.com'
        thecornerflag

        Because they ruled the EBT’s were loans and not payments. How much sense does that make?

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        Minty,
        Rangers are GONE, in Liquidation for under FOURTEEN MILLION POUNDS, so I don’t think they did win, in fact ANYONE who can call this entire ego trip a victory should explain it to me. For the life of me I cannot understand.

        Your ORIGINAL CLUB is GONE, for what? GREED! Purely & simply, yet you all defend the indefensible.

        You asked a serious question so i will try & answer without banter or mockery.

        I think that EVERY RFC OWNER, DIRECTOR, MANAGER & PLAYER who took a EBT have done a disservice to the Rangers which died.

        If they had even repaid a LITTLE of their tax free money the £13 or £14m would have been paid.. They did not.

        I note that every one says Campbell Ogilvie is an honourable man, yet HE STILL has the £95,000 “LOAN”, as do ALL the others, named or not..

        I am one for mocking dafties like jaz, Joey & whichever Scottie comes on but that does not deflect from a serious discussion.

        I think that you don’t actually understand what happened to Rangers.

        Where are Rangers as you knew them…NOW?

        For years RFC sailed VERY close to the wind. As more chances were taken & money lost, the more desperate they became & in my honest opinion, they broke the Law, before Whyte came along to prove it.

        I think if GENUINE RFC supporters took the time to read the WHOLE document they would be angry at those who were supposed to lead them.

        I also think that a lot of MSM are playing to the Gallery.

        I am more interested in why you asked me THAT question.

        Was it from a Law perspective or a layman’s?

        The LAW says OK because two to one says so, but my layman’s perspective goes more with the dissenter’s vote.

        my reasoning is this, I read it & agreed.

        You might say the majority vote counts & I would always agree with that.

        Unfortunately, in this case their decision defies logic & flies in the face of the explanation of the minority vote.

        THEY did NOT explain their reasoning, so I can’t comment on why they reached their decision in the face of so many facts which pointed diametrically opposite.

        Maybe it would be better if YOU explained why they reached an outlandish decision & how their decision marries up to the known facts.

      • jockcollins@hotmail.com'
        jockybhoy

        The FTT partially upheld the appeal. Rangers are still liable for some tax owed. And now their former players and staff are liable for tax owed. Despite those recipients of “loans” being told they’d never have to repay them.

        Does this mean Rangers were offering bad financial advice? Misselling financial products is a crime. I feel a whole new court case coming on!

      • racshade42@hotmail.com'
        Peter

        How about defamation? Obtaining private documents illegally? If he didnt obtain them illegally then he must have access to them in other ways…public servant? In which case the data protection act has been breached. Information released regarding the tax case made rangers a toxic asset and unsaleable. A lot of revenue was lost through this which led to the eventual non-payment of PAYE and NIC, which led to administration. I’m not a fan of any club, least of all the old firm but it’s plain on the nose on anyones face that a lot of confidential information leaked to bloggers – including RTC – that wasnt publicly available had a huge part to play in the downfall of a large businees. The criticism of the mainstream media (or MSM as it has come to be known) is unfounded as they generally follow the rules (NOTW excepted) by nor printing confidential information from illegal sources. As I said…hope he is in Belize, but I suspect his collar is being sized up for feeling. You cant sign up for WordPress without a name. Note that all of the blogs have been deleted in the wake of the BTC result – wonder why…

      • racshade42@hotmail.com'
        Peter

        Thanks Andy. Typo meant to say “can” to illustrate the difference between anonymity and mainstream journalism…

      • Andy Muirhead

        No probs Peter. Btw Andy’s my real name ;) But I know what you mean too many folk using aliases and hosting companies outwith UK to escape from UK law – esp defamation, libel etc. Although have to say some – including myself – use a US based hosting company as its cheaper and it gives you more for your money in terms of bandwidth and diskspace.

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        You must have read a different RTC blog than me.

        I NEVER saw ANY illegal documents posted by RTC. Could you tell me which ones he/she published?

        The only Leaked documentation I can remember was from a well placed RFC Fan named Adam who was given figures from someone inside Ibrox.

        I can’t remember if they were accurate or not & I can’t remember if he actually posted in full or just gave extracts.

        I never read any defamation by RTC. Perhaps you could show me the alleged defamation?

        In fact, RTC constantly said that the findings would be less than the figures publicly quoted & that some EBT’s would be allowed & that proved to be so, pending any appeal..

        What you go on to say is a load of TRIPE.

        RTC did NOT cause a loss of income, Mr McCoist’s inadequate Management skills, allied to piss poor performances by his team caused that.

        RTC DID NOT cause RFC(IL) to stop paying PAYE, NIC etc. Rangers made a Commercial Decision to do this. Whyte admits Rangers traded while insolvent, using non payment of tax as his chosen method of providing working capital for Rangers & allowing them to complete the season. A bit of illegality there.

        RTC did NOT cause Ranger’s Administration or Liquidation…. Ranger’s Owner did that. HMRC took action on the non payment of PAYE etc under Whyte’s Regime, it had NOTHING to do with RTC or EBT’s or the FTT. There was also the SMALL Tax Case, which Ranger’s admitted to owing. All self inflicted wounds which proved to be terminal.

        So once again I ask, Why would RTC have to go to Belize?

        I think there a a few collars which deserve to be felt before RTC’s.

      • racshade42@hotmail.com'
        Peter

        Sorry dont do rabid. Just common sense. Everything you’ve put is just ranting an opinion. I prefer the balanced view. I stand by my words.

      • racshade42@hotmail.com'
        Peter

        Hold up…just like to pick you up on a point or two.

        I didnt say he posted documents. I said he obtained them.

        He made many unfounded accusations (anonymously) against many individuals that could be considered defamatory. For instance he was telling people a company was acting illegally. Not that they may have been but that they were. As it turns out they werent. You can argue points but there is “Prima Facie” (sic) for making a case for defamation.

        You are correct. RTC didnt bring down Rangers. Neither did I say he did. I said he along with the other bloggers had a part to play.

        So yes if I was him I’d have deleted everything I said and ran like hell.

        Or, if I hadnt done anything wrong, I would have left everything on the blog and stood by my words.

        I have no interest in this either as a Rangers or Celtic fan so I can be objective. This includes reading what has actually been said. My post is still there if you want to read it again (unlike certain phantom bloggers)

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        Peter, I suggest YOU Re-read mine.

        Where am I rabid? In fact where am I wrong in what I state?

        I quote Facts:

        RTC said he had information about a Tax Avoidance Scheme being run by RFC & that HMRC were chasing them for back tax, but RFC were being obstructive. He had & they were.

        Did you actually READ the RTC Blog & what he/she said?

        RTC Emphisised that the decision would be split & it was, RFC(IL) did NOT win the case as reported. The actual situation is that a BIG part of the MIH/RFC appeal was granted & HMRC have the right to appeal. Until the case is finalised, no one has “won” or “lost”.

        There are protocols about Whistle blowing which are acceptable, I will treat this as Whistle blowing until there is proof to the contrary.

        RTC’s Blog did not ONLY cover the EBT’s it covered the SMALLER Tax case, do you remember that? & the SFA/SPL issues concerning the side letters which led to the declaration that there was a Prima Facie case to answer, the Independent Panel will decide on this & report back to the SPL & The Ticketus con. I mentioned ALL of this & as I say it is Factual, NOT Rabid.

        Rangers ADMITTED they owed the multi millions involved in the “Small Tax Case”, but still did NOT pay it. RTC reported this & again , it proved to be true.

        I ask you again, WHO did he defame? Please name NAMES, if you are making such an accusation a generic answer is not sufficient.

        You said “Info made RFC a toxic asset & unsaleable” that, as I said, is inaccurate.

        David Murray COULD have sold RFC, if he had given an indemnity covering any tax findings against Rangers… HE REFUSED & THAT made the Club Toxic, couple that to the huge losses, year on year & it made Lloyds,their NEW Banker unwilling to back the club in the same way as BoS had in the past. This Mismanagement, by the RFC Owner & Board, eventually led to the sale of RFC for ONE POUND To Mr Whyte, again I stated all of this & again it is true, not Rabid.

        You went on to say ” A lot of revenue was lost through this leading to eventual non payment of PAYE & NIC, which led to administration” I said this was Junk…I was not being Rabid, I was being Factual.

        Throughout ALL of the RFC saga their FANS have stayed loyal, THEY turned up & paid… There was NO LOSS of REVENUE from an adverse reaction to RTC’s blog, if anything it made the Rangers fans MORE determined to support their club.

        Rangers did NOT loss Sponsorship or TV money because of the RTC blog either.

        I said that Whyte funded the repayment of the Bank debt of approx £18m by pre-selling Season Books to Ticketus & that poor Management by Ally McCoist & his team led to the loss of European income which Whyte was relying on to get through the season. I went on to say that Whyte then withheld PAYE, NIC ETC to pay for the day to day running of Rangers because he was skint. This is Trading while Insolvent.

        THIS is what led to the Administration under Whyte…. CHEATING the Taxman pure & simple NOT the RTC Blog. Again, not Rabid, simply the truth.

        You keep making a big issue of being neither a Rangers or Celtic fan as if ONLY NON Rangers & Celtic fans can tell the truth or be right.

        To reiterate, I have been Factual not Rabid & you have been wrong as detailed above.

      • racshade42@hotmail.com'
        Peter

        Dude, I cant READ the STUFF you WRITE. All that SHOUTING. You REALLY need TO get AN IT guy TO check YOUR caps LOCK button. YOU also NEED to MAYBE keep RESPONSES shorter AND more CONCISE as the RABID stuff GETS in THE way OF our READING pleasure. WE arent BEING properly EDUCATED by YOU. Peace.

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        Peter,

        Apologies for capitals, can’t do italics for emphasis. Notice you don’t try to answer any of the facts you were wrong in & that I corrected.

        I also come on for a decent debate, you have not provided one. The truth helps you know.

        You wrote a load of incorrect rubbish & when asked for specifics, resorted to insults & the old fact that you don’t support either Celtic or Rangers.

        As I said I have no interest in who you support as long as your points are accurate, yours are not.

        Please answer the points I raised from your post.

        What income stream did the RTC post cost Rangers?

        Who did RTC defame?

        How did the RTC Blog result in The RTC Administration?

        it was a Commercial decision, by The Owner of Rangers, to deliberately withhold tax from HMRC which led to the Administration, how did RTC have an influence on that?

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        Peter,

        A correction & additional comment.

        It should read How did the RTC Blog result in RFC Administration?

        I also missed a couple of points, if my answer is long it is because of your many mistakes, I answered your points with Factual info & asked for clarity from you.

        You decried RTC for a well written Blog which was factual, with a diatribe of misinformation & innuendo.

        When I corrected you on some points & asked for clarification on others I note you again resorted to a attack tactic which deflected from the actual post you made & which I answered TWICE with factual info to correct your misconceptions.

        I am not here to educate anyone, but I am also not here to read obvious junk & inaccurate statements.

        I read articles on a subject & separate Fact from Fiction, answer to correct the Fiction & ask for clarity.

        as I already said, there is no shouting, only emphasis of facts ignored, like I have already said I would use italics if I knew how.

        Now please answer the questions without deflection or whataboutery & don’t use the misuse of capitals as a reason to deflect the discussion away from a proper answer.

    • crorkenmichael72@gmail.com'
      mick

      Great balanced article a think there’s a few twists and turns in this mess yet

  4. jockcollins@hotmail.com'
    jockybhoy

    Witholding information required by law by HMRC, as a number of Rangers staff have apparenbtly done according to the FTT verdict is also an offence. The authorities already know who they are. Will Rangers fans be petitioning for their prosecution?

    Again, the tribunal found there WERE cases where Rangers are liable for tax even through their labyrinthine offshore tax arrangements. They also found some weren’t. Congrats.

    Let’s not forget Rangers did not challenege HMRC in the Wee tax case, and the withholding of taxes due under Whyte’s Reign of Error is not in doubt. Rangers went bust owing, what £60m excluding this BTC. And that’s on top of the £18m HBOS/lloyds debt.

    Rangers fans have been accused of playing the man not the ball throughout the past few years – rather than facing up to and dealing with the issues at hand, they want to shoot the messenger (I hope only figuatively). Plus ca change.

    • bluedoug1967@hotmail.com'
      The Dougstar

      When will you learn that this was NOT a criminal case involving “guilt” or “not guilt”-it was a civil case involving whether tax would be paid or not. It involved a LEGAL scheme. There are no legal requirements to provide information voluntarily to HMRC willie-nilli .What would they want -every bit of paper or document ever relating to EBT’s? They have to specify-no fishing expeditions are allowed. Do you know , as a matter of FACT, that they appropriately specified? Going by the way they conducted this case I would not be surprised to find a vast array of incompetence on HMRC’s behalf. Which strenghtens the case for an inquiry even further. HMRC have the necessary powers to investigate and demand the appropriate paperwork.You state Rangers employees “apparently” withheld information. What this implies is they didn’t give all the documents at the time requested at the date demanded by HMRC to the detail. However in any civil case it is up to the pursuers to get all the information -not de iure required of investigees to vouluntarily give up all documents . However HMRC had EIGHT years to investigate and they didn’t . They waited til 2009 before raising a phantom bill. They need to be investigated as to why they turned down a settlement , costing the taxpayer circa £10m. Plus legal expenses incurred. Can we really afford this level of government excess at a time of tight budgets? Is this value for money? All questions for an inquiry. The more openness the better. As long as tax policy is even handed-what about an investigation into image rights contracts at football clubs or personal services contracts at national broadcasters (funded by Johnny-taxpayer). I can see a documentary now The BBC: The Men Who Didn’t Pay Their Taxes…..or maybe an SPL panel on “dual image rights” contracts not declared. Or perhaps a general inquiry of who has ISA’s and therefore “dodging tax”-however legal it may be. Sounds like an idea for a blog?…ISATaxCase perhaps???

      • jockcollns@hotmail.com'
        jockybhoy

        Dougstar – I am confused. In my post I didn’t mention guilt or no guilt, quite the reverse I described the result of theBTC as a partial win, but as the FTT found there were cases in which Rangers misused the EBT scheme, they have not been given a clean bill of health. The fact that the FTT went out of their way to state Rangers were not co-operative and strung out the whole process being told paperwork had been “lost” etc, strikes me as censure for those involved at Rangers end of this process.

        HMRC are perfectly entitled to refuse a settlement figure if they feel they would get more going through the courts. I as a tax payer applaud this. I can’t believe you are saying HMRC pursuing delinquent tax payers through the courts is “govt excess” – quite the reverse! THe fact that Rangers didn’t contest the “wee tax case” gave HMRC grounds to pursue the full value of this. THenon-payment of PAYE and NIC were further strikes against OldCo Rangers – something conveniently forgotten in this faux-outrage against the tax-man. I still anticipate Oldco to be presented with a bill approaching, if not exceeding, the 10m plea bargain Oldco offered previously. Andthere’s the prospect of an HMRC appeal – after all the FTT is only the FIRST TIER tax tribunal. Plenty to play for yet…

      • bluedoug1967@hotmail.com'
        The Dougstar

        Actually HMRC have very narrow grounds to appeal. It can only be on a strict point of law and the fact that the two majority decisions were made by tax law experts, as opposed to the minority view by a tax accountant, means it will be almost impossible for leave of appeal to be granted -the standard barrier of prima facie evidence will be very high. I would think it evident that tax law experts opinions on a point of law will be esteemed higher than a tax accountant on a point of law -sorry Ms Poon! As for the evidence given at the FTTT I have now had time to read it and am confused as to where this idea that there was a reluctance to give evidence came from. To quote the FTTT report itself it states
        Quote ” The football players, their agents and the various professional advisors all gave frank accounts and were straightforward in their manner.” I think general wishful thinking has again overtaken direct evidence on this matter. Don’t fall for the big hoax again – it is beginning to get embarrassing now : how can anyone take anything Celtic fans say o0n this seriously anymore?

      • i_f_ferguson@hotmail.com'
        Ian ferguson

        What a load of junk you have written. Did you really read it?

        There are ample grounds for appeal & I doubt the FTT will refuse to grant one, if they did it would be granted at the next level.

        I think this will go on for a while yet, for Rangers it does not matter, they are dead, but for the various players there could be a lot at stake.

        The most telling thing is content which will be of interest to the NEXT Tribunal, the SPL one.

        It appears there is clear,admitted evidence to support the Prima Facie case the SPL feel exists.

        Interesting times indeed.

  5. athollblair@taxile.co.uk'
    PrideAndNoPrejudice

    Dougstar, did you REALLY read the FTT report?

    You stated that you were confused “as to where this idea that there was a reluctance to give evidence came from.” Really? Are you serious? Or just deliberately disingenuous?

    You quoted an extract that praised the players, agents and the various professional advisers for their frank accounts. Absolutely correct. Spot on. But it was not the players, agents and professional advisers that were under the microscope. It was the oldco and the FTT report made numerous disparaging references. Let me quote you a few since you somehow appear to have missed them:

    “…had not been forthcoming in producing documentation… Relevant information had become available via other sources, particularly the City of London Police’s investigations.”

    “It was a question repeatedly raised… and repeatedly met with evasive and disingenuous answers.”

    “The overall impression… was that he was being vague and evasive.”

    “He accepted that there had been delays in his providing certain information to HMRC.”

    “It is not accepted that there had been no deliberate concealment of the side-letters…”

    “It would appear that he was obstructive in his conduct during the HMRC’s enquiry, and obscurantist in the way he gave evidence…”

    “It would also appear that he tried to influence [others] in their giving of evidence.”

  6. athollblair@taxile.co.uk'
    PrideAndNoPrejudice

    Ian Ferguson – that’s not a name you’d often find arguing against the Rangers cause! You’re absolutely spot on with one exception. Any judgement will fall on oldco, it won’t affect the players. If tax and NI is decreed, it will be oldco’s responsibility (so probably will never get paid) but the players won’t get hit. It was the employer’s place to pay the proper PAYE, not the employees.

    As you said, interesting times ahead. But we’re all wrong. And the ostriches will still stick their heads in the sand. Just like they did when we all kept warning them that their club was up the proverbial creek and they did zilch.

    Compare and contrast. Celtic 1994 and Rangers 2011. But they wouldn’t listen.

    They’re sure as hell listening now though. But denial is a disease. There are none so blind as those who cannot see…