We can hold our heads high…and it’s time to get the record straight. I am sure like many of you, there are certain myths and accusations out there which really aren’t challenged enough. Let’s do something about that and while we are at it deal with the hypocritical drivel from the east end this evening.
Firstly we were tax cheats. We weren’t.
The use of EBTs to pay employees has been around for years and had a proper legislative basis. Murray and Rangers made use of this, a payment structure that was open to all. Hey, guess who else used them? Celtic. Who knows whether any other SPL club used them. Who cares.
HMRC don’t like EBTs. But they have never defeated them in court. Because they had a legitimate legislative basis. Instead of spending 10 years mumping and moaning about them and failing miserably in court to make their point why didn’t HMRC lobby Govt to introduce the Disguised Remuneration legislation that they eventually got round to introducing in late 2010?
Secondly, Rangers were immoral. We weren’t.
The courts are there to rule on the law, not morality. We have a staggeringly pious statement from Celtic about being whiter than white. Oh really. Lets go back to 1997 when Fergus McCann, the man credited with reviving Celtic was running the show. In 1997 VAT Tribunal (Tribunal Number 14762 if you are inclined to look it up in the VAT Case books) considered Celtic’s attempt to delay payment to Customs & Excise (a forerunner to HMRC) of VAT on season ticket sales until each individual match had been played. This gave Celtic a favourable cash flow position, having collected an amount due for VAT from their unsuspecting supporters. More aggressively the ‘voucher’ scheme also attempted to achieve an actual saving of VAT relating to specific matches if the season ticketholder failed to attend any specific match (they’d be rolling in it this year!). In Celtic’s view this saved VAT was a gift from the fan…a gift the fan was entirely unaware of.
The Tribunal found that Celtic’s aggressive VAT scheme was not effective and, after slamming the scheme, Celtic’s appeal was dismissed. So it seems that our friends across the city are no strangers to trying it on. Apparently that’s all it takes to get accused of being cheats.
If our detractors truly want to continue the morality line perhaps they could interrupt multi-millionaire Mr Lennon from talking about Rangers to explain the role of morality in his decision to invest in the failed tax wheeze, Innovator One. Note, that was a failed tax scheme, much like Celtic’s VAT scam. And unlike Rangers EBT scheme. Are you spotting the difference?
Sure HMRC have said they will appeal the Rangers decision. Opinion shopping perhaps. But lets never forget that the only legally objective assessment of our EBT arrangements found in our favour. So all these negative opinions and blogs are baseless.
Did Rangers gain an advantage in using this scheme?
Again the only legally objective assessment of this question found the answer to be an emphatic no. But somehow another football club, who did not have privy to the evidence (or given their relationship with Harper Macleod….did they?) still feels it has grounds to comment publicly on this. How staggeringly arrogant and petulant of them.
I’d rather place more emphasis on the insight offered by Alastair Johnston. Our former chairman explained that for as long as the Murray Group bankers were prepared to extend credit the savings generated by the EBT would have simply been added to Group debt. Over the EBT years this would have amounted to little more than £3m per year. No one can say that, had the EBT not been in place, Rangers would not have fielded the same players in the same games.
You are guilty of £47m of undisclosed payments?
Not correct on a couple of fronts. Firstly the payments were publicly disclosed and known to the football authorities for more than 10 years. How can they be secret if they are made public? In fact the first time anyone ever questioned their use was a Rangers fan at an AGM. The press didnt pick up on that at the time…my main guess as to why they didnt is because as well as being largely vindictive….they are thick.
Further, as SDM has stressed, these payments were not contractual remuneration paid by Rangers. As has been proven by the only independent legal assessment of these payments were bona-fide loans delivered by an independent third party. Why would or should Rangers need to declare these? If they were secret then one could reasonably say they were an ‘open secret’.
Finally consider this…has there been an SPL comparative investigation into every gift, every bonus and every benefit delivered to every SPL player against what is stipulated in their contracts? Surely sporting integrity would demand parity of treatment and necessitate all clubs to be put under the microscope? And given that Celtic’s lawyers were allowed to represent against us….can we represent again them?
Ah but what about £15m Craig Whyte didn’t pay.
Well firstly ponder this….if Craig Whyte truly is an immoral man why does he remain the poster boy of our enemies? The only group who genuinely want Whyte to pay for this deception (remember his shareholder circular…utter pre-mediated fiction) are Rangers supporters. That would be the icing on the cake …a cake in tiers of favourable judgements and viewed in tears by our enemies.
HMRC’s role in this?
Not great. Another legal EBT defeat, suspicions of continuous and tolerated information leaks but most damagingly, their inflated weighting in the CVA vote cost the 95% of other creditors who did vote for the agreement real money. That is shameful…and perhaps those oldco creditors could consider a class action against HMRC?
The football authorities.
Utterly shameful. A behaviour on a par with the SPL chairlambs who were duped by their bitter and largely absent rabbles and driven by fear. To hell with due process…sign this confessional Charles and we’ll let you have a kick of the ball. Isnt it time to reflect on your failed leadership to look after the interests of a senior member club?
Rangers died, you are a new club.
I suspect this will be the last lingering refuge of the hate mob and plain ignorant mhedia reps. But as with everything else you’ve thrown at Rangers, it just is bitter wishful thinking and an untruth. The football authorities at home and abroad have confirmed that we are the same club…..and when we win again it will be 55. Heck, if we want to get petty about it then we might choose to add our WWII titles in the same way a smaller club might include their WWI titles.
Greetin Face FC’s statement tonight about being whiter than white.
Guess what, so are we. We are up to date with all of our filings. Same as you. Your pathetic comment about another club is really just a matter of arbitrary timeline memory….because if you want to go further back then I think the skeletons that will fall out of your wardrobe may have you choking on the mute button. When it comes to moralising, you are the hypocrites’ champion hypocrite. Will we need to have a SPL enquiry into the economic benefits conveyed to you from the public purse in 1994 (when you were ‘gifted’ for a penny land by a Celtic supporting council cabal to build the stadium that you used to fill) and in 2014?
We are where we are……
Yup, Rangers as popular as ever, the only show in town, and with a spirit of unity and purpose matched by wide open eyes, our future is bright. And having heard Celtic’s pitiful rallying call to arms and seen Lenny’s priceless interview….it will be us laughing tonight and looking forward to a bouncing day at 5 star Ibrox. How does that make you feel dear haters?
I will leave you with 5 words.
Get It Right Up Ye !