So, farewell then, Rangers

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:27 am

Now that it transpires the reason HMRC went to court was over unpaid PAYE and VAT relating to THIS season and not the disputed sums accrued under the past regime, I think it's safe to say without fear of contradiction that Craig Whyte is a bare-faced liar . Yesterday the official Rangers website stated the reason the club was filing for administration related to the tax tribunal case and HMRC's determination to "appeal, appeal and appeal" (RFC site quote marks), that they couldn't go through "possibly years of uncertainty" if they lost and appealed themselves (even though Whyte has always publicly insisted legal advice was that Rangers would win the case) and that administration could be avoided "If HMRC were to strike a manageable and mutually acceptable agreement with the Club, even at this late stage, that would safeguard the future well-being of Rangers, without any insolvency process."

Those statements were posted on Rangers official site as an explanation to their fans and others for the events of Monday even though Whyte was fully aware that he had filed notice of intent in order to prevent HMRC from acting on money owed SINCE he took over last May and had nothing to do with 'historic' debt.

Short of having 'chancer' tattooed on his forehead it couldn't have been clearer from the start that this guy was no 'Whyte knight.'

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by lbb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:43 am

My PC is down so having to post from phone.

I haven't liked Whyte from even before his takeover but even I'm becoming amazed at the level of deception with which he's involved. No matter what happens to Rangers, I think Craig Whyte will be lucky not to see jail time. The entire takeover appears to have been fraudulent and a criminal investigation needs to made into Whyte, Murray and Lloyds, how much they knew of each other, how much this process has been pre-agreed, etc. It never made sense to me where Whyte came from, why he bought a club with a huge tax liability and why he mysteriously proposed a deal that benefitted Lloyds and Murray but did not Rangers FC. It was simply too much of a coincidence, IMO.

I still don't see how Rangers can emerge from this so I don't share the view that everything will sort itself out. Unless some serious Rangers-supporting big hitters step up then Rangers will disappear. It's that simple.

There has been some surprisingly decent media coverage. The media, or most of it, seem to have finally woken up to what's happening. There are always one or two exceptions - an unemployed journalist named Graham Spiers, for example - but most comment has been sober and rational. You should be able to catch Scotland Tonight on STV player. Archie MacPherson was in it, was excellent on Murray and Whyte and seemed to be literally shaking with anger. Supporter representatives have been very good especially Mark Dingwall of the RST has been calm and articulate when others, such as myself, would have been like a man with Tourette's having an explosion.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:27 pm

lbb wrote: I still don't see how Rangers can emerge from this so I don't share the view that everything will sort itself out. Unless some serious Rangers-supporting big hitters step up then Rangers will disappear. It's that simple.
There's still several opportunities for them to survive. Firstly, if HMRC settles a CVA and/or a repayment plan to recoup as much money as possible, as opposed to sending them down as a deterrent. Secondly, if the company is liquidated but the SPL/SFA memberships transferred to a new company (requires approval of the Board of each). Or thirdly, if an AFC Rangers 2012 is formed, and applies for SFL/SPL.

There's also numerous uncertainty about Whyte, his motives and his intent. Is this all part of a bigger plan? Did he always intend this? Has he made a big mistake? Or is he on his anticipated route?

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by macjackb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:29 pm

I can't visualise them disappearing; even if they're wound up and a new Rangers is formed, they'll take over enough thousands and have enough clout in our pond for that to be unrealistic. Without taking sides on whether or not such an entity ought to start at the foot of the third, the track record of our football hierarchy lends me to believe they'll be fast tracked into the shoes of the present club. If financial desperation and short-termism were not the guiding principles of how significant decisions are made, many debates, such as whether to revert to a set-up where clubs pay each other only twice a season, would not have been so sniffily dismissed. (I'm not saying, by the way, that there weren't other valid objections to that change, just that Sky were too significant in the heads).

In the meantime, here's another view:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/spo ... ium=email/

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by BMCCOLL » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:36 pm

I think it'd be a disgrace if Rangers came out of this totally debt free. Given their huge fan base and potential income, they'd have a cyclopean advantage over the rest of the clubs. Points penalties over the next few seasons could be quickly wiped out within a few games. Potentially the rest of the league may consider doing the same...
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by lbb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:58 pm

HJ, I don't think there is any real appetite for a 'new' Rangers. That may change if people get desperate.

There are a million questions about Whyte. It certainly seems that he's a sociopath who thinks nothing of lying and funds his lifestyle from screwing businesses, creditors, etc. It's difficult to imagine such a person having 'good' intentions with respect to Rangers as a club.

There's the possibility that David Murray couldn't or wouldn't pay the tax bill so needed a Lee Harvey Oswald to take the flak for the inevitable insolvency. He hasn't pulled the trigger but did plan the shooting.

It's the question I've never understood - why did Whyte buy Rangers? Who contacted who? How likely is it that someone buys a club with an unknown liability and, not only that, comes up with a deal that suits the bank and no-one else? Whyte banked with Lloyds before he bought Rangers. And Andrew Ellis? How does a man who had no money in 2009 to buy the club suddenly appear in 2011 as a shadowy figure in the eventual takeover? He then takes his seat on the board 8 months after the takeover and 3 weeks later the club is in administration. Oh yeah, and he first walks through the doors of Ibrox with Barry Hughes, a 'character' known for helping Strathclyde Police with their enquiries. The whole thing reeks to high heaven.

As I say, I wouldn't be surprised if a subsequent criminal investigation resulted in prison time for people close to this deal. Unfortunately, I fear the Club and the fans will be the real losers in the long run.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by lbb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:10 pm

BMCCOLL, I'm not going to get into the debate about penalties but your final statement is a question I've always asked - if Whyte's 'plan' is so clever and brilliant why have no other clubs tried it?

Whyte has been surrounding himself with restructuring experts, lawyers specialising in debt, etc (this info has been in public domain for months) that it's incredible that he still appears to have made a complete mess of his own process.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by lbb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:17 pm

The Daily Mash article is very good.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:00 pm

On the rules as far as the SPL is concerned. I paraphrase but rules and articles of association can be downloaded from the SPL site.

Rule G6. Amongst a host of sanctions that can be imposed on clubs that owe other clubs money such as ordering payments to be made, barring clubs from registering players etc there is also rule 6.11 - a club can be expelled from the league. This is subject to 6.3 which states an expulsion can only take effect after a duly constituted general meeting has passed the vote by the required majority. The SPL’s Articles of Association require two-thirds of the membership to be present throughout the proceedings. To expel a club from membership requires a 90% vote in favour (Article 37). To admit a club other than via promotion requires 83% (Article 38)

In a 12-club league that means eight clubs must be in attendance. I would assume they would all be there. 90% of 12 is 10.8 and this is where the notorious 11-1 rule comes in. Basically you need all other eleven clubs to expel one. However if presented with a fait accomplit whereby one club has gone bust then while you still need eight for a quorum, 90% of 11 is 9.9 so you ‘only’ need ten clubs in favour to expel a club.

Where it gets interesting is that there is no provision for ‘Old’ Rangers to morph into ‘New’ Rangers without a vote. 83% of 11 is 9.13 so any new club would require ten of the other eleven to back them. I can think of three clubs who have a potential reason to block a ‘New’ Rangers entry. Both Hibs and Dunfermline value being in the SPL above TV deals and anything which guaranteed avoiding relegation is worth considering for them. Additionally, could Vladimir Romanov resist the temptation to give a great big GIRFUY to Rangers in particular and the Scottish game in general? Remember, only two clubs need to vote against to stop ‘New’ Rangers from immediate access to the SPL.

These are the rules the Old Firm wanted. These are the rules which have to be used.

But the SPL also have more powers which they can use if they decide to stop being bystanders.

Rule H5 is vague - If any club ceases to operate or to be member of the league for any reason, its playing record in the league MAY be expunged and the NUMBER OF RELEGATION PLACES FROM THE LEAGUE SHALL BE REDUCED ACCORDINGLY. My capitals. Nothing set in stone there but an indication as to what might happen in the event of Rangers going into liquidation.

Another interesting one is Rule C12. No club shall terminate its SPL membership without giving two full seasons notice. Failure to do so renders that club liable for any losses incurred by others clubs or the SPL, INCLUDING SPONSORSHIP or other commercial arrangement (i.e.TV). Theoretically a liquidated Rangers could be liable for these losses and the other clubs would be within their rights to demand any new club take this on.

F1 The SPL is entitled to inspect the financial records of member clubs and clubs are required to keep copies so that the SPL can investigate if the club is complying with SPL rules, articles of association, SFA articles, UEFA and FIFA statutes.

G1 The SPL Board or a commission appointed by the board has the power of inquiry into ALL financial, contractual and other arrangements within, between or amongst clubs and players and ALL matters concerning financial disclosure requirements and ALL matters pertaining to any suspected or alleged breach or failure to fulfill the rules. Any such inquiry has the power to require the attendance of any person at the club in question before the inquiry and the production of any books, letters, documents or any other records.

These give the SPL power to intervene at club level and demand the presence of any individual to any hearing.

Hearts, Inverness CT & Dunfermline could be paid by the SPL. Rule C9 allows the SPL to withhold payments from a defaulting club and pay the clubs that are owed the money. As a second-placed Rangers would be entitled to 15% of the SPL’s commercial revenue. Instead that can be used as a pool for disbursements to SPL clubs owed money. It wouldn’t apply to Dundee United and the Scottish Cup. They can also charge monthly compound interest at 2% above the BoE base rate until such time as debts are paid in full.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by lbb » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:24 pm

You're correct that other clubs would have to vote on a 'new' Rangers which is one of the reasons I'm sceptical about it. For football or 'other' reasons, certain clubs simply won't go for it.

However, if HMRC are unable to extract revenues from a liquidated Rangers then I'd like to see St Mirren try. 'Within their rights' - good luck in court with that one.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:55 pm

What I was suggesting that the SPL are under no obligation to make any payments to Rangers for money due for league position or the TV deal if Rangers owe money to other SPL clubs based on SPL business. Ticket money for away games definitely comes under that category. Possibly transfer fees as well though I'm not sure on that. I wasn't suggesting clubs take Rangers to court.

To be clear I think the most likely outcome to all this is that Rangers come out of administration reasonably quickly (though maybe not in time to play in Europe next season) having royally shafted all and sundry except Whyte. If the club's assets are less than the amount owed to him (and accountants for all their boring image can be wonderfully creative at times) he can take the lot and the administrators can offer a pittance in the pound to the rest on a take it or leave it basis. Whyte can then sell on what are now his assets to someone or some group more 'Rangers-minded' to borrow a phrase, thus avoiding HMRC coming after him as continuing owner of a 'phoenix' company and the new owners can hold their heads up and say the past was nothing to do with them guv, straight up.

The new owners get Rangers at a decent price without having to take on past liabilities or get their hands dirty like Whyte. Meanwhile he walks away with several million in his back pocket as seems to be his wont.

But if it comes to liquidation then I was only suggesting that some clubs might be reluctant to admit a new Rangers. Others, including Celtic despite their public statements (you can be sure there is no jelly and ice cream for Parkhead boardroom lunches), will be desperate to get Rangers back in ASAP. Some may even think its the only way they'll get the money owed to them and others will view it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to renegotiate the terms of SPL trade. With only Celtic refusing to make amendments on TV cash and league placings money they can cut a deal with a 'new' Rangers desperate for admission.

That said, if they do go into liquidation (and I still find that highly unlikely) they SHOULD be treated exactly the same as any other club. The SPL should grow a pair, and inform the SFL there will be a potential extra vacancy next season with a two-leg play-off between the side finishing last in the SPL and the first division runners-up. The knock-on effects will lead to a vacancy in the third division which should be up for election as per usual though there's no doubt a 'new' Rangers would win every single vote as for three years at least the SFL would see a boost to crowds and maybe even a TV deal of their own.

Oh, and Rangers would get the chance to join Dundee in having won League, Scottish Cup, League Cup and Challenge Cup. Or would the Challenge Cup be their first trophy?

However I agree with part of your earlier statement. Whyte's role definitely needs investigating. Not to pay ANY PAYE or VAT and have the brass cheek to lay the blame for that on Murray is amazing. LloydsTSB would just be happy to get their money back and by that time I don't think Murray was in a negotiating position of any sort.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by BMCCOLL » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:30 pm

Here's an nteresting point... I've heard mention that the TV contracts specify that, amongst other conditions, the OF are broadcast 4 times a season: If that was the case, what if one of them had finished (albeit unlikely) outside the Top 6? Would Sky have ripped up the contract? I doubt it, so I can't see how they wouldn't be forced to obligate the current one. And clubs have historically been expelled/threatened with expulsion for non payment to other clubs; Dundee United and Hearts are owed a hell of a lot more than peanuts.
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:05 pm

If Rangers XYZ (whatever the official company name currently is) goes into liquidation, the league share can be transferred to another company just like any other asset... all it requires is SPL Board approval and presumably SFA Board approval similarly.

That scenario would probably mean the new company settling any football debts, however. Assuming due prizemonies etc. hadn't already covered those debts.


Regarding the TV deal... I highly doubt they explicitly require both clubs to play Top 6 - the TV companies have known fine well, as well all did, at the start of every season that Rangers and Celtic would finish in the Top 6 (even with a 10pt deduction). Their concern *is* having both in the division in the first place - the value is based upon OF derbies and OF away games, ultimately.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:57 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:If Rangers XYZ (whatever the official company name currently is) goes into liquidation, the league share can be transferred to another company just like any other asset... all it requires is SPL Board approval and presumably SFA Board approval similarly.

That scenario would probably mean the new company settling any football debts, however. Assuming due prizemonies etc. hadn't already covered those debts.


Regarding the TV deal... I highly doubt they explicitly require both clubs to play Top 6 - the TV companies have known fine well, as well all did, at the start of every season that Rangers and Celtic would finish in the Top 6 (even with a 10pt deduction). Their concern *is* having both in the division in the first place - the value is based upon OF derbies and OF away games, ultimately.
Article 14 of the SPL's articles of association allows for a continuation if wound up "for the purposes of reconstruction or amalgamation" but other than that says that any members failing to retain entitlement to membership or RECEIVER, ADMINISTRATOR OR LIQUIDATOR shall after all the legal niceties have been done, sell for £1 their share to a transferee designated by the Board and that the first member "shall cease to be a member of the league" while the transferee "shall become a member of the league in its place."

Now, I suppose you could read that as a straight transfer from liquidator to new owner as far as Rangers are concerned but it doesn't sit right with the earlier part of the clause (14 (ii)) which allows for "reconstruction" which surely this would be. New owner maybe but same ground, same manager and players perhaps. It reads to me as a method for admitting a new club in the place of one which has gone bust.

I'd agree with you on the TV deal but we don't know for certain. It would be pretty awful to put in writing a guarantee of four OF games per season. It means the league is assuming they will finish in the top six every year. But there must be something there. Most likely a guarantee the SPL won't expand past 12 clubs, thus guaranteeing the existing structure.

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Re: So, farewell then, Rangers

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:43 pm

Yes presumably the clause is something along the lines of [1] both Old Firm must be in the league and [2] there must be the potential to meet 4x a season. BBC simply say:
Rangers key to SPL's new television deal
The Scottish Premier League's new live television contract will be under threat should Rangers drop out of the top flight following administration.

Its TV deal includes a clause stipulating the participation of both Celtic and Rangers in the SPL.
Scotsman says:
Doncaster confirmed earlier this season that the new £80 million television contract agreed with Sky Sports is dependant on the broadcaster having four Old Firm fixtures to screen every season
but I suspect that's journalistic shorthand.

Broadcasters would want protection from 1/both OF leaving/disappearing, an 18/20-team league, or a shortened program... they know that if OF could meet 4 times, they would, when each season began.

That would be achieved by a clause requiring OF participation, potential for 4 times playing, and 3X matchdays - else they can renegotiate or quit.

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