I wrote only yesterday of the importance of precision when reporting on a complex story such as the Rangers Tax case.
One of the fantasies which have been recently doing the rounds of Scottish sports journalism, heard regularly on Radio Clyde’s Super scoreboard over the last month, was that some “out of court settlement” would be reached between Rangers and HMRC.
Therefore the headline figures ,broken by me in 2010, would not be in play and that Rangers would only have to pay a fraction of this amount.
Even for the low standards of Scottish sports desks this was illiterate.
Now we have the club’s owner Mr Craig Whyte telling the fine fellows of the Rangers Supporter Assembly the inconvenient truth.
“No scope for negotiating a settlement with HMRC due to the criticism they have had from MPs and the Media about some high-profile “deals”. That means the case could take even more time to resolve as any outcome is likely to be appealed by either party. – If the decision is adverse and the Club appeal, HMRC can still seek to enforce the decision.”
The first part is sport on, the second part, the explanation, is not because there NEVER was any chance of an out of court settlement with HMRC, but some special circumstances have to be created to explain why there won’t be.
The third part of Mr Whyte’s statement is as unarguable as the first.
HMRC, if they win the case, can push for immediate payment even if Rangers appeal.
As for the future Mr Whyte said to the RSA:
“He hopes ‘Rangers Football Club Plc’ could survive any administration event but feels it would not be the end of the world if it didn’t.”
Regular readers here will not be surprised at any of this only the poor souls who rely on the output of Scottish sports desks will be taken aback at what Mr Whyte told the Rangers Supporters Assembly.
Scotland’s establishment club are approaching their Mayan moment in 2012 and unless I haven’t been paying attention properly then the owner just said as much.