Eleven years ago someone at Rangers took a momentous decision.

They decided to be less than open with HMRC investigators.

In 2004 the chaps from Hector asked if the players and staff being paid through Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT) had been given indemnifying letters.

The club answered in the negative.

I know of the identity of the MIH functionary who was dealing with HMRC.

However, I can only guess as to who gave him the order to be coy with Hector.

At that point HMRC were stumped.

Then the raid on Ibrox by the City of London police in 2007 yielded up all manner of interesting material.

The cops from the Square Mile were on an entirely different chase, but they shared what they acquired with HMRC.

At that point Hector knew that people at Ibrox had been less than forthcoming with him three years earlier.

This was a very bad move by the folk running Rangers in 2004.

The obstacles placed in the way of the taxman meant that the investigation took much longer than it should have.

Moreover it meant that the eventual assessment was much bigger than it should have been.

Had the side letters been presented to HMRC in 2004 then a much smaller bill would have been generated by Hector.

The club might then have been forced to sell a star player or two, but it would have been sustainable.

Had Rangers paid their employees through the PAYE system from 2004 onwards then the club would still be in existence.

There would be no need for administrators or stenographers to pretend that Sevco is Rangers (Est 1872).

Instead mendacity and hubris produced a situation whereby the assessment for £24m in unpaid taxes was presented early in 2010.

Your humble correspondent played a major role in getting the arithmetic of the ‘Big Tax Case’ out into the public domain.

The core amount was £24m, but that wasn’t the end of the story; there were interest payments and that point stood at £12m.

Then Hector thought it only fair that £15m of penalties be also imposed.

Potentially the bill was over £50m.

I understand that the news that the club could be faced with such a hit from Hector made at least one prospective buyer to head for the hills.

Caveat emptor.

As club chairman Alastair Johnston conceded in a presser in April 2011 even accessing all their resources they couldn’t pay the bill.

With the BTC hanging over the club it was unsellable to anyone who wanted to make a going concern of it.

This ushered in an era of anguish for The People.

Indeed since 2010 it has been a tale of two contingent liabilities; the BTC and then the claim by Sevco 5088 that they had bought the assets of the liquidated club in 2012.

That claim remains in the accounts of Rangers International Football Club (RIFC).

The main utility function of this has been to thwart several attempts at raising finance secured on Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park.

It is rarely mentioned by any stenographer that the Murray Group conceded liability in five EBT cases in the First Tier Tribunal.

Significant liabilities (Bonuses, Grossing Up and termination payments) have been sent by Lord Doherty in the Upper Tribunal back down the line for further consideration.

The rest of the EBT cases will now be heard by a higher court.

Yet all of this is somehow presented that Rangers were ‘not guilty of any wrong doing’ apropos taxation matters.

The future of Sevco is highly uncertain and The People fret on their message boards about the ominous silence from their champions.

However the entire shit storm that has engulfed these lovely chaps was entirely created at the top of the Marble Staircase.

Of course it has been necessary for The People to construct a Machiavellian narrative whereby a labyrinthine network conspired in the shadows to do down the mighty Glasgow Rangers.

The reality is more prosaic and much more instructive.

A certain Knight of the Realm appears to have thought that this part of his business empire in particular was untouchable.

All Hector had to do was to get to the book keeper.

This story is not over.

Leave a Reply