Upper Tribunal result

The decision of Lord Doherty to uphold the decision of the First Tier Tribunal on the case of HMRC v the Murray Group changes little down Ibrox way.

Given the complexity of the case a leave to appeal will almost certainly be granted and I would not be surprised if HMRC did make such a move.

Of course while there are higher echelons of the legal system available to Hector then he only needs to win once.

As we have seen throughout this saga Hector is a rather determined fellow when he thinks that he is owed money.

It is however all rather academic when it comes to Rangers Football Club 1872.

The result today is rather like appealing a death sentence after the execution has been carried out.

When the FTT reported in November 2012 I reported the significance of the findings here, here and here.

It is often forgotten that the investigation into the deceased club started a decade ago in 2004.

Had the matter been settled in say 2006 or 2007 then the club that was formed in 1872 would almost certainly still be with us.

However the people at the top of the Marble Staircase in those days deliberately withheld vital documents at crucial times.

These are not my allegations, but those of the FTT judges two years ago.

Back in 2010 it was newsworthy to get the basic arithmetic of what became known as the ‘Big Tax Case’ (BTC) out there.

Once I had stood up the story I took it to the News of The World Scottish edition.

It was quite deliberate on my part.

I approached the news desk within a title that I thought was less under the influence of the Ibrox spin machine at the time.

They went with the story and, in typical NOTW style splashed the headline: “Simply the bust!”

The entire bad news of the BTC plus the bank debt in May 2010 meant that the Ibrox club could have been facing a bill of £80 million.

The operative word was “could”.

I believe that the headline scared off anyone from buying the for sale club other than a Sheik Mansour type or someone like Craig Whyte.

I understood perfectly why the folks in charge of Rangers wanted this all kept under wraps.

However, I on the other hand wanted the world to know and I wanted to tell them.

Similarly I wanted Planet Fitba to be aware that in January 2011 the Murray Group offered to settle the BTC for just over £10 million.

Of course HMRC rebuffed this offer out of hand.

These facts were confirmed when the FTT reported in 2012.

Once more the behaviour of the people being chased by Hector intimated to any reasonable person that they themselves didn’t think that they were going to win against the taxman.

By that time we also knew about the Discounted Options scheme that had been used to pay Ronald de Boer and Tore Andre Flo.

This became known as the Wee Tax Case (WTC).

Hector considered the WTC to be tax evasion and this was never contested by the Murray Group they settled-i.e. they agreed to pay the amount.

Part of the purchase agreement with Craig Whyte was that once I charge of Rangers he would settle the WTC.

He didn’t and that was what brought the Sheriff Officers to the door of Ibrox in August 2011 and is the basis for Resolution 12 at the last Celtic AGM.

The sequence of events that ended in June 2012 with the club established in 1872 lying in a lifeless heap at the bottom of the Marble Staircase was almost entirely created by important people at top of said staircase.

No outside agency forced the Discounted Options Scheme or the Employee Benefit Trusts onto the club.

Moreover the response by Rangers to a tax investigation which commenced a decade ago had a major bearing on the fact that it is still in the news ten years later.

Rangers Football Club did self-destruct and the Big Tax Case was a bill of Damocles that made them only attractive to a billionaire with wealth off the radar.

Craig Whyte handed over a pound, got the keys to the Big House and the rest is (concluded) history.

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