written by – John McIntosh
Here we are three years on from the infamous Craig Whyte takeover & finally there is some progress being made in regards to Rangers being allegedly victims of fraud.
Many fans have felt that we have been victims of a fraud for a long period of time. It has been common knowledge that Whyte mortgaged future season tickets off for a £18 million loan from Ticketus.
He claimed to David Murray that these were his own funds, a court battle between Ticketus & Whyte has since been completed with Whyte ordered to pay back the money he was loaned. He forgot to inform them that he had been struck off as a director in the past – if you believe that you probably believe that David Murray was duped.
So you can guess I don’t believe Murray when he claims to have been duped – a pathetic and ridiculous comment – the facts remain he was losing millions due to the market crash & had an impending HMRC bill which he didn’t fancy facing up to.
By the time of selling to Whyte, Lloyds bank were in effect running things at the boardroom level, exercising vast pressure on Murray to sell to recoup their money before the big tax case.
The HMRC bill has now been proven as a phantom bill, although they are appealing for the third time, it’s not as if they have wasted enough tax payers money on a case they will not win but they keep pursuing this – quite baffling.
Moving on from HMRC, I want to discuss how the Scottish media on a major scale influenced so many people’s thoughts regarding our club being cheats & guilty before a case was heard.
Journalists writing for papers need to sell papers. Of course they do, sensationalising stories will always happen – however presuming a person, or in this case a football club, of guilt before the case was to be heard is awful journalism. They have massive influence over the ordinary football fan.
Back pages were filled with how Rangers had cheated the taxman out of multi-millions & how we only ever won titles due to spending extravagantly during the “EBT” era.
It wasn’t a case of will Rangers owe the taxman millions – it was how much.
The facts remain that Rangers were reducing their debt year after year & had reduced it vastly down to £18 million. The level of debt was at a manageable rate in accordance to annual turnover. The potential BTC bill from HMRC, along with pressure from Lloyds, made Murray want a quick escape & he took the coward option. I certainly don’t believe he was duped from Whyte.
Forwarding on many months after Whyte’s takeover & months of accumulated failure to hand over PAYE & HMRC come calling. Why this took them several months to wait is quite a strange one as the regular guy in the street wouldn’t get more than a month.
One of the biggest points in the next stage of this desperate saga was when Rangers were plunged into administration, however Whyte gained approval to appoint the administrators that he wanted – again a confusing decision.
The time when Whyte wasn’t sure if he would get his own administrators in was “the only time I had seen Whyte worried.” That was Ally McCoist’s observation at the time.
Of the four men up for charges, three of them were involved with Duff and Phelps with Gary Withey being involved with London law firm Colltyer Bristow who was charged with breach of the companies act.
Duff and Phelps tenure as administrators was pathetic, racking up massive fees in the region of £3 million from a club strapped for cash.
They manipulated the scenario so Rangers men could never get their hands on the club even telling Brian Kennedy at one point that he was in control only to wake up in the morning to find the goalposts had changed dramatically.
I personally believe Charles Green was always getting his hands on our club, it doesn’t make sense to reject the bids from Rangers men which were comparably as favourable.
Administrators are supposed to cut costs in order to make the business viable & if need be – sell the club to get the best deal for shareholders & creditors. However, this certainly doesn’t appear to be the case & it appears to have been self-serving.
I sincerely hope that those who allegedly defrauded Rangers Football Club meet the full force of the law.