Good Morning (and please vote ‘Clumpany’!)
In the long-running Rangers and Sevco sagas it is quite difficult for anyone in the mainstream media to break new ground and come up with a piece so ridiculous that it provokes genuine astonishment.
But the Daily Record has managed it.
Keith McLeod brought us some interesting details about Charles Green’s impending action to force the club he founded to pay his legal costs following his recent arrest and indictment..
And in so doing he managed to inadvertently misrepresent the tax affairs which played such a significant part in Rangers’ eventual demise.
“Phantom Tax Bill”!
“Cleared of ever having owed the taxman”!
Oh dear! Do those writing for the Record think we are all complete idiots? That we haven’t been paying attention during these past few years?
The tax bill which gave HMRC the power to veto the proposed Rangers CVA was for c£21m including numerous crystallised sums including unpaid VAT and National Insurance contributions.
Sums which enabled HMRC to block the CVA regardless of the final outcome of the Big Tax Case, which had (and still has) the potential to add another £70m+ in unpaid bills, penalties and interest to Rangers’ (IL) liabilities.
As HMRC said at the time of liquidation:
“A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years.”
As for the Big Tax Case itself, liability for several cases has already been admitted during the tax tribunal process, a significant number of cases have been remitted back to the First Tier Tribunal for consideration, and the rest are currently being considered by the Court of Session following a number of appeals. Appeals which may yet go to the UK Supreme Court.
There was absolutely nothing ‘Phantom’ about the various tax bills presented to Rangers by HMRC. Indeed, it has been argued that successive boards of Rangers (IL) could have steered the club away from the threat of liquidation by making provision for them rather than by buying more players.
To refer to a “Phantom Tax Bill” is misleading and likely to intensify the zeal of those who refuse to accept that Rangers brought about their own demise, and who angrily believe that HMRC is engaged in some sort of vendetta rather than pursuing what it believes it is owed.
In a similar vein, you have to wonder whether it was wise of the Record to publish the address of Green’s solicitors in Mr McLeod’s article, particularly given that they themselves report
“The writ states that former chief executive Green has been ‘the subject of threats of violence from members of the public. As a result, Green’s address is given as his solicitors'”.
Hopefully no one will now take it upon themselves to make angry contact with the solicitors in question.
Still, at least Mr McLeod managed to get one thing right by saying that “the club went into administration and subsequent forced liquidation”. Hallelujah!
The Record’s overall coverage of the latest Green-related developments has certainly been eyebrow-raising.
When Sevco issued a statement “on behalf of Dave King” yesterday, explaining that
“Charles Green approached the Club prior to his arrest and demanded that we pay his legal costs”
…the thoughts of almost the entire Bampot Community immediately turned to the previous day’s Record…
The above article informed us that
“Rangers* say they are unaware of any move by ex-boss Charles Green to claim legal fees from the club to help fight charges of serious organised crime. The Ibrox club insist they have not been approached by the former chief executive who is set for a courtroom showdown in relation to the acquisition of the assets of the club in 2012.”
At the very least you would have to say that here is a minor discrepancy between those two accounts… I wonder why?
And finally, it is worth looking at the front page of today’s Record, which leads on the story of Green’s claim for the payment of his legal costs.
Leaving aside the suggestion that charges may have been laid over the alleged defrauding of “Rangers*” (which is worthy of a great deal of offline discussion…), The Clumpany (like many others) couldn’t help but notice the choice of people featured in the Record’s picture.
Yes, there is Charles Green, the man making a claim against Sevco.
There is Malcolm Murray, who was the RIFC Chairman when Green’s severance was agreed.
And there is Imran Ahmad, who also left Sevco in April 2013.
But there were other Directors in post who are not featured by the Record. Messers Hart, Cartmell, Smart and Stockbridge for example. Oh and one Walter Smith, who was a RIFC board member – first as a Non-Executive Director, and then Chairman – from 7 December 2012 to 5 August 2013.
I wonder if the Record and other media outlets will be asking former Sevco directors for a view on Charles Green’s severance agreement?
Anyway, I am now away to check the Clumpany mail. I want to check whether a Phantom Tax Bill has arrived. I hear they can be deadly.
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