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Darrell King

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4 Apr 2011

 

Almost a year ago, this newspaper broke the story that Rangers were under investigation from HMRC over the use of Employment Benefit Trusts for over a decade.

 

In the same article, we said that Lloyds Bank only had one plan for the club ââ?¬â?? cuts, cuts and more cuts. This would leave a team made up of players on low wages, with the squad supplemented by kids from Murray Park. Star names would go and, on top of that, the stadium was being neglected.

 

We said that administration was a possibility, and that a sale would be unlikely unless someone agreed to offer a warranty on the potential tax bill that could, if found a case was there to answer, amount to tens of millions of pounds.

 

The reaction? We were accused of scaremongering; in fact, some reckoned there were agendas at work to devalue the club just as they were going through an attempted take-over bid from Andrew Ellis.

 

The day after we ran the story ââ?¬â?? which came about after weeks of investigation, including talking to players who at that stage had received letters from HMRC saying they would be part of a future probe, and talking to sources inside the boardroom ââ?¬â?? Sir David Murray responded.

 

It was April 30 last year and, unless I�ve missed it, that was probably the last time he went on record to talk about anything to do with the club.

 

ââ?¬Å?This amounts to scare- mongering. Rangers are not in any danger because of their financial position,ââ?¬Â said Sir David. ââ?¬Å?People can think what they want of me, but one thing I would never do is put the club in danger.

 

ââ?¬Å?If anyone wants to buy, let them make their play. They do due diligence and see where they are ââ?¬â?? but there is nothing to hide.

 

ââ?¬Å?Iââ?¬â?¢ve had the club up for sale for two years. I am not going to be hard to deal with. It is a straightforward process.ââ?¬Â

 

Subsequently, as we also predicted, Ellisââ?¬â?¢s bid fell. The ââ?¬Ë?for saleââ?¬â?¢ sign came down, well publicly anyway. And Rangers drifted on. Behind the scenes, Lloyds tightened their grip, squeezed more and the squad was asset-stripped further and further.

 

Only Walter Smith ââ?¬â?? and his guidance of the team to two successive championships ââ?¬â??saved them from oblivion. Anyone who doubts that, just pause for a minute. Read the words of Alastair Johnston on Friday and imagine life at Rangers Ã?£30million poorer from what the Champions League has earned the club in the past two years.

 

In fact, every Rangers fan should read what Johnston said over and over. Last Friday was the day when someone finally told it as it is. The day the chairman said enough was enough.

 

Sure, he maybe got carried away, the nod of his head to a query on whether the club could go bust sparking all sorts of doomsday headlines and a subsequent retraction to the Stock Exchange.

 

But Johnston showed guts and, in doing so, endorsed what this paper said a year ago. I wonder how the Lloyds Bank PR person felt on Friday when Johnston revealed that Donald Muir was the bank�s man, and that the only reason Rangers� credit facility was rubber-stamped was because he was on the board.

 

Or the fact that Lloyds refused to speak to Martin Bain ââ?¬â?? the man paid to run the club ââ?¬â?? for the first six months after they moved in back in October 2009, preferring to do all their business through Muir, who was acting on their behalf.

 

This is the same Lloyds PR man who challenged us at every turn, asking us to remove any mention in articles that Muir was ââ?¬Ë?Lloyds Bankââ?¬â?¢s manââ?¬â?¢ and insisting that he was actually there are at the behest of the Murray Group.

 

What Johnston did was brave, honourable and truthful at the same time. He laid it bare for Rangers fans who looked at our headlines a year ago and said ââ?¬Å?No way, not us. We are Rangers. Taxman? Administration? Not a chance.ââ?¬Â Well, the truth is out there now.

 

Johnston is a fan first, chairman second. He knows itâ��s quite outrageous to ask the clubâ��s supporters (as is about to happen) to collectively shell out in the region of �£15m in season ticket money when they donâ��t actually know what they will be watching next term.

 

He also put pressure on all those involved in the current situation ââ?¬â?? Craig Whyte, Murray and the bank. Itââ?¬â?¢s time to do a deal, or move aside. His message, essentially, is this: If the status quo is to remain, let us know so we all know what we are getting into ââ?¬â?? especially Ally McCoist.

 

Murray spoke of a straight-forward process, yet Ellis couldnâ��t see it through after months of hanging around. Whyte has been on the scene for five months, and we are now told it will be this week when a decision is finally made. His camp say he is getting little help, especially over issues like the �£2.8m tax bill that popped up last week at the 11th hour.

 

Murray wants �£6m for his shares, when it could be argued that they are worthless in light of the possible tax liability that could sink them out of sight. The bank want their full �£24m when they are selling off bad debts all over the place at 60p in the pound.

 

They are looking after themselves, fair enough, but at least be straight. Don�t kid people on you are supportive when you are looking after your own interests.

 

And what of Whyte? We know nothing really of this man, except that he appears to have patience, money to back him up, and that he has impressed Johnston and the board.

 

If he walks, for whatever reason, he should tell the Rangers support why. If he does a deal then, even with tax problems still hanging around their neck, the club has a chance. But the time has come for him to show his hand. Buying Rangers is, after all, said to be a straightforward process.

 

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks/the-truth-is-out-there-1.1094453

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Frankie , there has been a whole load of rubbish written . the problem as I see it is that there are so many factions within our own club who are plotting against each other whilst the biggest snake aka Murray gets away scot free yet again ,I read Boss's article on RM as well and even that is a load of pish , deflect deflect and deflect again , we will never get to the bottom of this rotten affair , and it's getting to the stage that this takkeover is now more important than the league

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Frankie , there has been a whole load of rubbish written . the problem as I see it is that there are so many factions within our own club who are plotting against each other whilst the biggest snake aka Murray gets away scot free yet again ,I read Boss's article on RM as well and even that is a load of pish , deflect deflect and deflect again , we will never get to the bottom of this rotten affair , and it's getting to the stage that this takkeover is now more important than the league

 

Well said rbr.

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Given just how much uncertainty there's been over the last 12 months or so, I can't believe some people are trying to score points on being right/wrong in things they've written during that time. That kind of stuff is understandable when original articles are based on well-known facts or widely-accepted truths, but the only thing we have known in recent times is that we don't officially know anything. Many facts about how things have been behind the scenes at Ibrox have only come to light as a result of the interim figures being released and AJ's comments on Friday.

 

Some of the egos on display on Gers internet forums and fans groups are incredible. And then you have the same people wondering why the support can't unite as one......

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and it's getting to the stage that this takkeover is now more important than the league

 

It would make far more sense for a new owner and also for RFC if a takeover didn't happen until AFTER we find out the result of the tax case. When do we find out?

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Guest Dutchy

There's been that much rubbish written and spoken about this whole affair, somebody is bound to be able to look back and say, I told you so.

 

What we need to concentrate on is keeping the club solvent getting these problems sorted out. It serves little purpose in folks dragging up past remarks, even if it is to claim that one particular piece of info was correct or not.

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