The Times Reports That “Key #Rangers Shareholder Faces Tax Inquiry”

The Times of London is conducting an investigation into tax evaders and the like.

Tomorrow’s (Friday’s) paper includes a lengthy story written by Special Correspondent Alexei Mostrous linking a major shareholder in Rangers Football Club Ltd with a criminal investigation into tax evasion.

According to the Times, “Criminal investigations have been launched into tax schemes sold by a key shareholder in Rangers”.

This relates to Richard Hughes, founder of Zeus Capital and the associated Zeus Partners. Mr Hughes is personally a holder of over 2 million shares, according to the paper.

Zeus Partners created and marketed a £134 million film investment scheme, suspected by HMRC of what is described as “an illegal attempt to generate millions of pounds of tax relief”. HMRC are investigating 17 companies set up in connection with the scheme. It is alleged that the companies were set up, and films produced, to generate losses, and the structure of the deals was such that, for a comparatively small investment, tax losses many times higher would be created, saving wealthy investors large sums by way of tax.

The Times makes it clear that Zeus Capital itself is not under investigation. However, and perhaps of more relevant concern to prospective investors, is the statement by the paper that Mr Hughes “stands to make millions from the share floatation” due by the end of the year. It is hard to see how he does so with all of the investment raised in the share issue staying in the club, as promised by Mr Green.

A Rangers spokesman is quoted as saying that Rangers “have no business relationship with Zeus Capital”. However Imran Ahmad was a Director of Zeus Capital and is attributed by Mr Green with introducing him to the deal, and Brian Stockbridge, the Finance Director, is a Director too of Zeus Capital.

The Zeus Capital website states:-

June 2012

Acquisition of Rangers FC

Zeus Capital, the Manchester and London based corporate advisory firm have worked in conjunction with Charles Green to complete the £5.5 million acquisition of the business and assets of Rangers Football Club out of liquidation.

The transfer of the business and assets to a new company structure has taken effect immediately and the new company is The Rangers Football Club.

As part of the deal Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge from Zeus Capital have joined the Board of The Rangers Football Club. Zeus Capital and its associates are also investors in the newco.

Zeus Capital is experienced in working with football clubs having advised Sunderland Football Club on 2 previous deals including the takeover by Niall Quinn and his consortium and advised on the Rule 9 offer for West Bromwich Albion.

Members of the Zeus Capital team have also worked on deals for the following football clubs, Manchester United, Leicester City, Sheffield United and Millwall.

In Mr Green’s presentation to institutional investors in May, pre-takeover, there were spots reserved on the proposed Board of Directors for representatives from Zeus Capital.

The Times article, which is in the paper edition and will soon be up on its website, but behind its paywall, will be of great interest.

However, after the Murray years at Rangers led to the EBT scandal and the Big and Wee Tax Cases; Mr Whyte’s tenure led to non-payment of millions in VAT and PAYE and administration and now liquidation; it seems at the very least embarrassing that a sizeable investor, linked to members of the Ibrox board, has one of his companies under such close scrutiny.

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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150 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, HMRC, Rangers

150 responses to “The Times Reports That “Key #Rangers Shareholder Faces Tax Inquiry”

  1. Wow, here we go again!
    This is FAR better than watching football. 🙂

    • ecojon

      @ Henry Clarson

      Well maybe better than watching Rangers 🙂

      Sorry couldn’t stop myself and I’m sure most honest Bears would agree with me.

  2. Jono

    @Paul,
    I saw this story via twitter and read the aritcle. I commented on twitter but I’ll comment on my concerns here….from my analytical background I was taught that correlation does not equate to cause and effect, so whilst this story may shed light on the murky characters involved, it is not evidence of wrong doing re TRFC.

    I think we are in the eye of the storm, and in the calm, we are preparing for what is to come, and in the absence of debris flying our way, we might be imagining what that may be.

    I urge a little restraint lest we become consumers of our own succulent lamb.

    • Budweiser

      @ Jono

      Why restraint ? It seems to corroborate much of what many posters on here have been saying for weeks now ie something very dodgy going on. Bring on the lamb! Yum, Yum.

      • Jono

        Corroborate? Does it? All i’m saying is that more and more people are getting the whiff of wrongdoing and repeating the story so often that it becomes truth…and I say that as a follower ot RTC so i’m dissapointed to say that we are doing what msm did for years….

        there may be truth in recent revelations, but as a group, we are jumping on any story, any rumour, and damning the object of derision in the way they condemned others in the past. All i’m saying is hang them when they are proved to be guilty, not before, and let the evidence convict them, not rhetoric.

        • Budweiser

          @ Jono

          OK. SHHH EVERYBODY! If you want to hide your head in the sand Jono, and wait till Jabba tells you’ how it is’ then fine but we really don’t need any preaching on restraint.

          • Jono

            your delusional if you think my head is in the sand. In fact you are doing exactly what the others always did, and your proving my point…on pro sevco sites, anyone advocating a fair unbiased evidential approach, was called a taig, and now you are doing the same thing. dissing a long time supporter of bampotterry because you can’t be objective.

            I am only saying don’t let your desire for a good story get in the way of fact..

            • COYBIG

              @Jono

              The fact is – An artical by Alexi Mostrous, entitled ‘Rangers in fresh trouble as club’s key shareholder faces tax inquiry’, is being published in The Times of London, today(Friday). Mostrous is the journalist who has revealed numerous stories of ‘tax dodging’, including the one involving Jimmy Carr.

          • @ Budweiser

            seems to me jono is quite rightly urging restraint of thought on the commenters on Paul’s blog. Paul’s blog is an excellent piece of analytical dissection, yet some comments are more of a shark attack.

            When something has been analysed discuss the analysis, but your comments seem to be a take it at face value and attack sort of affair.

            Try to remember that we live in a society where one is not guilty until proven so.

            Discuss the issue, and make free with banter, but please don’t assume guilt until it is proven.

        • @jono

          Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I don’t see anything in Paul’s piece to suggest wrongdoing re TRFC, except that a TRFC spokesman has denied any “business relationship with Zeus Capital”, which seems a strange thing to say when details of connections to Zeus are common knowledge.

          • Jono

            @All maybe i am being too cryptic in my responses, so i’ll try to simplify…bear with me…

            Once upon a time there were internet bampots who stumbled across some evidence of wrongdoing. they could not be open about this skull-dugerry lest they be punished and banished from these lands. But they survived their banishment because they told their story, and people listened, and fed and nurtured them in return.

            But as the stories became wilder, people mistrusted the bampots, and they were marginalised, until one day, the sherriff caught an important citizen with their hand in the cookie jar, and so their misdeeds were known. And the internet bampot became hallowed.

            But then, internet bamots became many, and many had stories of wrong doing, but since no further hands were caught in cookie jars, internet bampots lost credibility.

            But that did not matter because internet bampots had multiplied and become strong, and anyone disagreeing were treated the same way as original internet bampot. And so here we are.

            • Jono

              It’s all getting a little Orwellian, which is more than a little ironic considering RTC award!

            • COYBIG

              @Jono

              I think it’s US, that have to simplify it for YOU.

              We are commenting on an artical by Alexi Mostrous, who isn’t an internet bampot.

              Also, drop the holier-than-thou act. Your superiority complex, is completely without foundation.

            • Jono

              @coybig ouch! nerve touched?

            • Budweiser

              @Jono

              Blessed are the simplifiers.

            • Jono

              @coybig to avoid missing the point of your reply, I get that Alexi Mostrous wrote an article in the the times, and I get that the journalist is credible, and I get that the case is Valid and I get that it has a relation to those involved with The Rangers, but I don’t get, i’m sorry if you feel that is wrong, but I don’t get that there is an automatic guilt connection with wrongdoing at TRFC. I get that the people involved are no good, but I want to see cause and effect, not that they ate in the same canteen.

              And i don’t get that I am at all wrong to want that clarity!

            • COYBIG

              @Jono

              No nerve touched whatsoever. Just don’t know why you’re agitated at people discussing the subject of the blog.

            • COYBIG

              @Jono

              I have not said that The Rangers are involved in any way.

              But, the intresting part of it is a spokesperson for The Rangers, has tried to distance themselves from Zeus, when everyone knows that’s not the case.

              Anyway, for the avoidance of doubt – Feelings don’t come across well via text on a screen. So even tho it might read like it, there’s no ill feelings towards you, from me 😉 .

            • Jono

              @coybig, thanks for that. and reciprocated.

            • ecojon

              @ Jono

              You are totally correct in that the only way we retain our credibility is not to jump the gun and declare guilt before the facts are all out. We have seen too much of that with the succulent lambs being pulled along by the nose to bleat their Masters’ Voice before being devoured having outlived their usefulness.

              But tension is no bad thing as long as we remember that what we are all committed to is the discovery and broacast of ‘The Truth’ in matters of public interest which affect ordinary people and which our so-called ‘Betters’ would rather we didn’t know or understand.

              But I see everyone has made-up and that’s good because we are all that bit different and bring our own strengths and insights to our searching which makes us stronger in pursuit of a common goal.

          • The Richard Hughes tax issue has been well known in Manchester for some time so no big deal other than to provide a bit of flavour about Rangers shareholders. The interesting bit is Rangers denying any commercial relationship which is complete nonsense and only puts further pressure on them, Watch for Chic’s tax issues next!

            • ecojon

              100bjd

              You’re on the money – it’s almost unbelieveable that Rangers can deny a business relationship but what Rangers is denying? Is it the past? The Present? Or the future?

              People closely associated with Zeus have almost £5 million invested in Rangers shares and we have no means of knowing how many Zeus associates are part of the consortium which invested in Rangers – we know about the associates investing from the Zeus website.

              However as there has been so little transparency it could well be the case that Zeus Associates form the largest shareholder grouping which wouldn’t surprise me given the early connection between D&P and Zeus which set the ball rolling.

              Now it is all unravelling and when suits start to think about the prospect of possible jailtime it’s amazing how quickly they cough on their erstwhile associates. This is just a general observation and I make no specific reference to any players involed in the history of the Rangers story.

    • allyjambo

      I agree with you entirely, but if I was in a jungle, and I saw something that looked like a tiger, I’d proceed, if I didn’t decide to run away, with extreme caution, ensuring all the while that I had an escape route. While I’m certain that this latest news won’t put off all the bears from investing in TRFC, it might make some proceed with a bit more caution and start to ask some difficult questions.

      Greens’ business records shows a man who is hard, ruthless and totally heartless without a shred of compassion for his investors or customers, but he might be telling the truth (I know, it’d be a first) when he says he’s fallen in love with Rangers and their delightful supporters and has decided to stay and turn them around. He is, however, only the spokesperson for the consortium that actually owns TRFC and cannot decide what happens at Ibrox by himself, or even necessarily have an input. The main money men appear to be even harder nosed than Green and now we can see hints of criminality within their ranks. It is hardly likely that all the members (or any) have found some integrity and a love of a football club and have added ‘doing the right thing’ to their business plan. The Rangers’ supporters have put all their faith, in the rhetoric of this one man, who, apparently, has no power to dictate to the consortium what they will, or won’t, do with Sevco/The Rangers FC. Surely it’s time they, the supporters and potential investors, started to treat Green and his masters as a tiger, until they know for certain he is not!

    • Pensionerbhoy

      Jono

      I fear you have a very valid point. I have long been concerned about getting “carried” away regarding these goings on. I do not question in the least that the information being released is in doubt nor the assumptions being made could very possibly come to pass. I am, however, wary of recklessly walking the streets when the lighting is still not on full. I also find it a little disconcerting that a number of posters take what seems to be a gloating rather than a thought-through and balanced attitude towards “information received”, especially when that information is still roasting-hot off the press. Most of all, I feel disappointment that some posters might, no doubt inadvertently and without intent, do Paul’s site an injustice by turning it into a frenzy of vitriolic wishful thinking. I was first attracted to the site because it offered some objectivity on a subject that, on several other sites, had been driven from the reflective discussion of calm waters onto the stormy exaggeration and imaginings of a tempest. Do we want this site to descend to the levels of those we challenge by ignoring confirmed facts and concentrating on insinuations, whispers, assumptions and even, perhaps, untruths. Surely those are the very evils against which all the bampots took up the cause in the first place and entered the media battlefield. It would be a great insult should we posters do the same to Paul’s established and respected impartial approach. Yes, I will be right there if there are funerals to be attended but I am damned if I will bury anything purely on hearsay or without official confirmation it is dead. Jono, I see you have had not a few shots fired across your bow. Though a big coward at heart, I am happy to man a cannon in your defence on this one.

  3. Macduff

    I can’t take anymore, I need my life back!!

    Is there a bet running on the first bear to claim that special correspondent Alexei Mostrous is actually C4 Alex Thomson? my money is on Mad Chris Graham….

  4. mick

    well well well what do we have here then ?

  5. Project Walliams

    Alexi Mostrous I believe broke the story on Jimmy Carr and his tax avoiding scheme. Tut Tut, Investigative journalism has no place in scottish fitba.

  6. mick

    Alexi Mostrous the new thommo well done Alexi ,it will be intresting to see if the west coast msm mention it ,this paywall is well cruel if any 1 has the story plz put it up via a link for us all to see

  7. Paul c

    Anyone seen “The Producers”

    springtime for green and govan

    • Maggie

      @Paul c
      Yes indeed Paul,both the original and the remake.
      What about this line from the song?
      We’re marching*to a faster pace
      Look out here comes the master race…..

      * they do love a good march. 🙂

      • BB

        Maggie, are you seriously drawing correlations between Rangers fans and the Nazis? Was it not Celtic fans who were engaged in pro nazi singing during the war resulting in a riot and Parkhead almost closed down because of it? Need I remind you, the flag in prominence at Celtic Park is of a country whose Premier signed the book of condolence in the German Embassy when one of the worst tyrants ever to besmirch the earth perished in his bunker-

        • Maggie

          @BB
          Merely expressing my admiration for the work of
          Mel Brooks.

        • Ernesider

          BB

          September 22, 1938

          German ruler Adolf Hitler met and shook hands with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in Godesberg, Germany on September 22, 1938; eight days before Chamberlain’s famous arrival in Britain claiming peace with the dictator.

          For photo of happy smiling pair click on link below

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/lists/famous_political_handshakes/chamberlain_hitler.html

          • BB

            Lame. Wasn’t that before hostilities? It didn’t stop Sir Winston giving it to him anyway. ‘You had the choice between war and dishonour, you chose dishonour, but you shall have war’ There was no shaking of hands once the tanks rolled into Poland, more shame on the Vatican then for the concordat they had with the nazis when they were doing their worst

            • Ernesider

              So Hitler was a real nice guy before he declared war on the Brits.

              And what does the great sir Winnie do then, but start licking the arse of an even greater monster Josef Stalin who was responsible for the deaths of over 20 million of his own countrymen and had been quite happy to cooperate with Hitler. Most notably in the massacre of 25,000 Poles shortly before Winnie and he became best buddies But sure they were mostly Russian peasants and Jovial Joe was on our side now and if he was a monster he was our monster.

              And there was also the millions of anti Soviets who were forcibly returned to Stalin’s tender mercies to be enslaved imprisoned and murdered with the deliberate connivance of the British government.

              Yes Winnie was a great mouthpiece, but as a negotiator he was pure shite and Stalin walked all over

              Lame my arse. Learn a little about the many atrocities perpetrated in the name of your own nation before you start bleating about a piece of paper signed in Dublin.

              Your dig at the Vatican doesn’t bother me in the least. The Vatican and its policies past and present are to my mind no more immune from criticism than any other nation or institution. It does though tell me what you are, just another Rangers sectarian bigot who cannot have a debate without dragging the Catholic Church into it.

            • Ernesider

              BB you wrote:

              “It didn’t stop Sir Winston giving it to him anyway. ‘You had the choice between war and dishonour, you chose dishonour, but you shall have war’ There was no shaking of hands once the tanks rolled into Poland.”

              March 31, 1939, Great Britain publicly announced her support of Poland’s independence.

              No more shaking of hands with Hitler, but with Stalin, at the Yalta conference February 4 to 11, 1945 when Churchill despite his nations pledge and his pre-war bombastic bluster chose dishonour himself and effectively handed over Poland to the Russians. Condemning the Polish people to 50 years of Soviet oppression.

              But I forgot, you want to talk about the leader of a small Catholic country who had no hand in any of these events. Take a good look at yourself BB and ask yourself if you like what you see.

          • BB

            At the merest whiff of the word vatican and the bigot lasers are out-yawn! Change the record, please! The point was made in reference to peace deals with nazis, and you brought that up, sorry! Chamberlain ,the man who did prime minister impersonations according to the genius that was Spike Milligan, was out his depth and a disgrace to his country, and Churchill was muting that point. Chamberlain signed his ‘scrap of paper’ to prevent a war at least, but history judges him as the coward he was, and rightly so. Why was de Valera so upset at the demise of Hitler? Answers on a postcard. As for Stalin, Churchill had no more time for that monster than you or I would have, and it’s a nonsense to suggest otherwise. When it came to carving up Europe with the Russians, Britain was a bit part player by then, so take it up with the yanks. It’s a safe bet had the cold war kicked off, it would have been a case of ‘would the last person to leave planet earth please turn off the lights’. Finally, you only have the freedom to express yourself today because of the stance Britain took at that time, a light in darkest Europe so please, be thankful you can type and post what you like due to the courage and sacrifices of others ….and thank The LORD Eamon’s chum never won out-
            And now it’s time for me to ‘shake the dust from my feet’….

            • Ernesider

              “Finally, you only have the freedom to express yourself today because of the stance Britain took at that time, a light in darkest Europe”

              Bullshit, the Germans chased you out of France and you cowered across the channel until the Yanks came along to bail you out for the second time.

              And you went on shining your little light in darkest Africa, India and other places until one after another the ungrateful natives kicked you out.

              Answer me this BB. With all the freedom and enlightenment you have brought to the world, how come nobody likes the Brits?

  8. Jason

    Charles will be positively wetting himself now. No-one was supposed to have gotten wind of this until after the flotation. Bloody nosey journalists.

  9. There's Only One Willie Miller

    RTC tweet about an hour ago.

    Rangers Tax-Case ‏@rangerstaxcase
    RTC Exclusive: Charles Green is the subject a new tax inquiry- separate from the Zeus investigation.

  10. Paul, on the ball again.
    Simply incredible stuff. I can’t resist sharing a video prepared to explain EBT situ to a friend. Can never get the ending finished as tail end keeps changing. Hey ho, enjoy.

  11. RayCharles

    Jono, I don’t think the Times story signifies wrongdoing at Charles Green’s club.

    However, it must surely cast a huge shadow over any attempt to sell shares in his enterprise.

    For potential investors, The Times story will set alarm bells ringing.

    If Green himself is linked to a tax inquiry, as RTC suggests, then those alarm bells will only ring louder.

    I really don’t see how a successful share issue can be launched with this type of background noise, particularly with the FTT(T) about to add to the negative aura surrounding the club.

    I may be wrong.

    But if I am right, will Rangers be able to survive in the short term without a cash injection from a successful share issue?

  12. fisiani

    The AIM market takes listing seriously. As the internet bampots reveal more and more of the chicanery and deceit at Aye-Brokes I find it increasingly unlikely that the directors of the AIM market would want to be associated with the get rich quick merchants.

  13. Jason

    AIM takes this very seriously as do (i assume) the SFA/SPL. The words DUE DILLIGENCE seem to be appearing in my mind again but i’m a Binternet Tampot so what do i know.

  14. mark thompson

    Funnily enough a Rangers investor makes the papers with some supposed wrong doing and a Celtic investor(owner) doesnt rate a mention when he is also a major investor in some rather dodgy care homes!

    • ecojon

      @ mark thompson

      If you care to actually google the story you are talking about you will see that it has been carried in a number of newspapers since approx June 2011 YES June 2011.

      Amazing how it has suddenly resurrected itself through a Rangers Blogger who has recently turned into a Charlie poodle – if he allowed anyone to comment on his ramblings then perhaps readers of his might have seen that his exclusive was not only No Exclusive but widely covered in National Media since June 2011.

      I am also highly impressed that you have worked out that he is a MAJOR investor and perhaps you could provide the percentage of his investment and the company it is invested in.

      As to the supposed wrong-doing of Richard Hughes then you are the one making that assumption. I read that he is under criminal investigation for tax evasion and will await the outcome of the investigation and court action to determine whether he has been guilty or not of wrong-doing in this matter.

      What certainly interests me is that a Rangers spokesman is quoted as saying Rangers “have no business relationship with Zeus Capital.”

      This is the company that D&P contacted who then contacted Imran Ahmad who then contacted Charlie Green which led to the formation of a consortium to buy the assets of Rangers. We know from the Zeus Capital website that the company and its associates were investors in Rangers although identities have never been revealed.

      The business relationship with Rangers was further strengthened by the appointment of Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge to the Board of newco Rangers and also negotiations with D&P at least in the case of Ahmad who was managing director of Zeus Capital while Stockbridge was a director of the Manchester company.

      Since then it has been revealed that Richard Hughes, Imran Ahmad, Brian Stockbridge and John Goold – all Zeus directors – are shareholders in Zeus. Imran Ahmad whilst still MD of Zeus Capital has taken trips to American, Canada and NI to boost the share flotation and it seems diificult to believe this would be allowed by Zeus unless there was a business relationship with Rangers unless he did it during his holidays 🙂

      Chico has claimed that Ahmad has given up his position with Zeus but their site today still lists him as MD – is this another manifestation of Chico or yet another ‘Cowboy’ moment.

      • ecojon

        Reading the Rangers quote I can’t help but wonders if they got it wrong by saying they had no business relationship with ‘Zeus Capital’.

        Perhaps, having read the Times piece, what they meant to say was they had no business relationship with ‘Zeus Partners’.

        • redetin

          Exactly what I was thinking, ecojon. You have to watch they damn thimbles carefully to keep track of the pea.

          • ecojon

            @ redetin

            Which bega the question: ‘Did or do you have any business relationship with Zeus Partners?’ which in view of the aims of ZP LLP might actually be nearer to the point than we might imagine.

            Also the Zeus Capital website states in the June News Section:

            ‘Zeus Capital, the Manchester and London based corporate advisory firm have worked in conjunction with Charles Green to complete the £5.5 million acquisition of the business and assets of Rangers Football Club out of liquidation.

            ‘The transfer of the business and assets to a new company structure has taken effect immediately and the new company is The Rangers Football Club. As part of the deal Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge from Zeus Capital have joined the Board of The Rangers Football Club. Zeus Capital and its associates are also investors in the newco’.

            I am beginning to think that I should check the meaning of ‘Business Relationship’ in old French and Yorkshire as applying my understanding of English it seems perfectly clear to me that there has been a significant Business Relationship between Zeus Capital and newco Rangers.

            We have four Zeus directors including the joint founder and the MD – according to the company website today – who form the largest shareholding bloc with approx £4.5 million invested. This does not necessarily take into account any investment by Zeus Capital itself and we have never been told who the Zeus ‘Associates’ are so we dont know how much more of the shareholding is held by people connected in some way to Zeus Capital.

            Two of these directors have also served on the Rangers Board at the same time as being directors of Zeus Capital and in the view of the investment injection from Zeus it hardly surprises me that they would want to keep a close-eye on the business activities at Rangers.

            Perhaps the answer is that Zeus Capital has a business relationship with Rangers but that Rangers doesn’t have one with Zeus Capital. Perhaps not as strange as it seems as it might depend what business ‘hat’ or ‘mask’ the Rangers PR was wearing at the time.

            However nice to see that Zeus Capital is quite clear in stating that newco Rangers is a ‘new company structure’,

  15. JeZeus! Is there a star above Govan that helps lead these ‘wiseguys’ to Ibrox?

  16. redetin

    For MHG* watchers:-
    “The Board of MHG announces that Christopher Day has stepped down as Chief Executive of the Company with immediate effect. He will remain on the Board of MHG’s wholly owned subsidiary, Merchant Capital. James Keane, Managing Director of MHG, will assume the role of Chief Executive of the Company going forward.”

    MHG is 10.6% owned by CW.

    http://tinyurl.com/cnz39hr

    • ecojon

      @ redetin

      I don’t know why but every time I hear or read that phrase ‘going forward’ I have a vision of the Titanic steaming Full Ahead straight at the iceberg.

  17. Marching on Together

    I think that if you investigate further (a simple Google search will suffice) that film investment schemes set up purely to generate income tax relief (as this Zeus chappie seems to be accused of being involved with) were commonplace for many years, and only in later years have HMRC clamped down. Several otherwise reputable firms have promoted such schemes, many stars of our TV and film screens have been caught in this as have such football luminaries as Alex Ferguson and Sven Goran Erikkson.

    As a Leeds fan I would now welcome an extended blog on why Alex Ferguson is evil and should be banished from football for ever as a result.

  18. portpower

    Move along people nothing to see here. They are all Fit and Proper to run an institution. How do I know, because the SFA told me so.

    • Pensionerbhoy

      You really should double check what you write, portpower, before posting. I hope I am not being pedantic to suggest you actually meant “They are all Fit and Proper to ‘TO BE IN’ an institution.”
      My apologies if I got it wrong :>)

  19. ecojon

    @ port power

    An ‘institution’ perhaps but a football club?

    • martin c

      Key shareholder facing a criminal tax investigation and then some prospective board members might face questions re EBTs?

    • ecojon

      @ martin c

      Well I have my own thoughts on ‘The Cardigan’ but I never ever thought he was stupid perhaps unlucky in certain contractual arrangements with Murray 🙂

      However to return to Ibrox will be a bigger nail in its coffin when the next financial calamity strikes because the Bears will have no heroes left to place any trust in. If that means that a new club free of baggage can arise then go for it Walter because this is the biggest service you could provide by dragging Rangers into the 19th Century.

      I notice that Stephen Adams of Kames Investment is also touted as a non-exec director which is interesting as he is shown as holding a £50k shareholding in Rangers and yet chico has said, if I remember correctly, that the non exec directors won’t have shareholdings so that their decisions aren’t perceived to be based on any financial advantage.

      And then Ian Harte, the man who denied being a shareholder and claimed to be a member of the Blue Knight consortium after chico identified him as a shareholder.

      He later recanted yet again it seems and became a shareholder listed as holding £490,000 in shares. So the same stricture would apply about non-execs holding shares I would assume. However, there are further clarifications required as the money for the shareholding in newco Rangers appears to have been ‘lying about’ in the Rangers youth development department.

      I have never ever quite been able to accept that £490,000 was lying about anywhere inside Rangers for the simple reason that if it had been then I’m sure Wee Craigie would have snaffled it and, if not, D&P would have seized it for the creditors.

      Of course, perhaps that was another asset sold to chico’s consortium. Whatever, I’m sure BDO will soon get to the bottom of the matter and sort it out 🙂

  20. portpower

    THE legendary Ibrox manager could be back as a non-executive director after Green held further talks with the 64-year-old. Chuck singing a new tune.
    Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun
    Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run.

  21. JimBhoy

    I guess now we know why Imran stepped down from his cushy Zeus position….

    Didn’t Billy Dodds also mention something about ‘investing in film creations’ in his famous newspaper article on his EBT and him having paid all his taxes.

    I wonder if the taxman will also be looking into Murray’s other businesses for dodgy tax evasion schemes, if he can get >£6m out of one at rangers maybe he thought he could do the same in his other business practices.

    • martin c

      If rangers fail can the investors offset the loss with tax relief?

      • ecojon

        @ martin c

        A very interesting point because in chico’s original share marketing exercise there was talk of the possibility of I think it was £40 million in oldco tax losses being acquired by the newco, presumably to be offet against future profits.

        Whether that disappeared along with the CVA I honestly don’t know but if not it might explain why HMRC are so keen to closely examine everything to do with this affair.

    • ecojon

      @ JimBhoy]

      Well has he stepped down – we have some words from chico on the subject to be consumed with the usual bucket of salt. But the Zeus Capital website still lists him as MD of the company – surely with such a hi-power company it wouldn’t take them weeks to make such an important alteration?

  22. JimBhoy

    @portpower I think there is more chance of Wattie taking the Scotland job, he could be offered a big slice of the pie by Green but does Wattie need the money knowing this could go down the tubes? Is there enough of the pie to go round, I reckon they will be lucky to get double digit millions… Albeit all the season book money is sitting in the bank.. 🙂

    It is Green’s usual bluster, spinning what the fans want to hear whilst all around their empire crumbles.

    • Maggie

      @JimBhoy
      I somehow do not see “Walter” returning to a Rangers headed by Green.
      He’s successfully managed to keep his reputation fairly intact and has managed to keep his name out of all the chicanery of EBTs,tribunals,demanding of names etc. As I posted yesterday in response to mick,I found it worthy of note that he wasn’t named as having an EBT by Mark Daly,and he being the Greatest Living Ranger, or is that title still held by John Grieg? Who can keep up,SO many legends,SO little time.
      Knowing what we know of Chico,I think he deliberately put out the PR crap about him waiting on Walter to make up his mind.This puts the ball firmly in Walter’s court,if he doesn’t return service by accepting Chico’s offer,he appears to be the bad guy for failing to come back and help them in their time of need.Think Chico might have played a blinder here.
      It’s win/ win for him…….he asked the GLR to come to their rescue,if he accepts,Kudos to Chico,if he declines,Kudos to Chico for asking.
      As always,am willing to stand corrected,but if you were Walter,would you want to be there when the rest of the merde hits the fan.

  23. portpower

    Maybe they`re getting the band back together. A tribute team. Green might be taking them on the road to Fleetwood Town. Barry Ferguson as their roadie.

  24. duplesis

    The reference to there being no business relationahip with Zeus Capital is bizarre, and doesn’t really make any sense. Everyone knows that Zeus Capital are heavily involved in Green’s consortium.

    I think most likely it’s a misquote, and what was meant was there is no business relationship with Zeus Partners.

    If that’s correct, then it’s surely something of a non-story. One of our investors set up a company unnconnected to us, which itself set up companies involved in a tax scheme which is under investigation.

    The comment about Hughes standing to make a fortune from the share floatation is completely unsupported by any evidence either, and has the look of an off the cuff remark by the reporter concerned.

    Its a great way to get a headline connecting Rangers to a tax dodge though…

  25. John Burns

    Looks like one umbilical (McCoist) is not proving enough for Green in enticing the gullible bears to part with their money – so wheel in another – No 2 umbilical in the form of Uncle Walter – however with all the ‘tosh’ surrounding “Hughie” Green, it looks like even his ‘most sincere’ pleas are likely to go largely unheeded.

    • ecojon

      @ John Burns

      I’m not au fait with the financial meaning of ‘umbiical’ so I’ll stick with the medical connotation and ponder: Is that like a life support system?

  26. ecojon

    @ Duplesis

    I see you still plough the lonely furrow 🙂

    I did make a suggestion along your lines if you read my earlier post. However I find it very difficult especially in view of the huge amounts being paid for crisis PR advice to believe that such a basic error was made. If it was then if I was Green I would sack my PR company ASAP.

    I also smile at your comment about the money to be made by Hughes being dismissed by you as an off the cuff remark by the reporter. Well chico is on record as saying they have already doubled their money and that only since when May/June? Seems like not a bad deal to me and surely the floatation will be a success or do you doubt that?

    So you’re trying hard, you’ve earned your corn but no succulent lamb for you yet.

    Btw: You make no reference to the other Rangers PR quote that Hughes is a minority shareholder – Oh really. The Zeus Bloc is the biggest shareholding in Rangers and Hughes is the guy in charge for the moment anyway.

    • duplesis

      @ecojon

      Believe it or not, I don’t like lamb (succulent or otherwise) very much!

      Yes, I noticed your comments after I posted. It’s surely the case that what was meant was no business relationship with Zeus Partners, otherwise the comment doesn’t even make sense in the context of the report. Why deny a connection to a company which everyone knows we are connected with? Moreover, why do so when the article makes it clear Zeus Capital aren’t under investigation?

      I agree though, if it’s a slip of the tongue, our PR isn’t very good. I had wondered if it was a mistake by the reporter rather than our PR though.

      On the profit for Hughes thing, Paul seemed to be implying that this contradicted Green’s statement that the proceeds of the floatation were staying with the club. I think that’s a stretch. Of course Hughes will want to make a return on his investment at some point though.

      I don’t think it’s untrue to say Hughes personally is a minority shareholder. I accept Zeus Capital has a major shareholding of course, but then as is emphasised in the article, Zeus Capital aren’t under investigation.

      It just seems like a report which has been “sexed” up by the reference to Rangers, but has little actual relevance to Rangers at all.

      • ecojon

        @ Duplesis

        I will admit you are good with words and I would recommend you for a job as chico’s PR without a doubt 🙂

        If it was a mistake by the reporter then I would have expected any on the ball PR company to have issued a press release but, alas, silence.

        I am quite sure, as you are probably aware, that the statement regarding Zeus Capital not being under investigation is a legal safetypin to guard against any misunderstandings or an innocent mixing of similar names like Zeus, Zeus Capital, Zeus Partners.

        On the large profit for Hughes, your original post refers to the reporter and dismisses his remark as off-the-cuff and you state: ‘Hughes standing to make a fortune from the share floatation is completely unsupported by any evidence’.

        I have always previously read your comments with interest and they appear to generally have been factually correct. But you ignore my comment that the Rangers CEO Chico Green no less has said that the original investors have doubled their money. Hughes is listed as having £2.2 million shareholding so since May/June – according to Chico – he has doubled that to £4.4 million. Not bad going or are you telling us that Chico as is his wont has got it wrong again or is it just confusion in his mind where he seems to be having recurring and more frequent memory lapses.

        I agree with you when you say that Hughes will want to make a return on his investment at some point – however I reckon the exit point for him will be the Flotation, if that still goes ahead, when his shares are expected to be sold to Bears clamouring to buy them.

        Chico said every penny from the flotation will remain at Ibrox. In a sense it will by allowing original investors to get out after doubling their cash. I think when the Bears actually realise that their cash paid-off the investors they might reach the opinion that their money didn’t stay at Ibrox to fund new development, buy new players or provide operating capital.

        Your next PR task is to convince the Bears that their share money is still in Ibrox and hasn’t disappeared to let the original investors double their money and scoot. I wish you well because at some stage they will cotton-on and it might not be pretty.

        You play with words when you say it isn’t untrue to say Hughes is a minority shareholder with £2.2 million – but since you are obviously a man in the know what is the total amount of the shareholding held by shareholders who are or have been closely linked to Zeus and the Associates of Zeus. And what actual amount is held by Zeus Capital as their name doesn’t appear on the share list but the company website says they have invested.

        Well just as well you don’t like the succulent lamb because I think you might have choked on your last sentence which I will repeat for the humour value in case anyone missed it: ‘It just seems like a report which has been “sexed” up by the reference to Rangers, but has little actual relevance to Rangers at all’.

        • @ecojon
          Please feel free to recommend me to Charlie – getting paid for coming on here would be wonderful!

          I don’t know why the reference to “Zeus Capital” as opposed to “Zeus Partners” hasn’t been changed, but it does seem to be only common sense that what was meant was Zeus Partners – as you say, you had a similar thought yourself.

          As I say my comment on Hughes making a profit was directed to Paul’s inference that the article contradicted Green’s statement that the money is staying with the club. If – as you and Paul are suggesting – we are to take from the reporter’s comment that Mr Hughes will exit at the point of the flotation with a swag bag of money, then that isn’t supported by any evidence. I really do think a comment that Hughes stands to make a fortune on the flotation is little more than a throwaway remark, which doesn’t tell us anything like that at all. Of course, he’ll look to get his money at some point. I’m not suggesting otherwise, and it would be daft to do so.

          I have no direct knowledge about the extent of Mr Hughes’s shareholding, I was just taking that from the Times article itself (which I’m assuming you’ve read), which puts his personal holding in Rangers at 6.8%. On the face of that, he – personally – is a minority shareholder. Zeus Capital, clearly, are more than that, but the investigation has nothing to do with Zeus Capital.

          Best I can tell, a tax scheme which Zeus Partners set up may or may not have been effective. In relation to one particular company involved in that scheme there are criminal investigations, which may or may not relate to that company (Seven Arts) rather than Zeus Partners. None of it however has anything to do with Zeus Capital.

          I’m not sure where the humour lies in my last sentence, but then I’ve been described as a miserable so and so in the past, so perhaps I’m missing it. If I didn’t express myself clearly enough, what I meant was that the reporter has sought to make his article more interesting by making a tenuous connection to Rangers, although the substance of the report actually has little or nothing to do with Rangers.

          • ecojon

            @ Duplesis

            You really should be recommended to chico as you really are very trying 🙂

            However, let’s approach this slightly differently. Who do you think holds the power behind the scenes?

            Largest shareholder is apparently Blue Pitch Holdings led by Mazen Houssami with £4 million. This allegedly used to be the Naqvi consortium but it would appear he didn’t take-up his friend chico’s offer to convert his loan into shareholding. I would say that was a very wise move for Mr Naqvi and not surprising given he is a major Middle and Far Eastern financier and power broker. It also might be indicative of a personal judgement on his friend chico. Who knows? But I also wonder with Naqvi’s departure whether Blue Pitch actually is left with £4 million in shares as I think iut could be a lot less.

            Next largest is Margarita Funds Holding Trust with £2.6 million and who Rangers thinks are based in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Well just like we don’t know who comprises the Blue Pitch Holdings consortium so it is with Maragrita Funds. We don’t know how many separate investors are in each.

            Then we come to Richard Hughes and Imran Ahmad each on £2.2 million.
            Two other Zeus directors have approx £150k invested in total and we don’t know how much Zeus Capital holds or how much its Associates hold.

            So if you wish to continue the facade that Richard Hughes is no more than a minority shareholder then that is up to you. He and his associates are the people behind the purchase of the Rangers assets and chico is their front-man. I will change my opinion of chico if you show me that he has invested a penny in the club but he hasn’t although he may very well walk away with millions either in cash if AIM is lax or as a shareholder.

            Will be interesting to see if he keeps his shareholding or flogs it at the flotation. If he holds then according to his vision it will be worth a lot more in a couple of years so it will be interesting to see how the share price performs and if chico is confident he won’t sell. However I have a feeling that the music he might have to face won’t be that of the Champions League anthem 🙂

            At the end of the day Zeus Capital and their Associates are the biggest shareholding block in Rangers and the reason that Rangers is where it is today for better or forse that may be.

            So keep ploughing on with the line that Richard Hughes is a minority shareholder and that Zeus has nothing to do with Ibrox – it just doesn’t wash!

            • duplesis

              Oh come on ecojon… 🙂

              I’ve never said Zeus Capital has nothing to do with Ibrox. I’ve made it clear that Zeus Capital are a major player in the consortium. I don’t know their exact shareholding, but I’m sure it’s significant.

              What I do say is that Zeus Partners are not involved with RFC. I also say that the particular tax scheme being investigated has nothing to do with RFC. The Times story is about a tax scheme devised by Zeus Partners which may or may not be found to be ineffective or unlawful. Surely a fair minded and analytical individual such as yourself sees that the link to RFC is a bit tenuous.

              Finally, you and I both know that it is not untrue to say Hughes personally is a minority shareholder (assuming The Times figure is correct, of course.)

            • Martin

              There is clearly more to come on this story.

              The Times have employed the clasic old school newspaper ploy of running two stories side by side.

              In this case one on the tax investigation the other on Rangers new status in D3

              In its simplest form it tells the reader covertly that there IS evidence of a link, but the legal eagles are nervious. More evidence required.

              If it runs to form the current owner/operators of Rangers will soon be reading much more damaging copy in the Times.

          • Maggie

            @duplesis
            Not sure where the humour lies…….
            Do you follow current affairs at all duplesis….Hutton enquiry,dodgy sexed up dossier,BBC,strange death of an eminent scientist,Iraq war,Alistair Campbell,spinmeister extraordinaire to Tony Blair,responsible for the term sexed up.Ringing any bells?

            • duplesis

              @Maggie

              Obviously I know where the term “sexing up” comes from, it was kind of the reference I was going for in fact… I’m just not sure why my comment that the reporter attempts to do that by bringing Rangers into something they aren’t really involved in is that amusing – each to their own though.

              Assuming you’ve managed to wipe yourself down now, what do you reckon – Is this report evidence that RFC’s backers are dodgy, or – as I say – is it of little or no relevance to RFC?

            • ecojon

              Oh come on duplesis 🙂 🙂

              Personally I have no idea whether there is any connection between Zeus Partners LLP and Rangers but I will bow to your obviously superior inside knowledge on this matter at least for the moment.

              However it really is a bit disingenuous to argue that the Zeus Boss, who IMHO ‘controls’ the largest shareholding bloc in Rangers, shouldn’t be linked to a story about the HMRC investigating a major possible tax fiddle which could lead to crinminal charges.

              I’m afraid that you have become too used to the Scottish MSM failing the public by not informing them of such matters and linkages. It is up to the public to make what they will of the matter and, in due course, justice will take its course or not.

              You also tend to be using a telescope approach to the subject and seem to forget that preparation for an AIM Flotation is supposedly in progress – don’t potential investors in Rangers deserve to be able to weigh the risk factor that obviously arises when the man who basically funded the buying of the assets and holds or controls a major shareholding in the company is being investigated by HMRC.

              I think any normal person would readily see and admit the linkage unless they had some over-riding personal reason to deny it.

              What is newsworthy is the linkage between Hughes, the tax scheme, Zeus Partners, Zeus Capital and Rangers and Hughes is also the common denominator. It is as clear as day and attempts to poo poo it should be left in chico’s pocket wrapped in his mouse handkerchief.

              I cannot accept that Hughes personally is a minority shareholder although it may well be that you have information that I don’t. I do know that the list of shareholders is short of some names yet to be revealed so I will stick with my opinion of Hughes having a very dominating position overall and that’s what counts.

              Do you think Ahmad would vote his shares in chico’s favour against Hughes if it came to it? Time to have another look at the Mem & Arts on voting. But of course where are the shares – that is the question.

            • Maggie

              @duplesis
              Yeah totally got where you were going with it,that’s what makes it hilarious.Think about it.
              You’re going to believe what you’re going to believe regardless of the evidence or the reasoned argument of others on here,so I’ll save my self the trouble of rehashing all that has been posted before.
              BTW Humour and gentle inoffensive joshing is one of the pleasures of posting on here,don’t think you quite get that…….
              I’m unsure what you mean by “assuming you’ve managed to wipe yourself down….” but I’ll treat it as gentle inoffensive joshing,shall I ?
              Oh but I do have some kitchen cupboards which require some wiping down,so I’ll get right onto that,thanks for jogging my memory there.

            • duplesis

              @ ecojon

              To be clear I have no direct personal knowledge of Zeus Partners, and in fact hadn’t even heard of them before this morning, but as has been made clear RFC’s position is that Zeus Partners have nothing to do with us, and The Times article doesn’t provide evidence or suggest otherwise.

              I don’t agree that pointing out the tenuous nature of the connection between the investigation and ourselves is disingenuous. I don’t actually think there’s anything particularly wrong with Mr Hughes’s involvement with us being mentioned in the article either – if it is not sensationalised. I just doubt that all the excitement on here about this is justified.

              What I do think is a bit disingenuous is the impression The Times seems to try to give. The article is headed :

              “Rangers in fresh trouble as club’s key shareholder faces tax inquiry”

              There is nothing in the article which justifies the suggestion that Rangers are “in fresh trouble” over anything.

        • Maggie

          @ecojon
          “sexed up” Mwahhhhhha ha ha ha! Quick somebody phone Alistair Campbell,Armando Iannucci,Peter Capaldi,there’s an episode of “The Thick of It” in it for them……
          Do you think he might be referring to Walter’s cardigan tho’ 🙂

          • ecojon

            @ Maggie

            Tsk Tsk – you have to understand that you can’t say anything about the Blessed Walter or you get the TDs 🙂

            And the only reason Wattie’s cardie is falling apart is from the constant touching of the hem from the faithful hordes when he glides amongst them. It would appear that a liberal application of snake oil will improve the gliding performance and maybe even the fitba – it’s certainly necessary.

      • martin c

        @duplesis

        Not wishing to get involved in the details of Rangers demise, whether oldco or newco, i would think that tax in its many guises would be a common denominator in any discussion.

        Therefore in any report where a “key shareholder” is involved in a criminal investigation for tax evasion then i believe it is relevant and not a non-story. Is it that Ibrox is becoming synonymous with tax dodging, im sure a reputation that no sporting club would wish to have?

        Hughes is a co founder of Zeus Capital and played a pivotal role in the purchase of Rangers assets.

  27. paulsatim

    Maybe Mr Hughes tax breaks on film production scheme has moved to pantomimes!

  28. COYBIG

    @100bjd

    “Watch for Chic’s tax issues next!”

    Is that you surmising? Or do you know something?

  29. JohnBhoy

    Dear Just Joan (Daily Record)

    A met this geezer in the pub, right. Says he’s knew in town. He was a good laugh to start wi’ but never buys a round and every time he opens his gob he tells porkies. Big wans. His mates are right dodgy tae. He disnae introduce them and they keep gettin’ lifted by the polis. Some o’ the regulars, you know the barflys, say they know him fae somewhere and tae watch ma back. Thing is Joan, the other day he asked ma mate Billy if he wid gie him his big hoose for the chewin’ gum in his pocket. It’s a’ oosy ‘n that, the chewin’ gum. A said tae Billy, cos he’s ma best mate (even if he has a thing about goats), that it sounds right dodgy. Billy, who’s dead clever, says it disnae mean that cos the dude is dodgy, always lies through his teeth, has mates that ur dodgy tae, and ur always gettin’ nicked, that the chewing gum is dodgy, and then spouted some feckin’ keech aboot correlation is not and cannot be taken to imply causation! Whit dae ye think Joan?

    Dear Tim,

    Billy’s friend sounds like a decent, upstanding member of the community. One should not judge others according to what they say or how they behave or the company they keep. You are jumping to ill-founded conclusions based on strong circumstantial evidence. I would urge caution on your part, otherwise you may find that you begin to ask questions, reveal uncomfortable truths and expose those shysters for what they are, and what good would that do anyone?

    • scottyjimbo

      Ecojon, your post at 12:15 included this,

      “ …. Well chico is on record as saying they have already doubled their money and that only since when May/June? …”

      Now I know zero on economics, but how could that be? I assume the original investors put in a fixed sum, and for that, they received a certain amount of shares. If memory serves there was a statement where it was said that the initial shares were £1- a-pop, with a bunch later at 50p. Not being listed, they aren’t being publicly traded are they? Can they be privately traded? Is someone buying 50p shares for a £1 as we speak? Are these shares destined for the gullible bears?
      According to Chico the season ticket money is all there in the bank. They have no EXTERNAL debt. He paid for running costs during D&P’s tenure. He’s paying for current running costs with a £6 to £7 million wage bill plus day to day running costs.
      When Craigy said recently, the Rangers were a financial basket case, which one was he referring to?

      • ecojon

        @ scottyjimbo

        Well chico is the man who made the statement and at a guess the original consortium of investors were effectively providing a ‘loan’ to buy the assets of oldco.

        It seems likely that these ‘loans’ were secured against the Ibrox property assets and may have also been convertible to shares.

        It would appear from public statements by Mr Ahmad and other information that the shares for the original investors were valued at 50p and if the Flotation price is £1 then the money is doubled.

        The big problem is that we do not have the information that would let us state with certainty what is planned although things should become clearer in the flotation prosepectus if ever issued.

        It is believed that the shares which Green/Ahmad have described as paid & issued to the original consortium are shares in The Rangers Football Club Ltd but no paperwork has been received by Compoanies House which confirm the statement made.

        It is therefore unclear who has issued the shares although most still think they have been issued privately – it would probably be illegal to offer them publicly unless through an authorised exchange although nothing that happens in the world of finance will ever surprise me.

        As to which shares the Bears buy – well it could be the ones belonging to original investors selling-up and getting-out or if they all stand firm and don’t sell then it will be £20 million new shares on top of the circa 25 million already issued.

        I don’t think there is really anything to be gained about what chico claims about day to day finances at Ibrox although some of it seems more than a little strange but that doesn’t mean it’s not legit. Certainly the fact he hasn’t needed to touch ST money surprises me and I puzzle over the wording ‘External Debt’ and wonder what about internal debt or some other kind of debt.

    • Maggie

      @JohnBhoy
      It’s good,JohnBhoy,very good,one of your best,but nothing,I repeat NOTHING today can beat the “sexed up” Rangers Dossier for sheer, unadulterated,hysterical amusement.

    • Budweiser

      @ Johnbhoy

      You seem to be confusing ‘hearsay,’ with evidence johnbhoy. Not allowed on this site! Humour doesn’t translate in a court of law! Ask your mate Billy to simplify his views and then watch his head spin so much that it disappears up his analytical background.

  30. carl31

    … but The Times has ‘Tim’ in it so its just part of the big conspiracy 🙂

  31. COYBIG

    As some people on here have already wrote about, Charlie has recently said that the money raised from season ticket sales, is sitting in a bank account, and hasn’t been touched. Well, given that the majority of Football Clubs, the world over, use season ticket money as working capital, I find it hard to believe.

    But lets take Charlie at his word. If you had £9m in the bank, and you wanted people to invest in your Club/Company, wouldn’t you show the necessary documents, rather than make them have to rely on hearsay? Wouldn’t you also do the same, to back up your claims that your Club/Company, is debt free? I mean, your asking people to hand over a lot of money, potentially totaling in the millions, and the best you can offer them is your word?

  32. sprotson

    Would this be the same LLP tax dodging scheme that so many Celtic and former Celtic employees and Directors took part it.

    Surely not, they wouldn’t try to dodge tax would they!!

  33. Pensionerbhoy

    Paul

    Can anyone dip a finger in the pie and not at least pick up some gravy? I think that some of the fingers in the Green pie may be in deep enough to come out with lumps of Charlie’s contaminated meat (succulent lamb perhaps) stuck to them.
    I accuse no one without the proven facts but I feel I need the proof of innocence in these matters much more than I need the proof of guilt.

  34. NeilR

    Paul, in your post you write this:

    Zeus Partners created and marketed a £134 million film investment scheme, suspected by HMRC of what is described as “an illegal attempt to generate millions of pounds of tax relief”. HMRC are investigating 17 companies set up in connection with the scheme. It is alleged that the companies were set up, and films produced, to generate losses, and the structure of the deals was such that, for a comparatively small investment, tax losses many times higher would be created, saving wealthy investors large sums by way of tax.

    The structure of the deals was indeed “such that, for a comparatively small investment, tax losses many times higher would be created, saving wealthy investors large sums by way of tax”. However I think it’s important to say that this is true of the great majority of film partnership vehicles marketed over the last 15 years; in this respect at least, the Zeus Partners scheme appears to be no more aggressive than many of its peers.

    Before that, you write that “It is alleged that the companies were set up, and films produced, to generate losses”. It is an well-established and absolute requirement for structures of this sort to trade with a view to profit if there is to be any possibility of claiming tax relief on losses arising. This is well-known in the industry, and while I have not seen documentation for this particular scheme I would bet a pound to a penny that the various legal documents, marketing material etc were all based on the premise that a profit was genuinely being sought.

    It is of course possible to imagine ways in which an unscrupulous film partnership promoter might abuse the system; for example, by purchasing sub-standard product at an inflated rate, and encouraging individiuals to participate in good faith on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentations as to the product’s quality. However, the article makes no such allegations, indeed it is entirely silent on the details of what or who HMRC suspects, other than a vague reference to an “illegal effort…. to generate tax relief”.

    The Times article is certainly of interest to Rangers/Sevco watchers, but until much more information emerges, and in particular until Zeus Partners or its principals are accused of specific wrongdoing, it would be premature to draw any strong conclusions based on the article.

    • ecojon

      @ NeilR

      Thanks for the info provided which is interesting and informative.

      However as to drawing conclusions, whether stromg or weak, I will be the judge of what I will do and thanks for the advice but no thanks if you see what I mean.

      I see the Times article as providing important linkage information which could effect an AIM Flotation and personally I would give the company involved a miss and go elsewhere as there’s plenty on offer. And that decision wouldn’t be based on the company but rather on the future intentions of a man involved in putting the consortiun together to buy the assets of the oldco and who through his own and associated shareholdings is involved in possibly the largest shareholding bloc.

      That being said I wouldn’t invest in Rangers on AIM firstly because football shares are a mug investment and secondly I’m a Celtic supporter 🙂

      • NeilR

        Ecojon

        I’m glad you found the info useful. I didn’t give you any advice, though, all I did was voice an opinion.

        I’m struggling to see the ‘important linkage’ information in the article. HMRC is alleged (there’s no confirmation) to be investigating some aspect of a scheme. Which aspect of the scheme and which parties to it HMRC is investigating is unknown. Zeus Partners may or may not be the subject of that investigation, if it exists.

        I doubt very much whether this matter will materially affect any proposed AIM share issue in the absence of specific charges against Zeus or its principals being made public soon – though for a variety of other reasons the share issue is already looking problematic. But the Zeus story is another proof, if one is needed, that Rangers/Sevco continues to attract a colourful cast of characters who are likely to provide us all with free entertainment for months and years to come.

        • ecojon

          @ NeilR

          I would agree that no matter what is written even if backed-up by cast-iron evidence that it probably wouldn’t affect the decisiion of Bears as to whether they invest in this AIM or not as we know that football supporters don’t invest for profit but out of a loyalty aspect which is assiduously cultivated by spivs who have invaded the game.

  35. willy wonka

    The Board of The Rangers Football Club has issued the following statement today:

    It reads: “The Board wishes to express its dismay over articles in The Times newspaper today which implies the Club is “in fresh trouble” with HM Revenue and Customs in relation to an investor in the Club.

    “This is categorically not the case and the Chairman of the Club has written to The Times on this matter.

    “The Rangers Football Club has no outstanding issues with HMRC and indeed the current management have an open and transparent dialogue with HMRC and, in particular, through our auditors and reporting accountants, Deloitte.

    “The historic tax issues affecting Rangers (RFC 2012 Ltd which is now in liquidation) are well documented.

    “These issues, notably surrounding the EBT scheme, will continue to receive much media coverage, but have no bearing upon the ongoing operation of the football club and its intention to list as a public company.

    “We wish to reiterate that Mr Richard Hughes has no involvement in the management of the club, nor is he a director.

    “Richard Hughes or his company Zeus Capital, both FSA regulated, are a minority investor.

    “The Club does not have an existing relationship with Zeus Partners, which is also named in The Times as being part of an HMRC inquiry.

    “It would be inappropriate for The Rangers Football Club to comment further on either the private and professional affairs of Mr Hughes, or the commercial activities of Zeus Partners or Zeus Capital.”

    • ecojon

      @ willy wonka

      That’s handy ta.

      As fare as I know there are 4 members of the Board – and two of them are shown today on the Zeus Capital website as directors of that company and indeed one of the is shown as MD.

      What the press release fails to state is that the two directors mentioned above are both investors in Rangers – one with £2.2 million and one with £50k approx. Another Zeus Capital director, not on the Rangers Board, has £100k invested in Rangers.

      The rangers press release adds: “Richard Hughes or his company Zeus Capital, both FSA regulated, are a minority investor’.

      That statement surprises me as surely Rangers know whether it is Richard Hughes or whether it is his company which hold the £2.2 million shown on a shareholding list in the name of Richard Hughes.

      The press release also fails to name the Zeus Capital Associates mentioned on the company’s web site as having invested in Rangers. We don’t know who they are or how much they have invested. There was a time when chico trumpeted transparency and that the sharehokders would be named.

      The press release also stated: “The Club does not have an existing relationship with Zeus Partners, which is also named in The Times as being part of an HMRC inquiry’.

      It begs the question as to whether there has been a previous relationship especially at the time when Zeus helped put the capital together to buy the oldco assets after Zeus was approached by the adminstrators D&P in February with a view to buying Rangers.

      Of course Rangers will continually be hoist with its own petard by claiming the club is the past, present and future and has never died. It makes it difficult for mere mortals to see the differences 🙂

  36. Violet Carson

    Some of this stuff makes us all look bad. Maybe Ecojon you and duplesis should get a hotel room – talk about angels and heads of pins. Everything each of you says, well maybe not everything, is true. Zeus Piddle is not the same as Zeus Poddle and Mr Hughes has something to do with Poddle and Rangers has something to do with Piddle or is it the other way round. Frankly, I don’t care. What should be a point is that Rangers, Green and others are swimming in a tank of Piranhas. All of these people are paid and thrive dreaming up schemes to avoid tax. HMRC, from time to time, chAnge the rules or change a ruling. It’s the way of the fish tank. But, now Rangers are in the tank and they may be about to take a great deal of their supporters with them. For that reason and that alone, what Paul wrote is of value. That one member of the shoal is worse than another is immaterial. Merely, it is important to show that there is another member of the shoal. I may have taken this fish thing too far.

  37. carl31

    When CW let the world know, via the BBC interview, that it was he who had introduced Charles Green to D&P, the statement released by CG to counter this told us that CW was being misleading and that it was Imran Ahmad that had introduced CG to Rangers.
    It was noted, here and on other blogs, that being introduced to D&P was not the same as being introduced to Rangers. A later statement by CG told us that indeed CW had introduced him to D&P, with some background to the story.

    If this Times story is to follow the same pattern (the story is about Richard Hughes/Zeus Partners – but states Zeus Capital is not under investigation, and Rangers make it clear they have no business dealings with Zeus Capital) then expect a clarifying statement that tells us a business arrangement with Richard Hughes/Zeus Partners does exist, but then explains this in such a way as not to have things seem that bad.

    CG has form on such misdirection and distraction where a statement seems like a denial but, on closer scrutiny, it isnt. Its unlikely that ‘Zeus Capital’ as it appears in the Rangers Statement is a typo, or honest error.

  38. JohnBhoy

    TU, truth recognised; TD, truth hurts. Win-Win.

  39. ecojon

    @ Violet

    No the fish analogy is apt and I can never remember if it was Mao or Confucious that said: When in the sea of the people swim like a fish.

    I have had many conversations with Duplesis about the Rangers issue and I do admit today was very different from any previous ones and I think it is a sign of the pressure that is on.

    If I was considering whether to invest in Rangers I would want to know about any problems facing the the individual who literally backed the deal to buy the assets of the oldco and being investigated by Hector would be a priority problem IMHO.

    It matters not that the company being investigated isn’t Rangers – it’s about the £4.5 million shareholding identifiably linked to Hughes and also the unknown amount held by Zeus Capital and its unidentified associates.

    I would want to make a judgement as an investor whether Hughes and Zeus were in for a quick profit and off or whether they were in for the longer term.

    That is not about dancing on the end of a pin but maximising intelligence to make an informed business decision and the Times article helps in that process.

    • Violet Carson

      Ecojon

      The only informed business decision one needs to make is ‘do not touch this with a long pole’. When one considers all the things revealed on here, if anyone was still thinking of investing in the IPO then the revelation that Mr Hughes may have an issue will not sway them. Mind you, we all need a hobby!

  40. COYBIG

    So Zeus are nothing to do with the running of The Rangers, and Richard Hughes is a minority investor?

    Well, Walter(what’s his surname again?) gave this interview, just after ‘his’ bid failed to buy out Charlie’s mob:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2161598/Rangers-crisis-Smith-casts-doubt-rival-Green-abandoning-bid-buy-new-club.html

    Note the bit in which Walter says, “Members of our consortium had met with Charles Green and Zeus Capital…” Now, why would they need to meet Zeus, if they aren’t involved in the running of The Rangers?

    As far as Richard Hughes being a minority investor? Well, he has £2.2m worth of shares. Only Blue Pitch Holdings (£4m), and Margarita Funds Holding Trust (£2.6m) are listed as having invested more. So, wouldn’t that make Hughes the biggest single shareholder in The Rangers?

    • ecojon

      @ Coybig

      They are deliberately using the technical definition of ‘minority’ shareholder. Just think for a minute that if you have put in £2.2 million and are regarded as a minority shareholder what does chico think of a Bear cluthing his £500?

      Ahmad has £2.2 million as well and is still listed as MD of Zeus Capital today. Stockbridge has approx £50k also still shown as a Zeus director – both Ahmad & Stockbridge are also Rangers directors. Another Zeus director has £100K. Then there are the mystery Zeus Associates they have never been identified so we don’t know how much they have and Zeus Capital is also an investor according to its website but we don’t know ho much it has invested.

      • COYBIG

        @ecojon

        Don’t worry, i’m sure as we speak, Jim Trynor et al. are all writing articals rubbishing the statement put out today by The Rangers. Serious questions will be asked.

    • Marching on Together

      ‘Minority shareholder’ has a specific legal meaning when it comes to companies, and it does NOT mean largest shareholder. I could own 49% in Sevco, but I would still be a minority shareholder. The exception to that is where I am acting in concert (and agreeing to vote the same way) with other shareholders, so as to mean in reality that my voting bloc controls more than 50% of the voting shares.

      • Marching on Together

        Sorry, should have phrased the first sentence in that a bit better. The largest shareholder is still a minority shareholder unless he holds more than 50% of the voting shares.

        • COYBIG

          @Marching on Together

          Stop being pedantic. He’s the biggest single invester that’s listed as having shares. He’s not an irrelevance.

          • Marching on Together

            Ah ‘pedantic’. What the MSM calls internet bampots when they point out the details of how and where the MSM is talking bollox.

            I have nowhere denied that he is a major investor, although he appears to be the biggest single investor only if you are counting natural persons and not all investors. And if you accept at face value the list of shareholders.

            Nowhere have I said he is an irrelevance.

            However, he is still a minority investor, which fact for some reason you seem to be trying to question? Why are you questioning it?

            • COYBIG

              @Marching on Together

              Ah, ‘pedantic’. What you call someone when, funnily enough, they’re being pedantic.

              So you agree, of the inverstors listed, he’s a ‘major investor’.

              Who said you called him an irrelevance? Not me. I was stating a matter of fact, not making an accusation against your view. But then again, you’re good at jumping to conclusions, as well as making false accusations. Just like you did about a week ago, when you accused me of being against freedom of speech. When i’m not, and wrote nothing of the sort.

              I’m not questioning the semantics of his position. Rather the claim being made, that him and Zeus aren’t ‘a big deal’, in regards to the hierarchy at The Rangers.

            • Marching on Together

              Good. So you at last accept that he is a minority investor. Glad my pedantry has had the desired effect.

              Happy to correct any other misapprehensions.

            • COYBIG

              @Marching on Together

              I said that I’m not questioning the semantics of his position. I am questioning the claim that him and Zeus are irrelevent, in regards to the hierarchy of The Rangers.

              But if you really need to think that you’re right, then go ahead. Well done. Good for you. Whatever floats your boat.

        • ecojon

          @ Marching on Together

          What a simplistic approach and not what happens in real life as believe it or not alliances can form and minority shareholders can outvote the largest shareholder. In this case Hughes is connected with other shareholders which together is the largest shareholder and may even be the majority shareholder.

          • Marching on Together

            Which is why I said: “The exception to that is where I am acting in concert (and agreeing to vote the same way) with other shareholders, so as to mean in reality that my voting bloc controls more than 50% of the voting shares.”

            Simplistic nothing. An accurate description of what the legal position is, you mean.

            • COYBIG

              @Marching on Together

              I think what ecojon was trying to say, is that the amount you invest, doesn’t always determine how much ‘power’ you will hold.

  41. ecojon

    @ Coybig

    I keep wondering when the age old self-defence mechanism will kick-in. Do these journos not see that if the don’t start writing balanced, well-researched stories that they are gonna look awful stoopid in the not too distant future to everyone.

    We already know, of course, that it is much worse than just stupidity but agenda drive, However: We Shall Overcome!

  42. JohnBhoy

    FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLL

    Rangers’ second downfall is now inevitable. In the ordinary world of business the shady activities of these shysters would go unmolested. However, the banking crisis has put paid to their laissez-faire approach to the legal and moral norms expected of our entrepreneurs and captains of industry. Tax dodging, in particular has come under the spotlight.

    Rangers were the establishment club within Scotland. Yet, and perhaps ironically, it is the establishment that is now bringing them down. Murray, HMRC, the law courts, The Times, Channel Four, BBC, SFA, etc. Rangers is seen as no longer worth the candle. For example, Charles Green’s courting of the baser elements of Rangers’ support has raised eyebrows, not only in Scotland but further afield. The denial of stories previously fed to the press by Rangers (eg Arif Naqvi’s shares) and contradictory statements emanating from Rangers has raised hackles. The fans’ threats and intimidation of media and legal representatives, as well as other football clubs, including the SFA and SPL, has been met with incredulity in the wider community.

    Rangers’ carefully crafted weasel words will not save them. The bell tolls and it tolls for them.

    • Jono

      @johnbhoy re:” In the ordinary world of business the shady activities of these shysters would go unmolested. However, the banking crisis has put paid to their laissez-faire approach to the legal and moral norms expected of our entrepreneurs and captains of industry.”

      There is a saying that a Rising tide floats all boats but a falling tide exposes all wrecks!

      • JohnBhoy

        There is no such saying.

        The first half of your proverb is indeed well-known and attributed to good old JFK, who wanted to convey concisely the idea that when the economy improves everybody’s a winner. The second part is not a well-known saying at all, but merely attached by some smart Alec, and perhaps quite reasonably, to emphasise that there is a flip side to JFK’s truism ie that when the economy drops, everybody suffers.

        Perhaps you are applying the proverb in another way. Rangers alive and well, everybody benefits; Rangers dead and buried, everybody suffers? That might prove to be the case, temporarily at least.

        I suspect, however, that you are saying, or trying to say, something different altogether. “Float your boat” is an expression to mean whatever turns you on, derived from the interaction of sexual organs. The meaning of “a falling tide exposes all wrecks” suggests a comeuppance. Beats me.

        Here’s one for you Jono: a witty saying proves nothing (Voltaire).

        Here’s another: when fear is present, wisdom cannot be (Lactantius)

        • Jono

          Very confused at this reply….you seem to be saying
          1. There is no such saying
          2, There is but it’s partly due to a smart alec
          3. you explain what it means
          4. you surmise that I might have meant it differently
          5. you suspect that I may have meant it yet differently
          6. you finish with a couple of sayings of your own

          Maybe I was just agreeing with your point and emphasizing that agreement with a saying!

  43. Martin

    “ What we have here, is a failure to communicate”
    I wonder if the average punter who is thinking of parting with 500 quid for a framed certificate, that he or she can hang on the kitchen wall in recognicion of their ownership of Rangers, gives a flying duck to anything I or anyone else might say.
    It occurs to me that the definition of WATP to those that seek to expliot was never “we are the people” rather it was “who are the people” that can be moneytised.
    Perhaps these same people read the Times, or bampot blogs. Perhaps they read RM.
    One way or another the race is on, the window of oportunity to get the punters cash is a short one.
    Sooner or later the Times, the bampots and RM will converge.

  44. The ‘bell does toll’ and it might be that Rangers 0 ICT 3 was the death knell. Investing in a team that might show Scotland that even from the depths of the 4th Div. they will overcome would appeal to some. But now it looks like all they might manage is to win said 4th Div. appeals to no one. I wonder if Alloa are planning an IPO, I might invest in that after all they are a division higher and have a good young manager. The more I think of it; the better it looks.

  45. Seems like Collyer Bristow will get another bite at the cherry (sorry Pie !), whatever their gripe was at the court of session. As , they intend to form a liquidation committee to represent creditors’ interests and work with the Liquidators throughout the liquidation process. Probably a normal process though

    http://www.insolvencynews.com/article/14512/corporate/bdo-collects-rangers-liquidation

  46. portpower

    Description: The octopus is that funny looking creature with eight arms. Actually, the right word for an octopus’s arm is a tentacle. The tentacle’s are covered with suckers that help the octopus move around. The octopus is very good at moving around. They can escape water and even live in the air for a little while. The octopus can also raise its eyes above its body, kind of like a submarine periscope. If these creatures feel threatened, they squirt black ink that hides them and helps them to escape. Octopus come in many sizes and colors. There are many different kinds.

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