Hugh Adam is the man who made a huge success of Rangers Pools, and who served Rangers loyally for over thirty years. In 2002, he sold his shares in Rangers and at the same time rang warning bells about the direction of Rangers under Sir David Murray.
He warned of bankruptcy to come if the course of the good ship Rangers was not changed. He was ignored by almost all at the time, and as Rangers continued winning trophies and bringing star players to Ibrox he was seen as a Cassandra. However, Cassandra’s curse was never to be believed, but always to be right.
Mr Adam’s 2002 interview is still floating around on the web.
This time, on the news that Lloyds Bank controlled the purse strings at Ibrox, he repeated his warnings of seven years previously, telling the paper:-
“When I made those comments seven years ago I was ridiculed by some. We [David Murray and he] got on fine in the beginning, but, with David, it gets to the stage that if you do not agree with him he casts you aside.
“I did not agree with the way he operated and I told him that. It doesn’t give me any satisfaction to see the situation as it is but I did raise concerns at the time and was ridiculed for raising them.
“David was a salesman, a super-salesman. I have enormous respect for him for the adversity he overcame but when I would express my concerns to him – as I did various times – he would nod, but I knew he wasn’t listening to me. He was entitled to ignore me but I wasn’t for sitting about like a dummy.
“Even if I had the money I wouldn’t buy Rangers just now. Would you?
“If anything, I would rather buy Celtic now because they are run more prudently by good, strong people. Television revenue is not going to increase, fans are not buying into it any more and there is no prospect of England on the horizon. For guys like Abramovich at Chelsea, the television money is there, while his own commitment is relatively loose change.
“I am 84, so it is a bit late in the day for me to come up with a business plan but what I would do is lobby the Dutch, Portuguese and Scandinavians regularly to champion the cause for an Atlantic League.”
Mr Adam was 84 then and it might have been thought that the book had closed on his involvement with Rangers.
However today in the Daily Mail, he comes back, and is the first former director of the Club to speak openly and, for Rangers, negatively, about the EBT issue which makes up the “Big Tax Case”.
John McGarry’s piece deserves to be read thoroughly, but a couple of points can be highlighted.
Mr Adam states, when discussing alleged “secretive payments to players which were not in their contracts:-
“They weren’t included in the contracts. They definitely weren’t. That was the whole point of them.
‘If they’d been included in the contracts, they would have had to have paid tax on them.
‘I don’t think a lot of the other directors knew an awful lot about it. David Murray kept everything to himself.
“When I was on the board, I knew all about them. I just didn’t know the details of them. They became accepted. The revenue were seriously challenging them at that point when I was a director.
“All the directors heard about them but didn’t take them seriously because they didn’t appear in the books. People didn’t want to know about them. There was a lot of that (EBTs) going on at the time (I was there).
‘You knew it was cheating but some of them not only hoped but believed it was above board. It was just something that crept up. It was considered important but not crucial. The fans didn’t give a damn one way or another.
‘When I was asked for my opinion on the way the club had been run, I said it was quite obvious how it had got into trouble. They were doing things they shouldn’t have been doing.
‘They (EBTs) were always regarded in my time as a bit of a joke. They were getting away with it but nobody really thought they’d get away with it forever. ‘
‘The players were very naive. Few of them were the Brain of Britain, of course. If they get the money, they don’t give a damn where it’s coming from.’ Continue reading