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Ex-Rangers chairman disqualified as director

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7th Oct 2014
Freelance journalist
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Craig Whyte, a former director of Rangers Football Club, has been disqualified from being a company director for 15 years, for "failing to avoid conflict of interest" in the running of the club.

The disqualification by the Insolvency Service starts on 21 October.

Whyte was the chairman of Rangers, which was placed into administration in February 2012 and was subsequently wound up by the Court of Session in Scotland in October 2012. He was also a director of Tixway UK Ltd, which was wound up by Court of Session in Scotland in July 2012.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: "Mr Whyte bought a much-loved club, and promised fans that he would provide further cash to bring success.

"However, he caused the club to use this money to fund the purchase of its own shares, reducing funds for investment. He also failed to consult other directors on important decisions meaning that his behaviour went unchallenged. 

"Such blatant lack of regard for proper corporate behaviour and control does not have a place in modern society."

The grounds of the petition for the disqualification are that Whyte failed to act in accordance with his duties as a director to promote the interests of the company and to avoid conflicts of interest including:

  • Causing RFC to enter into an agreement to effectively fund the purchase of its own shares
  • Conducting the affairs of RFC without reference to other board directors, preventing RFC from being subject to proper corporate governance
  • Causing RFC to fail to comply with its tax obligations

Last month, HMRC was given leave to appeal against a tribunal decision that £49m in payments made to Rangers players from former owners of the club should not be taxable as they were not wages. The payments were made through an employee benefit trust scheme. Murray Group, the former owners, argued that the payments were loans.

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7om
By Tom 7000
08th Oct 2014 12:27

Just wondering

Why dont HMRC make the players give the money back to the trust if its a loan and then make the trust  give the money to the football club so that the tax can be paid. Or is it not that easy?

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Replying to Trannysister:
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By howardwalters
08th Oct 2014 14:58

Trust

Tom 7000 wrote:

Why dont HMRC make the players give the money back to the trust if its a loan and then make the trust  give the money to the football club so that the tax can be paid. Or is it not that easy?

One of the main points of a trust is that it is ring-fenced; I believe only the trustees have the power to recall the loans. If HMRC ever get that added to their ever growing list of powers - I'm off!

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Replying to Trannysister:
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By petestar1969
08th Oct 2014 15:14

Hmm

Tom 7000 wrote:

Why dont HMRC make the players give the money back to the trust if its a loan and then make the trust  give the money to the football club so that the tax can be paid. Or is it not that easy?

 

The trustees of the EBT have to act in the best interests of the trust's beneficiaries at all times. Clearly, asking the players to pay back the "loans" and then ultimately pay the tax would not be in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the EBT (the players) so the trustees would never recall the loans unless perhaps ordered to by a court.

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Replying to Trannysister:
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By abelljms
13th Oct 2014 16:22

why not indeed range for the money??
Sounds simples to get a Court order in UK to freeze ALL personal assets of the tax-evading football PLAYERS, to persuade them 'Voluntarily' to persuade the Trust that is ' outside their control ' to ' voluntarily ' repay the offensive ' loans ' to the club Receiver, who will then be able to recalculate all his distributions?? As I said - simples!!

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By AndrewV12
08th Oct 2014 13:27

Football clubs

Danny Kelly once said 'the only thing that is scrutinised more than football in the UK is politics, and yet no one has any idea how a football club is run'.

 

It looks like HMRC have shown daylight on certain football clubs practices. 

 

 

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By tiercel55
08th Oct 2014 14:52

I doubt very much if Whyte is even remotely interested - I am sure he will find ways round the ban

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By Shay Daly
08th Oct 2014 16:30

Director disqualification
Does this ban only apply to UK incorporated companies?

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By Akuol
09th Oct 2014 11:17

Mr Whyte promised the fans to provide further cash to bring success to the club but in fact that was a reversed psychology of  "I want to use the cash to benefit myself". What great example of enlightened self-interest.

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