Tag Archives: banking

Leeds anxious as buyers Gulf Finance House Capital fail to pay: Charles Sale

Leeds anxious as GFH Capital fail to pay on time

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UPDATED:

01:33 GMT, 12 December 2012

Doubts about the proposed takeover of
Leeds United by Bahrain-based bank Gulf Finance House Capital — due to
be completed four days before Christmas — will grow after a scheduled payment date was missed.

The Middle East investors, whose
fit-and-proper-persons test by the Football League for club owners and
directors is ‘ongoing’, failed to transfer a tranche of money to Leeds
last week.

Up for grabs: But who will own Elland Road later this month

Up for grabs: But who will own Elland Road later this month

This will only add to supporters’
concern about the lack of transparency concerning the purchase of the 49
per cent shareholding of 81-year-old owner Ken Bates, who is due to
stay on as chairman until the end of the season before becoming club
president.

However, Leeds are still confident
that the reported 52million sale will be finalised on December 21
without any more hiccups. It is understood they have been reassured by
GFH Capital that the money is in their lawyer’s client account and
Bahrain banking regulations meant the payment schedule had to be
altered.

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: Hearn is ready to throw in the towel over West Ham's Olympic Stadium move
05/12/12

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30/11/12

Charles Sale: Rivals Warren and Hearn take fight over Bellew to the High Court
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Tough start for C4

A festive atmosphere might be lacking
today at Corrigan’s restaurant in London’s Mayfair where Channel 4,
whose monopoly coverage of racing on terrestrial TV begins on January 1,
will outline their broadcasting vision to a sceptical racing Press.

C4’s plans to ensure they always get the first interviews after races in
front of their branded backdrop includes ending racing’s traditional
media huddle around winning connections.

Lewis branches out

Tottenham’s billionaire owner Joe Lewis has become an influential figure in the racing world after taking control of Timeweave, who own 50 per cent of betting shop broadcasters Turf TV. Bahamas-based Lewis has yet to attend a Spurs game this season and his investment in Timeweave is for business reasons rather than any great love of racing.

The start of the transfer window is not
the best time to take over as a football club chief executive. But at
least Sam Rush, who joins Derby on January 1, has the advantage of being
an agent in his previous job, running Wasserman Media Group’s football
division. Derby have one of the Championship’s hottest properties in
central midfielder Will Hughes, 17, but Rush says he will not be leaving
Pride Park.

Yet to attend a game this season: Joe Lewis (left) chats with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

Yet to attend a game this season: Joe Lewis (left) chats with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

It’s gong for a Burton

The last thing the sports industry needs is another awards ceremony, with the big stars increasingly reluctant to turn up to such functions. But at least the FA have ensured that the national team will attend their inaugural FA England awards.

The bash, with its overblown 11 honours for 2012, is being held on February 3 at St George’s Park — the day the players gather in Burton to prepare for the Wembley friendly against Brazil three days later.

The sports honours committee, due to decide their recommendations for 2012 gongs at one sitting, ended up having two separate summits, with one dedicated to discussing Olympic and Paralympic achievements. This points to every gold medal winner — at least — being recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Destiny is in Boris' hands

The buck over the Olympic Stadium renovation debacle now stops with Boris Johnson, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, after the Government ceded full control to the London Mayor.

The construction delay until autumn 2013 could be highly embarrassing for the LLDC since preferred bidders West Ham may now not move in until the 2016-17 season, whereas Tottenham, who had wanted to knock down the Stratford venue and start again, could move into their redeveloped ground a year earlier.

There could be fireworks: What does the future hold for the uninhabited Olympic Stadium

There could be fireworks: What does the immediate future hold for the uninhabited Olympic Stadium

Meanwhile, since taking over as Culture Secretary in September, Maria Miller has had so much in her in-tray that she is happy to allow Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson to take the lead in his field of expertise.

This is in contrast to the toxic relationship that existed between Robertson and Miller’s predecessor, Jeremy Hunt. Miller is not known for her sporting knowledge but did work on England’s one-day cricket sponsorship when a marketing manager at Texaco four years ago.

Rangers in crisis: Marvin Andrews rests easily

With Rangers in the clear, Andrews insists he does not fear knock at door

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 23 November 2012

No worries: Marvin Andrews

No worries: Marvin Andrews

When a man believes in the power of prayer, the threat of a cash demand through the post is of minimal consequence.

Marvin Andrews says he will lose no sleep over the thought of HMRC or the Rangers liquidators coming after his money.

The reported recipient of 316,000 in loans from the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme introduced to Rangers by the Murray Group, the former Ibrox defender received a letter the same day he signed his contract with the club in May 2004.

romised to fund a sub-trust established in his name and set down a payment schedule, subject to his being a Rangers player on those dates.

The arrangements were far from unusual. The Trinidadian defender, now a pastor in Kirkcaldy, was one of 87 former players and members of staff offered an EBT.

/11/23/article-0-16100C14000005DC-123_634x399.jpg” width=”634″ height=”399″ alt=”Up in the air: Questions remain about Rangers' use of EBTs” class=”blkBorder” />

Up in the air: Questions remain about Rangers' use of EBTs

Instance page 79 of the FTT report, where the terms and conditions relating to the loans were drawn from verbal and documented evidence obtained during the tribunal. They were distinctly unusual.

According to the FTT report, for example, no security was ever requested or required for the hundreds of thousands of pounds borrowed.

Neither was scrutiny undertaken as to why the loans were being requested. Or any vetting performed on whether the loan could ever realistically be repaid.

Sportsmail asked yesterday why the loans were never recalled when the Lloyds Banking Group were knocking at the door of Murray Group demanding repayment of an 18m debt prior to the sale of the club to Craig Whyte.

The report answers that question by saying the players and employees who had an EBT understood they would never be expected to repay the loans against their wishes.

And what sticks out most is the assertion of many of the anonymous witnesses that the loans would never have to be repaid. Not, at least, during their life span.

The anonymous Mr Grey — the agent for a former Rangers manager — is quoted as saying: ‘I could not conceive of any situation where the loans would require to be repaid.’

Mr Violet, meanwhile — the former manager in question — adds: ‘While I knew these were loans, I never thought I would pay anything back during my lifetime.’

For players, managers and former employees alike, then, any suggestion that they might now be liable to pay back the cash will come as a grave shock to the system. An injustice, indeed.

‘I didn’t know what loopholes were in there or anything,’ shrugs Andrews. ‘If there is a problem, then I will deal with it when it comes.’

In trouble: Rangers were relegated due to their financial problems

In trouble: Rangers were relegated due to their financial problems

Privately, the players argue they merely did what they were told. That joining the EBT was involuntary and offered alongside their personal contract on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.

Yet the man who created EBTs and acted as an adviser to Rangers believes that is no defence. Paul Baxendale-Walker told Sportsmail last year that the players should be held liable for repaying any cash due to the Revenue.

‘The guarantees given to the players that they would not be pursued are very dangerous for the players,’ he said.

‘Because the rules say that if the employee knows what is going on and is party to it, then the employee is liable — not the employer.

‘The players may have been given assurances they wouldn’t be pursued for the money in future, but so what

‘Whoever received those payments now has to pay them back.’

It is far from certain that individual players will be pursued for cash, however.
Mark Houston, a partner at Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants in Edinburgh, believes HMRC have no remit to pursue the players unless it successfully appeals the tribunal decision.

‘The tribunal has ruled Rangers is not liable for tax on payments made under EBT on the basis that the payments were loans and not earnings,’ he said. ‘That effectively closes the door on HMRC being able to go after players.’

Liquidators BDO could still have the power to pursue all the loans on the basis that club money funded the trust, however. So far, they say they are merely reviewing the tribunal’s decision.

For many of the players who brought the glory days to Ibrox, however, the price of that success may yet prove to be unexpectedly heavy.

Rangers

Police investigate Craig Whyte"s Rangers takeover

Rangers rocked again as police investigate Whyte takeover

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UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 25 June 2012

The Crown Office has ordered a criminal investigation into Craig Whyte's takeover of Rangers and the subsequent financial management of the club.

Rangers went into administration on February 14 and were consigned to liquidation earlier this month.

A statement read: 'The Crown Office has today instructed Strathclyde Police to conduct a criminal investigation into the acquisition of Rangers Football Club in May 2011 and the subsequent financial management of the club.

Police probe: Former rangers owner Craig Whyte

Police probe: Former rangers owner Craig Whyte

'The investigation into alleged criminality follows a preliminary police examination of information passed to them in February this year by the club administrators.

'The Procurator Fiscal for the West of Scotland will now work with Strathclyde Police to fully investigate the acquisition and financial management of Rangers Football Club and any related reports of alleged criminality during that process.'

Whyte bought an 85 per cent shareholding in Rangers for 1 from the Murray Group and made several pledges in terms of future investment and paying off the club's bank debt.

No go: It looks as if Rangers will be denied re-entry to the SPL

No go: It looks as if Rangers will be denied re-entry to the SPL

The club was forced into administration following court action from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Immediately after being appointed, administrators Duff and Phelps announced the club had failed to pay about 9million in PAYE and VAT since the takeover.

They soon revealed that the club had paid off Lloyds Banking Group from a 24.4m capital injection from investment firm Ticketus, which was secured on the back of future season ticket sales.

The debt to HMRC was most recently listed at more than 21m in the failed Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal to creditors.

More to follow…

Rangers accept fee for Matt McKay

Rangers reduce wage bill as crisis club accept fee for midfielder McKay

Raising funds: Matt McKay (right) is set to be sold

Raising funds: Matt McKay (right) is set to be sold

Rangers have accepted an offer for Matt McKay from South Korean club Busan I'Park.

The transfer, if completed, would give Rangers a much-needed injection of cash and reduce their wage bill as administrators look to cut costs at the club.

A statement on the club's official website read: 'Rangers have confirmed today that a fee has been agreed with Busan but that negotiations on the transfer are still continuing.'

McKay joined Rangers from Brisbane Roar in August for a fee after captaining his former side to the A-League title.

However, the Australia midfielder, who had been voted his country's player of the year, made only three first-team appearances for Rangers.

The 29-year-old had a brief spell in South Korea in 2006 when he joined Incheon United on loan during the Australian close season.

Administrators have not announced any job cuts at Rangers since being appointed on Valentine's Day and have said redundancies are not inevitable, according to manager Ally McCoist.

The administrators have so far focused on probing recent financial dealings around the club, confirming that owner Craig Whyte had paid off an 18million debt to Lloyds Banking Group with money raised from future season ticket sales.

Craig Whyte forced to admit he bought Rangers with fans" money

Told you so! Sportsmail revealed he bought Rangers with fans' money… now Whyte finally admits the truth

Craig Whyte has been forced into a humiliating climb-down after admitting Sportsmail's revelations that he used future season- ticket money to fund his takeover of Rangers.

His full-blown confession followed our story on Tuesday outlining how Whyte convinced London-based Ticketus to advance him 24.4million last April – enabling him to clear the Ibrox club's 18m debt and buy it for just 1 from Sir David Murray.

After coming under intense pres sure, the discredited owner duly issued a 1,400-word statement just after 4pm conceding that he had, in fact, flogged future seats to gain control of Rangers last May, a charge he had repeatedly denied since the Ticketus issue first emerged last summer.

Question marks: Craig Whyte financial dealings are under scrutiny

Question marks: Craig Whyte financial dealings are under scrutiny

A damning statement from administrators Duff & Phelps followed 36 minutes later, confirming that 18m of the 'missing' Ticketus cash had been transferred directly to Lloyds Banking Group to pay the club's outstanding debt and allowing Whyte to succeed Murray.

The latest twist came on yet another astonishing day for the ailing SPL champions as:

* Furious fans accused Whyte of a campaign of deception. lThe SFA appointed Lockerbie bombing appeal judge Lord William Nimmo Smith to chair its independent inquiry into the affair.

* Administrators Duff & Phelps announced their own internal investigation into 'all the circumstances' surrounding Whyte's takeover was now under way.

David Whitehouse, joint administrator
at Duff & Phelps, said: 'Since being appointed administrators last
week, there has been widespread concern raised with us, not least by
Rangers supporters and season-ticket holders, about the agreement
between the club and Ticketus.

'Following
information received, it is now apparent that the proceeds from the
Ticketus arrangements amounted initially to a sum in the region of 20m
plus VAT. Subsequently, 18m was transferred to the Lloyds Banking
Group.

'The application of the remainder of these proceeds is subject to further examination.

'We
are now investigating all the circumstances surrounding both the
purchase of the majority shareholding in Rangers Football Club plc and
the flow of funds which stemmed from the transaction and were intended
to fulfil the purchasers' obligations at the time of the sale.

'We cannot comment further on these matters while enquiries continue.'

Uncertain future: Rangers fans show their support for their crisis club

Uncertain future: Rangers fans show their support for their crisis club

Whyte,
who revealed in his statement that he will not continue as chairman
post-restructuring, said of the controversial season-ticket deal: 'The
arrangement with Ticketus – which was a three-season deal not four, as
has been reported – was originally to provide additional working capital
as had been the case previously under the old board.

'My corporate advisors came to me with the proposition that it was
entirely possible, as well as highly beneficial, to negotiate a deal
with Ticketus that would allow us to complete the takeover and maximise
working capital for the club's day-to-day business.

'The
Ticketus deal was by far the best way to protect the club given the
circumstances in that they have no security over any assets.

'The
only person at risk from the deal is me personally because I gave
Ticketus personal and corporate guarantees underwriting their
investment; the club and the fans are fully protected.

'In terms of exposure, I am personally on the line for 27.5m in guarantees and cash.

'That
is a very substantial commitment to the football club of which I have
been a supporter since I was a boy and I dearly wish to see through this
crisis so that Rangers emerge as a financially fitter and stronger
institution.

Tough times: Manager Ally McCoist has backed calls for a full investigation

Tough times: Manager Ally McCoist has backed calls for a full investigation

'I am the
biggest stakeholder in Rangers and I face huge financial losses
personally if the restructuring fails or is not allowed to proceed.'

Yet,
when Whyte was asked as recently as February 5 where the ticket money
had gone, he told a Sunday newspaper: 'I have nothing to apologise for.
Believe me, every single penny of the Ticketus money has stayed in the
club.'

In a
humiliating U-turn, however, Tuesday's statement's continued: 'I regret
not making the arrangements more transparent but, at the time, I
regarded it, as I do all my other business dealings, as a confidential
transaction. In retrospect, I should have been completely open about
it.'

With a closing
reference which echoed manager Ally McCoist's recent rallying call to
the supporters following the club's descent into administration, Whyte
added: 'I will admit there have been times when I wished that I had
never entertained the idea of taking over Rangers. But I am a Rangers
fan and, like other Rangers fans, I don't do walking away.'

Rangers go into administration

Rangers crisis deepens as SPL champions make move towards administration

SPL giants Rangers have lodged administration notice at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

It is believed the Ibrox club now has five days in which to declare formally that administrators have taken over the running of the club.

The firm prospect of administration, which would bring a 10-point penalty from the Scottish Premier League, will come as no surprise to Rangers fans or the rest of Scottish football.

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

The Ibrox club are awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal which could cost club around 49million.

The HMRC case centres around the use of employee benefits trusts (EBTs) which were in place before Craig Whyte took over from Sir David Murray last May.

The tribunal verdict is imminent but it looks like the Ibrox club have pre-empted any decision.

Whyte, who bought Murray's shares for 1 and pledged to pay off 18million of debt to Lloyds Banking Group, has seen his short tenure shrouded in controversy.

Last week former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston revealed he had asked the Government's Insolvency Service to clarify 'certain financial arrangements' relating to the takeover of the club.

Whyte had earlier admitted securing funds from loan company Ticketus in lieu of future season ticket sales.

Johnston told the BBC: 'Rangers' stakeholders are now demanding full transparency.

'I have had numerous approaches following the recent revelations in the press about the acquisition of Rangers Football Club and the use of future season ticket money.

Up against it: Gers boss Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

Up against it: Gers boss Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

'I am not in a position to answer all the questions put to me, but I do recognise the issue is causing much concern.

'I believe this is a prevalent view amongst Rangers' stakeholders who are now demanding full transparency about the funding of the acquisition of the club, its current financial status, and most importantly, the way forward.'

A Scottish Premier League spokesman confirmed that a 10-point deduction and a transfer embargo would only be put in place when administration was confirmed.

The spokesman said: 'At this point in time Rangers are not in administration and we await developments.

'The instant that they are technically in administration there will be an automatic 10-point deduction and, perhaps of less relevance, an embargo on player registrations.

'If administration is confirmed, as we have done previously, we would be looking to work with the administrators and would be looking for a very early meeting.'

Rangers announced they had agreed a deal to sign Gabon striker Daniel Cousin just as news emerged from the court.

The court confirmed that solicitors lodged the papers on behalf of the club's directors today.

The paperwork officially confirms the club's 'intention to appoint an administrator'.