Tag Archives: takeover

Ally McCoist assured Craig Whyte will not return to Ibrox

McCoist receives assurances that Whyte will not return to Ibrox


23:15 GMT, 6 April 2013



23:15 GMT, 6 April 2013

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has held talks with Ally McCoist to assure the manager there was “never any possibility” of Craig Whyte returning to the club.

The move comes after the former owner apparently claimed he was behind the original Ibrox newco.

Whyte has threatened legal action against Green and former Rangers director Imran Ahmad, demanding 1million a year for life or 25 per cent of Green's shares.

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Whyte, whose own Rangers takeover remains the subject of a police inquiry, claims he was the main driver behind the Sevco 5088 company which purchased the assets and business of the oldco Rangers company he had put into administration.

Days later Green transferred the assets, which were bought for 5.5million in June last year, to a different company called Sevco Scotland which then became The Rangers Football Club.

Whyte's main argument appears to be that such a transfer was illegal and he remains the rightful owner of the club's assets.

Green released a statement last night in a bid to clarify the situation and has moved to explain things further this evening following talks with McCoist, who had asked the new owner for answers.

'I spoke with Ally McCoist today and we are agreed that, despite the wild and outlandish allegations tossed around by Craig Whyte, the one thing that matters most is the rebuilding of this club,' Green said.

'I am totally committed to that and Ally is exactly the same. Neither of us will be deflected from our task. We share the same goal and we will be successful no matter who or what attempts to get in our way.

Takeover talk: Craig Whyte

Takeover talk: Craig Whyte

'I made it absolutely clear to Ally that there was never any possibility of Whyte returning to Ibrox and I also stressed that this man has no claim on any of the club's shares or assets.

'I wanted to make sure he understood what Whyte is trying to do because, like every other fan, our manager has a right to know if the disgraced former owner still has any involvement in this club.

'I told Ally that is not the case and that there was never any possibility of Whyte being involved with my group.

'Ally knows and accepts that I cannot be held responsible for Whyte's ramblings or his ridiculous claims. But Ally is a fan and he would have been alarmed at the re-emergence of Whyte and his claims.

'Along with all the good and loyal Rangers fans Ally has lived through the brief but calamitous Whyte era and the very mention of this man's name is enough to have even the strongest of them concerned. But there is no need for any anxiety.

'Rangers FC, no part of it and none of the assets will ever fall into Whyte's hands. If I have to I will stand at the front door and deny him entry.

'I can guarantee every single fan that I will not let them down and that Whyte has no claim on any part of this great club.'

McCoist added: 'Yes we spoke and I'm glad we did. I never believed that Charles had entered into any kind of agreement but it was important to have a chat after what the former owner had been putting about in the papers.

'I am a fan and it would be devastating to have this man back anywhere near the club he almost destroyed.'

Portsmouth offer from Keith Harris rejected by Football League

Portsmouth face renewed threat to survival after Football League reject latest Harris offer

Mark Staniforth, Press Association


20:50 GMT, 18 February 2013



20:50 GMT, 18 February 2013

The Football League has dismissed a revised offer by football financier Keith Harris to take control of npower League One strugglers Portsmouth.

Harris' new bid, made public today, involves a plan to give fans a free 15 per cent stake in the club.

But the League today reiterated its position that Pompey will be expelled from the competition if the Pompey Supporters' Trust – administrator PKF's preferred bidder – is not successful.

Running out of time: Portsmouth's takeover must be completed soon

Running out of time: Portsmouth's takeover must be completed soon

A Football League spokesman said: 'As stated after its most recent meeting, the Board of the Football League is not considering alternative applications for the transfer of Portsmouth's share in The Football League.

'Instead, it remains focused on a successful transfer of share to the preferred bidder, the Pompey Supporters Trust.'

Football financier: Keith Harris

Football financier: Keith Harris

Trust spokesman Colin Farmery said fans had no interest in the new Harris offer, in which 15 per cent of shares will be allocated free to a group made up of supporters who have donated funds to PST, season-ticket holders and hospitality clients.

Farmery said: 'Why would we be interested in 15 per cent when we are just about to take a 100 per cent stake in the club

'It is curious timing to say the least from Mr Harris with the Football League having made it quite clear that our bid is the only one that can be considered.

'Mr Harris seems to think he has still got a bid but he hasn't. Our bid is literally about dotting the i's and crossing the t's.'

The Trust expect to move a step closer to acquiring the club on Thursday when a court hearing will set a final date for the valuation of Fratton Park to be heard, followed by a high court date at which the Trust expect to be given the right to take over the club.

Leeds target Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Leeds ready to splash the cash on Southampton striker Lambert



23:20 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rickie Lambert is the surprise name on Neil Warnock's wishlist for Leeds following the club's takeover by Dubai-based group GFH.

Warnock hopes to sign six players in January after GFH completed a reported 17million purchase from Ken Bates on Friday.

Target: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Target: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Signing strikers is Warnock's priority, with Southampton's Lambert and Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith lined up as targets.

Lambert, 30, started the season on the Southampton bench but has scored six Premier League goals this season. However, he may be allowed to leave if the club sign other players.

Lambert has scored more than a goal every two games for Southampton and got his first chance to play in the Premier League this season after years in the lower reaches with Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale.

However, the ambitions of Leeds may tempt him.

Mackail-Smith would cost Warnock around 1.5m.

Leeds United takeover – fans happy with GFH Capital

Happy Leeds fans hail new era as GFH finally complete Elland Road takeover



22:16 GMT, 21 December 2012

The chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust claims the club are ready for the start of a new era after GFH Capital completed their takeover.

GFH, a private equity firm based in Dubai, finally bought Leeds from Ken Bates on Friday and are ready to invest in Neil Warnock’s team to mount a promotion challenge this season.

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

Lifelong Leeds fan David Haigh and Salem Patel opened talks last May with Bates, who will remain as chairman until the end of the season.

They finalised the takeover after completing the Football League’s owners and directors test on Monday.

Gary Cooper, who formed LUST in 2010, said: ‘We were told to live the dream in the mid-1990s and that nearly sent the club out of existence.

‘What we need now is a board with sensible plans and commitment to making Leeds United great again.

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

‘We hope GFH are able to do that and everything they have said points to them being able to do so.

‘The board needs to reconnect with the people of Leeds and its supporters and they will come back in their thousands.

‘Attendances have dipped in recent years, but we saw against Chelsea on Wednesday we still have a huge fanbase.’

Portsmouth face 10 point deduction even if supporters trust save club

Pompey will still be docked 10 points if supporters group win fight to save club



17:13 GMT, 10 December 2012

Portsmouth still face a 10-point deduction should the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) win their battle to save the club this week.

The Football League today confirmed the sanction, to be imposed once the club comes out of administration, after receiving details of the PST's proposed takeover.

PST's bid hinges on administrators PKF gaining permission to sell Fratton Park, which is controlled by the club's former owner Balram Chainrai, at a High Court hearing which starts on Thursday.

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

The League is awaiting the outcome of that hearing, and for the trust to raise the remaining funds as set out in their business plan, before fully considering their application.

A statement from the League read: 'The Football League Board has received details of a proposal by Pompey Supporters' Trust and its partner investors to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of Portsmouth Football Club.

'Having considered the proposal in detail, the Board concluded that it had significant merit.

'However, two outstanding points will have to be resolved before the Board can fully consider PST's application to become the new owner of Portsmouth Football Club.

'They are the outcome of the current High Court proceedings relating to the ownership of Fratton Park and PST raising the remaining funding from supporters that is anticipated in its business plan.

'The Board also confirmed that ongoing membership of the League would be subject to a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward.

'It therefore reaffirmed its earlier decision that these conditions would include a deduction of 10 points (applicable at the point of transfer of share) and a range of other restrictions on playing budgets and future borrowing for the next four seasons.'

Pompey, who have been in administration since February, are currently one place and one point outside the npower League One relegation zone.

Leeds 2 Crystal Palace 1: Sloppy leaders toppled

Leeds 2 Crystal Palace 1: Sloppy leaders toppled as Becchio and Green cash in



22:18 GMT, 24 November 2012

Luciano Becchio and Paul Green knocked Crystal Palace off the top of the Championship as Leeds punished some feeble defending at Elland Road.

Argentine striker Becchio, who has lacked his usual sharpness for much of the season, cashed in on a dreadful mix-up by hooking in his 11th goal of the season in the 52nd minute.

Starting today: Leeds United ended Palace's 14-game unbeaten run

Starting today: Leeds United ended Palace's 14-game unbeaten run


Leeds: Kenny, /11/24/article-2237766-163124F7000005DC-395_468x381.jpg” width=”468″ height=”381″ alt=”Impressed: Leeds director Salem Patel cheered as one of the goals went in for his new club” class=”blkBorder” />

Impressed: Leeds director Salem Patel cheered as one of the goals went in for his new club

Palace manager Ian Holloway said: 'We have to start another run now after those 14 games unbeaten.

'We deserved at least a point but
that's football. Leeds gained energy from the takeover and a couple of
loan signings and they have a very good manager in Neil Warnock.'

Leeds began the day seven points
above the relegation places, but a message in the programme from
potential new owners GFH Capital was reassuringly upbeat.

It read: 'All those involved with
the acquisition of the club are fully committed to making the right
longterm investments that benefit everyone both on and off the pitch.

'We want to restore Leeds United to
the Premier League as soon as possible and will be working with Neil
Warnock and his coaching staff to ensure he has what he needs to build a
side ready to achieve that.'

Palace have Premier League ambitions,
too, but, with Thomas and Tate having inspiring Leeds debuts, the
visitors struggled at times.

Paddy Kenny also made a stunning double save from Jonathan Parr and the mercurial Wilfried Zaha.

Rangers win tax appeal "in principle"

Murray vindicated as Rangers win tax appeal 'in principle' after majority verdict

Graeme Yorke


20:43 GMT, 20 November 2012



09:49 GMT, 21 November 2012

The tribunal which heard Rangers' appeal over their bill for the use of Employee Benefit Trusts has delivered a majority verdict allowing it 'in principle'.

The tax tribunal stated that the 'controversial monies received by the employees were not paid to them as their absolute entitlement'.

Rangers had argued that the payments, thought to be close to 49million, had been loans rather than wages and not subject to tax.

No verdict on any sum that the oldco Rangers were liable for was included in the findings, but Sir David Murray's company welcomed the verdict as vindication of their stance.

'In principle': Rangers' appeal was accepted by a majority verdict at the tax tribunal

'In principle': Rangers' appeal was accepted by a majority verdict at the tax tribunal

Oldco Rangers had previously stated they could be liable for up to 75million but the tribunal ruled that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs assessment should be 'reduced substantially' with only some payments subject to tax.

'It was conceded that advances in favour of certain players are taxable and liable to NIC (National Insurance Contributions), and 35 we have found that, in certain other limited instances, there may be a similar liability.

'To that extent the assessments should stand. In these circumstances we expect that it is sufficient that we allow the appeal in principle.

Vindicated: Former Rangers director Paul Murray's company welcomed the news

Vindicated: Former Rangers director Paul Murray's company welcomed the news

'Parties can no doubt settle the sums due for the limited number of cases mentioned without further reference to the tribunal.'

Murray International Holdings, who were majority shareholders of the oldco club until Craig Whyte's takeover in May 2011, declared in a statement: 'We are satisfied that the Tax Tribunal has now published its widely awaited decision and note the contents thereof.

'We are pleased with the judgement which leaves minimal tax liability and overwhelmingly supports the views collectively and consistently held by our advisers, legal counsel and MIH itself.'

The decision does not affect the current football club at Ibrox, which was reconstituted as a new company when the oldco Rangers was consigned to liquidation in June.

New regime: Rangers' owner Charles Green

New regime: Rangers' owner Charles Green

MIH also called for an inquiry into the leaking of information surrounding the case.

A website devoted to the case won the Orwell Prize for blogging while a BBC documentary team won a Scottish BAFTA for their investigation into the payments.

The Murray statement continued: 'This has been an exceptionally long, difficult and expensive process involving not just the Tax Tribunal but also significant efforts to resolve the matter with senior HMRC officials on a commercially sensible basis for all parties.

'We will therefore review the detailed content of the decision with our advisers and legal counsel to ascertain what action, if any, is now required by MIH.

'While MIH has at all times respected the privacy of the Tax Tribunal proceedings, a substantial quantity of confidential information relating to the case has become available for public consumption stimulating considerable discussion and often ill-informed debate.

'This has been wholly inappropriate and outwith the fundamental principles of natural justice.

'We therefore formally request that the relevant authorities investigate how these sensitive details have been released so widely.

Relegated: Rangers now play in the Scottish Third Division

Relegated: Rangers now play in the Scottish Third Division

'We have instructed our lawyers to retrospectively review online and printed publications relating to the case to identify whether legal redress is either appropriate or necessary.'

HMRC revealed they were thinking about mounting a challenge to the decision, which was supported by two of the judges, Kenneth Mure QC and Scott Rae, but opposed by the other, Dr Heidi Poon.

A statement from HMRC read: 'We are disappointed that we have lost this stage of the court process and we are considering an appeal.

'The decision was not unanimous and the diligence of HMRC investigators was acknowledged by the whole tribunal.

'HMRC is committed to tackling avoidance and it is right that we challenge the type of avoidance seen in this case.'

What does the verdict mean in layman's terms

In the vast majority of cases, the tribunal has found in favour of Rangers Football Club in that the payments to the individual players were loans and they were at the discretion of the trustees of the Employee Benefit Trust. Basically, they were determined to be loans, not remuneration. On that basis, there is no further tax payable in terms of PAYE or NI (National Insurance), as HMRC was claiming. It is indicated in the ruling that in some cases, a minority of cases, the tribunal found in favour of HMRC so in those cases it was determined that is was remuneration, not loans, and PAYE and NI should be paid. But that is in the minority – in that vast majority, the verdicts went in favour of Rangers.


In the majority of the cases, it would be Rangers oldco. If HMRC was unable to reclaim those monies from oldco, could it pursue individual players Maybe. But it would depend upon the individual circumstances of each player, what they've done on their tax returns. There is not a clear, uncomplicated route in terms of recovering money from the players. HMRC's primary is to go after oldco for those monies.


There is only a certain pot of money available via the liquidation route. For those sums that were discussed, it just increases by a small percentage how much of the overall pot goes to HMRC. By Duff and Phelps' estimate, about four months ago, they thought there might only be about 1million available via liquidation. They would just rank along with other creditors to get a proportion of that 1million pot so it's not going to make a huge difference to the overall pay-out that HMRC get. They were already due 25million-plus of VAT and PAYE that Craig Whyte didn't pay.


What actually put Rangers into administration was the fact that Craig Whyte didn't pay VAT and PAYE. It wasn't the big tax case, and I think that's a point worth stressing, it wasn't the big tax case that put Rangers into administration. I think the big tax case potentially had two influences. Firstly, when Sir David Murray was trying to sell the club, it could well have put off some potential buyers of the club because the big tax case was hanging over Rangers. Without it, maybe other buyers may have come along, buyers who might have been a better outcome for Rangers than Craig Whyte. Secondly, after Craig Whyte had actually bought it, was he influenced by the fact that the big tax case was there Did that influence the fact that he didn't pay VAT and PAYE and didn't put more money into club because maybe he thought he was going to lose the big tax case anyway Only Craig Whyte knows the answer to that. There were probably a couple of junctures where the big tax case may have influenced the final outcome of events.


It's difficult to say. It was obviously a very complicated verdict, it was only a majority, it was 2-1, it wasn't unanimous. HMRC are clearly disappointed by the outcome. I think they will take their time and consider the likelihood of winning an appeal and the benefits of pursuing it further to try to get a favourable outcome.

Gianni Paladini blasts Birmingham City chief Peter Pannu after takeover snub

Don't treat me like an idiot! Paladini blasts Birmingham chief Pannu after takeover snub



18:23 GMT, 15 November 2012

Gianni Paladini has accused Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu of treating him like 'an idiot' after the Italian's 29.7m offer to buy the Championship club collapsed.

The former chief executive of QPR had tabled a bid to purchase the Blues from Carson Yeung and had been undertaking due diligence with a view to completing the deal in the next fortnight.

Upset: Gianni Paladini

Upset: Gianni Paladini

But Pannu on Wednesday surprisingly issued a statement flatly denying that any talks had taken place between the two parties, a move that sparked a furious response from the former agent.

Paladini maintained that he had proof that the deal was some way down the line and even said agreement had been reached over Pannu's cut – understood to be in excess of 2m – as evidence that the two sides had been in negotiations.

Pannu, who in Yeung's absence is the decision-maker at St Andrew's, said: 'There are no active negotiations with the group involving Gianni Paladini or any of his associates.

'Should there be any agreement reached, there should be formal announcements made in Hong Kong and also in the UK.'

Paladini expressed his fury at the snub and was dumbfounded by Pannu's denial that there had even been any contact between potential buyer and sell.

Former agent Paladini said: 'His statement makes us look like idiots. We have agreed a price and everything.

'He (Pannu) doesn't want to talk to us. So we are pulling out of the deal. I'm very disappointed, but what can I do

'The only way the deal can be revived is for him to take our deal.

'If he doesn't see that, there's nothing I can do. And if he doesn't want to sell there's nothing I can do.

'But I can show you proof that we have talked. I even reached an agreement with his lawyer about his commission.

'So what's he talking about

'We want to be in before he sells all the players in January. I don't want to come in February when the club is in a right mess.

'I'm disappointed for the fans. We have worked hard to make this deal happen. Mr Pannu doesn't want to sell. He knows the deal – everything has been agreed. What else can I do

'I'm very disappointed. We have been working on this for three months. I was looking forward to it. I could have done a fantastic deal for the club.'

Portsmouth takeover latest: Pompey Supporters Trust have conditional agreement

Pompey Supporters Trust close in on takeover as administrators sign over sale agreement



11:00 GMT, 15 November 2012

Portsmouth's administrators have signed a conditional agreement to sell the npower League One club to the Pompey Supporters' Trust.

Trevor Birch, of administrators PKF, confirmed they have signed an agreement with the PST which is subject to receiving permission to sell Fratton Park.

The move comes after the administrators withdrew preferred bidder status from Portpin, the largest creditor in the Portsmouth Football Club (2010) administration, more than three weeks ago and named PST as the preferred bidders.

Up for sale: Administrators have handed Pompey Supporters Trust a signed conditional agreement to buy the League One club

Up for sale: Administrators have handed Pompey Supporters Trust a signed conditional agreement to buy the League One club

'We can confirm that we have signed a sale agreement with the PST to acquire the business of Portsmouth Football Club,' Birch said in a statement.

'Portpin has rejected the Trust's offer for Fratton Park, so the sale has to be conditional on receiving the Court's permission to sell the ground. We are therefore in the process of submitting an application to the Court.

In talks: Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch

In talks: Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch

'I'm sure every member of staff, every player and every supporter will join with me in wishing to see a speedy resolution of what has been a protracted administration.

'Everyone involved in the transaction has worked incredibly hard to get the deal to this stage and, although there is still much that needs to be done, today's announcement marks what is hopefully the beginning of the end of the process.'

Leeds takeover days away from completion

Leeds takeover days away from completion as GFH Capital prepare to assume control



17:00 GMT, 9 November 2012

Leeds United are just days away from acquiring new owners after more fruitful talks paved the way for a long-awaited takeover to go through next week.

Claims that a deal will be ratified by the end of this week are premature, Sportsmail has learned, but prospective owners GFH Capital do expect to be in charge at Elland Road by the middle of next week.

Tuesday and Wednesday are looking the likeliest days for months of careful negotiation to give way to confirmation that the Bahrain-based investment bank have bought chairman Ken Bates’ majority shareholding and assumed control.

Marching on together: Leeds are close to being taken over

Marching on together: Leeds are close to being taken over

Sportsmail understands a major advance towards concluding a deal was made after the recent home game with Birmingham, when GFH bosses met Bates in Monaco and addressed the few issues that still needed resolving.

They are now working on fine detail, and a source close to the takeover said: ‘All the signs are extremely positive, and everyone is optimistic there will be an announcement in a matter of days.’

As Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week, GFH have already promised manager Neil Warnock substantial backing for a spending spree in the January transfer window.

In a move intended to allay any misgivings among Leeds supporters, they have not only provided Bates with the necessary proof of funds but also drawn up details of a separate reserve that has been earmarked for urgently-needed new signings.

Cash funds: Warnock has been promise money to spend in January

Cash funds: Warnock has been promise money to spend in January

Though the exact amount remains confidential, for fear of inflating prices, Warnock has been assured he can have the pick of his New Year transfer targets. In a show of faith based on his track record for taking teams up from the Championship, he has been told no reasonable request for a January signing will be turned down.

GFH are in a hurry to restore Leeds to their former Barclays Premier League status and believe Warnock can deliver their prime objective this season, given backing to strengthen in key areas he has already identified.

They have long since convinced Bates they have the financial clout to complete a takeover and are anxious now to impress on a long-suffering Leeds public their commitment to taking the club forward, after years in the doldrums.

Leeds are lagging behind the play-off places, but there is a steadfast belief that significant January signings allied to Warnock's man-management skills can bridge the gap and carry them back to the Premier League after a nine-year absence.