Tag Archives: tax

Barcelona and Real Madrid prepared to share TV rights to make La Liga more competitive

Barca and Real consider sharing TV rights to make La Liga more competitive

|

UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 30 May 2012

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona may be willing to agree a more equitable distribution of television rights among La Liga clubs, according to Spain's sports minister.

Jose Ignacio Wert said: 'I believe that Madrid and Barcelona are receptive and are ready to be more flexible in the sharing out of (income from) rights.'

Star attraction: Players like Cristiano Ronaldo help Real Madrid to strike lucrative TV deals

Star attraction: Players like Cristiano Ronaldo help Real Madrid to strike lucrative TV deals

Clubs in La Liga negotiate their TV deals individually, unlike other major European leagues which have systems of collective bargaining, and Real and Barca take about half the total pot of around 641 million euros (511million).

Disparity: Other teams in La Liga are disadvantaged in the transfer market

Disparity: Other teams in La Liga are disadvantaged in the transfer market

Research published in April by the University of Barcelona, showed that in the 2010-11 season Barca reaped 163 million euros (130million) from TV rights, Real earned 156 million (124million), while Valencia earned 42 million.

Third-placed Valencia meanwhile earned a relatively paltry 42 millions euros (33.5million).

The disparity in wealth means the big two's domestic rivals struggle to compete in the transfer market, and therefore the league.

Valencia were 30 points behind second-placed Barcelona and 39 behind champions Real.

Introducing a system of collective bargaining similar to the one used in the Premier League would level the playing field and help prevent clubs racking up unsustainable debts.

Spanish clubs had combined debt of some 3.53 billion euros (2.7billion) in the 2010-11 season.

Success: Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated the Spanish game in recent years

Success: Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated the Spanish game in recent years

Clubs owe a total of 763 million euros (609million) to Spanish tax authorities alone and Wert said he was confident a recent agreement under which those debts would be paid off over time would resolve the problem.

'We are in a very difficult liquidity situation,' Wert said.

'I do not believe that any club will fail to meet its obligations and that the situation will be resolved relatively rapidly,' he added.

'The professional football league (LFP) is very committed and very active in the preparation of the protocol and I believe the clubs will meet their obligations scrupulously.

'But it has to be regulated by the sector itself.'

John Carew bankrupt but agent denies problem

Carew's not broke! Hammers striker's agent denies bankruptcy issue

|

UPDATED:

09:24 GMT, 9 May 2012


Trouble: John Carew's agent has denied the striker is broke

Trouble: John Carew's agent has denied the striker is broke

John Carew’s agent has denied the striker is broke, despite the West Ham striker being declared bankrupt in March.

Per Flod blamed the issue on a misunderstanding with French Tax authorities and claims Carew has ‘lots more money’ and will pay off anything he owes – believed to be a six-figure sum.

The 32-year-old Norwegian striker was issued a bankruptcy order on March 5 after being petitioned in the High Court on January 16.

Flod told the Mirror: ‘It’s a tax bill from France. He needs to pay some tax and it’s being discussed.’

He
explained how the bill was accrued from the forward’s time at Lyon, who
he left for Aston Villa in 2007, and puts the incident down to
miscommunication.

‘It’s all because the French government
is refusing to communicate through his UK address,’ said Flod. ‘They
have been sending all the correspondence to his address in France, but
he no longer lives there.

‘He has not refused to pay it. Then they declared him bankrupt and John didn’t even know about it. Now it’s going to be paid.

No goals: Carew has rarely found the net for West Ham

No goals: Carew has rarely found the net for West Ham

Move: The issue cropped from the striker's switch to Aston Villa

Move: The issue cropped from the striker's switch to Aston Villa

‘He has lots more money than this. This is not a big thing.’

The 6ft 5in target man has been having trouble on the field too, only managing to score twice during an injury hit season – with his last goal coming in October.

Rangers debts could top 134m claim administrators

Worse than we feared: Rangers debts could rise to 134m, claim administrators

|

UPDATED:

18:15 GMT, 5 April 2012

Rangers' debt could rise to 134million, according to a report released by the club's administrators on Thursday.

Duff and Phelps revealed in a joint administrators' report and proposals statement to creditors that monies owed by the Scottish champions stands at 55.4million.

Rangers also owed 4million to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for the 'Small Tax Case' and could face a further bill of 75million, including interest and penalties, if they lose a dispute with the tax authorities, widely known as the 'Big Tax Case'.

For sale: Things continue to look bleak at Ibrox

For sale: Things continue to look bleak at Ibrox

The report showed Ticketus – who are also involved in the Blue Knights bid for Rangers – to be the club's biggest creditor.

Deals agreed between owner Craig Whyte and the London-based finance firm over the sale of future season tickets were worth 30.5million in total, with 26.7million still owed.

Monies owed to trade and expense creditors comes in at 5.5million, supporter debenture holders are owed 7.7million, football related creditors are owed just over 1million and cash to be paid to HMRC – excluding the Big and Small Tax Cases – stands at 14.3million.

Claim: Whyte said the debt was bigger than reported

Claim: Whyte said the debt was bigger than reported

The 'Small Tax Case' was bought against Rangers as the result of the use of a discounted options tax scheme for payments made to players Tore Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer between the tax years 2000/01 and 2002/03.

The bill was initially 2.8million but rose to 4million after interest and penalty charges.

According to the administrators' report: 'The Small Tax Case has not progressed as far as Tribunal and has been settled based upon advice received.'

Duff and Phelps also confirmed liability for the 'Big Tax Case' could be as much as 75million – as claimed by Whyte – rather than the 49million which was previously widely reported.

However, if Rangers do lose the dispute, which relates to the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs), the final bill is expected to be less than 75million.

The report stated: 'The Big Tax Case was brought against the Company by HMRC in respect of outstanding amounts owed from the use of the EBT scheme to make payments to employees of the Company between the tax years 2000/01 and 2009/10.

'The total amount determined as due by HMRC in respect of this case is in the region of 75,000,000, including interest and penalties.

'The Big Tax Case is disputed by the Company and is subject to first tier tax Tribunal Proceedings instigated by HMRC. An outcome has yet to be determined by the Tribunal.'

Rangers investigated by SPL over undisclosed payments to players

Rangers investigated by SPL over undisclosed payments to players

The Scottish Premier League have launched an investigation into allegations that Rangers made undisclosed payments to players.

The probe, instigated at a board meeting today (Monday), comes in the wake of claims from former Rangers director Hugh Adam that some payments were not included in official contracts that were registered with the SPL.

A statement from the league read: 'The SPL board has instructed an investigation into the alleged non-disclosure to the SPL of payments made by or on behalf of Rangers FC to players since 1 July 1998.'

Waiting game: Lee McCulloch arrives at Murray Park for training on Monday

Waiting game: Lee McCulloch arrives at Murray Park for training on Monday

The payments allegedly left out of official contracts centre on the use of employment benefit trusts, which were the subject of a tax tribunal in January.

Rangers are still awaiting the outcome of the case, regarding offshore payments made from 2001-10, and which could cost the club up to 49million.

Concerns: Defender Sasa Papac admitted last week he fears being forced out

Concerns: Defender Sasa Papac admitted last week he fears being forced out

SPL rules prohibit payments to players that are not made 'in accordance with a form of contract approved by the SPL'.

Chief executive Neil Doncaster would not make any prediction on how long the investigation would take.

Doncaster said: 'First we have to establish whether there were any payments that were made that were undisclosed at the time and, if they were, we will take that forward.'

The Scottish Football Association confirmed on Friday they would investigate the allegations made by Adam.

Up in the air: Kyle Bartley and his Rangers team-mates are waiting on word

Up in the air: Kyle Bartley and his Rangers team-mates are waiting on word

The SFA had already launched an independent inquiry into recent events at Rangers after the club went into administration over unpaid tax bills last month, and specifically whether they broke rules regarding whether majority shareholder Craig Whyte was a 'fit and proper' club official.

The news came as players awaited the outcome of talks aimed at avoiding redundancies while making monthly savings of 1million.

Administrators continued talks with manager Ally McCoist today while PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart was again at the Murray Park training complex this afternoon. Players arrived in the morning and were still there late this afternoon.

Rangers administration: English clubs won"t follow, say Premier League

Premier League insist top English clubs won't follow Rangers into administration

Despite fresh fears over leading English sides, the Premier League are confident none of their teams will head into administration.

After Rangers plunged into administration on Tuesday, there have been suggestions that a string of leading sides south of the border could also be under threat.

One leading analyst even suggested tax probes have been launched into eight top clubs involving hundreds of millions of pounds.

It has been a shocking week for Scottish
football, with Rangers plunged into administration over an alleged 9million owed to HM Revenue & Customs.

Emotions riding high: A message is scrawled on a Rangers shirt tied to the Ibrox gates

Emotions riding high: A message is scrawled on a Rangers shirt tied to the Ibrox gates

Backlash: A Rangers fan shows his anger towards Craig Whyte on Wednesday

Backlash: A Rangers fan shows his anger towards Craig Whyte on Wednesday

What is the tax scam that has left Rangers on the brink

One of the reasons why Rangers fell into administration is the probe by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs into the use of Employee Benefit Trusts – a complex tax avoidance scheme.

The Scottish giants are understood to have used EBTs for the decade leading up to Craig Whyte taking over the club last year.

EBTs were until recently considered an efficient way of reducing tax – but companies with disputed EBT issues had to settle them by December 31 last year.

Companies pay into a trust, which loans the money to the employee for benefits. Examples of these benefits are pensions or the purchase of shares. The money is never meant to be repaid.

EBTs allowed foreign players to have their wages paid into a trust, withdrawing the money when they were no longer living in Britain – and therefore avoiding the top 50 per cent rate of UK tax. They have now been declared illegal.

HMRC claim Rangers’ previous owners used EBTs to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax and National Insurance on the player payroll.

But the Premier League have now moved to insist that all 20 current clubs are in the clear.

A statement read: 'Premier League rules require all clubs to submit quarterly reports proving they are up-to-date with payments due to HMRC in respect of PAYE and National Insurance.

'This rule is strictly adhered to by our clubs and there are no outstanding debts owed to the tax authorities.'

The message comes after football finance expert Dr Chris Brady said: 'Rangers may be the tip of the iceberg. EBTs became
popular with clubs as a means of reducing crippling wage bills.

'We
believe at least eight current or former Premier League clubs are being
investigated.'

Rangers are also facing another potential bill of more than 70m after an ongoing inquiry into the use of Employment Benefit Trusts, which are often seen as ways of avoiding tax.

The taxman has declared that illegal — and claims the club's previous owners used the trusts to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax and National Insurance on the player payroll.

The administrators held talks with the Scottish Government on Wednesday as they began the process of trying to sort the club's finances.

Officials from Duff and Phelps spoke to Scottish sports minister Shona Robison a day after being appointed by the club.

Robison said: 'In a telephone conversation this morning with the administrator, I explained that we want to see an outcome in the best interests of Rangers staff, supporters and the game of football in Scotland as a whole, whilst enabling the club to meet its obligations.

'A key concern for us is the future of those employed by the club and the potential economic impact of administration. The Government stands ready to offer assistance to anyone affected by implications for jobs and we will stay in contact with the administrator throughout the process to ensure we are informed of any developments.'

Rangers boss Ally McCoist summed up
the feelings of all Rangers fans on Tuesday, when he said: There's no
getting away from it. It has been a very disappointing and black day.

'We have 140 years of fantastic history, but the most important thing is that we look to the future and the next 140 years.

'Going into administration obviously wasn't ideal, but it's the opinion of many people that it might be the best thing.'

He also asked fans to continue backing the club in these troubled times. 'The most important people at this football club have always been the fans and that will always be the case,' he said.

Crunch time: Rangers' director of football Gordon Smith leaves Ibrox on Wednesday

Crunch time: Rangers' director of football Gordon Smith leaves Ibrox on Wednesday

'They are suffering at the moment and I am one myself. I have supported the club all my life and I know how they are feeling.

'The one thing that I have to ask them at this time for the club is to be with the club and with the team. The team really need the support of the fans more than ever in this hour.

'It's always been the case that we have had a wonderful relationship with the fans and I firmly believe that they are the best in the world. Now we need them and we have to ask them to prove that again by supporting the team in numbers and I am sure they will do that.

'They understand that it is not an ideal situation. We have been deducted ten points and that makes life very, very difficult for us. But these are the facts and I would just ask the fans for their continued great support and to please get behind the team.'

The 10 points that Rangers will be deducted means Celtic are now 14 points clear in the SPL. It is clear that Rangers face more pressing issues however.

Dark days: Police patrol outside Ibrox on Wednesday

Dark days: Police patrol outside Ibrox on Wednesday

Tough times: Rangers face a fight to save their future amid administration

Tough times: Rangers face a fight to save their future amid administration

Paul Clark of administrators Duff and Phelps believes Rangers can emerge in better shape from the process.

He told Rangers TV: 'We will be conducting regular meetings with the staff and, wherever we can, will keep giving messages to the fans who we know have an interest in the work that we are doing.

'I can't give any firm commitment but certainly over the next day or two we hope to get control of the finances of the club and to better understand what we need to do in the coming days and weeks.

'The club had been in such a period of uncertainty that the administration will actually relieve that uncertainty and start to build the future.'

Former Rangers midfielder Trevor
Steven has said he believes owner Craig Whyte's presence at Ibrox will
be untenable once the outcome of the administration process becomes
clear.

Rangers supporters are asking serious
questions of Whyte, who bought out Sir David Murray for 1 but pledged
to settle Lloyds Banking Group's 18m debt and invest in the
playing squad and stadium.

Owner: Craig Whyte outside Ibrox earlier this week

Owner: Craig Whyte outside Ibrox earlier this week

Earlier this month, Whyte admitted he
had accessed cash from loan company Ticketus after reports claimed he
had borrowed 24m on future season ticket sales.

The main issues over alleged unpaid
tax have arisen from before Whyte took over. But Steven still feels the
relationship between the fans and Whyte, who flew out of Glasgow Airport
on Tuesday night, cannot be mended.

'I don't think there has ever been a good relationship between Craig Whyte and the support,' he said.

'For me, there has always been smoke
and mirrors since he came in. He came with a handful of promises that
have never been delivered.

'That's what really aggravates the
Rangers support, they have never been able to trust the man in charge
and there has been no transparency.

'The fact that he has gone off to Monaco is not particularly what the supporters want to hear.'

Champions: Rangers won the title for the 54th time last season

Champions: Rangers won the title for the 54th time last season

Rangers have won 54 titles in their
illustrious history. Along with Glasgow rivals Celtic, they have
dominated north of the border, with one of them winning the title every
year since Sir Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen finished top of the pile in
1985.

The club won the
European Cup Winners Cup in 1972, but despite reaching the semi-finals
in 1993 they haven't managed to win the European Cup, something Celtic
famously managed back in 1967.

Rangers will survive, insist administrators

In the face of financial meltdown, administrators assure Rangers fans: Your club will survive!

Anxious Rangers supporters have been told the club will not hit the wall despite the plunge into administration

The Scottish giants went into administration on Tuesday over an alleged 9million owed to HM Revenue & Customs.

Rangers are also facing another
potential bill of more than 70m after an ongoing inquiry into the use
of Employment Benefit Trusts, which are often seen as ways of avoiding
tax.

Emotions riding high: A message is scrawled on a Rangers shirt tied to the Ibrox gates

Emotions riding high: A message is scrawled on a Rangers shirt tied to the Ibrox gates

Backlash: A Rangers fan shows his anger towards Craig Whyte on Wednesday

Backlash: A Rangers fan shows his anger towards Craig Whyte on Wednesday

What is the tax scam that has left Rangers on the brink

One of the reasons why Rangers fell into administration is the probe by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs into the use of Employee Benefit Trusts – a complex tax avoidance scheme.

The Scottish giants are understood to have used EBTs for the decade leading up to Craig Whyte taking over the club last year.

EBTs were until recently considered an efficient way of reducing tax – but companies with disputed EBT issues had to settle them by December 31 last year.

Companies pay into a trust, which loans the money to the employee for benefits. Examples of these benefits are pensions or the purchase of shares. The money is never meant to be repaid.

EBTs allowed foreign players to have their wages paid into a trust, withdrawing the money when they were no longer living in Britain – and therefore avoiding the top 50 per cent rate of UK tax. They have now been declared illegal.

HMRC claim Rangers’ previous owners used EBTs to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax and National Insurance on the player payroll

The taxman has declared that illegal — and claims the club's previous owners used the trusts to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax and National Insurance on the player payroll.

But the administrators Duff and Phelps have now moved to calm fans' fears that their club will cease to exist.

They have also confirmed that Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Kilmarnock at Ibrox will go ahead as planned.

A statement read: 'We can report we
have made very good progress within the first 24 hours of being
appointed administrators over Rangers Football Club.

'Our first priority has been to ensure that the football club continues
to function and this is being achieved with the help of staff, players
and management at the club.

'In particular, we would like to thank the club’s business partners who
are going the extra mile to ensure that Saturday’s home match against
Kilmarnock goes ahead as scheduled. We had extremely constructive
discussions with Strathclyde Police and we can confirm the match will
take place.

'We fully recognise this is a difficult time for players and staff at
the Club and are extremely appreciative of their reaction to the
situation. We will be holding meetings with the staff on a weekly basis
at least to inform them of developments.

'We are also in the process of speaking to representatives of supporters’ groups and that will be an ongoing process.

'In broad terms, supporters can be reassured that Rangers will continue
as a football club and we hope to reach a stage as soon as possible
where the Club can emerge from administration.

'We have had expressions of support across the political spectrum in
Scotland within the last 24 hours and there is clearly a desire to see
Rangers come through this situation successfully.

'There had been widespread publicity and speculation regarding the financial affairs of the football club. For clarity, the cost structure of the club and ongoing losses were such that the Club had outstanding liabilities to HMRC.

'These were the subject of discussion and clearly HMRC wished to see them resolved as a matter of urgency. We are involved in dialogue with HMRC and will work with them constructively, as is the case with all other key stakeholders.'

Relief: Administrators have moved to reassure fans over the club's future

Relief: Administrators have moved to reassure fans over the club's future

The administrators held talks with the Scottish Government on Wednesday as they began the process of trying to sort the club's finances. Officials from Duff and Phelps spoke to Scottish sports minister Shona Robison a day after being appointed by the club.

Robison said: 'In a telephone conversation this morning with the administrator, I explained that we want to see an outcome in the best interests of Rangers staff, supporters and the game of football in Scotland as a whole, whilst enabling the club to meet its obligations.

'A key concern for us is the future of those employed by the club and the potential economic impact of administration. The Government stands ready to offer assistance to anyone affected by implications for jobs and we will stay in contact with the administrator throughout the process to ensure we are informed of any developments.'

Rangers boss Ally McCoist summed up
the feelings of all Rangers fans on Tuesday, when he said: There's no
getting away from it. It has been a very disappointing and black day.

'We have 140 years of fantastic history, but the most important thing is that we look to the future and the next 140 years.

'Going into administration obviously wasn't ideal, but it's the opinion of many people that it might be the best thing.'

He also asked fans to continue backing the club in these troubled times. 'The most important people at this football club have always been the fans and that will always be the case,' he said.

Crunch time: Rangers' director of football Gordon Smith leaves Ibrox on Wednesday

Crunch time: Rangers' director of football Gordon Smith leaves Ibrox on Wednesday

'They are suffering at the moment and I am one myself. I have supported the club all my life and I know how they are feeling.

'The one thing that I have to ask them at this time for the club is to be with the club and with the team. The team really need the support of the fans more than ever in this hour.

'It's always been the case that we have had a wonderful relationship with the fans and I firmly believe that they are the best in the world. Now we need them and we have to ask them to prove that again by supporting the team in numbers and I am sure they will do that.

'They understand that it is not an ideal situation. We have been deducted ten points and that makes life very, very difficult for us. But these are the facts and I would just ask the fans for their continued great support and to please get behind the team.'

The 10 points that Rangers will be deducted means Celtic are now 14 points clear in the SPL. It is clear that Rangers face more pressing issues however.

Dark days: Police patrol outside Ibrox on Wednesday

Dark days: Police patrol outside Ibrox on Wednesday

Tough times: Rangers face a fight to save their future amid administration

Tough times: Rangers face a fight to save their future amid administration

Paul Clark of administrators Duff and Phelps believes Rangers can emerge in better shape from the process.

He told Rangers TV: 'We will be conducting regular meetings with the staff and, wherever we can, will keep giving messages to the fans who we know have an interest in the work that we are doing.

'I can't give any firm commitment but certainly over the next day or two we hope to get control of the finances of the club and to better understand what we need to do in the coming days and weeks.

'The club had been in such a period of uncertainty that the administration will actually relieve that uncertainty and start to build the future.'

Former Rangers midfielder Trevor
Steven has said he believes owner Craig Whyte's presence at Ibrox will
be untenable once the outcome of the administration process becomes
clear.

Rangers supporters are asking serious
questions of Whyte, who bought out Sir David Murray for 1 but pledged
to settle Lloyds Banking Group's 18m debt and invest in the
playing squad and stadium.

Owner: Craig Whyte outside Ibrox earlier this week

Owner: Craig Whyte outside Ibrox earlier this week

Earlier this month, Whyte admitted he
had accessed cash from loan company Ticketus after reports claimed he
had borrowed 24m on future season ticket sales.

The main issues over alleged unpaid
tax have arisen from before Whyte took over. But Steven still feels the
relationship between the fans and Whyte, who flew out of Glasgow Airport
on Tuesday night, cannot be mended.

'I don't think there has ever been a good relationship between Craig Whyte and the support,' he said.

'For me, there has always been smoke
and mirrors since he came in. He came with a handful of promises that
have never been delivered.

'That's what really aggravates the
Rangers support, they have never been able to trust the man in charge
and there has been no transparency.

'The fact that he has gone off to Monaco is not particularly what the supporters want to hear.'

Champions: Rangers won the title for the 54th time last season

Champions: Rangers won the title for the 54th time last season

Rangers have won 54 titles in their
illustrious history. Along with Glasgow rivals Celtic, they have
dominated north of the border, with one of them winning the title every
year since Sir Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen finished top of the pile in
1985.

The club won the
European Cup Winners Cup in 1972, but despite reaching the semi-finals
in 1993 they haven't managed to win the European Cup, something Celtic
famously managed back in 1967.

Rangers in administration: David Murray hits back

Former Rangers owner Murray: Words can't express how hugely disappointed I am

The Empire strikes back. Well, the
man so often referred to as 'the previous regime' certainly felt
compelled to retaliate with some degree of force.

Clearly prompted by Craig Whyte's
attempt to pin Rangers' financial collapse on tax debts run up as far
back as 2001, former owner Sir David Murray returned fire in a
statement that only just stopped short of blaming the new chairman for
Britain's shoogly credit rating.

On the attack: Sir David Murray

On the attack: Sir David Murray

Having insisted he would only sell the club to someone capable of taking Rangers forward, Sir David's own personal reputation among fans won't be restored by a few strong words; nothing short of a rescue package could achieve that.

Disappointing diehard disciples who dream of his glorious second coming, though, one-time saviour Murray revealed he holds no automatic right of return. At the moment, the way he tells it, he can't even get Whyte to return his calls.

Despite lines of communication having remained open in the immediate aftermath of last summer's takeover, Murray says recent attempts to seek reassurance on the club's viability have met with a stony silence.

He also claims the 'big tax case' estimated at 75million by the new owners, remains winnable, that Whyte knew all about this massive liability when he took over – and that the Lanarkshire businessman was the only serious player in town when the club was put up for sale.

Not quite sealed with a loving kiss, Sir David's official statement read: 'Words cannot express how hugely disappointed I am with news of today's appointment of administrators to The Rangers Football Club plc.

A religion: Rangers have won the Scottish title 54 times

A religion: Rangers have won the Scottish title 54 times

'The timing of the appointment of administrators is especially surprising given two facts. Firstly, there has been no decision, and there is no present indication as to the timing of a decision, from the first-tier tax tribunal concerning the potential claim from HMRC of 36.5m excluding interest and penalties.

'Secondly, legal opinion on the strength of the club's case remains favourable.

'Following a protracted sale process over a three-year period, Murray International Holdings Limited (MIH) ultimately sold its 85-per-cent controlling shareholding in the club to Wavetower Limited (Wavetower now renamed The Rangers FC Group Ltd), a company wholly owned by Craig Whyte, in good faith on May 6, 2011.

'In addition, the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) imposed a number of obligations on Wavetower. These included the retention of 9.5m on behalf of the club for investment in the playing squad, expenditure on the infrastructure of the stadium and settlement of an agreed tax liability, together with the availability of working capital to fund the club's operations. The Shareholder's Circular issued by Wavetower on June 3, 2011 confirmed these undertakings.

'Contrary to recent press speculation, there is no legal mechanism in the SPA for MIH to re-acquire the club.' That's the killer line for those hoping against hope that Whyte's headlong rush towards insolvency might give Sir David an easy way back.

Never say die: Rangers fans raise a banner with a message directed at HMRC

Never say die: Rangers fans raise a banner with a message directed at HMRC

There was more damning testimony to follow, the statement continuing: 'MIH wrote to Wavetower on August 25, 2011 seeking confirmation that its various obligations were being complied with. A confirmatory assurance was eventually obtained on January 3, 2012.

'Following recent speculation concerning the financing and security arrangements put in place by Wavetower, a request was issued seeking further clarity.

'At the time of this announcement, no response has been forthcoming.

'At the time of relinquishing control over the club, MIH endeavoured to ensure the future of the club through the various commitments and undertakings of Wavetower.

'MIH received no consideration for the sale of its controlling shareholding, but instead agreed terms attached to the sale of its stake in the club to ensure an immediate and substantial improvement in the club's financial position, as well as a significant investment in the club and its playing squad.

'In May 2011, the sale to Wavetower presented the best available path for the club's future and was reasonable given all the circumstances existing at the time. Contrary to numerous reports, there were also no viable alternative offers made in advance of the sale.

'MIH is saddened by the appointment of administrators. It recognises the tax-tribunal proceedings have stemmed from arrangements put in place during the time of its ownership.

'However, these arrangements and details of the proceedings were fully disclosed by the club to Wavetower and Craig Whyte in the due diligence process.'

Harry Redknapp not guilty: Spurs boss clear for England

Free at last! Five-year ordeal is over for Redknapp… is he now destined for England

Harry Redknapp is free to head back to his Dorset home and enjoy dinner with his wife, free to take training at Tottenham for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks . . . and free to become the next England manager should the FA choose to pursue him.

After spending just five hours deliberating, the jury at Southwark Crown Court cleared Redknapp and Milan Mandaric of all the charges of tax evasion on Wednesday.

The multi-millionaire former Portsmouth chairman had not tried to cheat the public purse of 15,473 when he made that first payment into the then Portsmouth manager’s Monaco bank account — just as Redknapp, at that time earning almost 2million a year, had not tried to save himself 30,723 in income tax

Outside court: Harry Redknapp addresses the media after being found not guilty of tax evasion

Outside court: Harry Redknapp addresses the media after being found not guilty of tax evasion

All over: Redknapp (left) leaves Southwark Crown Court after being cleared of all chargesAll over: Redknapp (left) leaves Southwark Crown Court after being cleared of all charges

All over: Redknapp (left) leaves Southwark Crown Court after being cleared of all charges

With each passing day it felt more and more like a ridiculous trial. When the four verdicts of ‘not guilty’ were returned, the two men who were likened this week to Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon’s Odd Couple hugged in the witness box.

In the public gallery Redknapp’s son, Jamie, reported the news back home on his mobile phone. He had been in court with his father every one of the 13 days, had been reduced to an emotional wreck during the five-and-a-half hours his father spent on the stand, but the father and son were soon embracing once Judge Anthony Leonard had told the two defendants they could go.

For Redknapp this was not just the end of a gruelling, gut-wrenching trial. It was the end of a ‘nightmare’; a four-and-a-half-year investigation into his financial affairs — eight if you include the civil tax inquiry into a 300,000 payment he received from West Ham when Rio Ferdinand moved to Leeds United.

His house was raided by police one morning when he was returning from a scouting trip, terrifying his wife Sandra. The raid was led by the same policeman he turned on in court last week and whom Mandaric made a point of addressing politely at the end of the trial.

As those closest to Redknapp said, the fear of a guilty verdict, of ending with a term in jail, was never far from his mind.

Nervous times: Redknapp was again joined by his son, Jamie (left), as the two-week case reached its climax

Nervous times: Redknapp was again joined by his son, Jamie (left), as the two-week case reached its climax

Even after guiding Tottenham to the Champions League and victories over Inter and AC Milan, the joy would soon give way to the terrifying prospect of justice not being done. There was nothing anyone could say to ease those fears, not even when John Kelsey-Fry, his brilliant defence QC, told him over dinner on Tuesday that he was supremely confident of victory.

Redknapp did not sleep a wink in his London hotel and, as he waited for the jury to return, a friend said the 64-year-old was trembling with fear. On Wednesday, he said he was hugely appreciative of the support he received from Richard Bevan, the League Managers Association chief executive who had been in court most days.

HARRY'S SUPPORT ON TWITTER

Rio Ferdinand: Great to see Harry cleared of any wrong doing over 'tax evasion'. Glad for him + the Redknapp family.

Phil Neville: Great to see Harry Redknapp cleared of tax evasion

Michael Vaughan: Give Harry the England job now… #notguilty

But Kelsey-Fry was right and, shortly after 11.30am, Redknapp emerged from the ordeal with his reputation intact. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in that civil tax inquiry, just as he was acquitted on Wednesday. There is no stain on Redknapp’s character; nothing that can be held against him. As he told the police and the News of the World reporter who rang him 48 hours before the 2009 Carling Cup final, ‘you’ll find nothing on me’.

It means Redknapp can return to the role he performs with such distinction; that of a football manager with the ability to get the best out of the teams he skilfully creates.

Under Redknapp, West Ham finished fifth in the Premier League; under Redknapp Portsmouth not only established themselves in the top flight but also won the FA Cup; and under Redknapp Tottenham have their finest team in decades; a team challenging the might of Manchester in this season’s title race and, in the opinion of Sir Alex Ferguson, playing the best football in England.

Gone: Fabio Capello quit as England boss, paving the way for Redknapp to take over the reigns

Gone: Fabio Capello quit as England boss, paving the way for Redknapp to take over the reigns

It is for that reason this Englishman should be the first person the FA turn to in their search for a successor to Fabio Capello. After what Redknapp has been through, no aspect of the England job will worry him.

He was exhausted on Wednesday, and understandably so after what was the biggest corruption case in modern English football. It offered a fascinating insight into the lives of the two men and provided lighter moments too.

THE THINGS HE SAID…

I am a fantastic football manager, not a hard-headed businessman. I’ve got no business acumen whatsoever

— Redknapp gives evidence and denies dodging tax.

You think I put my hand on the Bible and told lies That’s an insult, Mr Black, that’s an insult

— The manager fights back tears as he responds to prosecutor John Black’s accusation that he told ‘a pack of lies’.

If she was half as nice as Rosie he’s got a good wife

— Redknapp is asked about another HSBC Monaco account named Rosie, which was his dog’s name.

Mr Manley, will you please stop staring at me. I know you are trying to cause me a problem, OK

— Redknapp interrupts his evidence to vent his anger at Detective Inspector Dave Manley.

I don’t have to tell Mr Beasley the truth. I have to tell police the truth, not Mr Beasley, he’s a News of the World reporter

— The defendant is cross-examined about misleading journalist Rob Beasley.

‘They’re amazing these legal people,’ whispered Redknapp at one stage as he looked across to the prosecution bench. ‘They’re so nice to you, all polite, and then suddenly they try to kill you.’

It was classic Redknapp, and there were other such moments as the story of a football man who had been anything but a ‘hard-headed businessman’ unfolded. It was the story of a life away from football that sounds a little chaotic, with millions seemingly squandered on impulsive business deals.

His now deceased bulldog Rosie became the most famous canine on the planet for the duration of the trial, that being the name he used for the account in Monaco. The 47 was not, as one television journalist is said to have remarked, a reference to the year the dog was born but the year its master was born.

Redknapp had the jury in stitches at times, not least when reflecting on the possibility that another ‘Rosie’ account in Monaco might have been named after somebody’s wife. ‘If she was half as nice as Rosie he’s got a good wife,’ Redknapp mused.

Leading the prosecution, John Black QC wasted no time in referring to the dirtiest word in football. That ‘f*****g sick word’ as Redknapp put it in the taped interview with News of the World reporter Rob Beasley. Black said the payments amounted to a ‘bung’. The court heard how two payments, totalling $295,000, were the product of a dispute over the transfer of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa in 2002.

Redknapp had demanded 10 per cent of the net profit from the transfer because that had been the terms of his contract as the director of football when he recruited Crouch. Those terms changed when he became manager and Redknapp was due five per cent.

Decision day: Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday

Decision day: Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday

Cash trail: One charge related to money from the sale of Peter Crouch to Aston Villa

Cash trail: One charge related to the profits made by the sale of Peter Crouch to Aston Villa in 2002

But he complained to Mandaric he should have received 10 per cent when that was what he would have been due when Crouch was signed from QPR. Despite Redknapp calling the $295,000 deposited into his Monaco account ‘a bonus’ in the interview Beasley taped without Redknapp’s knowledge — a tape central to the Crown’s case — the physical evidence only ever pointed to an investment Mandaric made for his ‘special friend’.

As Kelsey-Fry said: ‘Harry Redknapp’s voluntary disclosure of the Monaco account was the “acid test” that it was not, as the prosecution claim, a secret, and what did he do with the money For six years, until 2008, he did absolutely nothing. When Mr Redknapp moved in 2003 he never even bothered to tell the bank holding his secret nest egg.’

The court also heard evidence from Nigel Layton, the managing director of Quest when Lord Stevens enlisted their services to conduct the inquiry into Premier League transfers between January 1, 2004 and January 31, 2006.

The Premier League paid the best part of 1m for the ‘bungs inquiry’ and the sketchy nature of Layton’s evidence — he struggled to recall the precise details of meetings with Redknapp and his representatives — was more than a little surprising.

Layton did, however, confirm that Redknapp voluntarily revealed Rosie 47 in November 2006, despite the fact that ‘Quest had no power whatsoever to force disclosure’.

While Quest were satisfied with the information they received from Redknapp, they still passed on the information to the City of London Police. Not that the police mentioned that to Redknapp during their interviews. They did not mention that they were in possession of the Beasley interview tapes either.

Old pals: Redknapp with his former chairman Mandaric during their days at Portsmouth

Old pals: Redknapp with his former chairman Mandaric during their days at Portsmouth

As the trial progressed, it emerged Redknapp had walked away from a 140,000 pay-off when he resigned as Portsmouth manager in 2004, insisting he did not ‘want their money’ after an acrimonious split with Mandaric.

‘Now why am I going to fiddle 30 grand in income tax and then walk away from 200 (he could not recall the exact figure) grand six months later’ said Redknapp.

Perhaps the most poignant moment was when the court heard Redknapp telling the police of the problem he has writing and spelling. ‘Like a two-year-old,’ he said, before confessing not being able to fill out a teamsheet. Jamie Redknapp was shaken by the sight of his father being laid bare in such a manner.

The darkest moment had to be when Redknapp turned on Det Insp David Manley. ‘Mr Manley, will you stop staring at me,’ he said. ‘I know you are trying to cause me a problem.’

Redknapp endured the accusation from Black that he was ‘telling a pack of lies’. ‘That is an insult,’ Redknapp replied, and on Wednesday, the jury agreed that it was.

Now give him the England job.

Martin O"Neill backs Harry Redknapp for England job

Harry's your man: O'Neill backs Redknapp to replace Capello as England boss

Martin O'Neill has backed Harry Redknapp to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager after ruling himself out of the running.

The 59-year-old Ulsterman, who has been touted as a possible candidate in the past, believes Tottenham boss Redknapp, who was cleared of tax evasion charges, is the man to succeed the Italian following his resignation on Wednesday.

Asked after his side's 2-1 FA Cup fourth round replay victory at Middlesbrough tonight if Redknapp would be his favourite, Sunderland boss O'Neill said: 'Yes he would be.

Not for me: Martin O'Neill has ruled himself out of the running for the England job

Not for me: Martin O'Neill has ruled himself out of the running for the England job

'I think when Fabio was going to leave this summertime after the Euros anyway, that Harry would be favourite to take over.

'I think he should be and I think he deserves that opportunity as well. He should be the one.

'There has been a cry-out for an English manager now. His achievements at Tottenham in the last couple of years have been outstanding.

'He has got them through to the Champions League and they look as if they are going to get there again.

'He's done exceptionally well, and with the result today in the court case, that's no longer hanging over him and that will be a great relief to him.'

Asked if he would like to be considered himself despite being a little more than two months into his job at the Stadium of Light, O'Neill said: “I have just said I think he [Redknapp] should be the one.'

Front runner: Harry Redknapp is the clear favourite to be England manager

Front runner: Harry Redknapp is the clear favourite to be England manager

O'Neill's comments came hours after Capello's departure was announced, and the Irishman admitted he was saddened by the development.

He said: 'I am really, really disappointed for him because he's earned the right to take the team trough to the finals. He got them there in the first place.

'He's a splendid manager, he's proven that over the years. I really am very, very disappointed for him, disappointed that it's come to that. I'm actually quite sad about it.'

Boro manager Tony Mowbray too, was disappointed by Capello's untimely departure.

On his way: Capello quit as England boss on Wednesday

On his way: Capello quit as England boss on Wednesday

He said: 'I suppose it says a lot for the man. I am personally disappointed.

'I have been in Fabio's company once or twice, he seems a genuine, hard-working, honest football manager, and yet it leaves the country in a predicament.

'I am assuming he has resigned from his job because he felt undermined by the powers above.

'Sometimes football managers like to control, particularly very successful football managers, like to control, and maybe he felt as if a modicum of control had been taken out of his hands.

'You have to respect the fact that that's his decision. Where it leaves our country going into a major championships…

'We will all listen to our radio stations and watch our 24-hour television rolling as the world's media decides where we are going next.'

Harry Redknapp tax trial: Jurors not yet returned

Extra time for jury with Redknapp facing anxious wait and another day in court

Day 13 and the Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric tax fraud trial continues at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Anthony Leonard sending the jury home last night after almost four hours of deliberating.

It was only on Tuesday, at around noon, that Mr Leonard QC completed his summing up of the case, having told the jury that both Redknapp and Mandaric are of ‘good character’.

Mr Leonard also said the jury should have some sympathy with the defendants for the long wait for this trial. After all, the first of the two payments that form the basis of the case – made into Redknapp’s Monaco bank account by Mandaric – dates back to 2002.

Back again tomorrow: Harry Redknapp leaves court at the end of day 12 of his trial with the jury having failed to return a verdict

Back again tomorrow: Harry Redknapp leaves court at the end of day 12 of his trial with the jury having failed to return a verdict

But the jury were also told that the
verdict they reach must be determined by the evidence they have heard
and not whether they feel sympathetic towards the Tottenham manager and
the chairman of Sheffield Wednesday.

‘One of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourselves is: what was the Monaco payment for’ said Mr Leonard.

He described football as ‘an emotive
subject’, something that had the power to ‘stir in an individual deep
passion’. But he also said it could provoke ‘resentment for a sport that
some might say has become so commercial it may have lost its way’.

He then said: ‘Whatever your own
feelings for football: ignore them. This case is not about football; it
is about a tax case around football.’

Mr Leonard also instructed the jury
to ignore whatever feelings they might have for the now-defunct
tabloid the News of the World and the reporter Rob Beasley, whose taped
interview with Redknapp in February 2009 is what Mandaric’s defence QC,
Lord Macdonald, has called the ‘linch-pin’ of the prosecution’s case.

Shake on it: Spurs boss Redknapp greets a fan en route to his hearing

Shake on it: Spurs boss Redknapp greets a fan en route to his hearing

Former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric

Former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric

The jury were informed that although
they can reach verdicts that see Mandaric convicted and Redknapp (above)
acquitted, they could not reach a verdict where Redknapp is convicted
and Mandaric acquitted. They can, of course, find both men guilty or
acquit both of them.

Never had the courtroom been busier
than it was on Tuesday, with the press seats and the public gallery
full to their capacity. Some journalists were turned away from the trial
that has had everything except a verdict.

The jurors had been warned by the
Crown to ‘keep their eyes on the ball’ when it came to considering their
verdicts, while Redknapp’s barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, had said that
some of the Crown’s evidence is ‘repugnant to all our basic instincts
of fairness’.

Lord Macdonald said the prosecution
was ‘really flailing’ with ‘paper-thin’ explanations for the Monaco
payments. ‘We say the evidence against him is hopelessly weak,’ he said.

But when both defendants left the
court at 5pm, they were facing an anxious wait, the kind of extra time
Tottenham’s manager will not welcome.

The jury were sent to a hotel at
4.15pm and will return to the court at 10am Wednesday morning. Both
defendants deny the charges.