The irony of Glasgow Rangers possibly being laid low by a body known as HMRC notwithstanding, it's only fair to ask, before it goes the way of Elvis, the dodo and the Holy Roman Empire, whether administration is the most equitable method of protecting the ongoing interests of both creditors and shareholders.
The guddle that the club and its owners seem to have got themselves into over the payment of tax is oddly reminiscent of the situation in which Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hogan has been embroiled in Australia for many years now. It's difficult not to have some sympathy for Hoags in his predicament, given that he received, and perhaps even relied on, advice from one of the world's major accountancy practices.
Unlike some, I have little taste for truffling around in the minutiae of tax law, but it would be very interesting to know what advice Rangers received before embarking upon the whackadoo course to which HMRC has taken righteous excption. If it is the case that that advice may have been negligent, then one would have thought that that might give the shareholders a right of action against the advisers. Whether any such claim, which could probably be regarded as a potential asset of the club's the full value of which is yet to be realised, has been made or is in the process of being made should be a matter of the utmost concern to the minority shareholders, the value of whose assets would be wiped out by an administration and subsequent fall into the depths of the corporate recovery system.
There are, of course, some businesspeople who only like being told what they want to hear, and the recent collapse of the banking system has shown that there may be many professional advisers willing to subordinate their duties to the public on the off-chance of picking up the groats such people can be coaxed into throwing in their direction. The methods by which the club has been managed should be of the utmost concern to the minority shareholders; they are the owners, after all.
Labels: Glasgow And Glaswegians