Good piece in the Glasgow Herald this morning asking some searching questions about where all the money can have gone by the second week in February:
By all accounts, HMRC officials were on their way to serve papers to the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Monday, but Whyte beat them to it.
Speculation had been mounting this course of action from the taxman was linked to other unpaid bills and yesterday it was confirmed HMRC is investigating non-payment of £9 million in PAYE and VAT since Whyte took over in May 2011. Whyte disputes around 50% of this figure.
But this is nothing to do with the EBT case which has still to see its final findings made public. It could be nothing, it could be £75m … according to Whyte.
In an interview 10 days ago, Whyte said he had deposited the sum of £33m in a bank account in November 2010; these funds were for his proposed takeover. This would be the pot of cash to pay off debt to Lloyds, which when the deal went through was £18m, and also to inject working capital of £5m, allocate £5m for new players, £1.7m for stadium improvements and £2.8m to pay a historic tax bill to HMRC over a discounted options scheme.
On top of that, we know for sure he has raised £24.4m on future season ticket revenue through Ticketus, an off-shoot company of the London finance company Octopus. Whyte denies any allegation this money was used to pay off the bank debt.
We also know Rangers’ annual turnover in a season without any significant revenue from European football, as this financial year will be, is £35m.
From what’s apparent, the figures simply dont add up:
According to Whyte it costs £3.75m per month to run the club; so in the nine months since takeover those costs have been £33.75m.
If his £33m was used to fund everything he says it has, that still leaves the £24.4m Ticketus money and nine months of the £35m annual turnover, which is just over £26m.
So Rangers should have had cash at their disposal in the past nine months amounting to just over £50m, and you can throw the Jelavic money from Everton two weeks ago on top of that. Running costs over nine months have been £33.75m, which leaves around £20m in cash that does not appear to have been spent.
Meanwhile the Seventh Cavalry is trying to get itself organised…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty