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Volume 6 No. 211


Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian revealed that it has reached an agreement with U.K. tax authority HMRC "in a dispute over tax and national insurance contributions," according to Doug Gratton of the LONDON TIMES. The £1.75M ($2.8M) dispute "was revealed in the share issue brochure as Hearts launched a scheme to raise £1.79M ($2.9M) at the end of October." Now Hearts "have come to an agreement to pay £1.5M ($2.4M) over a three-year period." The deal is separate to the settlement of a £450,000 ($724,000) bill Monday, which "staved off the threat of a winding-up order" (LONDON TIMES, 12/4).

CHEAPER SETTLEMENT: In Edinburgh, David McCann reported "the final settlement is now £250,000 ($402,000) lower than the £1.75M originally sought by HMRC -- a figure which could have risen by millions from interest and hefty fines." However, under the terms of the deal, Hearts "will pay £500,000 ($805,000) annually to the taxman over the next three years, with the first installment due in May." The club "will face no penalties and the tax tribunal, which began in November, has been concluded without any evidence being heard." The total payout for outstanding tax and National Insurance contributions "now amounts to £1.2M ($1.9M) plus interest charges of £300,000 ($483,000)." The news was also welcomed by Ernst & Young football finance expert Neil Patey, who said: "This shows how HMRC are prepared to be flexible when clubs and companies cooperate with them" (SCOTSMAN, 12/4).

U.K. tax authority HMRC is to "appeal against the outcome of a tribunal," which saw the oldco Rangers Football Club win its tax case, according to Fraser Wilson of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The tribunal stated the "controversial monies received by the employees were not paid to them as their absolute entitlement." A spokesperson for HMRC said that it is "appealing against the decision." The spokesperson said, "HMRC will seek permission to appeal the tribunal decision." The spokesperson added that parties "need to apply to the tribunal to seek leave to appeal and HMRC has started that process" (DAILY RECORD, 12/4).

RANGERS FANS PLAN BOYCOTT: In Glasgow, Scott McDermott reported Rangers fans’ groups are "planning a boycott" of Tannadice Park for its Scottish Cup tie against former Scottish Premier League rivals Dundee United. Rangers Supporters Assembly President Andy Kerr said that Dundee United -- more than any club in Scotland -- was "the one they would take a stance against if they got them in the draw." Kerr "expects the vast majority of like-minded fans to boycott the clash on Tayside" due to a feud, which started when Rangers followers were charged twice by United Chair Stephen Thompson for a rearranged SPL match in Nov. '09 (DAILY RECORD, 12/4). A statement from the Rangers Supporters Assembly said, "We ask the support to resist temptation of attending the game but rather give your hard-earned cash to a Rangers-friendly pub, bar or club." It continued, "We also understand the desire to support the team -- the fans have demonstrated this to unbelievable lengths of loyalty -- but we ask that on this occasion in a one-off display of fan power we show that we have not been beaten or broken" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 12/4).

English Super League club Salford Reds "are poised to receive a bailout" of up to £1.5M ($2.4M) to secure a takeover of the club by supporters, according to Jennifer Williams of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Salford City Council chiefs "hope to pledge a loan facility" of up to £750,000 ($1.2M) to the ailing club, which is facing a "crippling financial crisis." Peel Holdings -- who are joint owners of the Salford City Stadium along with the council -- are set to put up the rest of the cash. The rescue plan -- set to go before Salford council's cabinet Tuesday -- is being dubbed a "fresh start" by insiders. It would see the "current five-strong board of directors asked to stand down," with two council members and two from Peel Holdings replacing them (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 12/4).