December 6, 2005
Where do you see QPR in three years time?
First of all we need to clear our debts; we only took over from the October 1 and we found out we owed more than we originally thought. You need solid foundations, I'd love us to go up this year or next year, but we have to be realistic and budget accordingly.
When we first took over there was a big outstanding tax bill and Caliendo and I had to go down to Brighton to stop us going into Liquidation. We had to give our personal guarantee that the bill would be paid.
When we found out you can imagine our panic. The first thing you have to do as a company is pay the tax man as they can wind you up. .......
We are paying people. In October we paid out £1.2 million. When we took over we found that many of our suppliers hadn't been paid since May. There is a backlog but we are putting a new structure in place. Instead of writing cheques out every day of the week, we will pay our suppliers on the 30th of every month. Therefore they know when they will get paid and we can also budget better.. http://www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10373~751350,00.html
FORMER QPR CEO, MARC DEVLIN
December 12, 2005
Further Response From Mark Devlin
I watched and listened with interest to the recent interview with the current Chairman. To say that I am surprised at some of what I heard would be an understatement ! I really don’t have any wish to discuss these matters publicly as it cannot do the Club any good. In addition, I would rather channel my energies into assisting Swindon Town through their current situation. However, I do feel that I need to clarify the situation as I understood it.
When I re-joined Rangers in August 2004, I was informed that the Club had an indebtedness to certain Government Agencies of a little over £2m. Clearly this needed to be dealt with and the Chief Financial Officer was tasked by the Board to meet with the relevant people to agree a payment schedule which would keep both parties happy. This he duly did. We were able to keep to the plan with the help of the funds received from the purchase of shares by both Barnaby and Wanlock until around December 2004 when the CFO informed the Board and myself that the cash flow was strained and that he would have difficulty making future payments on time. It was clear that we needed an injection of funds and this was duly found although not as quickly as we would of wished.
This was the situation which all the Board, including the current Chairman, were faced with when looking to set the current Season Ticket prices. My understanding was that we were meeting our ongoing PAYE and VAT commitments. At no point were members of the Board or myself informed that we were seriously behind with payments to the Revenue or the Customs and Excise, or that a notice to serve a winding up order had been issued. I have no reason to believe that any such correspondence was sent to the Club.
The only potential serving up order related to an outstanding loan to a previous Director. This situation was discussed in full at Board level and a solution was found but this did place extra strain on the cash flow. Full financial reports and cash flows were provided at every Board meeting by the CFO and the financial situation was always discussed. To the best of my knowledge, debts were not ‘hidden’ by anyone whatsoever. Furthermore, it should be remembered that we, as a business, had a duty to inform the offices of PAYE and VAT of how much tax we were due to pay on a monthly and quarterly basis respectively. This process would have of been carried out by the CFO. Indeed, the thought of the Inland Revenue waiting until August or September for £2m worth of outstanding monies due in May, is just not plausible.
Not too long ago, Crown debts (Inland Revenue/PAYE/VAT), through a change in the law, lost their ‘preferential creditor’ status and because of that the Officers are sharper than ever in trying to obtain any monies owed to them, particularly from Football Clubs. The first I heard that the Inland Revenue were threatening the Club, was when I spoke to a Director following September’s Board meeting, a month or so after I left QPR. I understand that was for an amount a little in excess of £1m. I am sure that other Directors of that time will be able to confirm this situation. - Mark Devlin http://www.qpr-lsa.co.uk/
December 12, 2005
...I have not listened to or read what the latest argument is about, but from what I have heard it seems to me that 2 very passionate followers of the Rs are being both misunderstood and misquoted, in fact I made this point only a day ago on the offish site following a call, I immediately defended myself.
Every innocent remark made by whoever is disected to death.
God forbid anyone should speak metaphorically.
Now its tax evasion.
This is about the only thing a company [yes i know we are QPR not a co'] of our size cannot hide. The taxmen [C&E or Income] doesn't send in an invoice saying we think you probably owe us £6 but we will wait until the end of the financial year to be sure.
In laymans terms we the club inform whichever tax dept each financial month of what we we have withheld from our players and salaried staff [in the case of income tax well in excess of 100k per month] or quarterly what we have received in excess of what we have paid in VAT [to C&E and for instance VAT from season ticket sales up front and payable long before the club has received the money from the credit card companies].
This is handled by the Chief Financial Officer, Chris Pennington, he is the one who informs both tax depts of outstanding payments that we [QPR] need to make each month or qtr. There is no guess work and criminal charges could and should be made against anyone at the club with-holding any such information [and for the record i am not pointing a finger at the very able man I have just said is reporting these figures as I know he has and would have done].
Apparently, or alledgedly, or whatever is needed to say a comment is not chiseled in stone, Gianni passed a remark about payments not coming to light in his knowledge and I'm told he said tax or whatever. I'm certain it was frustration at the size of our debts and him perhaps not understanding the outstanding commitment, but its not for me to guess.
What I know. as frustrating as that is, is the debt of the club is no more or less than we knew it to be for the last 15 months and quite frankly I am very relieved not to have that overwhelming pressure on me to try and resolve.
Can we all stop 'casting the first stone'?
None of us are perfect, lots of things are said and done in haste and repented at leisure.
What we all know is that we are Hoops. ...
Come on you Rs. ..