The saga, or as it now is, sagas, continue.
Rangers FC’s solicitors are scheduled to be back at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for at least two cases next week.
McIntyre v Rangers
As has been reported by Gerry Braiden in the Herald today, Donald McIntyre, Rangers’ former Finance Director, has raised proceedings againt the Club, and his legal team were at court yesterday seeking an order to freeze £300,000 pending resolution of his claim. The case was continued till next week when Rangers FC’s counsel will appear, one assumes, to argue against the arrestment order being granted.
Whilst the decision by Lord Hodge to grant such an order in favour of Martin Bain does not guarantee Mr McIntyre’s success with a similar motion next week, it would suggest that it is Rangers facing an uphill battle to persuade the court not to make the order.
It is worth noting that Rangers have scheduled, at apparent short notice, two friendly matches, one at Ibrox against Liverpool on 18th October and a second away to Hamburg on 29th November. Presumably these, as well as testing the team against strong opposition, are intended to raise some funds to mitigate, even in a small way, the loss of revenue from failure to progress in European competition this year.
Interestingly, Rangers’ own website states as regards the Liverpool game:–
“Season ticket holders who are signed up to the home friendly scheme, please note payment has been taken and smartcards have been activated.”
That should have brought a much needed influx of funds to their bank account already, together with (a) what they receive on the gate and (b) the fee they will receive from Hamburg for travelling to Germany to play.
Might Rangers argue that this extra cash makes an arrestment order unnecessary?
It is likely that, after the embarrassment of Mr Bain’s similar application, Rangers will find more of their financial difficulties being aired at court next week, and one might expect the Finance Director to have his finger well and truly on the pulse as far as those issues are concrned.
Bain v Rangers
On Friday 21st October, at 10 am, before Lord Menzies, there will be a preliminary hearing in Mr Bain’s case.
The purpose of a Preliminary Hearing is for the Judge to get the case in order, to find out what the parties are arguing about, and to make any orders necessary to expedite the case towards its conclusion.
The specifics are detailed in the Rules of the Court of Session, Chapter 47.11 which states as follows:-
47.11.-(1) Unless a commercial action is withdrawn under rule 47.9 from the Commercial Roll then, at the preliminary hearing of a commercial action in which an election has been made under rule 47.3(1), the commercial judge-
(a) shall determine whether and to what extent and in what manner further specification of the claim and defences should be provided;
(b) may make an order in respect of any of the following matters:-
(i) detailed written pleadings to be made by a party either generally or restricted to particular issues;
(ii) a statement of facts to be made by one or more parties either generally or restricted to particular issues;
(iii) the allowing of an amendment by a party to his pleadings;
(iv) disclosure of the identity of witnesses and the existence and nature of documents relating to the action or authority to recover documents either generally or specifically;
(v) documents constituting, evidencing or relating to the subject-matter of the action or any invoices, correspondence or similar documents relating to it to be lodged in process within a specified period;
(vi) each party to lodge in process, and sent to every other party, a list of witnesses;
(vii) reports of skilled persons or witness statements to be lodged in process;
(viii) affidavits concerned with any of the issues in the action to be lodged in process; and
(ix) the action to proceed to a hearing without any further preliminary procedure either in relation to the whole or any particular aspect of the action;
(c) may fix the period within which any such order shall be complied with;
(d) may continue the preliminary hearing to a date to be appointed by him; and
(e) may make such other order as he thinks fit for the speedy determination of the action.
(2) Where the commercial judge makes an order under paragraph (1)(b)(i) or (ii) or (c), he may ordain the pursuer to-
(a) make up a record; and
(b) lodge that record in process within such period as the commercial judge thinks fit.
(3) At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the court shall, unless it has made an order under paragraph (1)(b)(ix) (order to proceed without a further hearing), fix a date for a procedural hearing to determine further procedure.
(4) The date fixed under paragraph (3) for a procedural hearing shall not be extended except on special cause shown on a motion enrolled not less than 7 days before the date fixed for the procedural hearing.
As can be seen from the comprehensive list of items mentioned, it may well be that next Friday will be the clearest exposition yet of the nuts and bolts of the dispute, and reference might well be made to parties to be called as witnesses, a topic I have mused on already. Whilst it is possible the hearing will be adjourned, or that parties will attend having agreed what they want His Lordship to do, it is more likely that these issues will require to be aired in court.
I would imagine that Mr Bain’s team will be looking for a full hearing of the case to be fixed as soon as possible in light of the concerns voiced about his former employer’s solvency, sependent as that is upon various matters including the First Tier Tribunal re-convening next month to conclude Rangers’ appeal against the HMRC assessment of over £30 million alleged to be due in relation to Rangers’ apparently “creative” use of EBT’s.
I think it might well be worth a trip to the Court next week, wearing my new hat for the occasion!