Rangers, Sevco and the Law – Threatened Court Actions – Sevco v the Players

Following on from Mr Green’s threats of action last week, and the concerns expressed by Mr McCoist, which I wrote about here, players have started to object to their TUPE transfers to Sevco.

Mr Green issued a statement on Sunday after the departure of Messrs Whittaker and Naismith. My comments are in bold.

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RANGERS Chief Executive Charles Green has insisted he will contest any attempt by players to walk away from Rangers for free.

Green said: “It is a great pity that certain players have chosen this time to attempt to tear up their contracts and walk away from the Club. The Club is facing massive challenges in terms of its league status and the last thing the fans want to see is a dispute between the Club and players.

Sorry to mention the legalities, but Mr Green is comparing apples and oranges here. The players do not have a contract with “the Club”. That has no legal persona. The players were employed by Rangers Football Club PLC (In Administration). Mr Green wants the players to be employed by Sevco 5088 Ltd, or Sevco Scotland Ltd, or indeed some other Sevco variation for all we know. The players are not “ripping up their contracts”. They are exercising, validly in my view, their rights not to work for an employer for who they do not want to work!

I also think that a dispute between players and “the Club” whilst not ideal, is not “the last thing” the fans want to see.

 

“However, it appears that is the route several players are choosing. I can assure those players and Clubs who may be interested in signing them that Rangers will seek damages for breach of contract and for inducement to break contracts.

Mr Green says that “Rangers” will seek damages for breach of contract and for inducement to breach contracts. First of all, an inducement to breach a contract necessarily comes before a breach is committed. Does he have evidence to establish such alleged “inducements”?

More fundamentally, he refers to “Rangers” seeking damages. Who or what is that? “The Club” cannot sue as it has no legal persona. Rangers Football Club PLC (IA) cannot sue players for breaking their employment contracts with RFC PLC, as the contractual relationship ended when the assets and business of Rangers passed to Sevco. Sevco might be able to pursue action, on the basis that, despite apparent failures to follow procedures, the TUPE transfers were effective. However, Sevco is not Rangers! (It might posses then “spirit of Rangers” but that is an emotional, rather than a legal matter).

If Mr Green believes, or has legal advice to the effect, that the players are in reach of contract, then Sevco can seek an interdict to stop the players purporting to join another team, and in addition, could seek an order requiring them to fulfil their contracts by turning up. That does not strike me as a sensible way of generating good employer-employee relations!

If Sevco could successfully sue for damages for breach of contract, then this could, in a way, be perfect as Sevco does not need to pay players who have refused to join the newco, but might seek a payment to settle the case. The problem is that funding a business on the possible proceeds of litigation is a fool’s path. The lack of certainty of time scale and outcome mean that Sevco, even if successful, which I highly doubt, would maybe wait several years before winning, and this could be subject to appeal.

In any event, even if the players missed the boat to object to the TUPE transfer, they have, in my opinion, a further reason allowing them to leave. The failure of Sevco to be admitted to the SPL means that their only option is the SFL. They could be admitted to SFL1, or SFL3. They might not be admitted at all. If Sevco Rangers do not play competitive football next season, that would be such a fundamental change in the terms of the players’ contracts that it would amount to a breach by Sevco. Even in the SFL the absence of the opportunity to earn contractual bonuses would be enough, in my mind, to justify players resigning for breach by Sevco. I suspect Rangers contracts did not include references to bonuses for winning the Ramsdens Cup or SFL3!

 

“The SFA has been considering the issue and has issued a preliminary guidance note on registration issues. That note has made it clear that it is open to the Club to challenge the actions of the players. Our lawyers have written to the SFA today intimating that we do challenge the actions of the players and explaining why that is. They have also asked that the SFA confirm how it proposes to resolve the dispute between the players and Club.

I understand that a player’s agent enquired last week of the SFA what the position of the players was, to which the response was that they were registered. At that point the question of to whom they were registered had not been determined by the SFA.

It is also of note that Mr Green seems to be trying to block the players asserting their rights, rather than Sevco asserting its own. Surely if these were now Sevco players, he need not object to anything?

Again Mr Green uses imprecise language. There is no dispute between the players and “the Club”. The dispute is between the players and Sevco 5088 Ltd, an organisation which, by its own admission, is not a member of the SFA!

 

“We have no wish to go to court on these matters but the players involved, their agents and clubs who may be pursuing these players should be in no doubt that we will do whatever it takes to protect the Club’s interests.

“The Club”! Enough already! Mr Green’s interests are those of Sevco. He has said as much, and that is entirely appropriate. However, his statements seem to be designed to appeal to his fans without having any correct legal background to them. One wonders what Sevco’s lawyers feel when they see statements like this being made.

 

“As Ally McCoist said yesterday the players should be honest about their intentions. When the players agreed to take wage cuts earlier this year they renegotiated their contracts to allow them to leave for reduced values. That was a sensible quid pro quo and meant that the Club would still get some transfer value for them should they leave.

“The Club…sigh”. Mr Green’s statement here implies that the players are being dishonest – how long before an ex-player sues him! The players took very substantial wage cuts. However, Mr Green might be better looking to D+P who negotiated the reduced selling clauses. In any event, why should the players agree to join a company of which they know nothing, of whose resources they know nothing and whether or not it plays football next year is unclear? Whilst the players have genuine affection and loyalty to Rangers, how much are they required to have to Sevco? If Mr Green was saying that, with the sale proceeds of the players, he was going to sign Lionel Messi, for example, then the players might feel that their interests could be put after those of Sevco and “the Club”. But why do that when that clearly is not the case?

 

“What is happening now is that the players want to leave for nothing, thereby denying the Club any transfer value at all. At the same time, players who are ready to breach their contracts want to secure handsome signing on fees for other clubs, while Rangers get nothing.

As mentioned, there is no breach of contract. The law is clear. The contracts of employment have ended as the players have objected. Sevco have no rights to or over these players at all, and indeed it is clear not that Mr Green wants them to play for his team, but he is only interested in them as bags of cash. Bearing in mind what his group bought for £5.5 million, being land worth, on D+P’s figures, in excess of £4.5 million, how can he legitimately claim that he is being diddled when he cannot sell for millions of pounds players he himself has “bought” a fortnight ago for less than £1 million in total!

 

“I have heard criticism from one of the players today that I had not been in contact. That is surprising since his agent was in my office on Friday for a meeting with both me and the Manager.

OK. But you were supposed to meet and advise players of the position some time before that. And this admission does not seem, to me, to help the Sevco case. If that was the first meaningful contact, then criticising a player for exercising his right to object on the Sunday after the Friday meeting seems perfectly valid.

 

“I have spoken to the Rangers staff now on a number of occasions and at staff meetings. No players were present at these meetings and they have all been on holiday.

No players were present as they were on holiday. Mr Green has just admitted that Sevco has not fulfilled its duties to its “new” employees. On that basis I suspect this line will form a major plank of the defence for any player who is taken to court by Sevco. Well said Mr Green!

 

“The players’ actions are all the more breathtaking given that that virtually everyone else employed at the Club has got on with the job since the CVA was refused and a new company had to be formed. Of course, they had concerns but after asking all the relevant questions it was business as usual. That applies to the groundsmen, the tea ladies, the office staff and everyone else who make Rangers tick. Rangers is still Rangers and players, above all, should know that.”

The groundsmen, tea ladies and office staff are not in the position of being on fixed term contracts, nor are they marketable to the extent that Celtic, or St Mirren, or Everton would swoop to sign Aggie the tea lady, or Bib the admin assistant on an inflated salary. TUPE exists to protect the rights of employees. It is designed to deal with the tea ladies and groundsmen, not the high earning professional players. However the focus is entirely on protecting the employee, not on protecting the new employer.

And what strikes me as breathtaking is that Mr Green and Sevco planned clearly to buy all the players from RFC PLC IA, for a combined cost of less than £1 million, and SELL LOTS OF THEM IMMEDIATELY!

If it had worked, it would have been a brilliant money making plan. Instead the players have seen that their real choice was to leave to protect their own interests, or to stay to be sold to further those of Sevco and Mr Green.

On that basis there was no choice.

Conclusion

If Mr Green is serious, then court writs should be flying about already. In fact he might be delighted about the objections as I suspect he might refuse to pay the players who have objected their June salaries as they are, he says, in breach of contract. That would clearly help what is likely to be a parlous financial position at Ibrox, and might keep Sevco afloat for a while longer than it might otherwise have managed.

If Sevco take no court actions against any players, then this would be a sign that he was bluffing, and that the players have called his bluff, revealing that he holds nothing.

 

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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40 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Employment Law, Rangers, TUPE

40 responses to “Rangers, Sevco and the Law – Threatened Court Actions – Sevco v the Players

  1. Althetim

    Is Sevco het for the June salaries? I’d have thought it was D&P as administrators of Rangers PLC (IA – not yet liquidated). Surely the players are still employed by the company in administration until such times as they are served redundancy notices or they resign.

  2. iamtheperson

    I wonder, what made Lee Wallace decide to transfer his contract under these circumstances?

    • alross

      I think its because if he objected then he would return to Hearts ?

    • jocky bhoy

      Vlid question: from his own statement, Lee Wallace’s partner is expecting their first soon and “my priority is to my family”. Lee’s outstanding contract is, I believe, in the region of £2.7m over the next 4 years. I am not sure he would get the same contract anywhere else.

      Now whether the company he has transferred his contract will be around for 4 years… that is I think another very valid question.

      • iamtheperson

        Yes, fair enough, I suppose (re: him not earning more elsewhere). But, as the second part of your answer is very much real, this would devalue the first part of it. Pretty much everything about the newco is unknown and uncertain (will it play football; will it enter admin. soon too).

        It doesn’t look like a good boat to jump to, seeing as it might go down beneath the waves rather sooner than later.

  3. redetin

    Paul, A very clear explanation. Now I wonder how the BBC (and other media) have failed to understand the simple facts about Rangers Football Club PLC and Sevco 5088 Ltd and Sevco Scotland Ltd. They are still reporting inaccurately about “newco Rangers” and “the Club”. Thanks for the clarity.

    • Pensionerbhoy

      Now I wonder how the BBC (and other media) have failed to understand the simple facts about Rangers Football Club PLC and Sevco 5088 Ltd and Sevco Scotland Ltd.
      BLUE BLINKERS (except for a chosen and extremely limited few)

  4. degough

    Wonder what bank account Green will be paying the staff and players from. I believe he is due to pay all the remaining players at midnight tonight. Sevco 5088 apparently do not have a bank account. The rumor is that his investors have jumped ship and he does not have enough money to pay the bills. So he will sell the assets in the next few days.

    By the way, if anyone knows Aggie the tea lady could you let us know if she has be paid her wages tonight?

  5. Brian Jeffrey

    It’s a bluff. It has to be a bluff. There can be no other explanation. There are clearly two separate issues involved here both of which clearly and unequivocally show that the players are on solid legal ground. The TUPE regulations govern the transfer of contracts and there appears to be a unanimous (minus one) agreement amongst the legal fraternity and anyone else who has read up on it that the regulations can only be understood in a manner supportive of the players rights to act as they have done. The second issue relates to the players’ registration with the football club as distinct from any contractual arrangement with their employer or would be employer or previous employer. This is where the “Bosman ruling” kicks in. The case law in that ruling is once again unequivocal and is to the effect that any club holding the registration of a player at the termination of the contract of that player to play for the club concerned may not retain that player’s registration so as to prevent what would otherwise be an unlawful restriction upon the player’s right to trade as a professional footballer. The crucial element here is the termination of the existing contracts. The Green consortium purchased Rangers plc and its assets on the basis of an anticipated CVA which did not materialise. Had that come to pass there would be no newco and no TUPE and the players would have been bound by the terms of their existing contracts and the Bosman ruling would not apply. The players would have been realisable assets for which Green coud have expected some return in the transfer market. The lack of a CVA has however scuppered that plan and the development of a newco as an alternative has necessarily invoked the TUPE regulations which in turn involve the potential, not previously allowed for, that players could simply terminate their existing contract with the oldco and decline the option to transfer it to the newco. By taking up that option the players are necessarily protected by the terms of the “Bosman” ruling which requires the club to release their registration so as to ensure that they are free to ply their trade elsewhere. Paul makes reference in his article to an agent having enquired of the SFA as to whether or not a player was still registered last week and to the fact that the answer was yes. That would necessarily have been the case for a number of reasons. Firstly the players had not formally objected last week and would consequently still be under contract which means that TUPE and consequently Bosman would not at that point in time have been engaged. Secondly, the club would only be required to release the registration if it were formally asked to do so, they will retain it until such times as the player formally requests to invoke his Bosman rights.

  6. The Roon

    Paul, Well done for yet another well presented critical analysis of the ambiguities and contradictions within the knee-jerk statements which are being spouted on almost a daily basis.

    I’m not a Rangers fan but I’m sympathetic to the Rangers fans who are watching (helplessly) as their much loved club (be that Rangers FC, Oldco or Newco) disintegrates more and more each day. Everything that has happened (and continues to happen) appears to be a complete shambles without any forethought, planning and/or much (if any) consideration of any rules/ regulations/ legislation that prevail.

    What is even more surprising is (given the uncertainty of many matters) that there does not appear to have been any risk analysis of potential different outcomes; and appropriate contingency plans drawn up to cover all the bases. Everything that unfolds has the appearance of being done “on the hoof” when even any half-hearted analysis of potential outcomes would have identified the current state of affairs as being foreseeable.

    The situation with the players is just another example of this.

    Whilst I think Green/ Sevco could have handled matters much bettter, I believe a lot of the blame (regarding employee consultations) lies at the door of D&P. They took over the admin of RFCLC (and have been and will continue to be paid circa £600 per HOUR) therefore they should possess the necessary expertise to avoid the current situation (players who are employees of Oldco apparently being kept in the dark).

    Whilst a CVA was their preferred option, it was always a bit of a long shot therefore you would not have needed to be Einstein to know there were other potential outcomes (Liquidation/ Sell assets to a Newco). In fact, both these other alternatives to a CVA were within D&P’s CVA Proposal and selling of the assets/ business was a certainty if a CVA failed (as D&P had entered into a binding contract to sell to Green).

    If D&P had gone to the extent of making a binding contract with Green to sell the assets/ business then this was not a scenario that just landed on their plate out of the blue when HMRC rejected the CVA proposal. It was clearly foreseen and therefore D&P should have surely consulted with the employees/ players in advance of Proposal being voted upon since rejection of the CVA (and therefore sale of assets/ business) was a distinct possibility that D&P had clearly foreseen. That is just basic contingency planning, which an experienced insolvency practitioner should have been more than capable of implementing.

    D&P must be aware of obligations/ rights under TUPE and therefore their obligations (as administrators of the Oldco) to inform/ consult employees). So why did D&P not do this weeks ago? D&P were also in talks with the SPL and SFA (since February) so surely they should have availed themselves of the prevailing rules and regulations; and potential outcome scenarios in order to inform the employees and therefore allow them to make an informed choice should the CVA not be accepted.

    The situation that exists today is that 2 weeks after the sale to Green it appears that many of the players have yet to be consulted. Whilst Green can shoulder some of the blame over this period, serious questions surely need to be asked of D&P regarding their competency. What have they being doing, especially since they are still being paid handsomely for their continued involvement?

    D&P were appointed by the Court to protect the creditors’ interests, but these interests do not appear to have been well served. D&P made many statements that their intentions were also to save Rangers FC but there is dwindling evidence that they have achieved that objective either.

    If Green’s consortium comprise of serious experienced investors then why has there not been any evidence of successful businessmen becoming involved (with the necessary supporting expertise of others) to plan (and navigate) a route around the obstacles that clearly must have been foreseeable?

    The shambles that currently exists resembles a crowd of sober people standing around in a brewery with a large pile of untouched drink lying in the corner! …and D&P with a substantial wedge hanging out of their back pocket for “organising” the non-event!

    If the 2 parties (D&P and Green/ Sevco) have not complied with their obligations to the employees then how can it be right that the players are being painted (by Green) to be the bad guys (lacking honesty/ integrity) and being threatened of being pursued for a breach of contract (that has not even been offered to them to consider)?

    Green’s comments smack of someone whose man-management skills appear to be sadly lacking, not to mention his apparent lack of understanding of the law. Are they not the comments of somebody who is not going to make as much money for himself (and his investors); and are critisizing others who are merely trying to do the best for themselves (and their families) when they have been kept in the dark all along?

    “Kettle” and “pot” spring to mind!

    • Pensionerbhoy

      Have to agree with your general drift. The arsonists were Murray, the ex-Rangers Directors, most of the recent managers and Whyte. D & P have been and still are the fiddlers observing the destruction while gathering as much loot as they can for themselves. Poor Charlie is rummaging around in the ashes for any fire-sale bits and pieces and all he is getting are burnt fingers.

      • Richboy

        I was left raging the other day when my six year old Grandson told me he lost out in the spelling bee at school. He was apparently asked to spell incompetence and eagerly started with D_U_F_F. The teacher stopped him and made him sit down. Modern day teachers, whit they like.

        On a more serious note, great comments and analysis TR. As a “non legal” person I have continually been astonished at the performance of D&P. Surely, if there is any justice, they will be thoroughly investigated and brought to book over this shambles.

  7. jocky bhoy

    I think Sone Aluko in particular, a plkayer who boufght out his own contract, took a 75% pay cut to help the cause, and who has now exercised his legal right to seek alternative employment after the company he signed a contract with went into liquidation should sue Green and McCoist as individuals for slander given their repeated accusations of dishonesty and of players “denying the Club (sic) any transfer value at all. At the same time, players who are ready to breach their contracts want to secure handsome signing on fees for other clubs, while Rangers get nothing.”

    I would think that a professional footballer would place great store in their reputation of showing loyalty to a team and to seeing through their contracts and by casting aspersions on a player’s professionalism in such a way might damage their standing in the minds of right-thinking people and future employers.

  8. Pensionerbhoy

    SEVCO = Seeking Every Viable Con Opening. C.E.O. Cheeky Chic Thinks Everybody’s Green.

  9. ecojon

    I notice Greene this morning is now claiming that the (Tupe) Regulations only gave the players 24 hours to say no to the transfer. I just don’t believe that is the case and am certain it would actually be a ‘reasonable’ period unless the player acted in a way that could be construed as acceptance of the transfer like going to training or taking wages from the new company.

    There is the other small point as to who or how the players could have objected as I’m not sure that anyone actually knows what Sevco incarnation is meant to have their contracts.

    Another interesting point is that Greene has given the impression that the SFa was supporting his claim that the transfer is a legal done-deal but Mgt Gribbon has stated that her firm: ‘have shared with the players the contents of legal guidance issued by the SFA last week on the issue of TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings, protection of employment) and player registration and which they state supports their legal view that an objection under TUPE amounts to a lawful termination of contract giving the club no entitlement to a claim for compensation.’

    Another poke in the eye for Greene and his version of fact – I really would hate to be Aggie and have to work for this guy and the players that walk-away are the lucky ones.

  10. Don Paton

    Paul, here, ostensibly at any rate, Sevco, the acquiring entity seems a good match/fit for the employment roles of those individuals of old Rangers plc. However, it is, undoubtedly, the position at present that Sevco, does not have the ability to perform in accordance with those core aspects of its Articles of Association which make it such a match/fit (I am assuming there are some references to owning, running and operating wherever a professional football club), and, in the future, before achieving the ability so to do, is contigent upon overcoming so many variables coupled to the vagaries of others, many of whom have made clear they are not too pleasantly disposed to Sevco and their current plight. In such circumstances, might it not reasonably be construed that they, Sevco have, thereby, also failed to demonstrate the ability to perform in terms of the player contracts which Mr Green considers already transferred. This being so is Sevco, if not in breach of any contract, at the very least required now to initiate the redundancy procedure? It also seems to me that all of the issues you have touched upon would absolutely demand, following the onset of liquidation, an informative programme of discussion being set out, for all staff, wherein these variables and vagaries, with their likely possible outcomes, might be dealt with and at least produce and highlight the resultant options for Sevco. In short, properly, comply with their resonsibilities under the law in relation to a TUPE. It is certainly questionable, if not absolutely the case, given all that you detail in this blog, that Sevco has abjectly failed to carry out this essential legal requirement.

    • Pensionerbhoy

      Players are currently contracted to Rangers F.C.(IA) and are not employed by Sevco anybody until they have agreed to the transfer of their existing contracts. So redundancy is not a scenario for Sevco. TUPE law applies to employees contracted to a company that has stopped trading for whatever reason who are offered the opportunity to agree to the transfer of their existing contract to an existing or a new company that purchases the contracts in the purchase of the extinct business. Only then are the employees lawfully regarded as a members of the ‘new company’ workforce. The purchasing company is obligated in law to honour the existing contracts of the ex-company’s employees. It has no alternative platform for negotiations. On the other hand, the employees are given a fixed period (I am not sure off hand how long but I believe it is weeks rather than days) to transfer to the buying company with the same contract as they had with their ex-company. In this situation it is not unlike being offered a job. The job can be accepted or it can be turned down. If the employee refuses to transfer, then he waives his right to any compensation e.g. redundancy money while the new potential employer has no right of redress either way. In Sevco’s case, it may possess transferred contracts of the staff involved but it does have the agreement to accept from the staff in question. It is hog-tied and the players are free to choose where and with whom they wish to be employed. I do wholeheartedly agree, however, that it is wholly unprofessional, if not even unethical for advice and warnings not to have been issued way before the confrontation began. Charlie, far from being a darling in this, has been an absentee landlord. However, as another blog stated, I believe that much more blame lies at the feet of D & P who have displayed absolute incompetence in so many areas of their so called expertise and not least in their attention to the needs of employees.

  11. Niall Walker

    My guess is Green has secured the assets in a holding company protecting them from any risks attached to the trading company. If the money runs out he simply calls in the administrators and sells the assets for a profit to the next lemming.

    • Hugh Jarse

      Hi Niall,

      I would wager that you are 100% right on this one.

      not good for the employees who do TUPE across to his trading company if they find themselves in no League (looking increasingly likely) with no income – and no funds for their subsequent redundancy on liquidation.

  12. degough

    “The Ibrox owner must now submit the necessary paperwork to apply for the transfer of Rangers’ SFA membership to his new company by Friday.

    Green must produce details of the shareholdings of his company and its structure, a business plan and information to comply with the fit and proper persons rules.” – Daily Record

    Green has no chance of complying with these requirements. So no football will be played in Ibrox this coming season. Surely he will have to sell up. He knows that he will still make a profit on the deal, although not as much as he wanted to make.

  13. p groom

    green I think qualifies as the original snake-oil salesman. ” tell ’em what they want to hear, admit nothing, deny everything, accuse everyone else…”. CW must be looking on in admiration.

  14. JimBhoy

    Question as Rangers are no more a business/ Football club and someone has bought their assets inc some other rights. Do they actually have a jersey sponsor, ie, Tennents? Do they have a contract with JJB? Would either of these previous sponsors want that association with the circus ensuing?

  15. David

    I am at a loss as to why supporters, or anyone in fact, would trust Mr Green when he is blatantly distorting the truth by trying to say that, in contrary to the documented rules, that players have only 24 hours to reject a contract transfer. He is either treating normal supporters as simpletons that can’t understand a simple principle or thinks that they will accept anything he spouts. He wants them to decry the players and support him in his quest to build the club, when in fact he is building a nest egg for him and his team.
    He knows that when it comes down to it the courts will throw out any suggestion of players being charged with unreasonable behaviour.
    Every supporter should be asking simple questions like ‘why can’t this man come out and explain who his backers are (he did say when the deal was done he would tell)? Why didn’t he meet the players before, during and after the deal? Where is the money coming from? What are the contingency plans for playing in SFL3 or SFL1 or any other eventuality?’.
    Trust this man….not as far as Aggie could throw him!

  16. ian lewis

    I feel a little sorry for Green.I’m sure that he and Duff and Duffer have been led up the garden path by various football officials who will have advised them on the qt to keep their heads down and once the shouting has died down everything would be back to “normal”.It goes without saying that none of these officials mix with true fans and could have no idea of their feelings-of being cheated on the field for years,of seeing their best players end up at the OF and then discovering that this was not enough for Rangers.So well done the fans who have torpedoed the cosy back room deals and talking of torpedos Bomber Brown has now surfaced leading another boarding party-watch out for sliding tackles.

    • Richboy

      Interesting take on the situation Ian. I do believe that even five years ago that scenario would have been viable. The propoganda/rubbish that would have been spouted by the lazy mainstream media, who were subservient to certain football bigwigs in the SFA and at certain clubs, would have ensured a cover up.

      Today is a completely different story, there is nowhere to hide. Thanks to people like Paul, Phil Mac, CQN, RTC, some journalists and others, the conmen are being chased out from under their slimy rocks and exposed to the full light of accountability. No longer are the mug punters (us) sitting back and forking out their hard earned to these shysters.

      Ofcourse Mr Green and D&P may be living in a bygone era and thought that the con was still on.

  17. jocky bhoy

    Surely players contracts can’t change over to Sevco until such time as Sevco is part of the SPL or SFA? After all what would be the point of being a registered player for, say Govan Tescos, when they aren’t actually a registered football team?

    BTW I’m declaring an interest here, a magazine I worked for was sold and I was (of copurse) a prime asset. I was offered the opportunity not to go, but go I did. However the company I was leaving seemed to be in commerical difficulty whereas the company I went to was a strong international plc. Best move I ever made, desptie moving from Fleet Street to Cockfosters. Quite the reverse of the (What Was) Rangers players’ scenario.

  18. Grab the grass

    I think we all knew that Green was talking rubbish about these contracts. It is interesting now that he seems to at least recognise that the players have a right to reject a move, but has inserted a ridiculous 24 hour time limit on it.

    The outstanding question arises though as to why this TUPE thing has not occurred in previous football club liquidations / problems like Leeds, Portsmouth etc. I would submit that apart from the fact that most of these clubs had few, if any, players who could walk into another club by the time the club got into difficulties – or the administrator had already sold them – in these cases the football “club” actually had a legal identity as a limited company, but one wholly owned by another holding company or who had 100% of the shares. Thus when these “clubs” were bought or otherwise changed ownership as part of the CVA or other outcome from administration, the football “club” company remained intact and was simply acquired by another company and the holding company went into liquidation with all the debts etc or the shareholding sold. Thus player contracts were not “transferred” between companies as appears to have happened between Ranger PLC and Sevco XXX.

    If anyone has any further information on that it would shed some light as we all gaze down on the continuing train wreck unfolding before us. There seems to be an unstoppable momemtum behind Sevco playing in SFL3, but even those trying deperately to keep them in the system further up the tree still need to run inside their own rules and regualtions as it is clear that taking the SFA / SFL to court to force them to use their own rules, whilst frowned upon by FIFA / UEFA, is not directly challenging the football authorities. Roll on Friday when chancher Green has to front up with some real documents – that will be a first.

    In response to Niall above, perhaps the holding company is this mysterious Sevco Scotland?? Has there been any hard information about registration of the the land assets at the Land registry?

    • Grab the grass

      I was right about Sevco Scotland.
      see http://news.stv.tv/scotland/108240-rangers-crisis-ibrox-and-murray-park-hived-off-to-separate-newco/

      This is beginning to look very bad for what’s left of Rangers football “club”.

    • cmh64

      Grab the grass: The most relevant recent football administration/ liquidation I can think of is Darlington. They went into administration last season and are going through a community buyout. They couldn’t offer a CVA and assets, goodwill etc have been transferred to a new company and the old one will be liquidated.
      The FA relegated the club 4 divisions (5th to 9th tier) for exiting administration without a CVA or any attempt to pay the debts off. There was a debate about the relevance of TUPE here too, but I can’t find any reference to the outcome. I don’t think they had any players left as they were all sacked by the administrators. I assume the TUPE issues related to any staff left.
      There are still issues about whether they can be considered to be the same club with the old history etc.
      They appealed the relegation, but as far as I know it hasn’t been overturned.
      http://nonleaguezone.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=92172&start=15

  19. Foxy

    You couldn’t make it up:

    Duff & Phelps wins UK – Corporate Restructuring Advisor of the Year

    Jun 27 2012
    Duff & Phelps, a leading global financial advisory and investment-banking firm, has been awarded UK – Corporate Restructuring Advisor of the Year at the recent ACQ Finance Magazine Global Awards 2012.

    The award winners were selected following nominations from readers of the magazine, who assess the quality of service received rather than the size of billings.

    Paul Clark, Partner, Duff & Phelps, stated: “The awards highlight outstanding performers across the professional services spectrum and celebrate the best advisors working across the world – as identified by the readers of ACQ Finance Magazine. It is a real achievement for us to be recognised, not only locally, but also on a global scale by our peers, and one in which our entire team can take great pride”.

    The award win follows Duff & Phelps’ recognition at the ACQ Finance Magazine Country Awards in 2011, where it was awarded ‘Turnaround and Restructuring Advisory Firm of the Year’ UK and ‘Debt Advisory Firm of the Year’ UK for the second year running.

    The ACQ Awards are presented across 49 different geographical regions, recognising organisations and advisors that have performed to exceptional levels over the past year. Since its launch, the Global Awards have grown in stature and importance becoming a focal point of the M&A community’s calendar.

    Source – Company press release

    • Foxy

      Ally McCoist wants transparency on who was on the ACQ Magazine judging panel. I think Peter Lawwell is a subscriber.

  20. JimBhoy

    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/108240-rangers-crisis-ibrox-and-murray-park-hived-off-to-separate-newco/

    Would make it easier to wind up newco/sevco1 meaning all the staff associated and bills etc would go down the swannie and assets belonging to sevco2 would be safe. He may be covering the most likely scenario of expulsion from football, which could not be afforded under his current revenue generation (or not) plan.

    What gets me is when Green is questioned does nobody think to ask these questions…. Mr Green is it true that you have not secured an account for season book direct debits and thus they are now open to the creditors as suggested by LLoyds? Who is advising you on TUPE legislation and where did you get the 24 hrs thing from? 24 hours from when, as no player was consulted as suggested by the TUPE process? What is your business continuity plan if, 1. You are not voted into the SPL as seems certain? 2. If you are not parachuted into SFL1 as seems likely? 3. If not allowed to join any SFL division as seems a reasonable possibility? 4. You are penalised from Football altogether due to past misdemeanours? Does Craig Whyte have any hold over the assets that previosuly belonged to Rangers? If you were offered £12m to handover all you have acquired from Rangers (IA) would you accept that and let someone else get on with taking a football club forward? If season ticket sales are disappointing lets say 10,000 would a football team see season 2012-13 out? Where will you get the £30m you said would be in the bank by end of July? With that £30m is it not a good thing that the high earners at the clube leave for you to replace them with the players you had recently identified for the club, some of whom were at Euro 2012 as a cheaper option? Do you expect newco/Sevco1 to be sequestrated in 2012? Under any circumstances will you sell on the loyal players who have stayed to raise capital, thus rewarding their loyalty with a lack of loyalty from yourself? If the vast majority of fans decide they do not want to follow your dream will you cut your losses and realise this was a bad venture and move on without demanding a huge profit from assets you recently purchased? Mr Green is it true you sold your Granny?

  21. Ken

    Poor Aggie – she is going to have no-one of significance for whom to make tea – certainly no Knights Bachelor – or even second-tier Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – remain. Now it may well be that her job and wage is guaranteed through TUPE – however what about her job satisfaction? She has been a loyal servant (sic!) and regular starter.
    But now her career goals are obviously crushed, and with a short potential of remaining at peak performance of, what, maybe only 50-60 years, she has to struggle with decision over her future. Clearly this is not about the money, she wants to brew at the very highest level and I for one applaud her decision, should she elect to pursue her dreams. This is a unique opportunity & I would advise her to seize it.

  22. The malevolent hand of cowardly forces

    I am not in any way a Rangers fan, however I do wonder why a group (perhaps including the bold Walter) that commands the support of the broad fanbase doesn’t just register a newco (Alternative Rangers Ltd, or whatever) without bothering to buy anything from Sevco. Alternative Rangers would have as much connection with Oldco as Sevco has and maybe a lot more if they believe the fans are the spirit of the club. With a bit of organisation and determination they could set about building a team, finding somewhere to play/groundshare and try and get into Div3. They would marginalise Mr Green, leaving him with the Ibrox white elephant for a few years until Alt Rangers have a need for it and can start talking about taking it off his hands in what would be a distressed seller situation.

  23. neilser

    Good article Paul. A couple of points that crossed my mind:

    Specific implement isn’t available to compel an employee to fulfill their contract of employment, so the options for Green to enforce contractual compliance (even if he was right) are even more limited than you suggest.

    I also wonder if there’s an argument that TUPE doesn’t apply at all. Rangers Football Club PLC ran a business as a football club. For TUPE to apply the business before and after has to be essentially the same. All that Green’s company can say is that it owns the assets formerly owned by RFC PLC (Ibrox, Murray Park etc). It isn’t a member of the SFA, let alone of a league and can only aspire to run a business as a football club at some time in the future, possibly in SFL 3. Is its business that of a football club at all? Has the business of RFC PLC retained its identity after the purported transfer?

    Keep up the good work anyway.

  24. Lalentos

    A few years ago I TUPE’d over to another company. Speaking after with my new employer, he made the point that despite all the consultation done in the months before it was only on the day of transfer when he could count the bums on seats that he could state categorically who his new employees were. I imagine that Mr Green will be doing a similar exercise tomorrow on the training ground!

  25. Jack

    If Green thought all he had to do was transfer the players contracts into his sevco 5088 then what was to stop the likes of Stoke or Coventry or any other club buying the liquidated company for say 10 million and therefor gaining the whole rangers squad for a snip, keeping the best and releasing the rest…….then just selling off the assets to the highest bidder as Duff & Phelps should have done instead of under the table sale…..

  26. Established precedent will show that one of the circumstances that makes a TUPE transfer unenforcable is when the new employer is unable (or unwilling) to offer working conditions comparable to those enjoyed under the old employer.

    The to-be-liquadated company in this case enetered into employment contracts with football players on the understanding that these footballers would have the opportunity to ply their trade in the Scottish Premier League. The new company is unable to offer that opportunity. That, in itself, will result in such inferior working conditions that no court will allow Sevco to emforce the old contracts under TUPE.

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