Charles Green’s Latest Battle – With Duff & Phelps?

Since Charles Green walked into Ibrox as the new owner of the assets and business of Rangers, he has taken on an aggressive stance against those he perceives as acting against the interests of what he acquired for his investors. He is happy to take on the football authorities, the other clubs and the BBC, all of which has impressed the fans of Rangers and seems to have won many of them over, despite initial misgivings.

According to the Daily Mail today (yes, I know) Mr Green has now a potential battle coming up with someone else. The paper suggests that the dispute regarding sums paid by UEFA to the SFA for use of players in the European Championship qualifiers is complicated, not simply because of the SFA’s refusal, so far, to pay this money to newco, being Mr Green’s company,  rather than to Duff & Phelps, as administrators of oldco.

The paper quotes Mr Green:-

“Rangers FC were due in excess of 300,000 euros for player participation in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, (but) the SFA have refused to confirm that the monies are due to Rangers FC despite obligations placed on them from UEFA that these monies should be distributed to member clubs.”

However, according to the Mail, the SFA is withholding the payment as a claim has been lodged for the money by Duff & Phelps.

If this is correct, and when have the press ever been wrong, it suggests that a theme I have been banging on about for months might actually have some credence. The question which I, and wiser folk, have been asking, is what precisely did newco buy from oldco. It was a surprise to find that, for example, the £5.5 million purchase price apparently included the right, subsequently waived by newco, to receive around £2.5 million of SPL prize money. There were questions too about whether oldco or newco stood to receive the transfer fees still due to Rangers.

If there is a dispute about this money, that would suggest either than it was not included in the sale agreement at all (in which case it would remain oldco’s) or more likely there is a difference of opinion between Mr Green and newco on one hand, and oldco and D&P on the other about what they actually bought.

If that is the case, then there is the potential for an unusually titled court action, namely that of a “multiplepoinding”, which is the Scottish legal procedure used when property is in the hands of a third party, who does not ultimately own it, and there are two or more competing parties claiming title to it.

The article also mentions that as a consequence of this Biggart Baillie, the solicitors who have acted for both oldco and newco, and particularly in connection with the SPL Independent Commission, might be forced to drop one of their clients due to a conflict of interest.

I do not know whether Biggart Baillie acted for either party in the sale transaction. However as the firm has been the legal advisor to the administrators in relation to Scottish matters since their appointment, and has been paid over £350,000 in fees so far, I suspect that they would not be able to continue to act for newco. This would be even starker if the disagreement was in fact the result of a differing interpretation of the sale agreement between oldco and newco.

Indeed the conflict issue could preclude them acting for either party in this dispute at least.

This also presents an interesting scenario.

If this dispute about these funds forces Biggart Baillie to stop acting for newco, then they will engage new solicitors. Those advisers might very well give different advice about attendance at the Independent Commission. Lawyers with whom I have spoken about the situation are universally surprised by the stance of simply refusing to turn up at a hearing to argue jurisdiction when it has already been stated that their appearance at such a hearing would not, per se, be an acceptance of the Commission’s jurisdiction. (I mean no criticism of Biggart Baillie’s advice to newco, and oldco on this matter – I merely comment as an outside observer.)

Should Mr Green be advised that his best chance of successfully challenging the proceedings of the Independent Commission, either at the Commission itself, or at a subsequent appeal to the SFA or the courts, would come from attending at the so-called “kangaroo court”, then would he follow the legal advice, or risk alienating some of his supporters by performing what would be seen, by some, as a climb down, or surrender to the SPL?

After all of the legal issues which have arisen for discussion during the course of the Rangers saga over the last couple of years, taking in Company Law, Tax Law, Insolvency Law, Sports Law, Employment Law and the rest, it is nice to see the possibility of a good old multiplepoinding too!

The story shall, of course, continue!

Posted by Paul McConville

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156 Comments

Filed under Administration, Charles Green, Rangers

156 responses to “Charles Green’s Latest Battle – With Duff & Phelps?

  1. ecojon

    Rangers’ final tax bill tops £94m, Duff and Phelps reveals

    Duff and Phelps David Whitehouse and Paul Clark were appointed as joint administrators

    The old Rangers Football Club owed more than £94m in unpaid tax and penalties, according to its administrators.

    The final report to creditors from Duff and Phelps reveals that the size of HM Revenue and Customs claim against the club totalled £94,426,217.

  2. COYBIG

    Duff & Phelps Final Report 27/9/2012:

    “4.4 As advised in the Proposals, the Joint Administrators must perform their functions with the purpose of achieving one of the following hierarchical objectives:
    Rescuing the Company as a going concern; or
    Achieving a better result for the Company’s creditors as a whole than would be likely if the Company were wound up (without first being in Administration); or
    Realising property in order to make a distribution to one or more secured or preferential creditors.”

    They couldn’t rescue it as a going concern.
    They couldn’t achieve a better result for the creditors as a whole than if it rather just been wound up.
    They didn’t sell any assets to raise money to pay any secured creditors.

    Yet they still get paid over £3M?

    Does Charlie pick up the tab? Or is it siphoned off the money ment for the creditors?

    • ecojon

      @ COYBIG

      Don’t be silly 🙂

      Chico doesn’t actually pony-up for anything so it’ll be yet another hit against the creditors.

  3. COYBIG

    A wee bit of information that was on another site and puts things into perspective:

    “10 of the biggest robberies of all time:
    1. Central Bank of Iraq = £620 million
    2. City Bonds Robbery UK = £292 million
    3. Boston Museum = £186 million
    *4. UK taxpayer (Rangers FC) = £94 million*
    5. Schiphol Airport Heist = £73 million
    6. Harry Winston jewellery store, Paris = £67 million
    7. Knightsbridge Security Deposit = £60 million
    8. Banco Central Brazil = £43 million
    9. Kent Securitas Depot = £53 million
    10. The Great Train Robbery = £2.6 million (£40 million at today’s value)”

  4. Michael

    Mick, did you notice this in the D&P report?

    Food and beverage sales = £388,973
    Catering / Food and beverage /Cleaning costs = £946,170

    Who ate awe the pies?

  5. Michael

    Funny that there is no mention of ‘conflict of interest’ in this report. Time for your usual forensic analysis, Paul.

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