In which I explore the nature of conflict of interest, wonder why Duff and Phelps accepted appointment, wonder why Andrew Ellis was not appointed a director on takeover, as was intended, and ask some questions of Mr Grier of Duff and Phelps.
Some of those questions are below.
What were D&P told by Craig Whyte about sources of funding in the period from January 2011 to April 2011 when D&P was negotiating with the Bank re clearing Rangers debt?
If it was D&P’s primary role to provide assistance to Liberty Capital in negotiating a settlement and assignment of the debt due to Lloyds Bank, what was its secondary role?
When did Mr Grier’s concerns re Ticketus crystallise?
Why did he speak to HMRC about these concerns?
Why did he speak to the “controlling directors”, who one assumes were the people involved in what concerned him? After speaking to them and HMRC, why did D&P continue to act? Presumably his concerns were allayed?
Did Mr Grier have indirect contact with Ticketus, or did anyone at D&P have direct contact pre-takeover? What about post-takeover? Did discussions to which D&P were party regarding Ticketus involve Ticketus?
Did D&P provide written advice re HMRC pre-takeover?
Why does the Report to Creditors make no mention of D&P being engaged pre-takeover to give advice re HMRC and regarding the effect on insolvency of a funder of season tickets?
Was the alleged Collyer Bristow letter the only information seen by D&P showing that Mr Whyte had access to £33 million?
Did D&P give any advice to Mr Whyte regarding the wisdom of his purchase, bearing in mind he was asking about insolvency prior to spending £33 million on the purchase?
Did Mr Grier read the 19th April email referred to by the BBC? If he did, was his curiosity not piqued by reference to “Ticketus agreements” (plural)?
How could financial projections show that money was coming from Wavetower, which had no money?
What did HMRC do about Mr Grier’s concerns?
Mr Grier refers to discovering the FULL extent of the funding relationship with Ticketus. Did D&P know part of the funding relationship previously, or the nature but not the full extent?
Did the cash flow projections prepared by D&P post takeover include reference to Ticketus, either in terms of short-term funding, or the £20.3 million “understood” to have been paid? If not, and as the forecasts were, inter alia, for the purposes of negotiating with HMRC, was false or incorrect information provided to HMRC?
Is the invoice referred to in Mr Grier’s email dated 24th June the same as those referred to in Rangers Financial Controller’s evidence to the SFA Judicial Panel, namely the multi-million pond invoices to Ticketus which were completely unknown to the Financial Controller, and were prepared using clip-art?
If Mr Grier was preparing invoices for Rangers to Ticketus, how is this covered in the statement in the Report to Creditors of what D&P did prior to appointment as administrators?
If Mr Grier was preparing invoices for Rangers to Ticketus in June dated May, how did it take him “over the summer” for concerns to crystallise?
Why do Mr Grier and D&P consider there is no conflict of interest?
Whilst D&P were assisting Rangers with short-term cash flow projections, £3 million was paid to Ticketus. Did Mr Grier make enquiries as to what this related to?
Could he or his colleagues prepare forecasts and projections without knowing the nature of the payment to Ticketus, and further liabilities to them?
By August 2011, D&P was monitoring cash flow and discussing capital raising. Had Mr Grier’s concerns crystallised by then?
I want to make clear that Mr Grier and Duff & Phelps have vigorously maintained that they have acted at all times with consummate professionalism and that they have at no time failed in their legal duties. I am sure Mr Grier and his colleagues would have answers to all of the questions raised above. However these seem to be reasonable queries arising from the statements made by D&P. I do not intend any negative connotations for D&P to arise from these questions. I merely pose them as a matter of interest.
(I refer to D&P throughout this piece, even where the work was done by MCR, taken over by D&P last year.) Continue reading