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Craig Whyte given 6 weeks to fight 15-year ban

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte faces being banned from directorships for up to 15 years. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte faces being banned from directorships for up to 15 years. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by STUART MacDONALD
 

DISGRACED ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been given six weeks to challenge a legal move to ban him from running a company for up to 15 years.

Lawyers for Business Secretary Vince Cable, whose department oversee the behaviour of company directors, have placed a public notice in a bid to track down the rogue businessman.

It informs Whyte that they have applied to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to have him disqualified as a director.

Whyte, who was banned for seven years in 2000, has been been given six weeks to challenge the application or it will be granted.

The notice lists Whyte’s last known address as ‘1 Rue De Tenao’ - an apartment in the tax haven of Monaco.

Whyte had originally instructed lawyers to fight the legal move when it called in the Court of Session earlier this year but later parted company with his lawyers.

However, at a hearing before Lord Tyre in May, solicitor advocate John Gildea said that his team no longer acted for Whyte and sought leave to withdraw.

David Thomson, counsel for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said “skeletal answers” had been lodged as defences to the case and that steps would be taken to find out if Whyte intended to proceed with his opposition to the move.

The public notice, published today, reads: “A petition has been brought in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, Scotland, by Her Majesty’s Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

“Her Majesty’s Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills calls as a respondent Craig Thomas Whyte whose last known address was 1 Rue De Tenao, Principaute de Monaco.

“If Craig Thomas Whyte wishes to challenge the jurisdiction of the court or to answer the Petition, he should contact the Deputy Principal Clerk of Session, Court of Session, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, immediately and in any event by not later than six weeks from the publication of this advertisement.”

Whyte, originally from Motherwell, Lanarkshire, has a complex and tangled business background.

Under UK business law, he will be banned from between two and 15 years if he is found to be unfit to hold directorships.

Whyte’s disastrous time in charge saw Rangers fall into administration before being liquidated.

Hailed as the saviour of the club in 2011, his reign unravelled when it was revealed he had paid off the bank by mortgaging Pounds 17.7million in future ticket sales.

And when the club entered administration, it emerged they owed more than £9 million in tax

The revelations led to the SFA declaring Whyte “not a fit and proper person” to run a football club.

It also emerged he concealed his industry history from Ticketus, the firm he mortgaged the tickets to.

Asked if he had been disqualified as a company director, he said no – although it was later revealed he was in fact banned for seven years from 2000.

Unaware of his past banning order, Ticketus went ahead with the deal which enabled Whyte to buy Rangers and pay off its debts to Lloyds Bank.

Rangers were forced into administration over unpaid PAYE and VAT accrued in his reign.

The Bank of Scotland recently repossessed Whyte’s 14th century home, Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey, after a long-running battle over more than £50,000 of mortgage arrears.

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