Judge demands BBC tapes as ‘old’ Rangers goes into liquidation
OLDCO Rangers has been formally put into liquidation, as a senior judge declared himself “very concerned” that allegations had been made about the administration of the club carried out by London insolvency firm Duff & Phelps.
• Lord Hodge agreed to a request that the administration process be brought to an end with interim liquidators appointed
• Judge also expects claims to be made available to Insolvency Practitioners’ Association which is undertaking an inquiry into the case
• BBC had made allegations about the administration process with Lord Hodge requesting transcripts of conversations at the centre of the allegations
Lord Hodge said he wanted the claims to be “aired in a fair way” and had asked the BBC for transcripts of conversations at the centre of the allegations.
If needs be, he intended to obtain them by court order and would pass the information to the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association (IPA) which is undertaking an inquiry into the case, he said.
“There may be a completely good answer to these allegations, but I am very concerned allegations are being ventilated that call into question the probity of the [administration] proceedings,” said Lord Hodge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday.
“I think all this has to be in the open and cleared up. I am not taking any view as to who is right and who is wrong. There seems to be sense in letting the IPA do the running at this stage.”
Lord Hodge said he had residual powers to take action if, after the administration had ended, any allegations were made against Duff & Phelps.
The firm has repeatedly stated it was satisfied the administration had been carried out to the highest professional standards.
Paul Clark and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators of Rangers in February. This month, it was announced they would seek to have the court end the administration and to appoint Malcolm Cohen and James Stephen of BDO as joint liquidators of RFC 2012 plc.
Mr Clark had stated: “Should the application be approved…[they] will undertake the process of liquidation of the oldco company and the continued recovery of funds for creditors. This will not affect the current operations of Rangers Football Club in any way as it is a completely separate entity.”
The move to liquidation was opposed by Collyer Bristow, the London law firm that acted for former owner Craig Whyte at the time of his takeover of the Ibrox club. The firm is being sued in England by the administrators for up to £25 million, but it strenuously denies conspiring with Mr Whyte to “injure the company”.
The BBC has made allegations about conflicts of interest in the administration, and Lord Hodge was told by counsel for the administrators that it was not known whether the IPA had been alerted to them.
Sarah Wolffe, QC, said the IPA had not been in touch with Duff & Phelps about the allegations.
Lord Hodge said he had asked the BBC to provide him with a full transcripts of conversations. He said he understood the BBC might hand over transcripts only under a court order.
He said his understanding of the position of Duff & Phelps was that matters had been taken out of context.
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