Rangers administration: Club now in much better shape thanks to us, insist Duff & Phelps
Duff & Phelps, Rangers’ beleaguered administrators, last night admitted that their tenure at the club had gone on far too long, but they insisted that Rangers were in a far better condition because of it.
The claim might surprise Ibrox supporters, many of whom remain sceptical of the administrators’ decision to give Charles Green preferred bidder status. Green, many believe, is still frantically trying to pull his consortium’s finance together.
Duff & Phelps, however, insist that Green has the money to both finance Rangers throughout June, as well as provide a credible sum for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which the club’s creditors are set to vote on in 11 days’ time.
“The administration process has gone on far too long – longer than we had envisaged – but there have been good reasons for that,” said a Duff & Phelps spokesman. “It has been a very messy affair, far more so than other such administrations you would come across.
“We have had to deal with Craig Whyte, we’ve had to go to court over both the Ticketus deal and the Collyer Bristow money, while for a long time there was no credible buyer for Rangers out there. So it has been drawn-out and more time-consuming than we had thought.
“But we actually think Rangers are in a better shape now than they were before we first came into the club.”
Duff & Phelps have torn up the Ticketus deal, which they claim has been a major boost to Rangers’ survival prospects.
“We have struck out the Ticketus deal, so the club now has no debt. Rangers will now be able to receive its own season-ticket money in the seasons ahead, which is good news. If or when we also recover the Collyer Bristow money, Rangers will land another windfall. So the club, we think, is in better shape than before.” Duff & Phelps are suing owner Craig White’s lawyers, Collyer Bristow, and Whyte’s takeover vehicle the Rangers FC Group for at least £25m in damages. The firm is accused of conspiracy, breach of undertaking, negligence and breach of trust.
The Ibrox administrators also refute suggestions, aired again on BBC Scotland last week, that their financial gain from running Rangers for the past 16 weeks was set to go through the roof. The BBC claimed that Duff & Phelps were set to land £5 million-plus for their work at Ibrox.
“It is nonsense,” said the spokesman. “The legal costs are plainly set out in the CVA proposal, and a figure somewhere in the region of £2m is in there. It has, however, been a bit more complicated than that.
“It is pretty costly, as we have had to do twice, to go to court to recover money which we believe rightly belonged to Rangers. These are the things that have made this a prolonged and messy business. But we think they are for the benefit of Rangers as a future going concern.”
It was revealed yesterday that Craig Whyte had been unable to agree a proposal to put a cap on the administrators’ fees when Duff & Phelps were appointed as the Ibrox administrators. A letter was drafted to cap the administrators’ costs, but Whyte never got round to signing it.
Whyte is expected, however, in the days ahead, to assert that Duff & Phelps did not know of the way he was using the Ticketus money to fund his takeover of Rangers – another contentious issue in the ongoing saga. The Ibrox administrators, meanwhile, are confident that Green can pull off a CVA deal with creditors, despite growing concerns over the Englishman’s ability to finance his takeover.
“We still think there is a decent chance,” said the spokesman. “We have seen evidence that Charles Green has the finance in place to do the deal.
“Some people still talk about previous bids for Rangers, one of which appeared to be more to the fans’ liking. But the fact is, Charles Green’s proposal was far stronger and more workable than any that was available.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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