An independent investigation commissioned by the Rangers board has found no evidence that former owner Craig Whyte invested in the current Ibrox set-up, the club have confirmed in a statement to the stock exchange.
• Independent investigation finds no links between Craig Whyte and Charles Green
• Whyte claimed that he was behind company that bought Rangers in June for £5.5 million
• Stock exchange announcement adds that details of report to remain private
The inquiry, which was carried out by law firm Pinsent Masons and overseen by Roy Martin QC, investigated claims made by Whyte of his involvement in the Charles Green-led consortium’s acquisition of Rangers’ business and assets last summer.
The allegations were denied by Green, who subsequently resigned from his role as chief executive of the club.
The Rangers statement to the London Stock Exchange today read: “Based on the assessment of the available evidence, the Company considers that the Investigation found no evidence that Craig Whyte had any involvement with Sevco Scotland Limited (now called The Rangers Football Club Limited), the company which ultimately acquired the business and assets of The Rangers Football Club P.L.C. from its administrators; nor which would suggest that Craig Whyte invested in The Rangers Football Club Limited or Rangers International Football Club plc, either directly or indirectly through any third party companies or vehicles.”
Whyte claimed he was behind the company which bought the assets of the club for £5.5million in June last year when Rangers were consigned to liquidation.
His claims were accompanied by taped recordings between himself, Green and then commercial director Imran Ahmad.
Green denied he had ever been a “front man” for Whyte - who received a life ban from the Scottish Football Association over his running of Rangers - and claimed he and Ahmad had told Whyte what he wanted to hear because they needed his co-operation to acquire shares if the club had secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
According to today’s statement, Rangers will prepare a “robust response” to legal action threatened by Whyte.
The statement read: “The Investigation concluded on May 17, 2013 and Pinsent Masons and Roy Martin QC have reported to the Investigation Committee.
“The Investigation Committee is satisfied that a thorough investigation was conducted despite the inherent limitations of a private inquiry.
“On May 28, 2013, a letter before claim was sent to (inter alia) The Rangers Football Club Limited and Rangers International Football Club plc on behalf of Craig Whyte, Aidan Earley and (purportedly) Sevco 5088 Limited.
“The Rangers Football Club Limited and Rangers International Football Club plc will be preparing a robust response to the letter before claim.
“However, given that legal proceedings are threatened in the letter before claim, it would not be appropriate to make public any further content from the report or to comment further about the contents.
“Pinsent Masons’ and Roy Martin’s reports to the Company are confidential and legally privileged.
“This announcement is not intended to and does not serve to waive privilege in the contents of the reports which remain confidential and legally privileged.”