Craig Whyte firm makes new £18m oldco Rangers claim

A company that former Rangers owner Craig Whyte founded, and used to buy the club has been prevented from making a bid to place its people in control of the in-liquidation oldco.

According to The Herald, the Rangers FC Group - formerly known as Wavetower - has made a move thought to be part of a wider £18 million legal claim on the so-called “creditors payout pot” - thought to total around £8 million.

The firm’s representatives, now controlled by directors of the in-liquidation investment company Worthington Group plc, are understood to have failed in the unusual attempt to appoint administrative receivers over a firm in liquidation.

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The Rangers FC Group believes it holds a security over the liquidated assets of the oldco RFC 2012 plc, according to the Herald.

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte. File picture: SNS Group

It is claimed that Lloyds Banking Group reassigned security to the company after an £18 million bank debt was paid off as a condition of Whyte’s purchase of the club for £1 from former owner Sir David Murray.

Whyte paid off the debt and inherited the security after using funds raised from the selling of rights of future season ticket sales to the Ticketus agency.

But oldco liquidators BDO insists it obtained an interim interdict which blocked the receivership appointment.

The legal bid came after Whyte was cleared in 2017 of fraud and financial assistance in his 2011 takeover of the club.

Whyte has always claimed that the Wavetower company inherited the bank’s security over Rangers’ assets - including Ibrox and the training centre at Auchenhowie.

If BDO lose the case, the Rangers FC Group will be the only secured creditor, and will be in pole position to take money from the creditors’ pot - ahead of HMRC and other unsecured debtors.

The Herald reports BDO as saying that, after a series of meetings and “protracted correspondendes” with London-based claims experts Henderson and Jones, it will make the £18 million claim and consider whether or not to appoint receivers.

A spokesperson for the oldco liquidators told the newspaper: “Whilst Wavetower continues to make representations in respect of the interdict, based on legal advice received the joint liquidators consider that the merits of the claim will be decided in advance of the interdict issue.”

BDO believes the matter will almost certainly be decided at a future hearing in the Court of Session, but maintains its belief that any claim by the company is not valid.