There appears to be a degree of confusion over the report Rangers International FC PLC have commissioned into the conduct of its directors. This report resulted from the revelation that Craig Whyte was a director of Sevco 5088 Ltd, the company which paid for exclusivity rights and had an irrevocable agreement to buy the assets from Rangers administrators, Duff and Phelps. Several RIFC directors were unaware of links between Whyte and Sevco 5088 and were so concerned they demanded this independent inquiry.
In short, the board need to know if information given to them by fellow director, Charles Green, is wholly correct and reliable. Another PLC has also told the stock market they have made a report to the Serious Fraud Office, for a company director, this cannot get more serious.
The report is unlikely to come to any hard conclusions as to the legal status of assets like Ibrox Stadium, that is a matter the courts could later take a different view of, or of the club’s entitlement to associate membership of the SFA, which will be a matter for Mr Ogilvie and his board. It will more likely do little more than inform the RIFC board if they have reasons for alarm.
On becoming aware of a potential serious corporate matter directors must take steps to confirm any disputed information, consider potential consequences for the company and correct any stock market announcements which were subsequently found to be inaccurate. This is the road the RIFC board have gone down.
If the report indicates that the courts are unlikely to rule that Sevco 5088 Ltd can be considered a part of RIFC group, and that its entitlement was inappropriately assumed by Sevco Scotland Ltd (now The Rangers Football Club Ltd), the directors will then, and only then, have enough information to decide if some of their worst fears will be realised.
If Mr Green found his grilling by STV difficult, he will find the forensic accountants and lawyers no less taxing. In answer to their questions I wonder if he’ll say, “Define Craig Whyte”.
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