We have lots to cover today, perhaps the most serious issue we have ever discussed on Celtic Quick News, but first let’s get a couple of points out of the way.
Paul Clark from Duff and Phelps gave an expansive interview to Alastair Lamont from the BBC yesterday evening. Clark established a few points:
Although Craig Whyte holds security over Ibrox, the position of the administrators is that this security has no value as Whyte has not put any money directly into Rangers, his investment is in the form of guarantees worth £27.5m, which was used to secure funding to clear the bank debt.
This is a default position of an administration but is pretty meaningless at this stage. Having previously dealt with a few administrators, claims against the company are often disputed. I have been asked questions like “Do you have proof of title?” to “Do you have proof of delivery?”
Duff and Phelps need to convince a court that Whyte’s security, which was established by his well-paid lawyers, not by well-paid accountants like Duff and Phelps, should be set aside. Whyte will have been aware this position would be adopted from the outset.
Clark told the BBC that he is busy trying to agree a CVA and sell Whyte’s shares. He didn’t explicitly name Whyte, but Craig Whyte is the only person who can sell Rangers. Whatever offers Duff and Phelps receive from prospective buyers, they have to take back to Whyte for his consideration.
Notions that the administrators can either dismiss security or sell the club are completely misplaced. Ideas that they can do both are fantasy.
Clark also suggested that HMRC may agree to a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement. HMRC have given no such assurance.
Whyte owns the club and is the only person who can sell his shares. He has security over the stadium and could tie this asset up in court for years if his title was disputed. Ticketus own the first 26,000 season tickets sold for the next three years. HMRC are due around £15m which could potentially grow by another £50m within weeks.
There is no agreement with Whyte to sell, the security over the stadium has not been lifted by a court, no deal has been agreed to invalidate Ticketus’ tickets and no agreement has been made with HMRC.
Apart from these matters, the administrators job is pretty straightforward.
More important issue coming up soon, just checking details before we go.
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