Police Scotland officers visited Sports Direct’s Derbyshire offices “investigating takeovers at Rangers”. The pluralisation is quite important.
Last year Police Scotland opened an investigation into Craig Whyte’s purchase of Rangers from the Duped One, fair enough. No one previously reported that more than one ‘takeover’ was being investigated.
Sports Direct had no involvement with oldco Rangers, whose merchandising relationship was with JJB, so clearly this police action is not connected to Mr Whyte. Sports Direct’s only relationship at Ibrox has been newco Rangers. If newco, who were formed when the assets of oldco were bought in liquidation, is subject to police investigation the potential consequences are far reaching.
Sports Direct were not involved with the asset purchase and were only introduced when the club sought investment and commercial partners, so they played no part in the second takeover (of assets). Their likely interest to police will be limited to being recipients of correspondence.
An asset purchase which was secured by criminal activity, if discovered, is legally invalid. This is different from a purchase which breaks civil law. A civil offence leaves the guilty party open to financial claim. An asset disposal subject to a criminal offence would see the liquidator seize assets on behalf of the creditors. Padlocks would be involved, so would lengthy legal processes.
The bar to securing a criminal conviction for such a matter is high and no evidence of such wrongdoing regarding the disposal of Rangers assets has been verified in three years, so don’t expect Padlock Day anytime soon.
I wouldn’t like to be trying to raise money in this climate, though. Good job the SFA are so thoroughly opposed to letting those with a track record of criminal inclinations controlling football clubs.
Yesterday, Fans Against Criminalisation (FAC) continued their campaign against the truly dreadful law instigated by former First Minister Alex Salmond. Despite a litany of failed convictions and representation from within football and the wider community, the Scottish Government have refused all requests to repeal the three-year-old law.
You can register your voice against this law by petitioning the Scottish Government to Repeal the Offensive Behaviour’ Act by signing this online petition. It is a outrageous, politically motivated, law, designed to “equalise” the law-abiding (that’s you) with actual criminals.
Don’t get me started!