Charles Green rejects Craig Whyte's claim over Rangers buyout role

Rangers chief executive Charles Green watching games. Quality image.
Charles Green: The Rangers chief rejected Craig Whyte's claims.SNS Group

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has rejected claims Craig Whyte "brought him in" to the club, but says that the former owner introduced him to the administrators.

He issued a statement on Wednesday accusing Mr Whyte of making "misleading" statements about his role in the Sevco consortium's buyout of the club's assets.

In a BBC interview, Mr Whyte, who bought an 85% stake in Rangers for £1 from Sir David Murray last May, claims that he brought the group led by Mr Green to administrators Duff and Phelps.

In a statement released by Rangers on Wednesday, Mr Green said: "Yet again Craig Whyte’s version of events paints a misleading picture of what actually happened and it’s regrettable that the BBC is providing him with such a platform. The facts are that direct contact was made by our consortium with Craig Whyte in the first instance as it appeared at that time that his shares would have to be secured in order for any purchase of the club to progress.

"I was not present when contact was initially made but subsequently met Craig Whyte who introduced me to the administrator. I had no previous association with Craig Whyte and it is misleading to suggest he ‘brought us in’.

"I was brought to the transaction by Imran Ahmad following Duff and Phelps contacting Zeus Capital in February, due to their experience in the football sector."

The Sevco consortium purchased the club’s assets in a £5.5m deal in June after the oldco, which had debts of up to £134m, had failed to agree a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with the hundreds of creditors it owed money.

Initially, Mr Green’s consortium had offered to fund the CVA, but it was rejected out of hand by HM Revenue and Customs, the largest creditor, owed around £94.4m in total, according to Duff and Phelps.

'Without foundation'

Paul Clark, of Duff and Phelps, said: "The allegations against the administrators, who are officers of the court, in relation to Ticketus, are false, malicious and without foundation. They should not be given any credibility given the source.

"It should be remembered that Mr Whyte’s takeover of Rangers is now the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation and we have provided evidence to that inquiry. In addition, as administrators, we instigated legal proceedings against Mr Whyte's solicitors in the High Court in London and those proceedings are centred round the very serious allegation that Mr Whyte was involved in a conspiracy which deprived Rangers of many millions of pounds.

"Our conduct of the Rangers administration has been the subject of intense public scrutiny and we are wholly satisfied it was carried out the highest professional standards. We have co-operated fully with inquiries into our appointment by Lord Hodge at the Court of Session and the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association.”

At the time of the failed CVA, Mr Green claimed the tax authorities had "led along" his group, although HMRC confirmed its rejection of the pence in the pound deal was down to Rangers' repeated failure to pay tax, in accordance with its publicly stated policy on dealing with insolvent companies.

Last year BBC Scotland broadcast a documentary on Mr Whyte, which revealed that he had previously been banned as a director for seven years in 2000, which he had not disclosed. The broadcaster also alleged possible criminality in Mr Whyte’s business conduct, which resulted in him threatening legal action against the BBC that has never resulted in any court hearings.

Mr Whyte initially denied using a £26.7m deal with London ticketing firm Ticketus to effectively fund his takeover, before he admitted doing so, stating he was "personally on the line" for £27.5m in guarantees and cash with the company. Ticketus, which is an investee company of Octopus Investments, has previously confirmed it is pursuing Mr Whyte for money over the deal, while Duff and Phelps launched a court case in England against him and his former lawyers Collyer Bristow.

Days before Rangers were plunged into administration, a sheriff released his decision in a civil dispute between Mr Whyte’s Tixway UK company and One Stop Roofing Supplies over an £89,000 bill which ruled that the former Rangers majority shareholder was in the wrong and had to pay up. In his findings, Sheriff Nigel Ross described Mr Whyte’s evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court as being "wholly unreliable". Tixway UK was subsequently liquidated as a result of a winding up order in August.

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