Rangers administrator Duff and Phelps under scrutiny over Ticketus deal

Craig Whyte, former Rangers owner, at game at Ibrox.
Craig Whyte: Recording of conversation between the former Rangers owner and David Grier.SNS Group

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps are under scrutiny over the controversial deal which allowed Craig Whyte to buy the club.

The firm, which was appointed as administrators of Rangers in February this year, has previously told STV that it did not know until July that a deal between Mr Whyte and Ticketus had funded the purchase of the club. Under the £25m agreement, fans' season ticket money was used by Mr Whyte to buy the club for £1 from Sir David Murray and then pay off an £18m debt to Lloyds Bank.

However, the BBC reported on Wednesday details of a "secret recording" of a conversation between their Duff and Phelps associate David Grier and former owner Mr Whyte.

The BBC said the recording took place in a private members' club in London in May, with Mr Grier telling Mr Whyte "the fact is that we probably did know what was going on with Ticketus", although there was no email trail.

However, Duff and Phelps said the information was "taken out of context".

Marty Dauer, Duff and Phelps spokesperson, said: "As we have previously stated, Duff & Phelps maintains that our conduct of the Rangers' administration was carried out to the highest professional standards.

"We do not respond to information that is taken out of context, as we believe is the case in the BBC story. We welcome the opportunity to review a complete copy of the information that the BBC references in its story."

In an interview with STV in May, Mr Grier told STV News: "There is absolutely no doubt that there was a significant amount of information withheld from the parties involved at the time and we are included in that."

He said he became aware of the Ticketus deal in the later part of July 2011 when the London firm sought repayment of the "initial funding" they had provided. He added: "There was nothing unusual about that because we expected Ticketus, because they were a recognised source of funding of the club to have a repayment requirement.

"But the scale of that repayment requirement became obvious in July."

He claimed emails highlighted in a BBC documentary that purportedly illustrated his knowledge of the £25.3m did not do so, but showed that he thought the Ticketus arrangement was in relation to a deal for working capital.

He added: "There’s no suggestion whatsoever in those emails of the quantum that was being acquired from Ticketus. It would be quite usual for Ticketus to be used as a short-term funder but not as an acquisition funder."

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