BusinessBusiness RecoveryRangers administrators challenge Ticketus deal

Rangers administrators challenge Ticketus deal

Duff & Phelp insolvency practitioners launch legal challenge to rid club of Ticketus debt, but end up losing their administrator status

DUFF & PHELPS administrators to Ranger FC have launched a legal challenge against one of the club’s creditors Ticketus.

Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, both partners at Duff & Phelps, were appointed joint-administrators to the club on 14 February.

It is alleged Rangers’ owner Craig Whyte handed over three years’ worth of future season ticket sales rights to ticket agency Ticketus, in exchange for funds to buy the club. As part of the buyout deal, last May, Whyte paid £1 for the club and took on all its debt, including secured creditor Lloyds Bank.

The administrators has launched a legal challenge to end the deal worth an estimated £24.4m, as they believe it could deter potential club purchasers. However, Ticketus lawyers claim the arrangement is legally binding, the BBC reports.

Technically the club is not in administration because the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was not notified meaning administration is not legally binding.

Clark and Whitehouse are now deemed “joint interim managers” of Rangers FC and the club has requested a backdated administration order.

A statement from Duff & Phelps said: A spokesman for Duff & Phelps said: “Following our appointment as administrators of Rangers Football Club, investigations revealed the company was registered with the Financial Service Authority between 2008-2009.

“This discovery meant that our appointment should have been notified to the FSA by the directors of the company and consented to in advance. This consent has now been sought and granted and our appointment has to be ratified by the Court of Session on March 19.

“Until such time we act as Interim Managers of the company and the powers provided to us by the Court are identical to those of administrators, so as to ensure that the case can continue with the same level of speed and focus as has been developed to date.”

The interim managers said under the Ticketus agreement, Rangers were paid in two tiers, firstly £20m then £5m. More than £18m from the first round of payments was handed over to lender Lloyds Banking Group.

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