BDO sues Old Co Rangers administrators

BDO, the liquidators of the Old Co Rangers FC, are seeking £28.9 million from the club’s former administrators who have been accused of failing to effectively manage the finances of the club.

Lawyers for BDO have initiated legal action against David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, claiming that Duff and Phelps could have raised more money for creditors after the company which owned the club was liquidated.

Both Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark deny any wrongdoing and are contesting the claim. 

Kenny McBrearty, QC, for BDO, also told Lord Tyre that he did not find an eight-week hearing using a video conferencing “an appetising prospect”.

In an online hearing on Friday, Mr McBrearty told the judge that he would prefer the case to be heard in Parliament House.

Whitehouse and Clark were appointed by the Court of Session after HMRC took Rangers to court for £18m of unpaid tax in February 2012. The two went on to sell the business and assets to Charles Green’s consortium for £5.5m before BDO was appointed to liquidate the old company.

The three men were later among seven indicted over fraud allegations relating to Rangers; the case against them was dropped in June 2016.

Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark raised a multimillion-pound action against the police and prosecutors last year. Prosecutors admitted much of the case against them was “malicious” and conducted “without probable cause”. As a result, the pair recently received a settlement.

BDO launched the present action against the two men in 2017. It issued a statement confirming that it was seeking a £28.9m payment from the administrators, The Times reports.

It added: “During the course of the liquidation questions have arisen regarding the strategy previously adopted by the former administrators, which have not, to date, been adequately answered. In seeking clarity, the joint liquidators have been left with no other option but to pursue the matter via the Scottish court.”

In a 2017 statement released by Mr Whitehouse, he said he was surprised by the legal move, adding: “In essence, BDO is now alleging that as the former administrators we should have achieved a better return for creditors by selling the clubs assets on a piecemeal basis, including Ibrox and its playing squad.

“This is a strategy with which we fundamentally disagree.”

In a procedural hearing last week Lord Tyre told McBrearty that he understood his position and that there remained some possibility that the action could be heard in a courtroom.

Lord Tyre arranged for a further procedural hearing on March 30. The main hearing in the case is expected to start in May.

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