Glasgow & West Scotland

Martin Bain drops bid for details of Rangers tax debts

Martin Bain
Image caption Mr Bain has is pursuing a damages action against Rangers over alleged breach of contract

Rangers former chief executive Martin Bain has dropped a legal bid to secure more details of the club's tax debts.

His lawyers had brought forward the move ahead of his damages claim against his former employer.

He is pursuing the Ibrox club for £900,000 in a compensation case due to be heard this summer.

Following debate at the Court of Session Nicholas Ellis QC indicated a motion to explore the club's finances further would be dropped.

Bain had been seeking more details of Rangers' tax debt, and of claimed assignation of ticket money.

The ex-director has already secured a £480,000 order to ring fence assets at the club after the judge ruled that there was a real risk of insolvency if an outstanding £49m tax bill case goes against his former employer.

He is suing the firm alleging breach of contract following the takeover at Rangers FC by venture capitalist Craig Whyte from the former owner Sir David Murray.

'Difficult relationship'

Mr Bain said in the action that his salary from December 2009 to December 2012 was agreed at £400,000 per year and he was in line to receive bonuses. He maintains the remuneration was not excessive for the position.

He said Sir David had been trying to sell his interest in the club and about May last year reached an agreement with Mr Whyte to purchase the shares he controlled for £1 - with the new owner taking over the club's debt to its bankers.

Mr Bain said in the run up to the transfer the board had appointed an independent committee, including him, to represent the 26,000 minority shareholders and to look at the ramifications of the potential sale.

The former chief executive maintains the committee had "a difficult relationship" with Mr Whyte in the run up to the takeover and after the shares changed hands he "took steps to remove those who he considered were not wholly committed to him personally".

Mr Bain said he was suspended at a board meeting when in America on business on 23 May and did not return to work. He said in subsequent press interviews Mr Whyte said that he would not return to the club.

Financial benefits

He denies that he was in breach of contract or of fiduciary duty.

Mr Bain claims that the transfer deal over the club was concluded in the full knowledge of the extremely substantial potential tax liability faced by Rangers and that it was structured so that it has the effect that Mr Whyte will enjoy priority over other creditors, particularly revenue and customs, in the event of insolvency.

Rangers is contesting the damages case by Bain, which is due to be heard over three weeks later this year, and maintain the claim against them should be dismissed. The club also maintain that if they are liable to pay compensation for breach of contract, which it denies, the amount sought is excessive.

The club contends that Mr Bain used his position with Rangers to secure "excessive and unwarranted financial benefits" for himself at a time when the club was not in a secure financial position.

It is also alleged that he acted in a way that undermined the trust and confidence of Rangers plc in him well in advance of the interviews given by Mr Whyte.

Rangers said that following the share sale to The Rangers FC Group Ltd bank borrowings of about £18m were repaid, with the group then becoming the major creditor.

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