Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers administrators' Ticketus challenge continued until Monday

Craig Whyte bought Rangers for £1
Image caption Rangers owner Craig Whyte entered the deal with Ticketus

A legal bid by Rangers' administrators to end the club's £24.4m season-ticket deal with Ticketus has been continued until Monday at the Court of Session.

Duff and Phelps want to tear up the agreement on the basis that the debt could discourage bidders who may want to take over the club.

Lawyers for finance firm Ticketus claim the deal is legally binding.

Lord Hodge said the administrators were entitled to seek clarity and he would hear further submissions on Monday.

The Ticketus deal was struck by Rangers owner Craig Whyte during his takeover last year.

Potential bidders for the club, who had been told to lodge their proposals by the end of Friday, will have to do so with the legal status of the deal unresolved.

'Exceptional urgency'

David Sellar QC, for the administrators, told Lord Hodge that there was still seen to be "exceptional urgency" in the matter because it was anticipated that "indicative bids" would give their terms on the basis of the contracts remaining or not.

"Given the fact that the Ticketus money is so large in relative terms - we are talking about over three years something like £20m - that is bound to make an enormous effect in the bids, leaving aside Ticketus's own bid," he said.

Ticketus has confirmed that it is part of former Rangers director Paul Murray's Blue Knights consortium which is seeking to take over the Ibrox club.

Mr Sellar said there should be "some degree of clarity over the weekend".

But he added: "Given the urgency of this whole matter it would seem not merely appropriate, but highly desirable on any view, that the legal arguments could resume on Monday.

"The important point from the administrators' point of view is that matters are dealt with as soon as at all possible."

Mr Sellar said there was an obvious advantage to Ticketus in matters being drawn out because "the longer other bids are in a state of uncertainty the more Ticketus's position is improved".

Insolvency experts Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, from Duff and Phelps, were appointed as administrators last month.

They currently hold the status of interim managers following a flaw in the appointment process over Financial Services Authority approval, but are expected to return to court on Monday to rectify the situation.

'Factual context'

The administrators claim the Ticketus deal could deter potential investors.

Ticketus has claimed that they have no power to unilaterally terminate the contracts.

Ronald Clancy QC, for Ticketus, said: "In my submission the best way to make real progress in this case is for the administrators to come back with a proper factual context for the directions sought.

"In other words to consider carefully the merits or demerits of rival bids."

Lord Hodge said the administrators were entitled to come to the court to seek directions and he would continue the hearing to Monday for further submissions.

The judge said: "If the court is to help both parties in this matter I think we must progress the arguments."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites