Lord Hodge approves liquidation of former Rangers FC

Rangers was forced into administration over unpaid tax bills

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A judge has approved a motion for the former Rangers Football Club to be handed over to liquidators.

Duff and Phelps took over running of the club when it entered administration on 14 February over unpaid tax bills.

Earlier this month, the administrators said the club's creditors had approved an end to the administration.

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Hodge approved a Duff and Phelps motion to hand over what remains of the old club to liquidators BDO.

Moves to end the administration were held up by a last-minute challenge from Collyer Bristow, former lawyers to Craig Whyte.

The law firm, which is also one of the creditors of the old Rangers, is being sued for about £25m damages by Duff and Phelps over its role in Mr Whyte's takeover of the club last year.

Ticketus deal

The administrators are seeking to retrieve money, alleging conspiracy and breach of undertakings.

The hearing at the Court of Session on Wednesday went into detail about the administration process.

Start Quote

There may be a good answer to these allegations, but allegations are being ventilated which call into question the probity of proceedings”

End Quote Lord Hodge Judge

Lord Hodge said he was "very concerned" that allegations were being aired which called into question the integrity of proceedings during the Rangers administration.

The judge said he was aware of an investigation by the Insolvency Practioners Association, the administrators governing body.

Lord Hodge said there was sense in the IPA producing a report which he could then review. He added: "I am taking no view on these allegations one way or the other."

In June, Lord Hodge asked for a report into BBC allegations that Duff and Phelps had a conflict of interest, as one partner of the firm knew about the controversial Ticketus deal to use advance sales of season tickets to pay off the club's debt to Lloyds bank.

More evidence that Duff and Phelps was aware of the funding deal at an early stage was broadcast by BBC Scotland last week, including excerpts of a secretly-recorded conversation.

'Objectives achieved'

Lord Hodge said on Wednesday: "I have asked the BBC to provide me with a DVD of their allegations in May and October and may be requesting them to give a transcript of the entire telephone conversation so that I can see it in context.

"I may have to make a court order and if I do, I will give the BBC a chance to be represented.

"There may be a good answer to these allegations, but allegations are being ventilated which call into question the probity of proceedings."

It also emerged during the court hearing that the administrators have £1.7m in cash.

Following the case, Paul Clark, joint administrator of Rangers, said: "As administrators, our primary function was to keep the business going and effect a sale of the club in order that it could continue, while maximizing the return for the creditors.

"These objectives were achieved. It will now fall to the liquidators to realise any further potential funds that may go to creditors. We have worked closely with the liquidators over the last few months to ensure an orderly transition."

UPDATE: An appeal to the BBC Trust about the terminology used in this story was partially upheld on 18 June 2013.

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