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Multi-million pound legal action

New Ibrox battle as BDO makes £28.9m claim

IbroxA new off-field battle has been launched over the dismantling of the old company behind Rangers Football Club.

The liquidator BDO has launched a multi-million pound legal action against the club’s former administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse of accountancy firm Duff & Phelps

BDO are seeking up to £28.9 million following Clark and Whitehouse’s handling of the administration process.

Duff & Phelps have expressed surprise and disappointment at the action in Edinburgh’s Court of Session.

Rangers entered administration in February 2012 and four months later, the company’s business and assets were sold to a consortium led by Charles Green for £5.5m.

BDO was appointed liquidator and conducted a review of the events leading up to administration through to the sale of the assets.

In November 2014, BDO agreed a settlement for £24m in a claim against Collyer Bristow, the firm that acted for former owner Craig Whyte who bought the club from Sir David Murray in 2011.

In a statement, BDO said: “The joint liquidators, following extensive deliberations with their professional advisors and the liquidation committee, have taken the decision to issue a claim against the former Rangers’ administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, of Duff & Phelps.

“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. The joint liquidators look forward to the resolution of this matter.

“The joint liquidators consider that the former joint administrators failed to take actions which would have reduced costs during the administration period and realised additional value from the company’s assets over and above that obtained from the sale of the business and assets to Sevco.”

In response, David Whitehouse, Duff & Phelps managing director, said: “We were surprised to receive notice of proceedings today, one week before expiration of the limitation period, and we are disappointed that this has been leaked to the media.

“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 both in terms of its deliverability and its relevance to achieving the statutory purpose of administration.

“We will be consulting with our legal advisers in order that our position is set out fully before the court. Any further comment at this stage would be inappropriate given that there are now live proceedings.”

Criminal charges against Clark and Whitehouse relating to their involvement with Rangers Football Club plc were dropped last year.

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