Lawyers look into Rangers takeover

 

Lawyers from leading London-based firm Pinsent Masons will spearhead a club-commissioned investigation into the extent of Charles Green's links with former Rangers owner Craig Whyte.

The international law firm will work alongside forensic investigators from Deloitte to probe the connections between Whyte and what a club statement described as "former and current personnel of Rangers and its subsidiaries".

Green resigned as chief executive on Friday over allegations surrounding his dealings with Whyte, although he continued to deny any wrongdoing.

Finance director Brian Stockbridge and commercial director Imran Ahmad are also expected to come under scrutiny from investigators. Both were working for Zeus Capital, the investment firm which was central to the assets purchase fronted by Green in June last year, and both were involved in discussions with Whyte.

Green has claimed that they only made promises to Whyte to keep him onside as they might have needed to acquire his shares had creditors accepted their offer to take the club out of administration. Instead the shares became irrelevant after the company was consigned to liquidation.

Rangers earlier issued a separate statement to the London Stock Exchange announcing that Sevco 5088 - the company at the centre of a dispute between Green and Whyte - was a subsidiary of the club at the time of their flotation on the stock exchange in December.

The statement added that Green was a director of Sevco 5088, which was used to buy the assets and business of the liquidation-bound club.

Whyte claims he was behind the firm and has threatened legal action arguing he is the rightful owner of Ibrox and other club assets.

The assets were transferred to another new company, Sevco Scotland, days after the £5.5million purchase in June last year, when the club was consigned to liquidation over tax debts accrued during Whyte's tenure.

An announcement is also expected this week over an interim replacement for Green with manager Ally McCoist looking for stability as he plans for their Irn-Bru Second Division campaign.

Reports have claimed that Craig Mather, a major investor who was brought on board in the early stages of the new company, is favoured by some directors to take over on an interim basis but others are reluctant given his links to Green.

Another director, Phil Cartmell, who is chairman of Slough-based engineering firm Corac, is said to be close to leaving the board.

PA

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