Craig Whyte and his people have launched a brand new legal bid to grab back Ibrox and the bit parts that make up Sevco and they just failed in a brazen bid to have the liquidation of Rangers put under their control.
This has been rolling along for a while now, but finally the board is set and the chess match has begun.
Let me explain, for those who may not know or may have forgotten just how bonkers all this got back in 2012.
Way back when the assets of Rangers were being flogged, the company that approached the administrators, Duff and Phelps, and secured preferred bidder status, was one called Sevco 5088. Taped conversations between Craig Whyte and Charles Green, the front man from Sevco 5088, revealed that the company had been created between the two of them and that Whyte was the senior partner in it.
I can write that with full confidence; it’s on tape and a national newspaper bought those tapes and made the recording, and the transcript, available. There’s no doubt who the two men in the discussion are.
Sevco 5088 were granted preferred bidder status and began making plans for the purchase of the club. Now, preferred bidder status is not just a fancy term. It’s legally binding. I’m assured that the company that was named on some of the initial drafts of the Five Way Agreement is actually called Sevco 5088. If true, that’s a problem.
Because Sevco 5088 was not the company that eventually bought the assets.
That was Sevco Scotland Limited.
And that’s where the trouble starts.
Craig Whyte was the guy who made the famous tape which ended up with The Sun. He claims that Charles Green created Sevco Scotland Limited for the express purpose of defrauding him of the assets of Rangers. He appears to believe the administrators and the governing bodies of Scottish football were co-conspirators in that because they allowed Sevco Scotland Limited to purchase those assets although the legal agreement was with Sevco 5088.
This matter has been dragging its backside through the legal system for a while, but it’s absolutely certain to go the distance and wind up in front of a court one day where everything will come out in the wash, including the SFA’s full culpability. Regan and his people exposed the game here to serious legal peril with their shenanigans, and one of the most sterling examples of that came when they waived away demands from some quarters that Whyte’s claims be investigated by an independent panel. Because, of course, Whyte had been banned from having any part of a Scottish football club and here was a tape which revealed that he and Green had been working together.
Incredibly, the SFA was so keen that they not be linked to this allegation that they allowed Sevco to hire a firm to investigate itself and pass the results on to them. The scandal that followed was the infamous Pinsett Mason Report, which of course fully exonerated them. But what would an independent inquiry have discovered? SFA fingerprints.
Celtic sites had long raised the question as to whether or not Green’s share issue at Ibrox had been legal; after all, it’s against the law to sell something that isn’t rightly yours. The SFA made no effort to scrutinise Green properly, as we all know too well. They signed the Five Way Agreement although there were serious questions over his bona fides and the legality of how he had acquired the assets in the first place, and here’s the most amazing part.
If you think all this sounds too ridiculous to be true you missed the best bit, where Charles Green went to a national newspaper and essentially admitted to all of this. He admitted that he lied to Whyte, led him on and created Sevco Scotland Limited to get the assets from him.
I am not joking, that actually happened.
And this is actually happening too; Whyte’s claims go back to at least 2014, when he told Alex Thomson of Channel 4 that his ownership of the assets extended to the “Ibrox site, the training ground, the players, the entire entity as it stands.”
Thomson also said that in the event Whyte’s claim succeeded he would immediately assume control of half the club and at that point would go toe-to-toe with the SFA in court over his fit and proper person status. The chances are that he would win that now, of course, especially considering that a court found him not guilty of fraud and that his hands are now arguably cleaner than those of the man the SFA currently allows to act as chairman.
One of the important things to remember here is that there has not been a share issue at Ibrox since these claims were first fully brought to light. Whyte and his people made no effort to halt the Green share issue, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t raise a challenge to a King one. There’s no love lost between those camps either; King has actually got enemies on both sides of that particular fight, but Whyte retains the ability to do him serious harm.
This one is going to run and run and run.