29 May 2013

Craig Whyte’s lawyers send Letter Before Action

Channel 4 News has seen a copy of the Letter Before Action now sent from lawyers acting for Craig Whyte, to Rangers FC and key shareholders involved with the club.

Of course they insist they are absolutely serious and this matter is heading to court if the Principals don’t get what they want from Rangers, Charles Green and Imran Ahmad (who remain major shareholders though physically departed from Ibrox).

There are 333 pages of evidence. There are company forms; agreements; text messages; emails and tape-recordings supplied as evidence.

The case they plead is essentially that Craig Whyte and his associate Aidan Earley were deprived of their legitimate interest in the Rangers that arose from the ashes of Administration and Liquidation.

Specifically that Craig Whyte is due £137,000 and “an opportunity to redeem his reputation by achieving a turnaround success at Rangers Football Club.”

And this not happening is deemed to have “…hindered his ability to conduct business activities in Scotland and/or elsewhere.”

This is an interesting claim which will raise some eyebrows since it rests upon Craig Whyte being keen to be involved in Scottish football from which he’d been banned by the SFA just prior to his Rescue Plan for Rangers unfolding.

But the Principals – as Craig Whyte and Aidan Earley are referred to – believed that if a new Rangers company was “quoted on a public market” then the SFA ban could be got around.

Initially the whole Rescue Plan relied on Craig Whyte not being a public part of it at all:

“The Principals also decided that it was desirable that Mr Whyte should not be seen as directly involved in any bid. This was because Mr Whyte was unpopular with the Rangers fans…The Principals concluded it would be necessary to find someone to front the transaction for them.”

And that man – they claim – was Charles Green. Mr Green of course vehemently denies it.

The documentation lays out in great detail how this situation and what followed arose. Hotel meetings in London laboriously listed and detailed right down to tape recordings, texts and emails.

And how they were keen to bring in others to pump investment into Rangers:

“The Principals introduced Jim Park as a consultant in order to introduce Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, who became both a key investor and developer of the RFC retail arm…”

And it all boils to this, from Craig Whyte’s lawyers:

“Our clients have instructed us to issue court proceedings on their behalf against the following Defendants:
– Mr Ahmad and Mr Green for breach of contract and unjust enrichment
– Mr Ahmad, Mr Stockbridge and Mr Green for conspiracy and deceit
– Mr Ahmad and Mr Stockbridge for dishonest assistance
– Mr Green for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and for indemnity and/or
restitution and/or an account of gains under s195 Companies Act 2006
– RFCL for knowing receipt, unjust enrichment, indemnity and/or restitution and/or an account of gains under s195 Companies Act 2006 and for a declaration that it holds property on trust for Sevco 5088
– Zeus for, inter alia, dishonest assistance, conspiracy and deceit
– Rangers International for unjust enrichment, knowing receipt and a declaration that it hold any shares registered or to be registered in its name in Sevco 5088 on trust for the Principals”

Channel 4 News is seeking a response from Mr Ahmad, Mr Green, Mr Stockbridge, Zeus Capital and RFC.

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