Administrators for Rangers have failed in a bid to gain legal guidance over an outstanding season ticket deal with Ticketus that is thought to be worth up to £25.3 million.
Duff and Phelps were seeking advice on whether they are able to default on the agreement that would see the club give the company proceeds from ticket sales as they believe it is hampering their attempts to force a sale of the club.
However, Judge Lord stated at the Court of Session on Friday that he would not give them assistance on the matter.
Rangers owner Craig Whyte sold 100,000 season tickets at the value of £24.4m to wipe the club’s £18m debt to Lloyds Banking Group during his takeover last summer.
In response, Duff and Phelps issued the following statement today.
Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: “We welcome the decisions announced by Lord Hodge today and view them as a significant step towards clarifying the future for Rangers Football Club.
“Lord Hodge has made it clear that the Ticketus arrangements do not mean Ticketus has property or real rights over seats at the stadium or, indeed, the proceeds from the sale of future season tickets.
“Lord Hodge has stated Ticketus has what are known as contractual rights, essentially a contract between the Club and themselves. It is clear from the judgement that, as administrators, we have the statutory right and powers to have the company (the Club) refuse to honour the Ticketus arrangements if such a decision would be in the interests of creditors generally.
“Lord Hodge has also referred to the various applications we made to the court. Initially, we did ask for guidance on the immediate termination of the Ticketus contract. We fully accept this guidance could not be given without disclosing the details of bids for the Club in open court. This would most certainly not have been in the interests of creditors or the football club, particularly since the party which were subject to the legal proceedings also have an active interest in a bid for the Club.
“We note the request from Ticketus following today’s judgement for matters to be brought to a conclusion as soon as is possible in relation to the sale of the Club. We couldn’t agree more. However, a number of competing bids have been submitted to purchase the Club and the bid that will ultimately be successful will be the one that is in the best interests of the creditors and the business.
“To date, our discussions with bidders have been very constructive and we will continue these discussions with all parties, including the consortium in which Ticketus is involved, in an effort to achieve a successful outcome.
“We intend to create a shortlist of bids at the earliest opportunity and have no doubt today’s decision will have a significant bearing on the proposals put forward by bidders to date.”