Martin Bain has dropped his legal case against Rangers, stressing that the action was directed at Craig Whyte and not the club. Bain had been seeking £900,000 in damages after alleging his contract with Rangers had been breached following the club’s takeover by Craig Whyte.
During subsequent court proceedings, Bain’s lawyers were successful in having £480,000 of the club’s assets ring-fenced pending conclusion of the case.
Now the former Rangers chief executive is not only dropping the case, but that he intends to ask the court to return the ring-fenced money, minus legal expenses, to Rangers’ administrators.
In a statement issued by his lawyers, Bain said: “Everyone close to Rangers Football Club knows that I am, and always have been, totally committed to the Club and that remains my position. As Chief Executive and part of the Independent Board, our job was to assess and highlight to all stakeholders if we believed there was uncertainty over the future financial viability of the Club under new ownership. Unfortunately, the Independent Board had no legal power to block the transaction and Sir David Murray made it plain that he wanted to sell.
“I personally strongly recommended on more than one occasion that Craig Whyte should not be allowed to buy the Club, based on investigations into the transparency of his background and the responses to the questions asked of him as part of the process. Unfortunately that forceful representation was not accepted and when he took over I was suspended and my contract ripped up. With what has subsequently transpired, it is quite obvious why he disposed of me in the manner he did. I was further vilified in the press and continue to be subjected to endless rumours and attacks.
“Events have moved on and the damage inflicted on Rangers Football Club is shocking. I had no option but to pursue a claim based on Craig Whyte’s actions; the litigation was a response to his actions and not those of Rangers Football Club. I firmly believed it was important to make sure he would have to explain everything he did in a Court of Law. Because of the legal process it has not been possible or appropriate to make public comment, which has been extremely hard given the flow of misinformation and falsehoods both myself and the Club had been subjected to.
“In the two years since the Board restructure in August 2009 and prior to Craig Whyte forcing my removal from the Club, turnover had increased, operating costs reduced with net debt more than halved from £31.1m at 30th June 2009 to £14.1m at the 30th June 2011, while the Club had won three consecutive League titles in difficult circumstances. This debt reduction was beyond the targets set by the Bank.
“In light of the Club’s current position I instructed my lawyers to advise the Administrators that I am willing to discontinue the legal action and, subject to recovering the costs associated as a result of this action, I will give over to the Administrators the remainder of the money that was arrested as part of my case in an effort to help the Club.
There has been speculation that Martin Bain’s desire to drop the case and subsequent returning of monies ring-fenced by the court is a prelude to him being part of one of the leading takeover groups that are interested in taking over the Ibrox side. However, given his link with the Sir David Murray regime, the former chief executive’s participation in any of the takeover groups will not be seen in a positive light by the Rangers fan base.