Police have arrested four men in relation to the sale of Rangers in 2011. It is understood that Paul Clark, David Whitehouse & David Grier of Duff & Phelps & solicitor Gary Withey [an associate of former Rangers owner Craig Whyte]were the four arrested in connection with the alleged ‘fraudulent acquisition’ of the Ibrox club in 2011.
The early morning raids on Friday were carried out by Surrey, Thames Valley and Cheshire Police, in conjunction with officers from Police Scotland.
In a statement, Police Scotland said: “Following a Police Scotland operation, on Friday 14th November 2014 four men have been detained as a result of the ongoing investigation into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers Football Club.
“At around 0600 officers from Police Scotland, Thames Valley, Cheshire and Surrey Police attended a number of addresses in England and detained four men.”
Disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte bought the club from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011, but the Ibrox side went into administration on February 14th 2012 and Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators.
Despite being cleared of any misconduct or conflict of interest in their appointment in May 2013, after complaints were made to the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) after a BBC documentary, by the award winning journalist Mark Daly, showed previous dealings between the firm and Craig Whyte.
The IPA said ‘Duff and Phelps complied with relevant guidance and legislation and there was no prima facie case of misconduct against Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark’. The duo were integral to the sale of Rangers’ assets to Charles Green’s consortium for £5.5 million.
Speaking at today’s pre-match press conference, Ally McCoist, said: “Obviously I can’t or wouldn’t comment on a current police matter, but I would have to say I’m shocked. Obviously I can’t pre-judge what is going to happen.
“Our concern has always been for the staff and supporters. What’s happened to us in the last two and a half, three years has been very tough, particularly on the staff and supporters. We just want to continue with our attempts to get the club back to where we feel we belong.”
A spokesperson for Duff & Phelps, said: “Duff & Phelps has become aware that three employees in the United Kingdom have been detained for questioning in connection with work performed for Rangers Football Club. This work was commenced while these employees were part of MCR Partners, prior to its acquisition by Duff & Phelps in October of 2011.
“Duff & Phelps has performed an internal investigation and commissioned an independent investigation of the related matters. As a result, we believe that our work for Rangers was conscientious, thorough, and properly performed in every respect.
“Duff and Phelps has actively cooperated with all relevant investigating authorities throughout this process. In addition, we have provided thorough reports on our role in the administration of Rangers Football Club to the Court of Session and the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association.
“Notably, the liquidator’s amended pleadings in English High Court proceedings commenced on April 8, 2011 validate the conclusions of our internal investigation and the independent investigation we commissioned.
“In addition, our assignments in this matter were comprehensively examined by the Insolvency Practitioners Association (“IPA”), in 2013. The IPA’s review cleared the firm of any wrongdoing or conflict of interest, affirming the position of the firm.”