Rangers Director Ellis demands quarter of club shares

RANGERS director Andrew Ellis has launched a legal action against Craig Whyte demanding a quarter of the club’s shares.

Ellis claims that he was promised a 24.9 per cent stake in the Ibrox club as a reward for helping Whyte buy out Sir David Murray’s 85.3 per cent holding last May.

Now he has instructed his lawyers to take action, insisting the disgraced owner has reneged on the deal.

If Ellis is successful the move could plunge the takeover saga into further confusion as administrators attempt to hand the club over to a new buyer this week.

Top brass from administrators Duff and Phelps are expected to meet with officials from HMRC in the next 24 hours to discuss the terms of a possible CVA that would allow Rangers to avoid liquidation.

There will also be a final round of talks with all three interested parties – Paul Murray’s Blue Knights, Georgia-based tycoon Bill Miller and Bill Ng’s Singapore consortium – before a preferred bidder is selected, possibly by Thursday morning.

So far, despite dismissing Whyte as an “irrelevance”, the administrators have failed to legally secure the shares he bought from Sir David Murray for a single pound.

And to complicate the matter further London-based property developer Ellis now insists he is rightfully the club’s co-owner.

Ellis – who has been in regular contact with Miller and those behind the original Club 9 Sports consortium – confirmed to Record Sport last night: “I am owed 24.9 per cent of the entire club’s shares and I will be suing Craig Whyte for it.

“This was part of the initial agreement prior to the takeover and I have correspondence to prove it. At the time the solicitors sent all the documents through, Craig accepted the fact that I was getting 24.9 per cent of the club.

“My lawyers wrote to Craig on Thursday about this and we are awaiting his response. I do not trust his intentions for the football club and I want to do what I can to make sure the best interests of Rangers are being looked after.

“That’s why I have been actively engaged in talking to one of the bidders. I’ve been trying to assist them in their efforts to save the club as I am so disappointed with all the damage that Whyte has done.”

Ellis is also taking advice on the legality of Whyte’s latest piece of manoeuvring at Companies House.

The disgraced Rangers owner appears to have switched control over the club’s floating charge from RFC Group Limited to one of his own companies, Liberty Corporate Limited.

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Ellis, who is listed as a director of RFC Group Limited, said: “I want to know why Whyte has done this and if it means he has now placed a floating charge on the club’s assets like Ibrox and Murray Park.

“Why was it done and why didn’t he seek my consent?

“As far as I’m aware he can’t do that. He knows I would never give him my consent because I have always said there should be no charges over the club’s assets.

“I believe he has acted outwith company law and I wouldn’t have allowed him to do this because it could kill the football club. I would like to see this declared legally null and void.”

Sir David Murray also last night rubbished claims from Whyte that the topic of Gers going into administration had been discussed in their talks about the sale.

Whyte made the claim after Duff and Phelps revealed a potential liability of £140million in their report to creditors last week.

Most of this figure derives from the potential HMRC bill of £75m – if the big tax case tribunal goes against Rangers – that was run up on Murray’s watch.

The rest is debt from Whyte’s reign including £27m to Ticketus and £14m owed to HMRC due to the non-payment of PAYE and VAT.

Whyte recently stated: “Liquidation was never considered but administration was discussed with the sellers at the time and we knew it was a serious option.”

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However, Murray has now hit back by insisting: “It was never discussed. With the greatest respect his offer document did not say that.

“I think he made a statement that the club was never in a better financial situation.”

On the damage to his own reputation from the saga, Murray added: “It has tarnished a part of my business career, there is no doubt.

“But I have run the business for nearly 40 years and I employ thousands of people. Other than the football club we have not been involved in any administrations.”