Craig Whyte, the ex-director of the former The Rangers Football Club plc in Scotland, has been disqualified as a director for the maximum tariff of 15 years, for failing to avoid conflict of interest in the running of the club, following proceedings brought by the Insolvency Service.
The disqualification, which takes effect from 21 October 2014 prevents Mr Whyte from being a company director or in control of a company until 20 October 2029 without permission from the court.
Mr Whyte, 43, was the chairman of The Rangers Football Club plc (RFC) which was placed into administration in February 2012 and was subsequently wound up by the Court of Session in Scotland in October 2012. He was also a director of Tixway UK Ltd, which was wound up by Court of Session in Scotland in July 2012.
Business Minister Jo Swinson said:
The court has disqualified Craig Whyte for 15 years for the harm he caused to Rangers Football Club, and to the many football fans who believed in his promises.
Mr Whyte bought a much-loved club, and promised fans that he would provide further cash to bring success. However, he caused the club to use this money to fund the purchase of its own shares, reducing funds for investment. He also failed to consult other directors on important decisions meaning that his behaviour went unchallenged.
Such blatant lack of regard for proper corporate behaviour and control does not have a place in modern society.
Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies are run properly, for the benefit of the creditors, shareholders and, in this case, fans who believed in him.
The grounds of the petition are:
In RFC, Mr Whyte failed to act in accordance with his duties as a director to promote the interests of the company and to avoid conflicts of interest including:
- causing RFC to enter into an agreement to effectively fund the purchase of its own shares;
- conducting the affairs of RFC without reference to other board directors, preventing RFC from being subject to proper corporate governance;
- causing RFC to fail to comply with its tax obligations.
In Tixway UK Ltd, Mr Whyte:
- caused Tixway UK Ltd to fail to maintain or preserve adequate accounting records, or if records were maintained, he failed to cooperate with requests to deliver them up.
Notes to editors
Craig Thomas Whyte (Date of Birth 18 January 1971) was the chairman of RFC 2012 plc (formerly known as The Rangers Football Club plc) - CRO No. SC004276.
His two addresses are:_ 1 Rue De Tenao, Principaute de Monaco; and Castle Grant, Grantown on Spey, Morayshire, PH26 3PS.
We are aware Mr Whyte is not contactable at these addresses.
RFC 2012 plc was placed into administration on 14 February 2012 and then subsequently wound up by the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 31 October 2012.
Tixway UK Ltd (CRO No. SC31469) was wound up by the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 2 July 2012.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission from the court, a person cannot;
- act as a director of a company;
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership;
- act as an insolvency practitioner; or
- be a receiver of a company’s property.
In addition, many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of disqualification orders but do not involve court proceedings.
Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification.
The Insolvency Service
In England and Wales, the Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies and debt relief orders) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies.
In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlements to redundancy when an employer cannot or will not pay employees. It provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
In Scotland, the Insolvency Service deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
It may also use powers under the Companies Act to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service
Media enquiries only should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media & Campaigns Manager on 0207 674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Media Manager on 0207 596 6187.
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Published: 30 September 2014
From: The Insolvency Service