Ally McCoist has had his judgement savaged by Lord Tyre in a ruling that will see Duff & Phelps hand over £3.4m to BDO to be added to the creditors pot from the liquidation of Rangers.
In February 2012 Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators for the 276 creditors owed money after McCoist’s team had crashed out of the Champions League and Europa League.
By September of that year Craig Whyte decided to stop paying Income Tax and National Insurance to HMRC with Duff & Phelps appointed before HMRC could bring in their own administrators.
The ailing club had two major assets to raise funds from- property and players.
Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, John Fleck, Kyle Lafferty and Steve Davis could have been sold to raise funds but it seems that McCoist demanded that they stay on till the end of the season to avoid further embarrassing results.
Eventually Her Majesty rejected the offer of a CVA, the club went into liquidation with the six players listed above walking away into lucrative contracts elsewhere as free agents.
Picking up on the ruling, The Sun reports Lord Tyre saying:
I address firstly the steps taken by the respondents to inform themselves of the factors relevant to their decision-making in relation to player and non-player redundancies and player sales.
In my opinion the respondents’ actings in this regard fell below the standard reasonably to be expected of an ordinarily competent administrator in a number of respects.
I am satisfied that the respondents acted without having taken independent advice on certain critical matters about which they required to be informed.
As regards player redundancies, they relied upon the opinion of the manager, Mr McCoist, whom they ought not to have regarded as being in a position to offer a dispassionate opinion as to the number of possible redundancies that could be made while leaving the club with a squad capable of fulfilling its fixtures, or the identities of the players who could be released.
It is noteworthy that his list included only four players proposed for release from contract, three of whom were in any event out of contract in three months’ time, and one (Alexander) in the twilight of his career.
The respondents regarded Mr McCoist’s proposal as insufficient but failed to follow through the implication of this, ie that they needed to obtain advice from someone else.
The consequence was that by the time of the negotiations of wage reductions, the respondents did not have a reliable list of potential redundancies to use when making a comparison with the savings obtainable from wage reductions.
Since going on to gardening leave in December 2014, shortly before a cup semi-final against Celtic, McCoist hasn’t worked in football, preferring to work on his funny guy image in the media.
At Craig Whyte’s trial in 2017 the Daily Record reported questioning between Donald Findlay and Walter Smith over the McCoist contract that Whyte inherited with his pound coin:
Findlay said: “Somebody has put the club in a position that if they don’t follow the line of succession it is going to cost the club a small fortune.”
Smith said: “I had no idea that was the case.”
Findlay said: “Extraordinary isn’t it?” Smith said: “Mr McCoist obviously negotiates his own contracts, so he’s possibly a bit brighter than I am.”