RANGERS' administrators say they plan to sue the BBC over accusations made in a programme about the club's administration.
Duff & Phelps were accused in last night's BBC Scotland documentary, Rangers: The Men Who Sold the Jerseys, of a conflict of interest in their handling of the club's administration.
The programme suggested David Grier, a senior Duff & Phelps partner, knew about Criag Whyte's controversial deal with Ticketus as far back as April last year, and well before the disgraced businessman's takeover of the club in May.
Mr Grier had insisted he did not learn of the plan until August, but the evidence presented by the BBC last night suggests otherwise.
Insolvency expert Roger Isaacs said it amounted to "the starkest conflict of interest."
Mr Whyte completed the takeover of Rangers on May 6, 2011, but came under serious criticism after it was revealed he had used the London finance firm Ticketus to fund the purchase of the club by selling off most of the next three years' worth of season tickets.
Emails revealed by the documentary apparently show Mr Grier ordered an invoice to be raised to Ticketus in June.
The Ticketus deal, if it stood, would make Rangers a much less attractive proposition to any potential buyer, since more than half of the club's income stream for the next three years had gone.
Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "The allegations made in tonight's programme against Duff and Phelps are untrue, a distortion of the facts and highly defamatory. Discussions are already underway with our solicitors with a view to bringing legal proceedings against the BBC.
"We are also hugely disappointed with the irresponsible comments made by Mr Roger Isaacs who is clearly not in possession of the facts.
"We made a number of offers to assist the BBC in order they would not make the fundamental errors broadcast this evening and for some inexplicable reason the reporter Mark Daly declined these.
"We had also hoped to give interviews stating our case on camera but received strong legal advice against this course of action, bearing in mind the legal proceedings Duff and Phelps have raised against Collyer Bristow. The BBC were informed in writing from our solicitors.
"We did however provide the BBC with lengthy written statements stating our position and we are publishing these on the Rangers website.
"In broad terms Mr Daly failed miserably to understand the difference between working capital arrangements for the club and acquisition funding."
David Grier, said: "I categorically deny that at the time of the Craig Whyte takeover of Rangers, I had any knowledge that funds from Ticketus were being used to acquire the club. This accusation is wrong, highly defamatory and betrays a lack of understanding of the facts.
"Neither I nor any of my colleagues at MCR provided any professional assistance to Liberty, Wavetower or Craig Whyte, in raising funds, performing financial due diligence, structuring or agreeing the terms of the purchase of the Club from the Murray Group.
"Financial due diligence and other work was provided by Saffery Champness, a firm of chartered accountants who specialise in this area, and our primary role was to provide assistance to Liberty Capital in negotiating a settlement and assignment of the debt due to Lloyds Bank.
"The reality is that when my concerns about the use of Ticketus funding crystallised over the summer of 2011, I took immediate steps to raise these concerns with controlling directors of Rangers and HMRC.
"The email referred to in the programme to Ticketus dated 19 April 2011 mentions the possibility of raising funds for working capital but does not provide any information of quantum or terms of such a proposal. To suggest this email establishes an awareness of Ticketus providing acquisition funding is absurd and ridiculous.
"Once we discovered the full extent of the funding relationship between Ticketus, Liberty Capital and the club, we took immediate steps to raise our concern with controlling directors of Rangers and HMRC."
Mr Whyte called in administrators on February 14, after running up debts to HMRC of up to £15m. His choice of administrators, Duff & Phelps, were appointed with court approval.
The administrators, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, initially told the media that their partner, Mr Grier, had some prior involvement with Mr Whyte's takeover bid.
But when asked whether the firm had been involved in or was aware of the Ticketus transaction, Mr Grier said: "It was September, when – I think it was probably August time actually –when there was a payment that was due back to Ticketus that was not planned into the cash flow that we were working to and which we were presenting to HMRC, so that set a series of hares running."
Mr Grier added: "And we said: 'Well we don't understand anything about any commitments to Ticketus or involvement with them'."
He was then asked: "They were never involved in the financing of this purchase, as far as you were concerned, that is?"
Mr Grier replied: "Not at all. That wasn't in our terms of engagement."
The BBC's position, however, contradicts this claim.
An email from Mr Whyte's lawyer, Gary Withey, to Mr Whyte and Mr Grier was sent on 19 April 2011, two weeks before the deal was completed.
The message is entitled 'Ticketus draft' and concerns the completion of the takeover. The email states that when Mr Whyte's company takes "board control the assignation documents will be released by the bank and the Ticketus agreements will become unconditional".