FIRMS handling the financial collapse of Rangers have been accused of profiting from "other people's misfortune" after it emerged they pocketed nearly £20 million in fees while creditors including thousands of fans have received just £1.4m.

In what has been branded an "absolute disgrace", it has also emerged there is currently just £8.2m left to distribute to the thousands who lost money as a result of the club's financial implosion. 

It means that, barring any outstanding legal claims, the maximum creditors could expect to get right now would be around half that taken by liquidators, administrators and solicitors.

The financial collapse left thousands of unsecured creditors out of pocket, including more than 6000 loyal fans who bought £7.7m worth of debenture seats at Ibrox.

Creditors also ranged from corporate giants such as Coca-Cola to a picture framer in Bearsden and a lady called Susan Thomson who runs a face-painting business and was owed £40.

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One creditor, who asked not to be named, said: “I personally, having taken legal advice, was not holding out for much more than a few pence in the pound out of the liquidation but it is mind-boggling to hear about the millions that is being made out of other people’s misfortune.

“This has got to be wrong. It is clear that we should get far more out of what happened at Rangers than we have currently got and are likely to get.”

Since the oldco fell into administration under former owner Craig Whyte in February, 2012, legal firms acting for insolvency firm BDO, the liquidators of RFC 2012 plc have received £10.356 million, while the liquidators bill stood at £4.136 million at April, 2018.

The legal bill includes the £353,757 cost of employing counsel in the failed fight to convince the Supreme Court that the club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts to pay players and staff were loans that were not liable for tax.

More than £47 million was paid to Rangers players, managers and directors in the EBT scheme administered by the Murray Group, then majority shareholder of the Ibrox club, between 2001 and 2010 by way of tax-free loans.

It is understood HMRC has not yet received any of the £72 million in unpaid tax and interest believed to be owed by the liquidated company, as haggling continues over how much they should actually get.

BDO had agreed in November to pay an 'interim dividend' of nearly 4p for every pound of debt to unsecured creditors and £1.4 million has been distributed.

Before BDO took on the liquidation in October, 2012, Duff and Phelps amassed £3.484 million in fees plus £1.326 million in legal fees over the eight months they acted as joint administrators.

Evening Times: Rangers Ibrox..Rangers fans gathered at Ibox to witness the announcement of Steven Gerrard as the new Rangers Manager...4/05/18.. (Photo by Kirsty Anderson / Herald & Times) - KA.

Leading legal costs expert Jim Diamond said: "It's an absolute disgrace and an indication in my view and experience of the Scottish legal marketplace which is totally geared up for the professional people without the necessary controls and not to the benefit of the general public and in this case the creditors."

The costs lawyer continued:"How can you look at this and have nobody complaining?

"Scotland needs to have the politicians have a look at what is going on."

Twist in Rangers saga as firm founded by Craig Whyte makes new £18m oldco claim

The collapse of the Rangers business left thousands of unsecured creditors out of pocket including more than 6000 loyal fans who bought £7.7m worth of debenture seats at Ibrox.

Creditors ranged from giants such as Coca-Cola to a picture framer in Bearsden and a lady called Susan Thomson who runs a face-painting business and was owed £40.

Papers reveal that £8.224 million of the legal fees including 'outlays' which are solicitors' expenses have so far gone to London-based legal firm Stephenson Harwood and were mostly over the settlement of a claim against London-based Collyer Bristow the solicitors involved in the controversial takeover of the club by Craig Whyte. The liquidators banked £24 milllion from that claim.

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BDO said £5.4 million of the Collyer Bristow fees were the result of it being "necessary to instruct" the company on a 'no win, no charge' conditional fee arrangement basis.

That deal meant that Stephenson Harwood were entitled to their costs plus an extra 75 to 100 per cent to "compensate them for the risk that they would not get paid if the litigation failed".

Edinburgh-based Brodies solicitors have had £1,246,738 in fees and outlays of £518,655 so far, while Shepherd and Wedderburn have had £152,272 and £20,875 in outlays and Levy and McRae have had £84,119 and £14,919 outlays.

Taxman wins £240,000 costs over Rangers 'Big Tax Case' victory

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Takeover lawyer Gary Withey from Collyer Bristow, right, says he told Craig Whyte he would be mad to buy Rangers 

The £8.2 million currently in the creditors' payout pot would be wiped out if the company used by Mr Whyte to buy the club is successful in a new £18 million legal claim on the defunct oldco.

The move by Rangers FC Group – the company formerly known as Wavetower that was founded by Mr Whyte - was stopped by BDO from appointing its own administrative receivers to control the in-liquidation firm.

Not a penny of £72m owed in Rangers tax case has been paid

The move is the result of Rangers FC Group - now controlled by directors of the defunct investment firm Worthington Group plc - believing it holds a security over the liquidated assets of the oldco RFC 2012 plc.

It is claimed the security was reassigned to the company from the Lloyds Banking Group after an £18m bank debt was paid off as a condition of Mr Whyte's £1 purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray in May, 2011.

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It was said to be inherited by Mr Whyte after he paid off bank debt using funds raised from the selling off the rights of future season ticket sales to ticket agency Ticketus.

Rangers oldco liquidators BDO says it obtained an interim interdict which stopped the receivership appointment.

The other outstanding legal action is BDO's £28.9 million claim against Paul Clark and David Whitehouse of Duff and Phelps over their handling of the administration process.

Duff & Phelps sold the business and assets of Rangers to a consortium fronted by Charles Green for £5.5 million in June, 2012.

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Duff & Phelps are fighting the action saying they were surprised and disappointed.

Criminal charges against Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse relating to their involvement with Rangers Football Club plc were dropped in June 2016.

BDO declined to comment.