Alan Dewar QC, representing Charles Green at the Inner House of the Court of Session, has stated that ” The Rangers football club does not exist, it is an idea in people’s minds, a myth of continuity. No-one knows what the Rangers football club is, but it has no legal personality.”
Mr Dewar adds that ” you can only be the chairman of an entity that has a legal personality. Sevco Scotland, and it alone, bought the assets and carried on the business. The concept of the Rangers Institution continuing exists only in the minds of die hard supporters.”
Mr Dewar was responding to a question by one of the three appeal court judges who inquired: “Why is it so important that Rangers football club is Sevco Scotland rather than an institution going back 100 years?”
Mr Dewar emphasized that Green bought ” the business and assets of the Rangers entity” then acted on behalf of, and for the benefit of the shareholders of Sevco Scotland. Jonathan Brown, who presented Mr Green’s original petition to Lord Doherty, is also representing Green at the hearing. RIFC’ counsel is Mr Walker. RIFC’s instructing solicitors, Anderson Strathern, are represented by RIFC Company Secretary James Blair.
Mr Dewar reminds the court that the previous judge called the notion that Rangers should pay Green’s legal bills in a criminal matter as “absurd.” Mr Dewar cites the case precedent that the appeal court ruled in favour of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in a similar case. Any legal indemnity would be pointless unless it also covered criminal charges. Mr Dewar continues that when the compromise agreement was signed. “it was known that legal proceedings were likely.”
Mr Dewar notes that the appeal court ruling in the Coulson case made no distinction between civil and criminal charges in News International’s legal indemnity insurance clause. Mr Dewar states that there is no moral issue over paying legal bills in a criminal case, and adds that “The legal aid board does it every day.” Mr Dewar posited that the previous judge, Lord Doherty “showed no appreciation” that a future jury could convict Green of criminal acts but acquit him of conspiracy charges. Mr Dewar questioned the competence of Lord Doherty. He argued that he misunderstood the nature of the conspiracy charges against Green.
Mr Dewar stressed that the criminal trial is some way off and that there may be a third indictment.He noted that the criminal indictment against Charles Green is an allegation of a conspiracy pre-dating the purchase of RFC assets. As Chairman of Sevco Scotland, Mr Green was acting in the interests of the company and not just personal interests. Mr Green was ‘the face of the entity that is Rangers Football Club.’
Green’s case is that his acquisition of the assets of Rangers put him in an invidious position. Due to a dispute on the ownership of these assets,indictments were anticipated. The prospect of indictments was known to Imran Ahmad, Malcolm Murray and Brian Stockbridge when they included legal cover in his severance/compromise agreement. Mr Dewar argued that there was a case precedent in the Andy Coulson appeal where no distinction between criminal charges was made.
Mr Walker for RIFC, when he presents his argument this afternoon, will in my informed opinion, present case precedents where criminal activity precluded indemnity. However it is important to note that Mr Green has not been found guilty of any charges at this time.