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Octopus Investments caught up in Glasgow Rangers admin woes

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Octopus Investments has been caught up in the Glasgow Rangers Football Club administration saga due to concerns about the whereabouts of £24m advanced by a company owned by the financial services firm to the club.

Octopus Investments owns Ticketus, a London-based firm which has provided Rangers with ’working capital’ in exchange for future season ticket sales. Administrator Duff & Phelps believes £24m from Ticketus may not have reached the Rangers’ account.

At a press conference yesterday at Ibrox Stadium, administrator David Whitehouse, of Duff & Phelps, confirmed Rangers owner Craig Whyte had secured the loan on season ticket sales covering a four-year period after he took over Rangers last May. Whitehouse said the administrators were ’trying to understand’ the deal with Ticketus.

He said: “Our understanding is that the funds from Ticketus didn’t come through the company’s account. They went through a parent company account so we haven’t got visibility on that.”

Ticketus has had similar deals in place with English clubs, including Plymouth Argyle, Hull City and Watford. The arrangement with Rangers is thought to involve four years’ season ticket money up until the 2014-15 season.

A spokesman for Octopus Investment says: “Ticketus is one of the many entities into which Octopus Protected EIS invests. Ticketus has purchased tickets for Glasgow Rangers games for a number of seasons in advance, as it has done for a number of years previously with the club.

Rangers owner Craig Whyte is also board secretary at Pritchard Stockbrokers, which was banned from regulated activities by the FSA earlier this week for the way it handled client assets.

The FSA took the action based on “serious concerns” that the stockbroking firm had “failed to arrange adequate protection for clients’ assets when it was responsible for them” and “allowed client money to be used on Pritchard’s own account and not that of clients”.

The suspension means that structured products provider Merchant Capital has been forced to look for another custodian to handle client monies for its structured products division.

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Readers' comments (16)

  • Season tickets for the current season and any that have been bought for next season are being honoured but as you say, looks like administration was the plan from the off.

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  • @ Anonymous 10.24
    Anyone with access to an Internet over the past 18 months could have found out about Rangers impending financial difficulties. It does indeed raise a question mark around due diligence.

    @ man on the moon
    I don't think they can force the sale of anything. As I understand it the owner of the club is the secured creditor. Octopus will have some security in as much as they've bought 25,000 season tickets for the season 2012/2013, but then again there's no guarantee Rangers will be in existence by then.

    A b ugger's muddle for all concerned.

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  • it would be unbelievable if Octopus are in the middle of this....likely to lose an arm and a leg

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  • Ticketus , just get in line please, and no Ibrox won't be sold to payTicketus, Also i am led to believe season tickets still valid for the rest of the season.Please check the administrators press conference yesterday on BBC Scotland website

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  • @teuchter

    we can only but be hopeful that another retail park arises from the ashes.

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  • Sounds like the sick Squid youse owe me !

    To manonthemoon be careful what you wish for as the Old Firm trolley dash dosen't have the same appeal !

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