Report puts fresh doubt over Steven Whittaker’s transfer from Rangers to Norwich City
Defender Steven Whittaker's move to Norwich City was brought into question again yesterday by a report that claimed Charles Green's �5.5m purchase of Rangers' assets included a �2.75m payment to buy the contracts and registrations of the club's players.
The club's administrators, Duff and Phelps, appointed by the Court of Session on February 14, have broken down all the 'asset realisations', most of which relate to their sale of the Ibrox club to Sevco Scotland Limited.
They say Green's consortium paid for the club's employees to transfer to his company under TUPE regulations, which protects employees' terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another. However, on the advice of their union, PFA Scotland, 11 players – including Whittaker – rejected the opportunity to transfer their contracts from Rangers to Sevco. Whittaker subsequently signed a four-year deal with the Canaries.
Green rejects the claim that the players are free agents and the former Sheffield United chief executive said he sent letters to clubs across the UK warning them that the players who objected to the switch to his new company were in breach of contract.
International clearance for the transfers of Whittaker, Steve Davis, Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness and Steven Naismith has been put on hold as Green continues to dispute the players' status. The Scottish FA have referred the matter to Fifa for clarification.
Naismith has moved to Everton, Ness has joined Stoke, Northern Ireland duo Davis and Lafferty are at Southampton and Swiss side Sion, respectively, while goalkeeper Allan McGregor is in talks with Turkish club Besiktas.
The document, issued to the old company's creditors, shows Green paid �1.5m for 'heritable properties', which include Ibrox Stadium and the training ground.
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The club's member share of the Scottish Premier League and its membership of the Scottish Football Association were each sold for �1.
SPL clubs, however, refused to allow the newco admittance to the top flight, leaving the Govan club to seek membership of the Scottish Football League, with that request subject to a vote by the SFL clubs on Friday.