The administrators of Rangers FC have admitted there is “widespread concern” about the arrangement used by the club’s chairman to buy the club.
Chief Craig Whyte confirmed he funded his May 2011 takeover through the £20m sale of rights to future season ticket sales with Ticketus agency.
Joint administrator David Whitehouse, of Duff & Phelps, confirmed the Ticketus deal struck over three seasons will be investigated.
The Scottish Premier League (SPL) club’s future is currently shrouded in doubt as it faces up to a £49m tax battle with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Whitehouse said: “Since being appointed administrators last week there has been widespread concern raised with us, not least by Rangers supporters and season ticket holders, about the agreement between the club and Ticketus.
“Following information received, it is now apparent that the proceeds from the Ticketus arrangements amounted initially to a sum in the region of £20m plus VAT.
“We are now investigating all the circumstances surrounding both the purchase of the majority shareholding in Rangers FC plc and the flow of funds which stemmed from the transaction and were intended to fulfil the purchasers’ obligations at the time of the sale.”
Chairman Whyte has defended the agreement reached to help fund the club’s takeover, insisting it was “without a shadow of a doubt, the best deal for Rangers.”
He said: “There is nothing irregular or untoward about it, much as certain sections of the press would like everyone to believe.
“Any suggestion that I am trying to make a fast buck or have indulged in illegal manoeuvring is clearly ludicrous.”
Meanwhile, Octopus Investments – which has invested money into Ticketus – has refrained from commenting on the latest developments.
Marketing manager Michael Piddock said: “We are bound by client confidentiality so we can’t comment at the moment.”