A COMPANY used by former Rangers owner Craig Whyte to buy the club has been stopped from making a bid to have its people in control of the in-liquidation Ibrox oldco.

It has emerged that the move by Rangers FC Group – the company formerly known as Wavetower that was founded by Mr Whyte - is part of a new £18 million legal claim on the creditors payout pot.

Representatives of the firm, now controlled by directors of in-liquidation investment company Worthington Group plc, have initially failed in what is a rare attempt to appoint administrative receivers over an in-liquidation firm.

It is understood that the move is the result of Rangers FC Group 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.

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

But BDO, the joint liquidators of the oldco, says it obtained an interim interdict which stopped the receivership appointment.

The legal bid came after Mr Whyte was last year cleared of fraud and financial assistance in the 2011 takeover - seen as the only apparent obstacles in the way of a successful bid.

Administrative receivers are insolvency experts who can be appointed by creditors who hold a security over assets of the company.

Receivers are authorised to take control of the company’s business and sell off assets to force a repayment of secured debt.

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.

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Mr Whyte, who presided over the Rangers oldco's plunge into administration in February, 2012, has always insisted that the Wavetower company he used to buy the club and pay off the debt – using future season ticket sales – inherited the bank's security over the Ibrox outfit's assets including Ibrox and Murray Park.

If BDO lose the case, the Rangers FC Group would be the only secured creditor and first in line ahead of the taxman and ticket agency Ticketus and other unsecured debtors to take money from the pot. It would reduce the amount unsecured creditors get back.

BDO has said that after a series of "protracted correspondence and meetings" with London-headquartered claims experts Henderson and Jones which initially sought a much smaller sum of £2.8 million said it would make the £18 million claim and consider appointing receivers.

A BDO spokesman said: Whilst Wavetower continue to make representations in respect of the interdict, based on legal advice received the joint liquidators consider that the merits of the claim will be decided in advance of the interdict issue."

The liquidators said it was likely the matter will be decided in a future Court of Session hearing.

It has always believed that any claim by the company was not valid.

It is understood the creditors' payout pot currently stands at just £8 million - following initial payouts to creditors.

A judgement by Lord Doherty last year put off any decision on the rights and wrongs of the Rangers FC Group claim until after Mr Whyte's fraud trial.

Henderson & Jones, which acts as a director of Rangers FC Group, describe themselves as expert litigators and insolvency professionals who purchase legal claims and endeavour to get money back to creditors by pursuing their legal claims.

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Directors of defunct Worthington Group plc, which has control of Rangers FC Group, also has control of Sevco 5088, the firm fronted by former Rangers executive Charles Green to buy the the liquidated assets of Rangers in 2012.

Worthington said in October, 2015 that it would stake a claim over Rangers business and assets.

Mr Whyte had previously insisted he was the main driver behind the Sevco 5088 that subsequently bought the liquidated assets before being transferred to a different company called Sevco Scotland.

In April, 2013, Worthington revealed it had been granted an option to acquire the whole of Law Financial Ltd which included Sevco 5088, which it said held a claim "independently reviewed by leading counsel...to all of the business and assets of RFC 2012 plc which were purchased by Sevco 5088 Limited or Sevco Scotland Ltd from the administrators... in June of 2012".

If the option was exercised, the group was to pay a total price of £1m in unsecured convertible loan notes, while it would also give a third of the proceeds of any assets, claims or rights currently owned by Mr Whyte’s companies - including the legal action and the film and book rights to his story – to him.

Included among Law Financial's assets was the legal action instigated by Mr Whyte against Mr Green for his claim on Rangers' assets.

Henderson and Jones declined to comment on the case.