Craig Whyte, the ex-director of the former The Rangers Football Club plc in Scotland, has been disqualified as a director for the maximum tariff of 15 years, for failing to avoid conflict of interest in the running of the club, following proceedings brought by the Insolvency Service.

The disqualification, which takes effect from 21 October 2014 prevents Mr Whyte from being a company director or in control of a company until 20 October 2029 without permission from the court.

Mr Whyte, 43, was the chairman of The Rangers Football Club plc (RFC) which was placed into administration in February 2012 and was subsequently wound up by the Court of Session in Scotland in October 2012. He was also a director of Tixway UK Ltd, which was wound up by Court of Session in Scotland in July 2012.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

The court has disqualified Craig Whyte for 15 years for the harm he caused to Rangers Football Club, and to the many football fans who believed in his promises.

Mr Whyte bought a much-loved club, and promised fans that he would provide further cash to bring success. However, he caused the club to use this money to fund the purchase of its own shares, reducing funds for investment. He also failed to consult other directors on important decisions meaning that his behaviour went unchallenged.

Such blatant lack of regard for proper corporate behaviour and control does not have a place in modern society.

Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies are run properly, for the benefit of the creditors, shareholders and, in this case, fans who believed in him.

The grounds of the petition are:

In RFC, Mr Whyte failed to act in accordance with his duties as a director to promote the interests of the company and to avoid conflicts of interest including:
causing RFC to enter into an agreement to effectively fund the purchase of its own shares;
conducting the affairs of RFC without reference to other board directors, preventing RFC from being subject to proper corporate governance;
causing RFC to fail to comply with its tax obligations.

In Tixway UK Ltd, Mr Whyte:
caused Tixway UK Ltd to fail to maintain or preserve adequate accounting records, or if records were maintained, he failed to cooperate with requests to deliver them up.