Rangers win fight to stop £300,000 arrestment of funds by WiFi firm over fears of club insolvency

Martin William  Senior News Reporter 

A WI-FI firm has lost the right to continue to have £300,000 of Rangers' money ring-fenced after it raised fears of a further insolvency of the Ibrox club.

The firm, 802 Works Ltd, were originally granted an arrestment warrant at Glasgow Sheriff Court on December 31.

They claim the cash is to be paid out for an unpaid bill for a Wi-Fi system installed at the stadium.

Herald Scotland:

Rangers have said they are considering lodging a counter-claim for the reimbursement of £600,000 paid in the WiFi deal.

The club alleged in court that the company breached the contract they had with them because the Wi-Fi is not fit for purpose.

But the court has decided that the arrestment should not continue and the warrant was recalled.

The WiFi firm failed to satisfy the sheriff that there was a risk of Rangers being on the verge of insolvency.

Herald Scotland:

An interim order for the arrestment was originally agreed on December 31 in the absence of the defenders.

802 Works pursued the arrestment believing there was a risk that the enforcement of any court order will be risked by the defenders verging on insolvency.

But Sheriff Ian Miller in recalling the warrant and the arrestment of money said he placed "particular weight" on the existence of a £6.5million loan given to the club and the latest financial situation.

New unaudited figures provided to the court showed a Rangers loss for the last six months of the year down to £500,000.

Sheriff Miller said that document (over the latest profit and loss accounts) "did change the whole focus of the hearing". 

The Wi-Fi providers, 802 Works claimed the football club owed them the money because a system was installed and the balance has not been paid.

Rangers claimed that the system does not have the capacity to be used by 50,000 people at the same time, but less than 10,000.

Herald Scotland:

However, 802 Works said they are entitled to the money because the work was carried out and figures relating to how many people would be able to access the system was made known to Rangers.

It was argued in court that it was made "quite clear from documents" that it was obvious there was no intention that anything like 50,000 people would be able to use the system simultaneously.

Counsel for the defenders, The Rangers Football Club Ltd, told the court that there was no prospect of insolvency and lenders were in place who"would not stand by and let the club go under". 

Various accounts were previously lodged at the court including an audited report dated October 2015 showing financial information and an account showing more recent figures that were taken from the clubs account system.

The most recent figures were objected to by solicitor advocate Simon Catto, representing 802 Works who said the audited report showing a full year's accounts and a loss of around £7.5 million per year should be preferred.

An interim order for the arrestment was originally agreed on December 31 in the absence of the defenders.

They also confirmed that £2.5 million of external funding needed to be found before the end of the season.

Herald Scotland: Rangers chairman Dave King.

Two weeks ago Rangers announced that loans totalling £6.5million had been secured from chairman Dave King and several other investors to settle the £5million debt that was outstanding to Sports Direct, the firm owned by shareholder and businessman Mike Ashley that controls Rangers’ retail and merchandise streams.

Two years ago, a new WiFi deal was announced by the club described by the brokers 802 Event WiFi as a "ground-breaking international deal between Rangers, one of the world's greatest football clubs, and giant Chinese company Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker."

Herald Scotland:

Lanarkshire-based Event WiFi, whose parent company is 802 Works Ltd, announced the seven-figure investment to bring the Ibrox fans "into a whole new era of in-depth, WiFi-based engagement with the massive club – as well as opening it up to lucrative new Asian markets".

802 Event WiFi said the "market-leading project" would ultimately give every fan seated at Ibrox – as well as in the approaches, concourse, restaurants and corporate areas – full, instant access to content-rich media and allow them to participate in real time interactions with the club.

It said the new set-up would "remove at a stroke the connectivity problems of 3G in high-density areas and allow 50,000+ supporters access to club competitions, merchandising, Rangers media, forthcoming events and more fan/club interactive engagement".

Herald Scotland:

Rangers also initially acclaimed the new WiFi set up saying it would bring fans into "a whole new era of in-depth, WiFi-based engagement with the club".







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