DELOITTE has resigned as auditors of Rangers International Football Club (RIFC), after the Big Four’s staff were repeatedly threatened over a two year period.
In a letter to Rangers’ shareholders, Deloitte said its staff had been targeted with threatening and intimidating messages stretching back to the firm’s appointment in 2013.
The Glasgow Evening Times reports that in a further letter to shareholders, James Blair, the RIFC company secretary said: “The board is disappointed that Deloitte has chosen to resign due to acts which occurred in 2013 and 2014 whilst RIFC was under different stewardship.”
The Deloitte letter dated June 19 states: “We have decided that we no longer wish to carry on as auditor to the company.
“During the period of our audit appointment in 2013 and 2014, members of our engagement team and other Deloitte partners unconnected with the audit received threatening or intimidating messages from anonymous third party sources.
“The safety and wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance, and they should not be subject to this treatment when undertaking their normal professional duties. Accordingly we are resigning as auditors to Rangers International Football Club plc.”
In March, South African businessman Dave King and his allies wrested control of the RIFC board from allies of Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley in a shareholders vote at an extraordinary general meeting.
Shareholders had been told by Blair that “positive discussions” were ongoing with “alternative auditors” and that an announcement on an appointment will be made “in the near future”.
Earlier this year, the latest half-yearly RIFC accounts said Rangers’ holding company had appointed accountants Jeffreys Henry to act as independent reporting accountants after getting wind of the fact that Deloitte had announced an “intention to resign” after the June 2014 audit.
At the time, acting chairman Paul Murray said the previous board had “chosen not to announce this nor did they find a replacement”.