Judge won't rule on Rangers' Ticketus deal

The entrance to Glasgow Rangers football club's Ibrox ground in Glasgow, Scotland, pictured in February 2012. Administrators said Thursday they would consider three of the four bids submitted for Scottish champions Rangers

A judge has refused to rule on whether stricken Scottish champions Rangers can tear up a £24.4 million ($38.72m) season-ticket deal with investment firm Ticketus.

Rangers' administrators Duff and Phelps wanted to void the arrangement with Ticketus on the basis that it could discourage bidders who may want to take over the cash-strapped club.

The Ticketus deal was struck by Rangers owner Craig Whyte during his takeover last year.

Whyte used money from the Ticketus deal to complete his purchase of the Glasgow club, taking over its £18m debt from Lloyds Banking Group.

With Rangers now in administration after British tax authorities lodged a petition over the non-payment of around £9m in taxes, Ticketus continues to insist it has a legally binding agreement to receive £27m from the club over three years.

After a five-day hearing at the Court of Session, Lord Hodge said he had not been given sufficient legal information to allow him to make a ruling on the club's contract with Ticketus.

The judge also declined to give Ticketus preferential treatment as creditors.

In a summary of his decision, issued on Friday, Lord Hodge said he "declined to give a direction" because "he considered that the court had not been given sufficient information to allow it to make such a ruling".

The latest court wrangle came as administrators continue their attempts to sell the club.

A consortium led by Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy and former Ibrox director Paul Murray are confirmed bidders, with an American consortium also reported to be among the interested parties.

The Court of Session reportedly heard claims that two of the four parties that have submitted bids did so on condition that the Ticketus deal did not stand.

Speaking after the judge's comments, Kennedy said: "I am taking legal advice to find out what the court ruling means with regard to the indebtedness of Rangers Football Club and until that is clarified, I will be making no further comment."

Murray's 'Blue Knights' consortium is backed by both fans' groups and Ticketus.