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  1. International Football Club plc ("Rangers" or the "Company") Scottish Professional Football League Limited ("SPFL") Claim. The board of the SPFL has determined that Rangers Football Club Limited (the "Club") is liable to pay the EBT Commission fine of £250,000 levied on RFC 2012 PLC (previously The Rangers Football Club plc) (in liquidation) The SPFL has also decided that this sum will be recovered from the Club by the SPFL withholding broadcasting money and other sums due to the Club but which are paid in the first instance to the SPFL. An appeal has been lodged with the Judicial Panel of the Scottish FA which has confirmed that the decision of the SPFL is suspended pending the outcome of the appeal subject to the SPFL's right to object. The Board is advised that the sum is not due to SPFL and the appeal will be pursued vigorously.
  2. Reading McMurdos Blog today, even he knows Ashley will not invest. ''Rangers are sick at heart. The answer is a strong leader but there is no-one on the horizon who fills that role. Everyone involved is hanging on to their own sphere of power and influence at the club. There is no Willie Waddell, no Bill Struth or Jock Wallace to rally the Ibrox battallions and have them face the same way instead of train their guns at each other. Yes, there is Mike Ashley. I am confident that he will step forward and provide both leadership and funding to steer Rangers away from the rocks and back to ruling the seas. But in all honesty I have to say that the margins are so fine at this very critical juncture that he might do so just too late to prevent a shipwreck. And let there be no doubt – what’s left of Scottish football will drown in the wake." https://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com
  3. THE Crown Office will today issue a warrant for the arrest of disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte, the Daily Record can exclusively reveal. Whyte is wanted in connection with alleged fraud over his purchase of the Ibrox club in 2011. The sensational news comes after it was revealed that police forces in England, acting on warrants from Police Scotland, made dawn arrests today in connection with a long-running inquiry into Rangers. Four men were arrested at addresses in Thames Valley, Surrey and Cheshire. The first of the four is Paul Clark, London managing director of former Rangers adminstrators Duff & Phelps. The other three are former Duff & Phelps north of England managing director David Whitehouse, David Greer, a former partner in the business, and Gary Withey, a solicitor who worked with Whyte’s law firm Collyer Bristow. The arrests came at 6am today. Whyte, who has a flat in Monaco, is believed to be out of the country. It is thought the allegations over which the men have been detained centre on claims that Grier and Whyte were known to each other before Duff & Phelps were appointed as Whyte’s choice of administrators for Rangers in 2012. HMRC had at first opposed Whyte’s choice of administrators. Whyte bought the club from Sir David Murray in 2011 for £1 promising to wipe Rangers’ £18 million debt to Lloyds Banking Group. It later emerged he had sold future season ticket sales to London firm Ticketus to finance the deal. In 2013 financial industry regulators cleared Duff & Phelps of wrongdoing over the Rangers’ administration, though they said the company had left itself open to criticism. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/sc...-crown-4628861
  4. THE WAR is over. The retailer has won. This morning Graham Wallace will be fired from his position as Rangers chief 
executive and this crisis-ravaged club will belong lock, stock and smoking barrel to Mike Ashley. Quite what Ashley has planned for it is still a matter of conjecture but the ruthless manner in which he went about last week’s power grab certainly suggests he wants it badly and also sees a way to make a killing by rolling his tanks into Glasgow. He now has security over two 
of the club’s major assets, the 
Albion car park and Edmiston House, and when his placemen arrive in the boardroom this week he’ll have grabbed this club firmly 
by the throat. As with everything Rangers, Ashley’s arrival on the scene will be spun in a variety of ways. The dark arts were evidenced 
over the weekend when it was leaked that, without his intervention, this basketcase would have gone bust within 48 hours. There were even muffled whispers from the shadowy sidelines Ashley had in fact ‘saved the club’ but the very notion the Newcastle United chairman had ridden to Rangers rescue in some sort of philanthropic or heroic act is completely absurd. In many ways, what actually went on amid increasingly frantic 
discussions on Thursday and Friday was a throwback to May 2011 when Sir David Murray invited Craig Whyte to trigger this omnishambles and set in action the catastrophic chain of events that has now led to Ashley’s increased involvement. That deal was a great bit of 
business for Whyte and for Lloyds Bank in particular – the £18million they recouped from the sale remains the outstanding trade of the last three and a half chaotic years – but it was a spectacularly awful one for the Ibrox club. Similarly, by taking control of Rangers for the price of a £2m loan, every penny of which will be paid back, Ashley has pulled off a serious coup in more ways than one. This is why he is known as the biggest beast in the jungle but even the Newcastle owner must be laughing up the sleeve of his safari suit at the way in which he managed to pull this one off. It was typically bold and eye poppingly aggressive and it included issuing the remnants of the Rangers board with threats of legal action both collectively and individually, should they turn him down in favour of a £3m loan from Brian Kennedy. Each of these directors was warned of potentially devastating repercussions should Ashley not get his way and as a result Rangers is his now to do with as he wishes. And all for less than the cost of a Sports Direct poly bag. It was an extraordinary stunt and it’s no wonder Sale Sharks owner Kennedy left Glasgow on Saturday still unsure as to how on earth the dysfunctional Rangers board – a collection of directors who have run the business into the ground – could allow it to happen in spite of his impassioned pleas. The farce began with the rejection of Dave King’s £16m bailout offer by the mysterious bloc of shareholders whose 26 per cent voting rights are represented by Sandy Easdale. On Thursday CEO Wallace, who knew his £300,000-a-year neck was now well and truly on the line, reached out to Kennedy and pleaded with him to make a counter offer. Kennedy worked through the night with his legal team to come up with his £3m offer, dependent only on him being allowed to place one man on the current board. He flew to Glasgow at lunchtime on Friday in the hope of getting the deal done. Kennedy was wasting his jet fuel. Not one of these directors was even at Ibrox on the day it was determined Ashley should be handed the keys. The fact all these discussions were held via conference call, underlines how little feel for the club these men have. Wallace headed for a beach in Greece despite being urged by at least two key protagonists to 
postpone his holiday for 24 hours. Finance director Philip Nash went one better by resigning and washing his hands of the entire Ashley v Kennedy showdown. That Nash threw in the towel is an indication he suspected the game was up and that another director, Laxey’s lackey Norman Crighton, had jumped camps at the last minute. Crighton had voiced his concern at Ashley’s move and had even said the Cockney must be stopped ‘at all costs’ but he performed a 180-degree turn at the last minute to leave Kennedy’s proposal in tatters. Chairman David Somers is another who may have cause to be persecuted by his own conscience. At least Nash had the principle to resign from his £1,000-a-day post. While Wallace was clinging on for dear life for his pay-off, Nash wanted no part of it and this included telling Ashley’s people he was unwilling to work for their man in the event he was successful. Having previously called for the removal of Nash and Walllace, Ashley had a change of heart. It’s understood he wanted Nash on board after crediting him with making £5m worth of cuts since February. One of those cuts was to a contract worth in excess of £100,000-a-year to Ashley’s own PR firm Keith Bishop Associates. This agreement was done as part of the £1 stadium naming rights deal Ashley agreed with Charles Green and which was signed off by Imran Ahmad – who then sued Rangers for £300,000 in bonuses for all of his good work. Deals like these are precisely why Rangers should brace itself for the full impact of Ashley’s arrival. He already pockets 49 per cent of all income from merchandise sales but may think this arrangement can be tweaked and improved in his favour. With two of his men on the board, a compliant chairman and confirmed allies in James Easdale and Crighton, he can do pretty much as he pleases. The only comfort in any of this for the Rangers supporters is to be found in the depth of Ashley’s pockets. He will not allow this club to go under, that much is certain. But from here on in Rangers will be run his way and for his benefit. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/keith-jackson-mike-ashleys-rangers-4515761
  5. By Richard Wilson BBC Scotland There are still challenges to overcome, not least the continuing lack of a title sponsor for the Scottish Professional Football League, but individual clubs can still thrive. The level of debt being carried by top-flight teams is falling, and that presents an opportunity. Dundee United and Kilmarnock recently secured debt-reduction deals with Lloyds Bank. Two clubs whose financial priority had to be servicing seven-figure debts can now maximise the worth of their incomes. Celtic's interim results for the financial year to 31 December showed a surplus in the bank, while Motherwell, St Mirren, St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are all free of long-term debt. Hearts are due to emerge from administration with the Foundation of Hearts having taken over a debt-free club that will eventually be turned over to full supporter ownership when the purchase price is paid back through fan subscriptions. Ross County's rise up the leagues has been enabled by the largesse of Roy MacGregor. Hibernian and Aberdeen are still carrying debt, around £5m and around £9m respectively, but there is an appetite within Lloyds Bank to seek an outcome that protects the community aspect of football clubs, as seen in the deals struck with Dundee United and Kilmarnock. The effect is to present Scottish football with a chance to redraw its priorities and establish a time of financial stability. "Banks are taking more of a pragmatic view, which says that what we really want is out of this situation, so we will do a deal, if that makes sense, and if the club can sustain itself," says Charles Barnett, the professional sports group partner at BDO, whose annual review of football finances will be published at the beginning of next season. "There's been one or two clubs recently, like Motherwell, who since they got out of their [financial] troubles have regularly reported a break-even type model. That doesn't mean breaking even every year, but over a period of time, so a small profit one year and a small loss the next. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. "We have less sponsorship income in general around the country, TV revenues aren't going anywhere at the moment and attendances at some clubs are doing well and falling away a bit at others. It's an incredibly challenging environment. But this is an opportunity." The removal of debt burdens allows clubs to focus on reinvesting in sporting performance. Dundee United offer a prime example, since the club's youth development programme has delivered a regular supply of promising young talent into the first-team squad. Transfer fees were inevitably required for the likes of David Goodwillie - £2m to Blackburn Rovers - and Johnny Russell - £750,000 to Derby County - since United had debt payments to service. The Tannadice club can drive a harder bargain now that a group of fan investors have contributed to the wiping of £4m in debt . Clubs will covet the likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Andrew Robertson, but United are under no pressure to sell. This allows Scottish clubs more leeway in attempting to keep young talent in the country for longer before the financial pull of the English game eventually draws them south. Aberdeen are among those who have suffered from losing players before they establish themselves in the first team, with Jack Grimmer leaving for Fulham when he was 17 and Ryan Fraser leaving for Bournemouth at 18. Hibernian and Hearts have established a strong reputation for developing young talent, and Scottish clubs can exploit the worth of that reputation. English teams will always be able to offer higher wages, but many young Scots, like Goodwillie and Grimmer, have travelled south and seen their careers stall. To keep young talent in the country for longer, and to the benefit of Scottish football, players need to be certain that their game will develop further through regular first-team experience. That will enable them to become better and so still attract a future transfer, but clubs needs to be financially stable enough to make decisions based on sporting rather than income merits. "The stronger the club's financial position, the stronger they can be in the transfer market," says Ross Wilson, formerly head of football development at Falkirk and now head of football operations at Huddersfield Town. Continue reading the main story “I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players” Ross Wilson Falkirk's former head of football development "But also, the stronger the club's brand becomes in terms of being regularly capable of producing young players, so they can eventually leave at a premium. "For example, Crewe Alexandria are a League One club, but when they sell players it's at a premium compared to clubs around them, because historically they have a reputation for being a strong developer and seller of players. "That could be replicated in Scotland, with clubs consistently producing players for the first team." Most clubs will have no option but to live within their means, so the ideal is to improve those circumstances. The benefactor model has been undermined following the financial collapses of Hearts, Rangers and Motherwell, while supporters are less inclined to welcome investment for the purpose of making a return because sporting performance needs to be the priority. There is also little wealth to be made in the Scottish game when external revenue streams are so modest. "No bank is prepared to lend new money into the sector in Scotland," says Barnett. "Therefore clubs have to learn to live within their means. And what's the purpose of a football club? "In my view, the objective should be to operate a balanced budget over a period of time, not making big or regular small profits." Youth development, smart player trading, all from a stable financial basis, offers Scottish football clubs an opportunity to build a sense of optimism. Supporters also tend to bond with home-grown talent, while the national team will benefit from a growing emphasis not only on academy graduates, but finding a way to keep them in Scottish football for longer so that if they eventually leave for England, they are better able to thrive at a higher level. "I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players," says Wilson. "If you're making proper investment in it, in terms of the structure and the people you bring in, then it reaps the rewards of players being produced and being sold."
  6. From BBC website: Kilmarnock close to major debt reduction deal By Richard Wilson and Jim Spence BBC Scotland Kilmarnock are set to announce a deal that will see the majority of the club's £9.4m debt written off by Lloyds Bank. The agreement would involve the chairman Michael Johnston retaining a reduced shareholding in the club. A company headed by local businessman Billy Bowie would take ownership of the hotel, which has been valued at around £2.5m. Johnston and Bowie would also be joined on the board by three new directors. Kilmarnock would be left essentially debt free, while the company that takes ownership of the hotel adjacent to the stadium would take on the remainder of the bank debt, thought to be between £2.5m and £3m. Negotiations have been ongoing for weeks, and became more pressing after the Kilmarnock Futures Consortium - a group of local businessmen - pulled out of takeover talks. It is understood that Bowie will provide an injection of working capital to sustain the club until season tickets are sold later in the year. The three new directors are also likely to provide additional funding, once they have been voted onto the board. Clauses are thought to be included in the agreement that would prevent individuals benefitting from the sale of assets in the future, which would effectively secure the long-term future of the likes of Rugby Park for the Kilmarnock community. Some of the forthcoming investment in the club would, though, be required for stadium maintenance work. The deal would free Kilmarnock from the burden of meeting the repayments on a large debt, but the club would also lose the revenue stream from the hotel, which is a profit-making business. Johnston has stressed at previous annual general meetings the importance of that revenue stream to the club. However the debt, which was accrued in the building of the hotel, was holding Kilmarnock back. Some supporters will remain opposed to Johnston's continuing involvement, and will remain committed to the Not A Penny More campaign that was launched in a bid to oust the chairman. Other fans, though, will accept that a deal had to be struck and one of the consequences is that Johnston is no longer the sole authority at the club and that the board has been opened up to new directors. The Kilmarnock sponsors, QTS, will also continue to back the club in a kit sponsorship deal worth around £250,000. Alan McLeish, the owner of QTS, was a member of the Kilmarnock Futures Consortium that withdrew from takeover talks with Johnston, but he remains committed to financially backing the club.
  7. IAN Black has vowed to earn a new deal with Rangers - and help the Ibrox club complete every stage of 'The Journey'. The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hearts man is out of contract at the end of next season. But he is keen to pledge his future to Rangers so he can help them compete against their Old Firm rivals. Black said: "I have been consistent this season and the manager has been happy enough to play me every week. I have been doing something right. "I just need to work hard, keep my head down and try to earn myself a new contract. "I have got this year and next season just now. When you have got a year-and-a-half left then you obviously look to get a new deal and a bit of security for my career and for my family as well. "I just want to work hard and hopefully things behind the scenes can work out for me." He added: "My aim is to play in the top flight. Coming here when we were at the bottom my aim was to help the club get back up. "Hopefully I can be rewarded with getting a deal to play in the Premiership with a club this size. It is up to me to keep playing well and trying to get one." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/black-aim-is-a-ticket-to-ride-on-journey-152249n.23438571
  8. DAVE KING made the following statement tonight: "I confirm that I held talks with Rangers Chief Executive Craig Mather and Finance Director Brian Stockbridge in South Africa. I wished the discussions to remain confidential until something definite was agreed- one way or another. I have maintained that confidentiality. However, given my awareness of incorrect inferences being drawn in the media I would like to make a limited statement at this time. "The discussions were, to my mind, very positive and it was agreed that subject to the normal regulatory approval I would put my name forward to join the Board and to serve as Chairman. "Such an appointment is of course subject to the approval of the existing Board members and ultimately the shareholders of the company. There are also mandatory regulatory requirements that must be complied with and take time. I have already submitted all the necessary documentation. "News of the meeting has found its way into the public domain and this has unsurprisingly resulted in speculation as to the nature and the outcome of the meeting. In reaction to this speculation and to give some clarity to the club's fans I would like to address a couple of points at this time. "First, my willingness to become part of the future of the football club is based simply on my love for the club and my desire to support the club with a combination of my business expertise and my willingness to make a further investment. "In particular I see a present need to utilise the time we have over the next few seasons to be prepared, both financially and on the pitch, to compete with our Glasgow neighbours when we get back to the top League. "My involvement is not linked in any way to any other individual, albeit I have my private thoughts as to certain individuals that might add value to the club going forward. Ultimately it is for the shareholders to make such decisions. The recent settlement of my litigation in South Africa removes any impediment to my appointment to the board. "I want to make it clear that I agreed to join the Board only after intensive and detailed discussions with the existing executives and because I believe I can help them by playing a significant role in driving Rangers forward and finally putting the past behind us. "It is sad that every month of the continued disunity between the fans and other stakeholders is eroding our ability to be ready for the step up to the premier league. We do not have time to waste. "It was also made clear by Mr Mather and Mr Stockbridge that Rangers are not in need of an immediate financial injection but we agreed that now is the time to commence a new round of funding to ensure that it is available in an orderly and cost effective manner when required. I wish to lead that fund raising exercise and being on the Board will greatly assist me in that regard. "I believe that the timing is right for me to take this step and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the current directors albeit I would have preferred to have my appointment confirmed prior to communicating my further thoughts. Unfortunately the rumour mill necessitated this short statement. If matters proceed as I hope over the next few days then I will be present at the AGM." http://t.co/LgzX419pNl
  9. Tom English: â??Paul Murrayâ??s bid was well-meaning but not based in realityâ?? Published on Sunday 4 December 2011 01:32 PAUL Murray, the former non-executive director of Rangers, raised his head above the parapet in The Scotsman yesterday when expressing his concerns about the way the club is being run by Craig Whyte, his old foe from the takeover process earlier in the year. This column has given short shrift to Murray in the past â?? and especially to his cohort, Alastair â??No Surrenderâ? Johnston, the great show-boater of the old guard. That is not to dismiss Murrayâ??s concerns over Whyte. Heâ??s entitled to be uncertain about Rangersâ?? future and worried about Whyteâ??s stewardship. There is so much secrecy and inconsistency surrounding Whyte that cynicism is not just an understandable instinct, but a necessary one. The contradictions are many. In October, Whyte gave an interview to STV in which he stated that he nothing to hide in his professional life. An hour later a BBC investigation revealed that Whyte had been disqualified from being a company director for seven years. At the outset of his ownership he rubbished the possibility that Rangers might go into administration. Now he is saying that it has always been an option. He said from day one that he would appeal should the HMRC decision go against the club, but he appears to have changed his mind on that one. In the wake of the BBC documentary he stated that he was going to waste no time in suing the broadcaster, but it seems he has not taken that step yet. He might yet, of course. There is a suspicious air around Whyte and much of it is of his own making, born out of his determination to keep his business affairs as private as possible. When he is asked to name a couple of his companies that he is particularly proud of and then refuses to name them, people are entitled to wonder what heâ??s all about. The mystery creates an information vacuum that then gets filled with speculation. Informed speculation, some of it. But the fact is that, when it comes to Whyte (his money and his motives), a lot of what is out there is little more than guesswork. His merits as Rangersâ?? owner can only be judged in time. This is where this column and Murray go our separate ways because there are things that Murray says that just donâ??t stand up to any kind of scrutiny. First of all, Murray expresses surprise at the talk of Rangers, potentially, going into administration. â??I am puzzled that administration is even being discussed,â? he said. â??The HMRC tax tribunal will not deliver a decision until well into next year so at the moment there is no tax liability to pay.â? Puzzled at administration being discussed? Hold on a second, there. Johnston, his big mate on the old board, was talking about administration away back in April. In fact, he got himself embroiled in a controversy about whether or not he stated the club could, in a worst-case scenario, actually go bust. â??Yes, if there is an excessive (HMRC) judgment against us then we might not be in a position to pay it,â? said Johnston on 1 April. â??But I never said the club would go bust as a result of it. The very worst thing that could happen is that we lose the case and, as a result, could be looking at going into administration.â? So it was OK for Johnston (and by extension, Murray) to talk about administration but, when Whyte does it, Murray is â??puzzledâ?. Heâ??ll have to explain that one. And, while he is at it, he might enlighten us further on his supposed counter-bid for the club and why he waited and waited and waited before he did something, which, effectively, was nothing. According to Whyte, it amounted to a â??five line e-mail sent from his Blackberryâ? when the Whyte deal was as good as done. Sir David Murray, it is understood, gave it no credence whatsoever, nor did Lloyds Bank. And nor would Johnston have given it the time of day had he applied his own rules to his mateâ??s offer. Johnston wanted transparency, but the Murray bid supposedly involved a £25 million share issue underwritten by a businessman whose name he would not reveal, with other backers coming on board as well. He wouldnâ??t name them either. The â??bidâ? also stated that Lloyds would only be paid off in stages, this despite Johnston having earlier stated that a prerequisite of any takeover was that Lloyds were paid off in full and removed from the Rangers landscape permanently. Murrayâ??s solution to the HMRC issue was to get Sir David to pay whatever bill came the clubâ??s way. Lovely idea, but unless he is an expert in hypnosis there was no way Paul Murray was going to get the then owner to agree to that. So his â??bidâ? was probably well-meaning but not based in reality. Meanwhile, Whyte was ploughing on and doing a deal. Itâ??s not a deal that Paul Murray or Johnston like and Whyte is not a man they have faith in, but the alternative was that Sir David kept the club â?? and they didnâ??t want that either. The fact is that, when Johnston came in as chairman, the mission statement he set out for himself was to find a new owner who would liberate the club from the grip of Lloyds Bank. Johnston found nobody. He failed. Paul Murray failed, too. He had his chance to buy the club and he didnâ??t take it. He sat and waited and came up with far too little, far too late. â??Everything we said has come home to roost,â? said Murray. â??I donâ??t take any pleasure from that. . . Talking about administration, being pursued by suppliers and the possibility of a fit and proper investigation at the SFA. . . itâ??s humiliating and embarrassing.â? Yes, itâ??s troubling, no doubt about it. But there was no nirvana option available to Rangers. The club had to accept Whyteâ??s offer or stick with Sir David and live with the consequences. There was no third way worthy of consideration. Sniping from the sidelines is understandable. For sure, Whyte needs to be scrutinised given the potential horrors that await the club. But to Paul Murray we ask: â??What would you have done?â? Once the attempted brainwashing of Sir David into accepting liability for a £49m tax debt ended in failure, what was the alternative? And the answer is, there wasnâ??t one.
  10. One of Rangers' highest profile fans said allegations about new club owner Craig Whyte carried in a BBC Scotland documentary were "quite disturbing". John MacMillan, general secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association, said Mr Whyte was "duty bound" to make a statement to fans on the programme. He said former owner Sir David Murray should address claims that Lloyds Bank forced through the Whyte deal. Mr Whyte has instructed legal action over the documentary. Speaking to the BBC Scotland news website, Mr MacMillan said: "We have to recognise that, at this point, these are allegations and if they are proven to be false then Craig Whyte will have recourse through the courts. "If the allegations are genuine, however, then we have a very worrying situation indeed." 'Very disturbed' Mr MacMillan described as "disturbing" the contribution from Robert Burns, the head of investigation and enforcement at the UK government Insolvency Service. Continue reading the main story â??Start Quote These things have to be answered and Sir David Murray should come out and make a statementâ? John MacMillan Rangers Supporters Association Mr Burns said his agency took the view that a company it had looked into was "being controlled, or certainly had the involvement of an individual (Mr Whyte) who was disqualified" from acting as a director. Asked if Mr Whyte should make a statement addressing these allegations, Mr MacMillan said: "Without a shadow of a doubt". "I think for clarification Craig Whyte is duty-bound to come out and make a statement to Rangers supporters," he said. Mr MacMillan said he was "very disturbed" by allegations from former chairman Alistair Johnston that Lloyds Bank had threatened to cut Rangers' credit line if Craig Whyte's takeover of the club did not go ahead. He said this concern extended to Mr Johnston's assertion that Sir David Murray sold the club to Mr Whyte against his advice. Mr MacMillan said: "I don't know Alistair Johnston but he came over to me as a very honest guy. "These things have to be answered and Sir David Murray should come out and make a statement." The programme, Rangers: The Inside Story, was shown on Thursday night. A spokesman for Mr Whyte said he "strenuously refutes" the "unfounded and defamatory allegations" aired in the programme and had instructed his lawyers to "commence immediate legal proceedings against the BBC". A spokesman for BBC Scotland said the corporation stood by the investigation "which was produced according to our rigorous editorial standards on fairness, accuracy and impartiality". http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15402557
  11. With most media sources now suggesting the takeover of Rangers is likely to be announced to the Stock Exchange later this week, it seems the question is no longer if this deal will happen but when. On the surface the price and stipulations agreed by Whyte look to be a good for the club and supporters alike. The vast majority of the long term bank loan will be eradicated and other existing debt removed while 'new' money made available to invest into the club - around �£30million over 5 years if the 'sources' are to be believed. Given our existing owner (and his directors) have struggled to provide anything similar without selling players or relying on Champions League money it will be fascinating to see how Whyte et al intend supplying their investment. Will we be exchanging old debt for new debt and one nosey bank for another? After all, surely Whyte won't be putting in �£30million of his own money - if indeed he does have the net-worth as to afford such a sum? It is obvious then that at this stage we have more questions than answers. So much so, that we're reliant on Sir David Murray, Lloyds Bank and the 'independent bid oversight sub-committee' to conduct due-diligence on the buyer on our behalf. We can only hope they do so without prejudice given all these parties will have their own self-interest to look after. Will Rangers FC and its loyal support really be high on their list of priorities though? The very fact we're basing our concerns on hope rather than expectation is perhaps as damning as any in-depth post-mortem on the Murray era. Much better then to look to the future and while our questions to Craig Whyte may occur after the fact they're still worth asking. It is probable that he'll be eager to meet with the Rangers Assembly quickly after buying so I'm sure they'll be ready to represent us all in asking the difficult questions that need to be answered. A bland interview with a salivating Chic Young just won't do. As a shareholder and season-ticket holder (though not yet renewed) I'll be expecting the Assembly to concentrate on the following few key areas - though I'm sure we'll all have our own equally important questions and concerns as well. - Who is Craig Whyte? Simplistic Google searches notwithstanding the lack of information on Whyte really is quite incredible. Other than a few failed UK businesses and questions about just how long his visas in Monaco lasted, we know next to nothing about this 'successful businessman'. Obviously he must have some sort of proof of what he offers - both strategically and financially. We need to know more about his past, his future and who his partners are. This should be the easiest question for him to answer. - Where is the investment coming from? �£5million of 'new' money for 5 seasons irrespective of player sales and European participation is a fair sum given the club struggles to make a profit otherwise in the stagnant SPL market. To that end, where is this money coming from, who is providing it and what guarantees are placed on the club as a result? This question is less easy to answer and the new regime may not want to reveal vital tactical information but given the club's current situation our concerns are valid so need to be addressed. - Where do you see the club in 5 years time? It may seem daft to ask questions about 2016 before the guy has sat behind his new desk in 2011 but despite the initial successes of the Murray era, Rangers have struggled with anything other than short-term fixes in the last 10 years especially. Furthermore Whyte is promising investment for 5 years but what happens after that? Do he and/or his backers pull out? Will the club be for sale again? What position will it be in? A long-term vision is something we all need and want to buy into. That may be literal if rumours are to be believed about share issues. Of course we could go on all day with a variety of specific questions. I'm sure transfer policy, supporters representation, board make-up, media/PR work, asset protection and youth systems are equally important dependent on our own personal bug-bears. But without answers to the big questions above, any promises on the individual elements have no foundation. To that end, we must concentrate on the wider issues initially. Now, common sense tells us we may not obtain all the answers we want and, of those we do get, we may not like them all. That's fair enough but, at the very least, any welcome for Craig Whyte and his backers should also mean putting him through the wringer as soon as we shake his hand. With �£20million of season ticket money still in reserve he should be equally as keen to answer. Will the grip match the smile?
  12. I wonder when the next deadline finishes?
  13. Apr 20 2011 Exclusive by Keith Jackson DIRECTOR Paul Murray last night emerged as the mastermind behind a new bid to take over Rangers ââ?¬â?? but he faces a battle to persuade Lloyds Bank to accept his proposal. The shock new bid is the reason Craig Whyteââ?¬â?¢s planned buy-out has been delayed but it does not yet have the backing of Lloyds. Murrayââ?¬â?¢s camp claim their takeover would provide new boss Ally McCoist with an instant Ã?£25million war chest. But Whyteââ?¬â?¢s people hit back last night, claiming their bid is worth Ã?£52.5m. And a source close to Whyte also suggested if he is forced to further delay his attempt while Rangers directors scrutinise Murrayââ?¬â?¢s plan it might be too late. The source said last night: ââ?¬Å?He will not wait much longer.ââ?¬Â Record Sport understands Murray has assembled a consortium of wealthy Rangers fans who are willing to pledge a small fortune to get the club back on its feet. Financial expert Murray wants new shares to be released and has told the Rangers board his group have the cash in place to underwrite the scheme to the tune of Ã?£25m ââ?¬â?? all of which would then be pumped into McCoistââ?¬â?¢s first-team coffers. But the plan hinges on Lloyds keeping the current credit facility in place and allowing the Ibrox debt to be repaid in instalments. The bank still favour Whyteââ?¬â?¢s bid because it guarantees them their money and Murray still has to persuade them to back his offer. Murray made his move after holding crisis talks with current owner Sir David Murray last week. It is understood Murray, who was at Tannadice last night to watch his team take on Dundee United, now plans talks with Sir David and Lloyds in a bid to thrash out a deal. But the word last night was that Murray ââ?¬â?? who teamed up with exiled Rangers director Dave King in a failed Ã?£18m bid for Murray Internationalââ?¬â?¢s shareholding in 2009 ââ?¬â?? wants to do business quickly. Murray, 46, has almost two decades of experience in the private equity industry, working for companies including 3i plc and Deutsche Bank in executive positions. We understands his shock ââ?¬Å?plan Bââ?¬Â proposals have already gained support at boardroom level and also with the current management. A source close to Murrayââ?¬â?¢s group told us: ââ?¬Å?Paul felt it was time to act with a matter of urgency. ââ?¬Å?He has now acted and is looking to get everything finalised as quickly as possible. There is no reason why this canââ?¬â?¢t be concluded in a four to six-week timescale. ââ?¬Å?This is a credible and real solution to the situation which is crippling Rangers. ââ?¬Å?Paul expressed an interest a while ago, as was reported at the time. It came to nothing but things have deteriorated a lot since then. When Craig Whyte arrived on the scene Paul was open-minded. He was prepared to try to help the guy. ââ?¬Å?But itââ?¬â?¢s been dragging on for six months, meanwhile the situation at the club has been getting worse. ââ?¬Å?That is why Paul acted last week. He felt things had reached the point of no return. ââ?¬Å?He loves the club and he could not stand back and allow this crisis to continue. The situation inside the club is critical. ââ?¬Å?He would not put his name to this if he wasnââ?¬â?¢t confident of getting it done.ââ?¬Â Murrayââ?¬â?¢s move came to the fore yesterday in a statement from club chairman Alastair Johnston which was also made to explain to supporters why his board have moved to block Whyteââ?¬â?¢s takeover until the end of the season. Whyte had hoped to conclude the deal on Monday afternoon but the independent five-man board set up to run the rule over any bids refused to pass his offer. They donââ?¬â?¢t have power of veto but business etiquette and boardroom politics means they can delay the process further ââ?¬â?? to allow Murray time to make his move. The independent board will have to examine and question Murrayââ?¬â?¢s plan just as they have tried to do with Whyteââ?¬â?¢s package. And Johnston, in a statement last night, hinted the documents detailing Whyteââ?¬â?¢s offer did not add up. Whyteââ?¬â?¢s team then claimed that any suggestions he didnââ?¬â?¢t have the money or funding he said he could provide were not only untrue but defamatory. Whyte was said to be furious about the further delay but the independent board ââ?¬â?? Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain, finance director Donald McIntyre and non-executive directors John McClelland and John Greig ââ?¬â?? insist they have only recently been able to look at the detailed agreements which David Murray, Lloyds and Whyte have been working on. And it is fair to say they are far from happy or convinced. Johnston said: ââ?¬Å?Based on the documents we have only been able to review within the last week, we are disappointed they did not reflect the investment in the club that we were led to believe for the last few months would be a commitment in the purchase agreement. ââ?¬Å?Given the requirement to repay the bank in full under the proposed transaction, there appears to be only a relatively modest amount of money available that would positively impact the clubââ?¬â?¢s operations, especially as it relates to an urgent requirement to replenish and upgrade the playing squad.ââ?¬Â http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/2011/04/20/rangers-director-paul-murray-reveals-rival-bid-to-buy-club-as-craig-whyte-bid-falters-86908-23073941/
  14. RANGERS chairman Alastair Johnston has sparked a high-stakes game of poker - with the club's future in the pot. Late on Monday night, with would-be Gers buyer Craig Whyte desperate to finally seal his �£25million takeover, Johnston REFUSED to be railroaded into rubber-stamping the deal. Instead he listened to another Gers director - understood to be chartered accountant Paul Murray - who promised he could broker a rival �£25m bid to underwrite a new shares issue in the club. SunSport believes that proposal is backed by the financial muscle of South African multi-millionaire Dave King and Lanarkshire motoring tycoon Douglas Park. As manager-in-waiting Ally McCoist sweats over what funds he will have, though, the nightmare news for Gers fans is that process could take 10 WEEKS. Forget all the financial posturing and alleged stalling tactics, the reality is that new boss McCoist could be marooned on July 1 with NO IDEA what his transfer budget is, with the SPL season due to start on July 23. Johnston, though, insisted he had grave doubts whether the transfer budget Whyte promised would materialise. And he said: "Based on the documents we have only been able to review within the last week, we are disappointed that they ultimately did not reflect the investment in the club that we were led to believe for the last few months would be a commitment in the purchase agreement. "Given the requirement to repay the bank in full under the proposed transaction, there appears to be only a relatively modest amount of money available that would positively impact the club's operations, especially as it relates to an urgent requirement to replenish and upgrade the playing squad. "Whilst the proposed transaction has addressed the interests of Lloyds Bank, the Murray Group and Craig Whyte, our perspective is solely directed towards the future of Rangers Football Club." Whyte had pledged McCoist would get at least �£5m per season towards improving the champions' threadbare squad. Johnston, though, is prepared to gamble on examining the shares issue option. He said: "The board has had an approach from one of its directors who wishes us to consider an alternative funding option. This would involve a fresh issue of new capital to raise �£25m to be invested directly into the club. The board believes it has a responsibility to examine this proposal whilst continuing its review of the Craig Whyte transaction. "After six months of limited engagement in the process, the board believes it is not in the best interests of its stake-holders for it to be pressed into an unrealistic timescale." The Independent Sub-Committee of the Rangers board has taken a huge risk. Johnston's soundbites claim he is desperate to make sure the best interests of the 26,400 minority shareholders are served. When the fan in the street picks through the legal language and peers through the smokescreens, though, this looks like one thing. A stalling tactic. Majority shareholder Sir David Murray, Lloyds Bank and Whyte himself are desperate to get the deal over the line. The bankers are CONVINCED the funding is there. Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain, finance director Donald McIntyre, non-executive directors John McClelland and John Greig CAN'T veto the Whyte deal but can shunt it into the sidings at a critical time. Meanwhile, the fans suffer once more. Johnston, though, said: "We have only very recently had the opportunity to meet Craig Whyte and his team. "Moreover, it is only in the last few days we have started to receive the draft agreements outlining the transaction. "We are still awaiting a detailed working capital statement demonstrating there is sufficient funding in place to meet the club's pressing needs. "On Monday, I had a lengthy conversation with Craig Whyte explaining the dilemma the board faces. It was a constructive dialogue, and whilst he expressed his frustration, he understood our position." Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3536471/We-wont-be-railroaded-into-selling-Gers-Craig.html#ixzz1K0whqlEN
  15. Darrell King Share 4 Apr 2011 Almost a year ago, this newspaper broke the story that Rangers were under investigation from HMRC over the use of Employment Benefit Trusts for over a decade. In the same article, we said that Lloyds Bank only had one plan for the club ââ?¬â?? cuts, cuts and more cuts. This would leave a team made up of players on low wages, with the squad supplemented by kids from Murray Park. Star names would go and, on top of that, the stadium was being neglected. We said that administration was a possibility, and that a sale would be unlikely unless someone agreed to offer a warranty on the potential tax bill that could, if found a case was there to answer, amount to tens of millions of pounds. The reaction? We were accused of scaremongering; in fact, some reckoned there were agendas at work to devalue the club just as they were going through an attempted take-over bid from Andrew Ellis. The day after we ran the story ââ?¬â?? which came about after weeks of investigation, including talking to players who at that stage had received letters from HMRC saying they would be part of a future probe, and talking to sources inside the boardroom ââ?¬â?? Sir David Murray responded. It was April 30 last year and, unless Iââ?¬â?¢ve missed it, that was probably the last time he went on record to talk about anything to do with the club. ââ?¬Å?This amounts to scare- mongering. Rangers are not in any danger because of their financial position,ââ?¬Â said Sir David. ââ?¬Å?People can think what they want of me, but one thing I would never do is put the club in danger. ââ?¬Å?If anyone wants to buy, let them make their play. They do due diligence and see where they are ââ?¬â?? but there is nothing to hide. ââ?¬Å?Iââ?¬â?¢ve had the club up for sale for two years. I am not going to be hard to deal with. It is a straightforward process.ââ?¬Â Subsequently, as we also predicted, Ellisââ?¬â?¢s bid fell. The ââ?¬Ë?for saleââ?¬â?¢ sign came down, well publicly anyway. And Rangers drifted on. Behind the scenes, Lloyds tightened their grip, squeezed more and the squad was asset-stripped further and further. Only Walter Smith ââ?¬â?? and his guidance of the team to two successive championships ââ?¬â??saved them from oblivion. Anyone who doubts that, just pause for a minute. Read the words of Alastair Johnston on Friday and imagine life at Rangers Ã?£30million poorer from what the Champions League has earned the club in the past two years. In fact, every Rangers fan should read what Johnston said over and over. Last Friday was the day when someone finally told it as it is. The day the chairman said enough was enough. Sure, he maybe got carried away, the nod of his head to a query on whether the club could go bust sparking all sorts of doomsday headlines and a subsequent retraction to the Stock Exchange. But Johnston showed guts and, in doing so, endorsed what this paper said a year ago. I wonder how the Lloyds Bank PR person felt on Friday when Johnston revealed that Donald Muir was the bankââ?¬â?¢s man, and that the only reason Rangersââ?¬â?¢ credit facility was rubber-stamped was because he was on the board. Or the fact that Lloyds refused to speak to Martin Bain ââ?¬â?? the man paid to run the club ââ?¬â?? for the first six months after they moved in back in October 2009, preferring to do all their business through Muir, who was acting on their behalf. This is the same Lloyds PR man who challenged us at every turn, asking us to remove any mention in articles that Muir was ââ?¬Ë?Lloyds Bankââ?¬â?¢s manââ?¬â?¢ and insisting that he was actually there are at the behest of the Murray Group. What Johnston did was brave, honourable and truthful at the same time. He laid it bare for Rangers fans who looked at our headlines a year ago and said ââ?¬Å?No way, not us. We are Rangers. Taxman? Administration? Not a chance.ââ?¬Â Well, the truth is out there now. Johnston is a fan first, chairman second. He knows itââ?¬â?¢s quite outrageous to ask the clubââ?¬â?¢s supporters (as is about to happen) to collectively shell out in the region of Ã?£15m in season ticket money when they donââ?¬â?¢t actually know what they will be watching next term. He also put pressure on all those involved in the current situation ââ?¬â?? Craig Whyte, Murray and the bank. Itââ?¬â?¢s time to do a deal, or move aside. His message, essentially, is this: If the status quo is to remain, let us know so we all know what we are getting into ââ?¬â?? especially Ally McCoist. Murray spoke of a straight-forward process, yet Ellis couldnââ?¬â?¢t see it through after months of hanging around. Whyte has been on the scene for five months, and we are now told it will be this week when a decision is finally made. His camp say he is getting little help, especially over issues like the Ã?£2.8m tax bill that popped up last week at the 11th hour. Murray wants Ã?£6m for his shares, when it could be argued that they are worthless in light of the possible tax liability that could sink them out of sight. The bank want their full Ã?£24m when they are selling off bad debts all over the place at 60p in the pound. They are looking after themselves, fair enough, but at least be straight. Donââ?¬â?¢t kid people on you are supportive when you are looking after your own interests. And what of Whyte? We know nothing really of this man, except that he appears to have patience, money to back him up, and that he has impressed Johnston and the board. If he walks, for whatever reason, he should tell the Rangers support why. If he does a deal then, even with tax problems still hanging around their neck, the club has a chance. But the time has come for him to show his hand. Buying Rangers is, after all, said to be a straightforward process. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks/the-truth-is-out-there-1.1094453
  16. The Rangers Supporters Trust have called on Lloyds Bank to make clear their plans as Craig Whyte's takeover bid hangs in the balance. The �£33million deal will see the Scottish tycoon take over 75% of Sir David Murray's shareholding, with London-based property developer Andrew Ellis becoming a 25% partner. However, it is understood the bank's desire for an 'exit payment' of more than �£1m is just one of the key stumbling blocks and patience is fast running out. Whyte has targeted Thursday for the deal to be concluded by which time Rangers supporters are expected to be told the club's debt has been slashed to around �£21m from the �£27.1m figure announced in June. RST chairman Stephen Smith said, in these fraught circumstances, the Light Blues fans deserve to be informed of Lloyds' position. "Lloyds Bank can be a convenient whipping boy," Smith said. "It is very easy to paint them as the bad guy in this situation and there are some who may feel excuses are being put in place for the deal not happening. "However, our main concern is with the way that the bank is treating Rangers "We are living in extraordinary financial circumstances where Lloyds Bank have been kept afloat by the taxpayer. "Yet it appears they are refusing to accept a deal which will give them all their money back. "It just doesn't make sense. "If anything, it appears that the bank is trying to devalue the club. "So we would like Lloyds to tell us about their strategy. "We are not talking about breaching commercial confidences, or asking them to come out with figures and percentages. "We want to know their plans for the club and for them to confirm that they are operating normal commercial arrangements with a company the size of Rangers with the turnover of �£50m plus. "They should be able to do that but we have asked on a number of occasions and have been met with a wall of silence. "But as Rangers fans and taxpayers, we are surely entitled to know what's going on. "Anything else is not acceptable in the 21st century." Smith admits the rank and file of the Rangers support have grown tired of the takeover saga. "People are weary with it all," he said. "It has been dragging on for around nine months. "There have been various deadlines which come and gone, the first being in December when there was talk of Walter Smith getting money for the January transfer window, with another being in February. "But meanwhile, it seems the bank's restriction have been detrimental to our abilities on the pitch. "We have had to go with five loan players in our squad, while fighting in all three domestic competitions and in Europe. "Now we are down to one competition, the title race, and that might come down to fine margins. "And if Rangers lose out then Rangers fans will not forgive the bank." No one from Lloyds was available for comment. http://www.teamtalk.com/rangers/6839240/Supporters-chief-wants-answers
  17. THE reason for the delay in Rangers publishing their half-yearly figures is ,there are those on the Ibrox board who quite simply do not trust Lloyds. However, I believe that recent top level talks with the new men at the top of Lloyds will see Rangers release the figures this week. It surprises me that not much has been made of what has been going on at Lloyds' top table in the last month. For the fact is that since the last update on the power struggle on the Ibrox board, and my revelations about why the half yearly accounts had not been published, there have been massive changes at Lloyds. It now remains to be seen whether those changes will undermine the position of Donald Muir and Mike McGill, the two Ibrox directors who are seen as Lloyds men. Somehow, and for no reason I can fathom, the huge upheaval at Lloyds has not made its way onto the sports pages of the nation's newspapers. Though what's being going on at Lloyds has appeared on the business and financicial pages of such reputable media outlets as the Daily Telegraph and the Scotsman. Let's kick off right at the top of the tree. The man who was in charge of Lloyds as chief executive, Eric Daniels, is no more. And a good thing too, many may believe. Closer to home for Rangers, the executive director of Lloyds, who had special responsibilities for the bank's business in Scotland, Archibald Gerard Kane, is also no more. An even better thing those on the Ibrox board with the good of Rangers in their hearts, Martin Bain, Alastair Johnston John McClelland, Paul Murray and Dave King, may well believe. The new Lloyds chief executive is the Portuguese born Antonio Horto-Osorio, who took over three weeks ago, and who is believed to be a hands-on supremo. Certainly it did not take him long to express what many interpreted as his dis-satisfaction with the performance of Lanarkshire born man-of-mystery Kane. One of the new chief executive's acts was to show Kane the door and replace him with Philip Grant. My research into Grant seems to show he was previously with the Royal Bank of Scotland, but the probe is ongoing. More of Lloyds new man Grant at a later date. For the moment, it is better to examine just what has been going on between Rangers and Lloyds during this period of turmoil at the bank. You may recall that last month I revealed the four page document which contains Rangers half yearly figures, plus a statement from chief executive, Bain, was pulped after Muir and McGill were reported to have objected to what Bain had written. There followed a round of briefings by Donald Muir to a small cherrypicked group of reporters, which surprisingly exiled the Daily Record. WHY? Rangers were believed to be furious that the outcome of these clandestine meetings was a series of stories which claimed Lloyds had saved Rangers. There was even some talk that what Muir had done may have breached the strict confidentiality laws governing the relationship between a bank and its customer. While this was all going on, Bain met with the bank again to try and thrash out a new business plan. When he reported back to the Rangers board, McClelland, Murray and Johnston were unhappy with what the bank proposed. That led to a further delay This happened against the backdrop of Horto-Osorio was getting his feet under the Lloyds boardroom table. Now, with the arrival of the new executive director at Loyds with special responsibilites for their business in Scotland, Philip Grant, Rangers have a new man to negotiate with. The latest delay to the publication of the half yearly accounts is a direct result of those talks, with Rangers hoping they get more sense out of the new man than they did from Archibald Gerard Kane. Or from the man who was responsibe for business banking at Lloyds when they took over Rangers banking arrangements, the now departed founder board member of the Celtic Trust, Manus Joseph, J Fullerton. Rangers can point to the fact Lloys inherited a debt of �£31M, largely due to the club's absence from Europe in the year before, which had fallen to �£23M by the time the annual audited accounts were published in the summer of 2010. It is believed that debt to Lloyds will now be around �£20M....or even less. Which will show the new men at Lloyds the ability Rangers have to reduce their debt, provided they are allowed to conduct their business in a way geared to bring that business success. As the business of Rangers Football Club is football, success financially is relative to the success on the park of the team. Therefore, playing in Europe - even in the Europe League - increases the club's income. In turn making Rangers more able to continue to reduce its debt to Lloyds. That is neither brain surgery nor rocket science. The amazing thing is that Eric Daniels, Archibald Gerard Kane or Manus Joseph J Fullerton seemed to realise that. Or if they did, the gave every appearance of wanting to ignore the fact. For whatever reason. Now, perhaps trust will finally be established between Lloyds Bank and Rangers Football Club. http://leggoland2.blogspot.com/
  18. Our current situation - It's time to face the inevitable then rebuild for the future. When you drill down to it, The Rangers support, to a man, has known at the back of its collective mind that the situation we are in is dire. Many of us will be in agreement that weââ?¬â?¢ve been urinating into the proverbial wind for 3 years yet miraculously, we have managed to avoid getting wet. Sooner or later, the stranglehold that being owned by Sir David Murray has placed us under was always going to come close to killing us. I say Sir David Murray rather than Lloyds bank specifically, as our current situation has been clouded by the usual sea of half-truths, speculation and contradictions that weââ?¬â?¢ve now come to expect from the Ayrshire millionaire. I wonââ?¬â?¢t sit here and try to claim the moral high-ground by claiming recent results against the filth havenââ?¬â?¢t had any impact on what Iââ?¬â?¢m about to write: They have, and Iââ?¬â?¢ll get to that later. However, let me start from the very beginning of this, probably the most sorry episode in the never-ending series that is ââ?¬Å?The David Murray Showââ?¬Â.. It all started in January 2009. Rampant speculation built up suggesting that our top goal scorer was subject to a bid from Alex McLeishââ?¬â?¢s Birmingham. The source was originally an article from The Scottish Sun that was brief and lacking in quotes ââ?¬â?? normally the tell-tale signs of a non-story. Unfortunately, it didnââ?¬â?¢t quite work out like that, the bid from Brum was legit ââ?¬â?? and the then-chairman was about to inform us of news that would utterly stun us. After coming off of our most commercially lucrative season ever...Iââ?¬â?¢ll write that again for extra emphasis ââ?¬â?? After coming off of our most commercially lucrative season EVER ââ?¬â?? The chairman was about to confirm that despite all of this, in no small part down to a historic European run the year before ââ?¬â?? our finances were once again down the toilet... Murray told the Guardian at the time... "If we did not take this action [selling Boyd], it could have been bad but there are far worse situations developing around us and I will not allow it to spiral again. Rangers have to be run on a sound fiscal basis." In typical Murray style, however, he was soon to contradict himself completely after the transfer window closed when he said.. "The Boyd situation is simple. We received an offer that we believed, collectively, Walter Smith, manager and Martin Bain, chief executive represented good business. "The player then went to Birmingham and refused terms. That is where it stands. But Rangers will go on whether the player goes or not. In that sense, it is immaterial whether he stays or goes." I donââ?¬â?¢t know about you, but I see two statements that glaringly contradict one another. That wasnââ?¬â?¢t the end of it, however, a leading football agent told national commercial radio station TalkSport the same month, that literally ââ?¬Ë?every Rangers player was for saleââ?¬â?¢, with the likely culprit Wullie McKay later declaring that Rangers CEO Martin Bain had instructed him to sell a raft of high earning first team stars, citing McKayââ?¬â?¢s ability to ââ?¬Å?get the job doneââ?¬Â as the reason behind him being allocated this particular mission. Murray issued a ââ?¬Ë?denialââ?¬â?¢ in The Sunday People soon after which actually confirmed McKayââ?¬â?¢s claim in a roundabout way. So we were back up the financial creek without a paddle. Despite a debt that was dwindling, a tremendous run to a European Final, solid season/match day ticket sales and several impressive fees recouped for players that we sold that culminated in what was officially the most commercially lucrative season in the history of Rangers Football Club ââ?¬â?? Our debt somehow increased and we needed to make drastic cuts It was truly one of the most shocking revelations in our recent history, and it left us wondering where our money was actually going. In the summer of the sale year, Rangers managed to cut the wage bill by well over Ã?£200,000 per week (Over Ã?£10m a year) by moving on a raft of first team squad members. To the credit of Walter Smith and the board, the club maintained most of our key players but we were left well-short of numbers in the squad, a huge potential problem that thankfully was not exploited by faltering then-Celtic manager Tony Mowbrayââ?¬â?¢s inability to field a team capable of challenging for the SPL title. To make matters worse ââ?¬â?? our solitary signing that season, Jerome Rothen, had his loan spell at the club cut-short after an ineffective first half to the season. Despite the support rationally assuming that we would be able to bring in a player or two using Rothenââ?¬â?¢s estimated Ã?£18,000 per week wage, an assumption further justified by the departure of another high-earner in Pedro Mendes to Sporting Lisbon, the Rangers support were again left scratching their heads as there were no incoming transfers to the Champions in the January window of the 2009/2010 SPL season. ââ?¬Å?Mystifiedââ?¬Â just didnââ?¬â?¢t do justice to the general feeling of the Rangers support then, or indeed now. After we won the SPL title for the second consecutive season in 2010, it appeared that following some pleading words from Walter Smith himself, those big bad bankers who had been subject to a tongue-lashing or six from him over the previous months decided to relent and kindly let Rangers buy players ââ?¬â?? with money raised from selling yet more players from our already thread-bare squad. We were all left pleased with the quality of players we brought in but once again, the number of players who moved on last summer was more than the number that came in, and with our continued reluctance to promote youth in decent numbers...or use youth in Cup competition domestically given our hectic schedule, we were again left to face a season at home and abroad with a woefully small squad. For just over two years, Rangers have been fire-fighting and, as I said above, urinating into the wind without getting wet. Nobody should be surprised that this is happening, it was only a matter of time. The reality is that on-field failure and the ââ?¬Ë?huge problemsââ?¬â?¢ I speak of are hopefully going to be the precursor to change at Ibrox. Walter Smith and Martin Bain have done an outstanding job of keeping the club together during these turbulent times ââ?¬â?? that should never be forgotten and both men, Walter in particular, should be commended for this. His contribution since coming has only furthered his status as a legend despite the split opinion of his on-field approach. Something from the previous two years that I sadly canââ?¬â?¢t spare the Rangers management team and board from, however, is the constant stream of contradictory information and statements that has come from them. One minute ââ?¬Å?everyone is for saleââ?¬Â, the next ââ?¬Å?we donââ?¬â?¢t have to sell anyoneââ?¬Â. On other occasions weââ?¬â?¢ve told the world ââ?¬Å?the bank runs the clubââ?¬Â only to play it down days later. Our current chairman, who appears to have vanished without a trace, has justified our constant flip-flopping on the issue by saying our relationship with Lloyds bank is ââ?¬Ë?a fluid situationââ?¬â?¢ i.e. our status with the bank changes all the time as per their business needs. Sadly, that statement has never quite cut it for me, and the only thing fluid about this whole thing is in the way weââ?¬â?¢ve had the piss taken out of us by those who run the club. Fiscally, theyââ?¬â?¢ve done a remarkable job with a fair-share of luck involved. Keeping Davis, Bougherra, McGregor and others when weââ?¬â?¢re so up against it financially is something to be proud of. I personally decided that Rangers would not get another penny from me after that cup game. I donââ?¬â?¢t need to state the obvious about the difficulties many of us have paying for tickets when we have families to keep in this climate, the teamââ?¬â?¢s approach in this one-off must win fixture, along with yesterday and the other league game in January really symbolised the problems we have. Our first team appear to be a spent force ââ?¬â?? lacking in interest and focus because they have zero competition for a first team place. Our manager, like him or not, just doesnââ?¬â?¢t do squad rotation or youth promotion unless his hand is forced. So we now face a situation where our first team at the moment isnââ?¬â?¢t good enough and we canââ?¬â?¢t and wonââ?¬â?¢t change it. But we still pay our money and I think despite the small decrease in numbers, the club have taken our blind loyalty a little too for granted by anyoneââ?¬â?¢s standards. Weââ?¬â?¢ve all wanted a change of approach, change of ethos and a complete shift from the short-term, ââ?¬Å?boom and bustââ?¬Â mentality that has saw us teetering on the financial brink twice in less than ten years. Sadly, due to the furthering financial problems in recent years we have regressed even from that. We do not have the talent on or off the pitch to run Rangers effectively anymore. As a support, we have been very kind to the board and management team ââ?¬â?? weââ?¬â?¢ve taken everything said to us at face value. But the time has come for proper communication with the man who truly holds all the cards, Sir David Murray. Questions about the ongoing HMRC tax investigation, links between Murrayââ?¬â?¢s companies and the aggressive attitude of Lloyds bank to Rangers over what is a perfectly manageable debt from a club who have implemented some shrewd fiscal measures in recent years have not been met with satisfactory answers. Rangers quite like it when we pay our money, sit down and shut up. We canââ?¬â?¢t do it anymore ââ?¬â?? we just canââ?¬â?¢t. Answers to many, many questions are required, and only the man who has disappeared into the night can answer them properly, he still holds all of the cards. One wonders if the warning that Sir David Murray claimed he was trying to send us by selling Boyd in January of 2009 is the real reason behind the financial handcuffs that have been placed on us, with anonymous, invisible bankers quite happy to take the blame and be the ââ?¬Ë?faceââ?¬â?¢ behind the cuts as it gives them just cause to get their money back quicker. There arenââ?¬â?¢t too many other arms of Murrayââ?¬â?¢s empire that can raise seven figure sums by selling off assets relatively quickly. Our club bemoan financial pressure from the bank on one hand yet announce excellent half-year profits on the other, they blame the bank for the restrictions yet charge us through the nose for games weââ?¬â?¢ve actively tried not to win, they demand we pay for our season ticket in advance over a short timescale at inflated prices while warning us that we canââ?¬â?¢t spend money and are open to offers for our star players despite the relative success weââ?¬â?¢ve had recently in maintaining them. On field failure is the excuse the money men need to make further cuts ââ?¬â?? and itââ?¬â?¢s the excuse many of our support will need to get off their backside and demand change at Ibrox ââ?¬â?? along with clarification on what our real problems are. Enough is enough, our expectations have been managed very well by the club ââ?¬â?? weââ?¬â?¢re quite tolerant of the hardships we face now...because weââ?¬â?¢ve so splintered and blindly loyal that we refuse to speak up en masse. So long as the season ticket cash keeps rolling in, change will be delayed that little bit longer. We need to stop propping up a system that is not sustainable in the medium to long term, a regime of noble-yet-helpless individuals fighting the tide of faceless penny-pinchers...who for all we know may include our current owner, and face being flattened by the big truck weââ?¬â?¢ve been waiting to knock us down for two years. As I have no doubt that with the unrest this could all cause, we will emerge from the wreckage a much stronger force, able to plan effectively for the future. This is and always has been about more than one title or season ââ?¬â?? itââ?¬â?¢s about getting our club back. Sorry if this is negative, but I donââ?¬â?¢t care how we get that ââ?¬â?? the sooner we face the inevitable, the better as far as Iââ?¬â?¢m concerned.
  19. If we're to believe some parts of the media today, MIH and Lloyds Bank have freed Rangers from any liability in the event HMRC imposed tax penalties as a result of current investigations. If true, and it seems to be, there really should now be no obstacle to a genuinely interested buyer and a genuinely intent seller. The only question should be whether we have either of these in play at the moment. If we do, surely a deal should be announced within weeks and npt delayed to bolster season ticket sales.
  20. I saw this on article on Yahoo but believe it was originally posted on Eurosport.com ...... not sure who penned it and won't claim there's much new but thought I'd share it anyway. Edit - seems it was written by one Desmond Kane (oh dear?) Rangers Pay the Price for Murray's Self-indulgence A fool and his money are soon parted. To leaders suffering from hubris, such a proverb can prove to be gruesomely true. As a spectacle, the game of football continues to contain an innate ability to reduce sober-suited, profitable businessmen to regretful rags. Sir Alan Sugar continues to be depicted as a wise old sage on television programmes such as The Apprentice, but the barrow boy from London's East End who discovered a a beach of gold after founding the Electronics firm Amstrad in the 1960s, never managed to use his gumption in avoiding the unique pitfalls of football. The world game remains a forum where can you can squander millions of your personal fortune for the love of one club, and continue to be booed by its supporters when you return. There have never been any laws of logic governing the fundamentals of football. Sugar conveyed the message that he viewed his period as the controller of Tottenham Hotspur in the 1990s as a waste of his time. "Football is about the only business in the world where it's embarrassing to make money," said Sugar. Football is not the only business in the world where it is embarrassing to lose your bread, but it can prove to be the most painful. The dearth of funds affecting Glasgow Rangers, champions of Scotland over the past two seasons, would be embarrassing if it was not so serious. As chairman of a club in the English Premier League, Sugar made money on his controlling interest in Spurs when he sold up a decade ago. He received Ã?£22 million for two thirds of a stake that he paid Ã?£8m for in 1991. Sir David Murray, the owner of Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, put up around Ã?£6m for the Glasgow club three years earlier, but looks likely to be left with nothing more than a series of gilded and galling memories when he finally departs a scene he has been trying to escape with some urgency for several years. He will be left bereft of vast financial rewards for investing his emotional capital in Rangers. In trying to apply the Midas touch to the game of football, Murray has been left badly scalded. There is a growing sense that the worst is yet to come for Rangers as the club is forced to face up to its fiscal responsibilities. Debt has gripped Rangers since the former Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, was given carte blanche to blow over Ã?£80m on players over a decade ago in an attempt to furnish the Ibrox trophy room with the European Cup, a vision commensurate with such an extravagant commitment to excess. Pride comes before a fall. Common sense, if not finance, was in short supply when Rangers began spending money they evidently did not have. The Glasgow side are again jousting with their eternal foes Celtic as they pursue a third successive Scottish Premier League gong this season in a championship that has not been won been by another club side since Sir Alex Ferguson ran Aberdeen in 1984. They do so against severe financial hardship. Having failed to find a buyer for Rangers over the past few years, Murray has been conspicuous by his absence in failing to inform the fans of what is going on. These are the same diehards who lavished praise upon the proprietor for helping them match Celtic's record of nine successive domestic titles in 1997. It must be said, the supporters of Rangers deserve better than they are getting from a figure who once liked to project himself as a figure of dignity in a rabid Scottish football scene prone to moments of madness. Murray bought Rangers in 1988 before leading them to the fore of British, if not quite European football. To a neutral, Murray is a man to be admired, a brave figure who recovered from losing his legs in a horrific car crash in the 1970s. He is one of the country's leading businessmen, a so-called pillar of society and owner of one of the country's largest sporting institutions, but money never made a man. Before the advent of Sky Television and the English Premier League as we know it in 1992, Rangers were arguably the biggest and wealthiest football club in the United Kingdom. Funded by Murray, Rangers reversed the trend of talent departing Scotland for more lucrative shores. Mark Hateley, Brian Laudrup, Paul Gascoigne and Giovanni van Bronckhorst are a selection of the names to have washed up at Ibrox during Murray's stewardship, but all this has come at a price. It is a price they now seem unwilling, or unable, to pay. The owner's treatment of Rangers since around 1998 has proved classless bordering on reckless. The sums involved are truly astonishing, and not just in unloading Ã?£12m to purchase the much-maligned Norwegian striker Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea a decade ago. Net debt at Rangers reached Ã?£82m in the early part of the previous decade, but they have not yet got their house in order. Murray remains owner in name only with the club's bankers Lloyds TSB taking an active interest since the recession bit deep into his company Murray International Holdings three years ago. To cut a longish story shorter, Rangers are inextricably linked to Murray's other assets. They have taken a hit, and Rangers have been dragged along for the ride. It is unclear where the final destination for the club will be in all of this. Run in the interests of Lloyds, who are attempting to claw back debts of Ã?£27m, it is interest on an unpaid tax bill that leaves Rangers sporting a jaundiced look. Prospective buyers Andrew Ellis and Craig Whyte have appeared to be Walter Mitty characters in failing to purchase the club, but it seems the figures do not add up for them. If they are toying with the idea on whether investing in football makes sense, they need only study the man they are buying the club off to understand the pitfalls of such a foolhardy venture. Money spent without care on Scottish football tends to be money lost. It must be assumed that the real reason why Rangers have not yet found a buyer to purchase the club is that no prospective owner wants to be left with an estimated tax bill of Ã?£24m and interest of Ã?£12m, a figure touted by several commentators on the subject, once a hearing into the case is played out in May. If you read some of the literature swirling around this mismanagement, added penalties for failure to pay tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over wages paid into offshore accounts to the club's employees in the past decade could apparently see the tax bill rise to over Ã?£50m by the end of next year. This is before the bank debt is totted up. There remains a possibility that Rangers could be forced into administration when this reaches a crescendo. Rangers look unsellable unless some rich Sheikh in the Middle East decides he suddenly has a penchant for golf or the Scottish Highlands. There has even been talk about Glasgow City council coming in to to take over the running of Ibrox Stadium and leasing it back to Rangers. It is little wonder that Lloyds Bank are refusing to release sizeable funds for new faces if the tax man is about to take back what is his. None of this is good news for the general health of Scottish football. Rangers opted to sell top goalscorer Kenny Miller, a man who had discovered 22 goals in the SPL this season, to Turkish champions Bursaspor for Ã?£400,000 at the outset of the January transfer window rather than watch him walk away for free during the summer months. This was a decision taken by the bank. If Rangers were in rude health, Miller would have signed a long-term contract last year. He walked away because the club is financially paralysed, unable to meet his demands. They were apparently outbid this week by Celtic for the attacking Derby midfielder Kris Commons, who was offered a modest Ã?£20,000 per week compared to the maximum of Ã?£15,000 Rangers could unearth. Who would have countenanced such a possibility when Murray vowed to put down a tenner for every fiver Celtic spent a few years ago? Rangers now toil to stick down a ha'penny without the permission of the bank. Of course, apart from the loss of face, these are trivial moments compared to the wider issues. It is ironic that for a club which wraps itself in the Union Jack and God Save the Queen, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs could help Rangers plunge into a period of deeper despair. Murray must shoulder the blame. He used to court interest from a fawning Scottish press in the 1990s when money was no object. A few newspapers in the country were furnished with a bottle of Scotch from the Rangers owner back in the day, but he is nowhere to be seen when the going gets tough. The constantly impressive Walter Smith has helped Murray by luxuriating in trinkets since he returned to manage Rangers in 2007 a decade after he oversaw nine-in-a-row, winning with the spine of a team purchased three years ago. An appearance in a UEFA Cup final and two SPL titles in three seasons suggest Smith is more an alchemist than a football manager, but he has been left exhausted by his inability to strengthen his squad. It would not surprise this onlooker to see Smith manage in the English Premier League or Championship next season if he so wishes. At least Sir Alan Sugar got out of the cursed business with millions for his shares in an English Premier League concern. Not so Murray. His silence on the subject speaks volumes. "There is a massive moonbeam of success coming to us. We've got big plans," said Murray at the time he bestowed the job of manager upon Paul Le Guen in 2007. Such sentiments now sound like the utterances of a fantasist. Rather than Sugar, perhaps history will remember Murray as a man who was more similar to Leeds United under Peter Ridsdale, a custodian of a club who believed his own press, a figure who spent money without preparing for an economic downturn that was just around the corner. 
As has been said in other quarters, such treatment of a great club like Rangers amounts to a form of financial vandalism. The fans will thank Murray for fuelling their rise to nine-in-a-row, but they are also discovering that the road to ruin lies in living outwith your means. Time may yet be a great healer for Rangers, but in poring over the effect of the Murray years at Ibrox, it has also been a great revealer. His empire appears to have been built on shifting sands.
  21. The following is from BBC Sport website .... looks to me like a clear pre-cursor to the deal falling through ..... but I suppose we continue to live in forlorn hope ..... By Alasdair Lamont Craig Whyte remains hopeful of concluding his proposed takeover of Rangers before the end of January. Whyte has been in negotiations with the current owner Sir David Murray since the middle of November. He had hoped to complete a �£33m deal before Christmas, but due diligence has taken longer than Whyte expected. Meanwhile, the Rangers Supporters' Trust chief has warned that fans could boycott Lloyds Bank if they continue to deny Rangers funds for squad building. Whyte considers the matter to be largely in Murray's hands at this stage, with Whyte's lawyers and accountants awaiting responses to a number of queries from the current owner. He expects that following a period of relative inactivity over the festive period, which he found frustrating, the pace of negotiations will now pick up. However, if Whyte can conclude a deal soon, he hopes to be able to help Rangers manager Walter Smith strengthen his squad. On Thursday, Smith bemoaned the current financial constraints at the club, stating that he would be unable to bring in new players unless he sold first. Stephen Smith, chairman of the Rangers Supporters' Trust, reiterated their stance regarding Lloyds Bank's involvement with the club. "The sooner Lloyds are disentangled from the running of Rangers Football Club the better," he told BBC Scotland. "I'm as worried now as I was last year when the manager felt strongly enough to publicly criticise the bank's role. "We've had a successful Champions League campaign, we're guaranteed at least two more European games, yet there has still been no change in attitude from Lloyds. "We're challenging for four competitions and that's why the size of the squad is a concern. "If the manager's saying we need help, why are Lloyds behaving in such a vindictive way towards Rangers? "If that begins to materially affect Rangers on the park, we will certainly look to take action to try to change that. "Getting the Rangers family involved in a boycott of Lloyds bank can't be ruled out." As of September 2010 Rangers' debt stood at �£27m. While Smith was allowed to conduct some transfer business in the summer - including the purchase of Nikica Jelavic for �£4m - his hands have been largely tied on that front for the past three seasons. The Scottish champions trail league leaders Celtic by four points, although they have two games in hand. However, as things stand, Smith will have to challenge in all domestic competitions, as well as in the Europa League, with the same small squad of players. Meanwhile, across Glasgow, rivals Celtic appear likely to bring in more players during the January transfer window. Champions League participation over the last two seasons has helped Rangers go some way to alleviating their financial problems. But failure to win the Scottish Premier League again this term, and thereby miss out on the lucrative Champions League, would reverse that trend and make things even more restrictive for whoever succeeds Smith as Rangers manager next season
  22. RST Chairman "Boycott of Lloyds can't be ruled out" 07 January by therabbitt Speaking to the BBC on the subject of Walter Smith's comments regarding the controlling influence of the bank on Rangers, RST chairman Stephen Smith was pointed in his criticism of Lloyds. Rangers are currently being held at gunpoint by Lloyds and Smith intimated that the sooner the clubs hands are untied, the better. "The sooner Lloyds are disentangled from the running of Rangers Football Club the better. I'm as worried now as I was last year when the manager felt strongly enough to publicly criticise the bank's role. Echoing the managers sentiments, the RST chairman discussed the fact that with successes in the Champions League, it would be expected that Lloyds wouldnt be holding such a stern view on the finances of the club, "We've had a successful Champions League campaign, we're guaranteed at least two more European games, yet there has still been no change in attitude from Lloyds. We're challenging for four competitions and that's why the size of the squad is a concern." In a more barbed comment, Smith backed up his managerial namesake, chosing to brand the banks treatment of the club as being 'vindictive', "If the manager's saying we need help, why are Lloyds behaving in such a vindictive way towards Rangers?" Signalling the RST's intent, Smith then refused to rule out that if the situation isn't improved, then the RST would consider finding a way to take action against the bank, "If that begins to materially affect Rangers on the park, we will certainly look to take action to try to change that. "Getting the Rangers family involved in a boycott of Lloyds Bank can't be ruled out." http://www.rangersmedia.co.uk/homepage/index.php/component/content/article/41-finances/895-rst-qboycott-of-lloyds-cant-be-ruled-outq.html
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