SPL - Rangers consigned to liquidation

Tue, 12 Jun 21:38:00 2012

Rangers have been consigned to liquidation after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs decided to reject an offer from Charles Green's consortium.

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The decision means Green's Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) will fail to achieve the 75% backing needed from creditors.

Green will now push ahead with plans to buy the club's assets for £5.5million in the coming days with both HMRC and Ticketus, the other major creditors, not expected to challenge the newco purchase deal he has struck with administrators Duff and Phelps. But there is no guarantee the new entity will be able to play in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

SPL clubs would themselves decide on any application to acquire the club's share and could impose sanctions.

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson last week doubted whether Rangers would have enough support and some fans have been rallying their clubs to reject any proposal, although commercial interests could outweigh any principled stand, especially with no confirmation that television deals will continue without Rangers.

A 'newco' Rangers would not be allowed to play in Europe for three years and Green faces the prospect of losing players.

HMRC, whom Rangers are listed as owing more than £21million, believe their decision allows them to pursue individuals in the courts. The tax authority forced Rangers into administration in February over millions of pounds of unpaid tax under Craig Whyte and could also pursue former owner Sir David Murray over a tax case, which could result in a £75million bill.

A statement from the tax authority read: "A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company's financial affairs in recent years.

"A CVA would restrict the scope of such action. Liquidation will enable a sale of the football assets to be made to a new company, thereby ensuring that football will continue at Ibrox. It also means that the new company will be free from claims or litigation in a way which would not be achievable with a CVA. Rangers can make a fresh start."

While it is understood that HMRC and Ticketus are not of a mind to intervene in the sale process, Rangers director Dave King has reiterated his intention to challenge Green. King claims Whyte previously promised him first refusal on his 85% shareholding and has vowed to take his challenge to court.

PA Sport

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