SPL - 'Interest' in Rangers purchase

Thu, 16 Feb 19:03:00 2012

Rangers' administrators have said they have received "several expressions of interest from parties not connected to the club" since taking over the running of the SPL champions.

2012 Rangers - 0

Paul Clark, of administrators Duff and Phelps, made the announcement during a press conference in Glasgow.

Duff and Phelps were appointed on Tuesday after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs forced the issue in the Court of Session in a bid to secure payment of £9million in PAYE and VAT, accrued since Craig Whyte's takeover of Rangers in May last year.

Rangers were immediately deducted 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 points adrift of Celticand with little hope of winning a fourth successive title.

Clark said that interest in the cash-strapped club will be given due consideration.

"As administrators we have to look at all other expressions of interest in the club and to date we have received several expressions of interest from parties not connected to the club," Clark said. "These will be subject to ongoing discussions and examined in the forthcoming days."

Earlier, Celtic bridled at Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's claim that the survival of Rangers is crucial for the Parkhead side and the rest of Scottish football to prosper.

Salmond was responding to the financial crisis engulfing the Scottish champions after they went into administration.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell had earlier this week claimed the Hoops could survive and thrive without Rangers, and a statement released on Celtic's official Twitter site read: "We are very disappointed with the First Minister's claims that Celtic 'need' Rangers and that Celtic 'can't prosper unless Rangers are there'. This is simply not true."

The statement added: "In a series of interviews given just three days ago, we made it abundantly clear that Celtic has a well defined strategy and a business plan independent of the fortunes of any other club. That remains absolutely the case.

"The predicament of Rangers is clearly a serious and complex matter with a whole range of possible outcomes.

"However, we are extremely well qualified to make our own position clear and have no wish to see that being misrepresented for political reasons."

Salmond told Sir David Frost, in an interview to be broadcast on Frost over the World on Al Jazeera English: "Obviously HMRC have got to pursue, in the public interest, taxation.

"Equally, they've got to have cognisance of the fact that we're talking about a huge institution, part of the fabric of the Scottish nation, as well as Scottish football, and everybody realises that.

"The most die-hard Celtic supporter understands that Celtic can't prosper unless Rangers are there. The rest of the clubs understand that as well. Therefore you have to have cognisance of these things when you're pursuing public policy.

"We've certainly been arguing to HMRC on one hand, and indeed to Rangers, to for goodness sake get a settlement, get a settlement and a structure over time whereby Rangers can continue because Rangers must continue for the future of Scottish football and for the fabric of the country."

Meanwhile, Rangers manager Ally McCoist claims he has not even contemplated the prospect of quitting the Scottish champions, insisting: "We don't do walking away."

The Light Blues' record goalscorer and former assistant boss took over the helm from Walter Smith last summer and now faces one of the most difficult periods in the club's history after Rangers went into administration on Tuesday.

However, McCoist says he has not been tempted to walk away from the job during a turbulent period.

"Not at all," he told Sky Sports News. "Absolutely not at all.

"This is my club, the same as it is for thousands and thousands of Rangers supporters. We don't do walking away."

PA Sport

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