Green group favourite for Rangers after Blue Knights withdraw

Former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green and a Singapore consortium are in line to take over Rangers after Scottish businessman Brian Kennedy and the Blue Knights consortium pulled out.

Eurosport

Little is known of the Green consortium to take over the stricken Glasgow club, but reports link him with Singapore where fellow bidder Bill Ng is from. It is not known if Green - who was chief executive of English League One outfit United in the late 1990s - is involved in the Ng bid.

Kennedy, owner of Sales Sharks Rugby Club, staged a press conference with Murray on Friday to announce his offer was withdrawn after its bid for the Ibrox club passed a midday deadline for a decision from administrators Duff and Phelps.

Kennedy said: "The administrators better have somebody good, some good credible consortium who is fully funded. This is not about us owning Rangers Football Club. It's about Rangers Football Club surviving. I'd be delighted if Duff and Phelps are able to pull one out of the hat and come up with a fantastic bidder. I fear they may not be able to do that."

Former Ibrox director Paul Murray told a press conference they had failed after weeks of negotiations. Rangers manager Ally McCoist earlier said that administrators had told him they were "very close" to naming a preferred bidder.

Kennedy later valued their final bid at £11million and revealed they had lined up former managers Walter Smith and Graeme Souness to join a football board of the club. The Knights were offered preferred bidder status several weeks ago, but potential partners Ticketus would not pay the £500,000 exclusivity fee.

After joining with Kennedy and without Ticketus, the consortium was then beaten to preferred bidder status by American Bill Miller, who subsequently withdrew.

Kennedy issued a noon ultimatum to administrators Duff and Phelps on Thursday, but the race to assume control appears to have been won by a consortium with previous experience of running football clubs in England that includes Green.

Murray explained they felt they had no option but to withdraw after fearing their chances of securing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) had passed. He said: "We see the only way forward for the club is to effect a CVA and unfortunately time has run out. There is no time left to effect a successful CVA and to exit the club in a healthy capacity from that process."

It has also been announced that Rangers' appeal against a fine and transfer embargo would be held next Wednesday.

Rangers were fined £160,000 and given a 12-month transfer embargo by an SFA judicial panel last month after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their financial affairs and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman.

The appeal panel will be chaired by Lord Carloway with Craig Graham and Allan Cowan also sitting on the hearing.

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