Rangers Football Club enters administration

 

Rangers fans give their reaction to the news the club is in administration

Rangers Football Club has entered administration - meaning it has been docked 10 points, effectively ending its Scottish Premier League challenge.

The club appointed London firm Duff and Phelps as administrators at 14:50.

The move followed an unsuccessful legal bid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to appoint its own administrator.

HMRC lodged its petition over alleged non-payment of about £9m in PAYE and VAT following Craig Whyte's takeover.

Mt Whyte confirmed on Monday that the club had filed legal papers to appoint administrators. He insisted Rangers would "come out stronger" and "always be here".

Joint administrators

It was initially thought that the club had 10 days to make a decision on whether to proceed, but the HMRC action on Tuesday changed the dynamic of the situation.

Start Quote

Administration news conference

All stakeholders involved with Rangers are working hard to ensure the long-term future of this national institution”

End Quote Paul Clark Joint administrator

Paul Clark and David Whitehouse from Duff and Phelps were later appointed as joint administrators and take over the day-to-day running of Rangers while addressing its massive debt problems.

Mr Clark said: "HMRC have been working closely with the club in recent months to achieve a solution to the club's difficulties. However, this has not been possible due to ongoing losses and increased tax liabilities that cannot be sustained.

"We are working together with management and its major creditors, including HMRC, to achieve a solution to the financial problems which will ensure the ongoing survival of the business, which is of paramount importance to all concerned.

"We would like to take the opportunity of thanking the fans for all their past and present support and hope we can rely on them in the future.

"Rangers has a long and proud sporting tradition - one we all wish to see continue. All stakeholders involved with Rangers are working hard to ensure the long-term future of this national institution."

Start Quote

Rangers will always be here as I've said before”

End Quote Craig Whyte Rangers owner

Following Tuesday morning's legal case, a spokesman for HMRC said: "We can't discuss specific cases for legal reasons but tax that has been deducted at source from the wages of players and support staff such as ground keepers and physios, must be paid over to HMRC.

"Any business that fails to meet that basic legal requirement puts the survival of the business at risk."

In a statement, Mr Whyte said the HMRC's move meant the club had to "accelerate" its plans.

He added: "The administrators are in today and looking at everything and I will work with them to help them all that I can and we'll have a plan to get out of administration by CVA [Creditors Voluntary Agreement] process as quickly as we possibly can.

"Rangers will always be here as I've said before. We will come out stronger and come out a better business and most importantly in a position to put as good a team as we can on the pitch and to win trophies which is what we all want as Rangers fans."

Sir David Murray Sir David Murray said he was "hugely disappointed" at Rangers' plight

Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray said he was "hugely disappointed" at the club's decision to appoint administrators and expressed surprise at the timing of the decision.

Sport Minister Shona Robison said Rangers' current plight was "a concerning situation for everyone involved in Scottish football".

She said: "Football is our national game and it is now for the administrators to take forward the process of assessing the business and securing an outcome in the best interests of the club, its staff, supporters and the game of football as a whole in Scotland."

Financial storm

Meanwhile, Strathclyde Police said it had now resolved issues over payment for policing which may have affected Rangers home game against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

A force statement said: "We have had a positive meeting with the administrators and received assurances about payment for the provision of police services at this weekend's match.

"We are working with the club and planning for the game as normal."

The financial storm engulfing Rangers has several fronts.

Craig Whyte Craig Whyte is believed to be Rangers' secured creditor

Mr Whyte has acknowledged that the club has a £10m deficit in annual running costs.

It was reported last week that the chairman had also borrowed up to £24m against four years of future season ticket revenue from Ticketus.

Most serious of all, Rangers awaits a tax tribunal decision over a disputed bill, plus penalties, totalling £49m.

Mr Whyte was reported on Monday as saying this potential liability to HMRC could reach up to £75m if the club lost the tribunal.

HMRC believes the Ibrox club owes cash over its use of Employment Benefit Trusts (EBTs) to pay staff over a 10-year period.

It alleges the Ibrox club did not administer the scheme properly and underpaid tax.

Rangers disputes this and has contested the claim in a first tier tax tribunal, which is due to report within weeks.

After the club signalled its intention to go into administration on Monday, Mr Whyte said the best outcome would be to reach a creditors agreement which would allow the club to continue trading.

Secured creditor

Mr Whyte is believed to be a secured creditor of Rangers and would have to be paid first ahead of others such as HMRC.

However, if HMRC holds 25% or more of the club's debt it can block a creditors agreement which is necessary for Rangers to exit administration.

If a creditors agreement cannot be reached - and if the club cannot be sold - it is possible that Rangers could be wound up.

The ramifications for the Scottish game, if this happened, would be far-reaching.

It is likely that existing TV deals, which provide significant revenue streams for Scottish clubs, would be scaled back or in extreme cases cancelled.

The absence of Rangers fans at other grounds in Scotland would also reduce revenue to competitor clubs.

 

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 234.

    A stunt to skip on their tax bill 10 points deducted is hardly a big deal. Smells like this was the intention from the start and if so is absolutely shameful.

    Picture the end of the season, if Rangers get away with this under the guise of Rangers Mk 2 then whats to stop every club 11 points clear of relegation from pulling the same stunt?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 233.

    As a Celtic fan I cannot quite believe this! A sad day for Scotland and for football.

    Lets hope somebody steps in and saves the day!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 232.

    There are quite a few Premeirship clubs who have used the same 'offshore' method of paying wages. I believe this is just a test case by the HMRC. First rule of business - always pay the taxman.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 231.

    Rangers is too big to fail...we should rescue it with taxpayers money.

  • Comment number 230.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 229.

    It is difficult to see how HMRC can justify persuing this quite so vigourously whilst at the same time allowing a string of multi-nationals to get away with witholding taxes. I wish Rangers every success and hope this sparks some urgency among those charged with running the game in Scotland. I also hope it may lead to HMRC being asked to explain its priorities.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 228.

    Loosing Sky's interest in the SPL is irrelevant, Celtic and Rangers get about £2.5 million per year each so loosing that isn't going to make any difference. Celtic play 38 games in the SPL each year, 4 against Rangers and they do pretty well with attendances even against the smaller clubs. Celtic are bigger than every English side bar Man Utd and Liverpool.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 227.

    119.Nigel P
    2 Hours ago
    Let us not forget here, that many local small businesses sell to Rangers.

    However, the way these things work, a 'new' Rangers will emerge and leave behind all of these small creditors.




    Didn't Portsmouth pull that trick too? Charities lost cash that way (if I remember correctly about the same order of magnitude as paid to H Redknapp's pooch)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 226.

    No one cared when Dundee hit the skids and Dundee Utd became the dominant team in Dundee........
    Why should we feel any different about Glaswegian teams?

    This shows how 'loaded' football is in Scotland......... orchestrated by the weegie mafia.

    I hope it all collapses.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 225.

    Lets face it, their are only two clubs in the SPL, to remove one of them makes the SPL futile and irrelevant.
    Celtic and Rangers must think about joining the EPL if they are to survive.
    The SPL will decay

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 224.

    Its sad that a big club has gone into administration but its worse that the country is going to suffer due to the taxes being lost as well. This should be a warning to the rest of the clubs trying to fiddle their taxes - its the UK that has to carry the can for your tax relief and that is immoral as well as unfair to the ordinary person

  • Comment number 223.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 222.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 221.

    I went to school in Aberdeenshire in the 80s and most people were Aberdeen fans (probably about 2 or 3 Rangers fans at that point). My cousin went to school in Aberdeenshire in the naughties and most kids were Celtic/Rangers fans and Aberdeen are in the minority. You get laughed at these days as an Aberdeen fan! The media bias plays its part in the destruction of the SPL too.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 220.

    Shocking, but not surprising, another situation where a reasonably successful businessman has tried to run a football club and failed. In this case disastrously. Sports clubs and in particular large football clubs are unique entities, with a very wide group of stakeholders. Few people can I guess really understand the complexity of running such a company.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 219.

    The premier league needs to be open to all UK clubs; having separate "nations" is pointless and meaningless when most of the teams are foreigners.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 218.

    It's disgusting that they will not be relegated.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 217.

    Call me old-fashioned. Pay your taxes football - like everyone else and other business and their employees have to in the UK!

    If we all went into administration or operated off-shore like the gambling companies who take bets on sport, without paying UK tax or contributing to UK economy, where would we be? Whoops - already happens George Osborne/ Danny Alexander - the twins that are the Chancellor

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 216.

    Couple of things spring to mind....

    1. What will happen to Sir David Murray's knighthood (since Fred lost his)?
    2. What were the media in Scotland doing for this to happen on their watch? From what I understand, the outstanding liabilities were common knowledge for over a year but no-one thought to question it.
    3. What happens to the £40m loan made to RFC by MIM and is now overdue for repayment?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 215.

    Even the most ardent Celtic supporter must regret the Rangers situation - If the worst comes to the worst, Celtic will have no competition and within a few seasons the Scottish League will wither on the vine

 

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