Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers FC administrators make 'good progress'

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Media captionRangers fans' use an inflatable billboard to get their message across to club owner Craig Whyte outside Ibrox

The administrators of Rangers FC have said they have made "very good progress" within the first 24 hours of running the club.

Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, of Duff and Phelps, said their first priority was to ensure that the club continued to function.

They will be holding meetings with staff on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, First Minister Alex Salmond admitted he was "very concerned" about the future of Rangers.

Mr Salmond has appealed to the club and HM Revenue and Customs to hold talks about how any money owed could be paid back and over what timescale.

Rangers was placed in administration on Tuesday after a legal stand-off at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

'Difficult time'

Owner Craig Whyte lodged papers at the court on Monday indicating that the club was considering administration within 10 days.

However, Rangers' hand was forced after HMRC - one of the club's main creditors - filed to have its own administrator appointed.

Both parties eventually reached agreement that Mr Whyte's preferred administrators Duff and Phelps would be appointed.

The company later confirmed HMRC's action stemmed from the alleged non-payment of £9m in VAT and PAYE dating back to last year when Mr Whyte bought the club from Sir David Murray.

Earlier Sports Minister Shona Robison told the administrators she wanted to see an outcome "in the best interests ... of the game".

She said a key concern was the "future of those employed by the club and the potential economic impact of administration".

The statement from Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse said the club's business partners had gone "the extra mile" to ensure that Saturday's home match against Kilmarnock goes ahead.

Image caption The administrators will spend the next few days getting control of club finances

"We had extremely constructive discussions with Strathclyde Police and we can confirm the match will take place," they said.

"We fully recognise this is a difficult time for players and staff at the club and are extremely appreciative of their reaction to the situation.

"In broad terms, supporters can be reassured that Rangers will continue as a football club and we hope to reach a stage as soon as possible where the club can emerge from administration.

"We have had expressions of support across the political spectrum in Scotland within the last 24 hours and there is clearly a desire to see Rangers come through this situation successfully."

They added: "For clarity, the cost structure of the club and ongoing losses were such that the club had outstanding liabilities to HMRC.

"These were the subject of discussion and clearly HMRC wished to see them resolved as a matter of urgency. We are involved in dialogue with HMRC and will work with them constructively, as is the case with all other key stakeholders."

The club has decided to postpone its Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Ceremony which was due to take place at the Glasgow Hilton on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Tennent's said the brewer would continue its deal with Rangers despite the club being in administration.

"Tennent's has invested in Scottish football for over 35 years, most recently as the main sponsor of Rangers and Celtic," he said.

"As such we are saddened to hear the news that Rangers have gone into administration.

"We are in constant touch with Rangers Football Club during this process and will be in close contact with the club's administrators going forward.

"It is our intention to continue our sponsorship and will keep the situation under review."

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