Rangers takeover: Charles Green remains quiet on fellow investors
Charles Green today paid tribute to the passion of the Rangers fans and has also reiterated the reason he is withholding the names of those other investors in his consortium. .
• ‘Investors want to wait until CVA is agreed before going public’
• Tycoon lauds passion of supporters
• Green does not rule out ‘newco’ option but stresses CVA route preferred
Green is leader of the group that has struck an £8.5 million deal with the club’s administrators to buy Rangers and the former Sheffield United chief executive has just spent his first weekend in the Scottish football spotlight.
He watched Rangers defeat St Johnstone 4-0 on Sunday afternoon and met fans’ representatives after the game at McDiarmid Park. He has welcomed their challenge for him to earn the trust of the Rangers supporters. “That is exactly how it should be,” he said earlier today.
One reason for the lingering scepticism is Green’s refusal to divulge the identities of those who have pledged funds to the consortium, which the Yorkshireman claims includes over 20 individuals and families. Although he has confirmed former Newcastle United chairman and owner Freddie Fletcher is not one of them, he has steadfastly refused to name any of his fellow investors, beyond the fact they are drawn from areas such as India and Singapore, as well as the UK. He has also issued an assurance that no single investor will own more than 15 per cent of the club.
“Quite rightly, supporters and the media have raised the issue of the identity of those involved in the consortium,” he said. “The fundamental reason I cannot do this at this time is that some investors would like to wait until a CVA [Company Voluntary Arrangement] proposal is advanced or agreed before going public. That is their choice.
“What I can say to supporters is that there is a broad church of investors, from families in Singapore and India to individuals in the UK involved. They are good people who are united in their belief that a club such as Rangers can, should and will have a strong future.”
“The identities of those involved will be revealed as we pursue the CVA and know what the outcome of that will be. I can assure supporters and the football authorities that is what is going to happen so everyone will know where the money is coming from.”
Green has reiterated that his consortium’s preferred intention is to take Rangers out of administration through a CVA. Rangers owe £27 million to investment firm Ticketus and around £17 million to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs with a bigger bill possibly on the way as the club await the outcome of a top tier tax tribunal.
Green’s group have pledged £8.5 million for the creditors’ pot with around £3.5 million owed in transfer fees to supplement that, while litigation against law firm Collyer Bristow, who helped conduct current owner Craig Whyte’s takeover of the club last May, could add to the tally at a later date.
“As I said yesterday we are fully committed to trying to achieve a CVA that will enable the club to emerge from administration,” Green stressed. “That is our priority but it is in the gift of creditors. If that cannot be achieved we will have to pursue the alternative route of a newco but that would be structured in such a way the club would not lose its history. But that is not the way we want to go.”
Green has pledged to meet the fans again and has promised to keep them informed of progress as he strives to ensure that a CVA offer is accepted. A meeting with creditors has been scheduled for 6 June.
Green is also due to hold talks with the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League, in order, he said, to “discuss the consortium and all matters regarding the club”. The SFA will host a hearing on Wednesday in front of an independent judicial panel as Rangers appeal sanctions imposed on the club last month, and which includes a 12 month transfer embargo.
Green has been energised by the passion he has felt from supporters, who gathered in healthy numbers at Perth on Sunday as Rangers marked what could be the start of a new era with a handsome victory over St Johnstone. “Although I have spent many years in and around football, nothing could have prepared me for the level of passion and commitment I saw over the last few days in Glasgow and at Perth by all those with Rangers at heart,” he said. “It was heart-warming to see players, supporters and staff all make clear to me how much they care about the club.
“I hope the consortium I lead can repay that commitment and we are now pressing on with the job of completing the sale of the club. I met fans’ representatives after the match on Sunday – I’ll take that result any day – and quite rightly they had plenty of questions for me. They made clear that because of what has happened at the club, I will have to earn their trust and that is exactly how it should be.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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