Rangers crisis: Today’s developments in full
RANGERS administrators have revealed that they are looking to make savings of around £1m a month to safeguard the future of the club - but stopped short of announcing any cuts to the staff or playing squad.
5.35pm: Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have issued a statement, confirming that no final decisions will be made until next week. As well as disclosing that they are looking to make savings of £1m per month to save the club, they confirmed a court order to secure £3.6m from Craig Whyte’s lawyers Collyer Bristow.
Statement in full:
Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: “We appreciate this has been an extremely difficult week for all the staff of Rangers Football Club and the supporters.
“As administrators, we had anticipated completing our review of staffing levels and cost structure of the Rangers business this week but the participation of a number of players in international fixtures did interrupt the process.
“In short, the Rangers business is trading at a substantial loss and we have no alternative but to fill an approximate £4.5 million shortfall by the end of the season. It is therefore imperative that we find savings of approximately £1 million per month to ensure the ongoing viability of the business.
“As has been widely publicised, there have been a number of discussions this week in an effort to achieve the necessary cost reductions. We are determined that all realistic options should be explored and today discussions have been ongoing with Ally McCoist who, in turn, has been speaking to his players and the PFA Scotland.
“We would prefer to reach a consensual position but as the day has gone on and tomorrow’s very important match against Hearts looms larger, it has been agreed that any final decisions have been postponed until early next week.
“On other matters, we can report that we made this week an emergency application to the High Court in London to secure money held in the client account of solicitors, Collyer Bristow, who had acted for the purchaser of the Club in May 2011.We can confirm that following the court hearing Collyer Bristow paid approximately £3.6m to our lawyers, Taylor Wessing, to be held securely by Taylor Wessing until the High Court decides whether or not it is the Club’s money.
“Collyer Bristow will also disclose to Taylor Wessing details of the payments of funds out of their account on behalf of the Club since May 2011.The High Court in London will hear further representations on the administrators’ claim to the money and our request for further information from Collyer Bristow on 8 March 2011.
“Since legal proceedings are ongoing we cannot provide further information but this is a positive step in the administrators’ investigations into the Club’s financial affairs.
“Right now, the situation is quite simple - income generated now will help secure the future of Rangers and we encourage supporters, who have shown tremendous backing for the Club throughout this process, to buy tickets for the Hearts game at Ibrox tomorrow and future home matches.”
5.15pm: Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps are expected to make a statement in the next half hour.
4.15pm: Uncertainty remains, but an announcement on job losses could yet be made later today, with reports suggesting staff have been presented with a number of options to mull over.
2.45pm: Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who has picked up the Clydesdale Bank Premier League manager of the month award for February, has commented on the Rangers crisis. After Ally McCoist reportedly offered to work for free, Lennon said he would do the same under the circumstances:
“I have bills to pay and kids to feed. Would I do it? It would depend on the period of time that I would have to do it for and if I could get by then I would, yes.
“But I hope I never have to come into that scenario.
“I am not aware that has been put to Ally but he obviously finds himself in a difficult place at the minute.
“I don’t like the idea of administrators coming in and running football clubs, but needs must I suppose the way things have been handled and it should be a lesson to us all that even the biggest of clubs can suffer these financial penalties.”
2.10pm: Further to the earlier reports that no agreement had been reached with the players, it is now being claimed that any official announcement from the administrators will be delayed until next week.
1.50pm: The BBC reports that Rangers administrators are now chasing Craig Whyte for £9m which was contractually promised to the club at the time of the takeover.
1.25pm: Rangers players have now left Murray Park. PFA Scotland chief Fraser Wishart has said that no agreement has been reached and the players are preparing for tomorrow’s match against Hearts as normal.
12.55pm: STV reports that Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have secured a court order to seize £3.6m from Craig Whyte’s solicitors. Collyer Bristow received money for season ticket sales sold to Ticketus before the takeover last May. It is understood that this will not affect any decisions on reduncancies.
12.40pm: Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has written in a blog post that a meeting will be held on Monday between all 12 member clubs to discuss financial fair play:
“...it is important that we keep the whole issue of financial fair play firmly in the spotlight. Improving our rule book and making it less likely that our member clubs end up in financial difficulty in the first place should continue to be a priority. And with this in mind, all 12 SPL member clubs will meet this Monday. On the agenda will be our existing rules on financial fair play and whether our current rule book needs improvement in the face of the financial challenges being faced by several member clubs.
“If agreement in principle is reached, this could mean our clubs voting on new, tougher, rules on financial fair play at a general meeting, either in April or July this year. It will be a difficult debate. But it is vital that we do not shy away from these issues or bury our heads in the sand.
“It may be uncomfortable to address these thorny problems head-on. But the long-term health and prosperity of Scottish football demands that we do just that.”
11.40am: SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has issued a statement about the governing body’s independent inquiry into the club:
“We are now in the final stages of our independent inquiry into the situation concerning Rangers FC. The report by The Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith is expected to be completed next week and will go to a Special Board Meeting for consideration.
“It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage in relation to the details gleaned from the inquiry, the potential contents of the report or any possible sanctions.
“We are, however, aware of the most recent allegations made against Rangers FC today by a former director of the club. We shall investigate this matter thoroughly before making any further comment.”
11.15am: While Rangers players have rejected the offer of playing for the rest of the season for free, they have denied that they were made three further offers, as follows:
• A 75 per cent wage cut across the board
• A 50 per cent wage cut and eight reduncancies
• A 30 per cent wage cut and 11 redundancies
11.05am: It is understood any announcement won’t be until this afternoon, as the meetings go on.
11.00am: Today’s Rumour Mill column covers the latest newspaper revelations, including fresh allegations from a former Ibrox director that the board were aware that payments into Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) were kept off the books, in contravention of SFA rules.
10.45am: The Scotsman reports today that Ticketus, the company whose money helped fund owner Craig Whyte’s controversial Ibrox buy-out, is interested in being part of a new takeover. An insider said the company was “exploring all different options” and is “not ruling out Ticketus being involved in any potential takeover”.
10.30am: A reminder of yesterday’s statement from the administrators: “Duff and Phelps, the administrators of Rangers Football Club, advise all media there will be no announcement today (Thursday) in relation to staffing levels in any department of the club. Discussions are ongoing regarding potential cost-saving measures and announcements will be made at the earliest opportunity, most likely tomorrow (Friday).”
10.15am: Representatives of the player’s union (PFA Scotland) have arrived at Murray Park, Rangers’ training complex, for talks.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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