Rangers administration: Blue Knights ready to meet bid deadline

FORMER Rangers director Paul Murray has confirmed his Blue Knights consortium will lodge a bid before Friday’s deadline

Murray is pushing ahead with plans to submit a takeover proposal along with his allies, who include Ticketus and other individuals such as motoring tycoon Douglas Park, fund manager John Bennett of the Henderson Group and property adviser Scott Murdoch of CWM. Murray said: “We had a very good meeting with the administrators. We are in good shape for Friday. We will be making an offer to buy Rangers.”

Administrators Duff and Phelps have revealed interest from America and the Far East while Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy has previously expressed an interest, although only if Murray’s consortium fails.Murray added: “I would like to think we would get an answer next week and we are hopeful of being able to take control of the club and stabilise the situation.

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“That is the main thing – Rangers needs to be saved in its current form and then plans can be put in place from there.”

Murray’s plans involve Ticketus, whose £24.4million injection for rights to sell future season tickets was used by Craig Whyte to pay off the club’s bank debt and complete his takeover.

Murray has revealed Ticketus would underwrite stage one of his group’s takeover plan by backing the cash purchase of club and providing working capital. Individuals in the consortium would give personal pledges to Ticketus against the money used. Stage two would be to hold a share issue and the group would then seek to renegotiate the terms of the Ticketus arrangement.

Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has backed Murray’s consortium to take over. He said yesterday: “When I came back to Rangers five years ago the make-up of the board had changed completely from what it was during my previous stint as manager. That was the first time I met Paul Murray. I think he had been on the board for a couple of years by then.

“Throughout the four-and-a- half years that I was there I was always really impressed by the way he handled himself at the board meetings.

“What came across more than anything else was that everything he did was for the good of Rangers Football Club.

“If you are looking at somebody stepping in to sort this out, I don’t think anyone could question both Paul’s own integrity and the fact that he is without a doubt a big Rangers supporter. He will only do what he believes to be best for the club.”

Meanwhile, Craig Whyte was pictured leaving the offices of Duff and Phelps yesterday. Joint administrator Paul Clark said at the weekend that there was no evidence of Whyte having invested any money into Rangers and that he was “absolutely irrelevant” to the club’s medium to long-term future.

Whyte holds a majority shareholding in the club, having bought it for £1 from Sir David Murray.