Rangers administration: Duff and Phelps hit back over sale delay

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have denied unnecessarily holding up the sale process after Paul Murray, who is leading one of three contenders, urged them to name a preferred bidder.

Duff and Phelps were expected to name the chosen bidder last week but they said the publication of SPL proposals on sanctions for clubs going into administration and liquidation had caused interested parties to seek more information.

Rangers went into administration on 14 February, indicative bids were due on 16 March and the deadline for confirmed bids was more than 11 days ago.

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The SPL proposals would mainly affect a new Rangers emerging and taking over the current club’s SPL share. Any such entity would be subject to ten-point deductions for two seasons and lose 75 per cent of their league income for three years.

However, joint administrator Paul Clark believes they also need clarity on whether Rangers would be subject to sanctions if they agreed a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) before the start of next season but did not technically emerge from administration until after it starts.

Clark said: “We saw the comments from one bidder in the media on Saturday but it is not us who are holding up the process or moving the goalposts and all the bidders are aware of that.

“Before selecting a preferred bidder, it is vital to the club’s interests that bidders have made in writing their full financial commitment.

“We believed we were nearly there last week and it is unfortunate that matters have run on. We hope to move things along next week but there is a lot of hard work to be done.

“The SPL proposals regarding a newco scenario did raise some concern but more important was the grey area of the club exiting administration but not completing a CVA before next season and that still requires clarification.”

Murray’s Blue Knights consortium are competing with a Singapore-based group headed by Bill Ng and a bid from US businessman Bill Miller. Murray said at the weekend: “My reading of the SPL proposals is, as far as we’re concerned, we are not affected by these resolutions.”

Last night Rangers fans accused the administrators of putting the club in jeopardy of liquidation because of their failure to name a preferred bidder.

A joint statement from the three main supporters’ groups – the assembly, trust and association – read: “Rangers fans worldwide have been very patient during the recent difficult period in the hope that we will exit administration and be able to work towards re-establishing our club at the level to which we all aspire. We demand the administrators announce the preferred bidder as a matter of urgency.”