‘Returning Rangers would have to win over fans’
A number of first-team regulars opted to move elsewhere following the financial collapse of Rangers, who were forced into administration before subsequently being consigned to liquidation. In the week the club marks the first anniversary of one of its darkest days – administration was confirmed on 14 February, 2012 – former captain Steven Davis revealed he would love to return to his boyhood heroes and play for Rangers again before the end of his career.
Davis sealed a switch to Southampton, who paid a fee for the Northern Ireland international. McDowall said: “I know it was a wrench for him to leave. He’s a top football player and I’d have him in a minute.”
On the prospect of other former players playing for Rangers again, he added: “We would certainly welcome them back because the guys who left are all good players. Whether the support would accept them, the players would need to win the support over again if they didn’t.”
Rangers had to start from scratch in the Third Division this season after Charles Green’s “newco” failed to secure entry to the SPL after liquidation. On this day in 2012, Rangers lodged their intention to go into administration at the Court of Session. Twenty-four hours later, administrators Duff & Phelps were appointed after HMRC lodged a petition over the non-payment of PAYE and VAT since Craig Whyte’s 2011 takeover. Reflecting on the past 12 months, McDowall said: “It’s incredible that it’s been a year. Our support has kept us going. They have been fantastic.”