Administration looming for Glasgow Rangers after papers filed at Court of Session

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By a Newsnet reporter  
 
Old Firm giants Glasgow Rangers are facing the prospect of administration after papers were lodged at the court of session this afternoon.
 
The Ibrox club, who are currently in dispute with the inland revenue over unpaid tax bills, now have ten days in which to name the administrators.

By a Newsnet reporter  
 
Old Firm giants Glasgow Rangers are facing the prospect of administration after papers were lodged at the court of session this afternoon.
 
The Ibrox club, who are currently in dispute with the inland revenue over unpaid tax bills, now have ten days in which to name the administrators.

The news comes as the club await the result of a dispute with HMRC that could result in a bill of nearly £50 million.

The move by lawyers acting on behalf of the club’s directors is being viewed by some as a way to provide some leverage with HMRC who will receive nothing if the club, formed in 1873, is wound up.

If administration is confirmed, the club face being deducted 10 points as a result of SPL rules.  The situation could also see the club lose the right to compete in Europe and unable to buy new players.

A Scottish Premier League spokesman said that a 10-point deduction and a transfer Embargo would only be put in place when administration was confirmed.

The spokesman said “At this point in time Rangers are not in administration and we await developments.  The instant that they are technically in administration there will be an automatic 10-point deduction and, perhaps of less relevance, an Embargo on player registrations.

“If administration is confirmed, as we have done previously, we would be looking to work with the administrators and would be looking for a very early meeting.”

The situation has already had an effect on other SPL clubs.  Dundee United, who recently knocked the Ibrox club out of the Scottish Cup, are now facing the prospect of not receiving their share of the Ibrox gate receipts, estimated at around £100,000.

Current club owner, Craig White, has been the focus of media attention since he took over from former owner Sir David Murray last May.

Sir David, who once boasted “For every five pounds Celtic spend, we will spend ten,” sold the club to Mr Whyte last year for £1 after the HMRC dispute began and the club owed £18 million to Lloyds Banking Group.

Former Board members, who were removed after Mr Whyte took over, have criticised the new Chairman.

Last week the former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston revealed he had asked the Government’s Insolvency Service to clarify “certain financial arrangements” relating to the takeover of the club.

The club is also currently in a dispute with BBC Scotland after a documentary was broadcast which cast doubt on the integrity of Mr Whyte who labelled it “a hatchet job”. 

The documentary followed an apology by the BBC after video footage of club manager Ally McCoist was edited and gave the impression that he had a flippant attitude to sectarianism.

BBC Scotland has since taken a ‘keen interest’ in Mr Whyte, and last week claimed that he may have lied in court when giving evidence in a case involving a business dispute.

Rangers  – The Finance Timeline

1988 David Murray buys a majority shareholding in the club for £6m from Lawrence Marlborough.

2001 Murray Park built at a cost of £14m.

2002 Murray quits as chairman but continues as owner.

2004 Murray returns as chairman and underwrites a £57m share issue after the club’s debts peaked at £72m.

26 August 2009 Alastair Johnston takes over from Murray as his chairman

24 October The club’s manager Walter Smith claims Lloyds Bank is controlling Rangers’ spending.

12 November Rangers’ annual report shows debts have risen to £31m

27 April 2010 Rangers confirm they are under investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

9 June The London-based property developer Andrew Ellis’ consortium announces to the Stock Exchange they are in “advanced negotiations” to buy a controlling interest in Rangers.

15 June Rangers announce Murray International Holdings (MIH) is no longer “actively marketing its controlling stake in the club for sale” after failing to receive a suitable offer.

22 September Rangers announce debt reduced from £31m to £27.1m.

18 November Craig Whyte confirms to the Stock Exchange he is considering making an offer for club

30 March Whyte and Lloyds reach agreement over the £18m debt repayment.

6 May Whyte announces his acquisition of Murray International Holdings’ 85.3% shareholding in Rangers for £1.

24 May Johnston and Paul Murray are removed from their roles as directors.  The chief executive Martin Bain and director Donald McIntyre are suspended.

20 June Bain instructs his lawyers to open legal proceedings against Rangers.  Four days later, Bain resigns.

13 September Bain succeeds in having £480,000 of the club’s assets frozen while pursuing a legal case.

10 October McIntyre resigns as finance director but remains as an employee of the club.  Just over a week later, he has £300,000 of Rangers’ cash frozen pending a court case.

20 October Whyte instructs his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against the BBC over allegations made against him in a documentary, having previously withdrawn all co-operation with the broadcaster. The BBC says it stands by its investigation.

30 November Rangers’ annual financial figures show net debt has been halved to around £14m. The club also confirm Whyte had previously been disqualified as a company directory for seven years from 2000.

9 December Rangers agree an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with McIntyre.

9 January 2012 Rangers’ shares are suspended from trading on the Plus Stock Exchange for failure to submit audited accounts.

18 January A three-day tax tribunal closes in Edinburgh.

13 February Rangers lodge their intention to go into administration at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.