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Rangers administrators accept new takeover bid

posted 13 May 2012, 06:28 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 13 May 2012, 06:29 ]

Rangers administrators accept a takeover bid from a consortium led by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green.

(GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, UK ) (ITN) - Administrators for stricken Scottish soccer club Rangers accepted a takeover bid on Sunday (May 13) from a group led by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green, who must now try to rescue the 140-year-old Glasgow team.

Rangers, one of the biggest names in British soccer, went into administration in February over unpaid taxes and there have been several false dawns since then in efforts to save the club.

The deal with Green was announced by Duff and Phelps on the last day of a Scottish Premier League season which has seen Rangers surrender their title to bitter rivals Celtic.

"Mr Green has secured, via a substantial financial commitment, a period of exclusivity to complete the purchase of the Club and this is expected to be finalised at a creditors' meeting on June 6," said David Whitehouse, joint administrator from Duff and Phelps.

Green's group proposes to try to reach a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) agreement with creditors so that debts can be cleared and the club start next season with a clean bill of financial health.

"Clearly we're, we're delighted that the administrators accepted our offer. Rangers, as we know, has a fantastic history. We want to retain and preserve that history; that's why our offer to try and preserve it through the CVA route has been always at the forefront of our plans. We want to also build on that history to make sure that Rangers has a future," said Green.

He also implied criticism of previous bidders, saying he would be honest and direct.

"We haven't conducted our business in public; you haven't seen any names -- my name was the first name published, which I think came out perhaps on Thursday. We have been working behind the scenes; we haven't built around rhetoric, it's been on fact and now we want this club to go forward. My opinion is that for the fans and the club -- its staff, its players -- the difficult period of the last five months has been made worse by speculation. You will find that for the period that I'm at that club, that you will get answers honestly and directly to every question," said Green.

The group leader said he had received a written commitment for the transfer of the 85 percent shareholding owned by Scottish businessman Craig Whyte, who bought the club last year only for it to run into a debt crisis.

Rangers went into administration over nine million pounds ($14.49 million) in unpaid taxes. They face a much larger potential liability in a separate tax dispute over how they paid their players over the past decade.

Winning over Rangers' passionate fans may be a challenge for Green, however.

U.S. tow-truck tycoon Bill Miller, named preferred bidder earlier this month, withdrew his offer after protests by fans.

The 59-year-old Green has a background in the soccer world but has no public profile in Scotland. He was chief executive of Sheffield United when the English club floated on the stock market in 1997.

He is chairman of Nova Resources, a company that is listed on London's AIM stock market and invests in mining businesses. It is active mainly in Singapore and Mongolia.

($1 = 0.6212 pounds)