Despite reports in the media over the past few weeks stating that a deal was imminent, only days away from happening, Rangers Chairman Alastair Johnston is still unclear if Craig Whyte’s proposed takeover of Rangers Football Club will happen.
In an exclusive interview with RangersTV, Johnston stated that there had been a ‘number of meetings with the businessman’, which he described as being ‘positive and constructive’. With ‘issues of Craig Whyte’s funding and ability for further investment explored and discussed’.
Johnston told Blue News, “I’m not prepared to speculate over whether the deal will go through but I’m pretty sure we will know within the next couple of days whether it will happen or not. We had a meeting yesterday and it was positive to the extent that Craig was very engaged. We had several smaller prior meetings. A couple of weeks ago he met with Walter Smith and Martin Bain. When we were in Eindhoven a couple of weeks ago Walter and Martin gave a briefing to the directors in terms of the realities of where our squad is and the amount of money that we needed and the resources that we needed to apply. I suggested after that this would be good presentation for Craig to hear so we arranged that and it took place. After that we had a meeting between his people and our financial people to go into cash flow issues for the club because if this goes through the bank won’t be there and someone needs to provide the credit facilities on an ongoing basis.
“It’s not just all about buying players and selling players. We had to have a full understanding that these facilities would be available to the club to rely on for our operations. And then yesterday we talked a lot more strategically about a lot of issues with respect to the validity of his funding and when the funding will apply so it was a constructive meeting.
“You have to keep in mind that we as Rangers Football Club are not party to the transaction that is being contemplated – that’s between the buyer and the seller – and because of Murray Group’s relationship with the bank, the bank are a tag-along on that one.
“But as far as the commodity at issue, which is Rangers Football Club, we have to impose ourselves as much as we can with respect to getting assurances about getting investment and about commitment to certain things and that, for the last couple of weeks, is what we have been engaged in doing.
“As I said we have had a series of meetings and I will probably still meet Craig further – maybe later today – to have a wrap-up meeting to see where we are. It’s all really now about the impact of this transaction on the club and as the Rangers board that’s the only thing that matters.”
Johnston then commented on the deal if it doesn’t go through, that the club have other ‘irons in the fire’ (whatever that means) but not another prospective buyer.
He revealed, “If it doesn’t go through then we have to deal with that when that happens. In these circumstances we do have other engagement opportunities which we would have to pursue, not necessarily with a new buyer, but there are other things we are going to have to pursue.
“The timing is not right with a HMRC tribunal coming up which is somewhat imposing with respect to getting people to invest in the club, so we are going to have to address the realities of that if that is the case.”
Certainly it is clearly evident that Johnston is more in the know on the affairs behind the scenes, and his comments on the deal potentially falling through, has more credibility than those ‘in the know’ journalists who state that they have in the inside knowledge on the deal – inside knowledge hand-fed to them by relevant parties that is.
It is still worrying for Rangers fans that the club’s chairman, the man ‘ really’ in the know, doesn’t know if the takeover will be done at all. The next few days will certainly be anxious ones for Rangers Football Club and for manager-in-waiting Ally McCoist, who hopes to have a war chest to strength his Rangers side next season.
Source: Rangers FC/RangersTV