With Rangers’ final game of the season set to kick off in a matter of hours in Perth against St.Johnstone, Duff & Phelps confirmed this morning that the Green consortium’s bid had been accepted.
According to reports, the consortium has signed a binding contract on the sale and they will pay £8.5 million on agreement of a CVA.
Charles Green released a statement this morning, saying: “I am delighted our proposal to purchase Rangers has been accepted and we are working night and day to finalise matters.
“This is a great football club with a tremendous history and we will preserve that while building a solid platform for the future.
“Rangers supporters have every right to believe their Club should be a success on and off the pitch and that is exactly what we will strive to achieve.
“At all times we will make decisions that are in the best interests of the Club. Not every decision at a club can be popular but I can tell every Rangers fan now that whatever decision is taken they will always be told the truth. We will do everything in our power to achieve a CVA and we already have a detailed written commitment from Mr Craig Whyte for the transfer of his shareholding.
“I look forward to working with everyone at Rangers, staff, players and supporters, in building a better future. It’s what this great Club deserves.”
Joint administrator David Whitehouse issued a statement via the club’s official website, which read: “We are very pleased to announce that we have accepted an offer from a consortium headed by Mr Charles Green for the purchase of Rangers Football Club.
“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.
“The structure and quantum of the offer from Mr Green is such that it is acceptable to us as administrators and, having been in discussions with major creditors throughout the process, we believe this presents the best prospect of financial recovery for creditors.
“Mr Green, through a corporate vehicle, has entered into a binding commitment to inject funds into the Rangers Football Club plc so that the administrators can propose a Company Voluntary Arrangement which, if approved by creditors, will result in their claims being compromised for specific amounts and the company exiting administration free of the historic debt and with new owners. Work on issuing a CVA proposal has already started and will proceed with utmost urgency.
“If the creditors do not approve the Company Voluntary Arrangement, the agreement obliges Charles Green’s purchasing vehicle to acquire the business and assets of the Club on agreed terms, through a newco structure. It is Mr Green’s strong preference to achieve a CVA.
“We would like to thank Rangers supporters for their patience as a purchaser for the Club has been found and hope they will now support a bid that has the capability to take the Club forward.
“We would also like to thank the professionalism and dedication all the staff at Rangers have shown throughout the sale process. Furthermore, we thank again the Rangers players who made a major financial sacrifice to ensure the Club could continue to function.”
After the club entered administration in February, Duff & Phelps agreed a deal with the players to defer their wages with up to 75% in order to keep the club above water.
The club was hit with a ten point deduction, effectively ending any hope of them securing their fourth title in a row after throwing away a 15 point lead over rivals Celtic.
After an Scottish FA hearing, the club were hit with a £160,000 fine and had a 12 month transfer ban imposed, while owner Craig Whyte was banned for life over his mismanagement of the club. The club is currently appealing the transfer ban.
Numerous bidders have entered into the fray, American tycoon Bill Miller, a Singapore-based consortium fronted by Bill Ng, Bill Kennedy and the Blue Knights fronted by Paul Murray. Miller pulled out after securing preferred creditor status and saw the ‘reality’ of what was needed doing at the club, coupled with abusive emails from Rangers fans who were opposed to him taking the club over.
The ‘supporters’ choice’, the Blue Knights entered into the fray but after a lot of talk and little else their proposal which was rumoured to be less than £5 million was knocked back this week and then entered into a war of words with the administrators, claiming that a CVA agreement at this stage is ‘unrealistic’.
Brian Kennedy, who teamed up with the Blue Knights & Paul Murray, said on Friday: “It’s too late. This is not some clever brinkmanship. This is our lawyers telling us that if we want them to do a proper CVA, professionally put-together, we need a team of lawyers in Ibrox tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9am, otherwise they cannot deliver a CVA for the start of next season.
“When you have got an institution like this that is at death’s door, what is important is deliverability, not just quantum, which is substantial. We cannot afford to make another mistake. Duff and Phelps better have a good, credible bid on the table that doesn’t fall over.”
Murray added: “A CVA is now looking very, very difficult in terms of timescale. The newco, which is the easiest option in terms of deliverability, we believe is financially so difficult and has a range of other football issues. It didn’t surprise us that Bill Miller quickly withdrew from the process. The sums of money involved in a newco structure are very large. Unless Duff and Phelps have got a plan that I haven’t seen so far, then I think we are in a real crisis.
“Time has now run out. Decisions that are made now are absolutely critical to the future of the club.”
Damning words from the Blue Knights & Kennedy, but only time will tell if Green’s consortium will save Rangers from liquidation and a newco event, as the big tax case judgement lingers over Ibrox Park.