ADMINISTRATORS for stricken Scottish soccer club Rangers accepted a takeover bid on Sunday 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 an agreement with creditors so that debts can be cleared and the club start next season with a clean bill of financial health.
Green 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.
“This is a great football club with a tremendous history and we will preserve that while building a solid platform for the future,” Green said.
Rangers went into administration over 9 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. – Reuters
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