Former Scottish champions
Rangers face a three-year ban from European competition after
the British tax authorities rejected a plan on Tuesday to settle
the stricken club's liabilities.
The decision leaves the Glasgow club's parent company facing
liquidation. Administrators who have been running Rangers since
February said the 140-year-old club would survive and continue
to play at its Ibrox stadium.
However, other clubs in the Scottish Premier League will
have to give their blessing for Rangers to remain in the top
tier of Scottish football.
"HMRC [UK tax authority] has taken the view that the public
interest will be better served with the liquidation of The
Rangers Football Club plc as a corporate entity," said Paul
Clark, the joint administrator.
"The club will continue to operate as it has always done but
within a new company structure."
Rangers, one of the biggest names in British football and
Scottish champions a record 54 times, went into administration
four months ago over nine million pounds in unpaid
They face a much higher bill over a separate tax dispute
relating to payments to players over the past decade.
A group led by former Sheffield United chief executive
Charles Green has agreed to take over the club. But its proposal
to settle the club's debts with a part payment, known as a
Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), has been deemed insufficient
by the tax authorities.
HMRC said its decision to push for liquidation would ensure
taxpayers got more of their money back and help to uncover how
Rangers had got into such a mess. It said the sale to Green's
consortium could still proceed.
"A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect
taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit
of possible claims against those responsible for the company's
financial affairs in recent years," a spokesman said.
"It also means that the new company will be free from claims
or litigation in a way which would not be achievable with a CVA.
Rangers can make a fresh start."
Scottish businessman Craig Whyte paid a nominal one pound to
take an 85 percent stake in Rangers in May 2011, inheriting a
club already weighed down by debt and the tax dispute.
Scottish football is dominated by Rangers and city rivals
Celtic, who reclaimed the league title last season for the first
time since 2008.
Scottish Premier League fixtures for the 2012/13 season are
due to be published on June 18, ahead of an August 4 kick-off.
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