Britain's top politicians
offered support on Thursday to Rangers after they went into
administration but rivals Celtic bristled at comments that the
Glasgow club needed their cash-strapped city rivals "to
The Scottish champions - one of the best supported clubs in
Britain - went into administration on Tuesday after running into
tax problems, leading to a 10-point penalty which has virtually
gifted Celtic the title.
"On the issue of Rangers Football Club, this means a huge
amount to many people in Scotland," United Kingdom Prime
Minister David Cameron said in a statement on the club's website.
"I completely understand that no one wants to see, I
certainly don't want to see Rangers Football Club disappear.
"There are discussions underway between [the tax
authorities] and the administrator, I hope they can be
successfully completed and I hope there will be a strong and
successful future for Rangers."
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said Rangers were an
integral part of the country.
"We're talking about a huge institution, part of the fabric
of the Scottish nation as well as Scottish football, and
everyone realises that," Salmond said.
"The most diehard Celtic supporter understands that Celtic
can't prosper unless Rangers are there. The rest of the clubs
understand that as well."
But Celtic, who have dominated Scottish football with
Rangers for over two decades, took issue with Salmond's
"We are very disappointed with the First Minister's claims
that Celtic 'need' Rangers and that Celtic can't prosper unless
Rangers are there," Celtic said in a statement.
"This is simply not true. In a series of interviews given
just three days ago, we made it abundantly clear that Celtic has
a well-defined strategy and a business plan independent of the
fortunes of any other club.
"The predicament of Rangers is clearly a serious and complex
matter with a whole range of possible outcomes. However, we are
extremely well qualified to make our own position clear and have
no wish to see this being misrepresented for political reasons."
The lack of competition in the Scottish Premier League has
long prompted calls for the Glasgow duo to join the richer
English league but nothing has ever materialised, leaving
Rangers and Celtic to lose out financially.
Administrators told a news conference that February wages
will be paid and that there was no danger of liquidation at this
stage, although further sales of the playing staff may occur.
Club chairman Craig Whyte told Sky Sports News he hoped
Rangers would come out of administration next month.
Rangers could face a tax bill of 50 million pounds.
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