Scottish champions Rangers said on Thursday they would meet
possible buyers of the Glasgow club in the coming days to try to
rescue one of the best supported teams in British football.
In a fresh blow the stricken club, the Scottish Football
Association said Rangers faced a charge of bringing the game
into disrepute over their financial affairs.
Following an inquiry into the club, the FA said it did not
consider club chairman and majority shareholder Craig Whyte to
be a "fit and proper person" to be involved in the game.
The plight of Rangers, Scottish champions a record
54 times, has sent shockwaves through British soccer where many
clubs are struggling to make ends meet.
Rangers are part of the fabric of Scottish society, their
bitter rivalry with city rivals Celtic illustrating the divide
between Protestants and Roman Catholics north of the border.
The club's administrators said on Wednesday that they
planned to accelerate the sale process after failing to agree a
wage-cutting deal with players.
A statement on Thursday played down suggestions that a
rescuer had to be found by Friday, but the club still faces a
struggle to survive until the end of the season.
"We are continuing to meet prospective purchasers over the
next few days," Duff and Phelps said in a statement.
"This does not mean that the club has to be sold within the
next 24 hours - we are establishing how quickly we can get to
that point," the administrators added.
Talks with the players are continuing and there is hope that
an agreement on wages can be reached on Friday. The alternative
would be big cuts to the playing squad that would further damage
Rangers went into administration last month over nine million
pounds in unpaid payroll and sales taxes.
The club also faces a larger tax bill of 50 million pounds
relating to the use of trusts to pay players over the past
decade. That potential liability complicates the sale process,
with buyers likely to be reluctant to commit until it is
A lawyer for Duff and Phelps told a London court there was a
risk the cash-strapped club could fail to complete the season
and be forced to drop out of the Scottish Premier League.
Duff and Phelps had gone to court to try to get their hands
on 3.6 million pounds held in a lawyer's account pending
resolution of a dispute with chairman Whyte.
"There is a risk that the club will fail to fulfil its
fixtures," lawyer Mark Phillips, representing Rangers'
administrators, told the court.
"There is a risk that the club could go into liquidation and
be demoted by the Scottish League, which would eliminate any
realistic prospect of a sale of the club for any sum worthwhile
to creditors," he added, Britain's Press Association news agency
The court ordered a further hearing on on March 30.
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