Paul Clark, administrator of Rangers, came out with a Gerald Ratner-esque line yesterday in an attempt to encourage the prospective bidders for Rangers in advance of the next “final deadline” for bids.
He was quoted in the Scotland on Sunday saying:-
“The preferred option remains a CVA and it remains an option for all of the bidders. And we still think it’s achievable and we’re still recommending that as the preferred course of action to the bidders. We must accept, though, that we have in Rangers a financially-stricken institution and there is an amount of toxicity in there as a result of what’s gone on.
“So all of the options have to remain open and it may be that some of the bidders decide that they would rather start afresh. We cannot rule out the winning bid could prefer a different structure that meant the sale of the business to a new company and, in that eventuality, it is certainly possible that Rangers would be liquidated. But it would only be done so after the football club was made safe.“
Whilst attempting to sell the club, it was an interesting turn of phrase. One hopes for the sake of the creditors it does not have the same effect as Mr Ratner’s comments did so long ago!
Mr Paul Murray, the Arthur to the Blue Knights, took exception to the mention of liquidation.
“It seems the other groups are pushing to put the club into liquidation. That is not what I want to do. They have their own reasons for wanting that – but it’s not part of my plan.
“Paul Clark was misquoting me if he said I was considering that. I didn’t say that. I’m a little bit surprised and concerned, in fact, that the administrators seem to be almost moving things towards liquidation in the last couple of days.
“From my point of view, first and foremost, we want to reach agreement with creditors – a CVA.
“That’s the whole reason I’m talking to Ticketus. Those talks are ongoing and we’re getting closer, although it’s not done yet.
“I’m trying to put in place a restructuring deal that involves a CVA. I think the football and financial benefits of that outweigh the liquidation option.
“So I don’t know why Paul Clark seems to be briefing in that direction. It is certainly not my intention to put the club into liquidation.”
Quite how Mr Murray plans (a) to reach an agreement with Ticketus (b) reach an agreement with HMRC and (c) deal with all of Rangers’ other financial and regulatory issues, including the unfortunate fact that the 85% owner does not want to sell to Mr Murray’s group, remains to be seen.