Rangers WILL go bust! Director says liquidation is 'inevitable'
Published 11:05 07/03/12 By MirrorFootball
Rangers director Dave King believes it is "inevitable" the club will plunge into liquidation.
South Africa-based King, the only survivor from the Sir David Murray era on the board, also said he intends to sue the former Rangers owner and criticised current Ibrox chief Craig Whyte after the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions entered administration last month.
In a 1200-word statement, King said: "I do not believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the company can come out of administration. I believe that liquidation is inevitable."
King met with Rangers manager Ally McCoist and administrators Duff and Phelps on February 22, eight days after the club formally entered administration.
The Glasgow-born businessman felt now was an appropriate time to comment on events at Ibrox "having had the opportunity to visit key stakeholders and to properly consider the information now available to me".
King anticipates there will be wholesale changes and "we must all strive to ensure that an appropriate ownership structure guarantees that this event is never repeated".
He said: "It grieves me to state that it seems inevitable that the footballing institution will survive but the company won't.
"This will entail many hurdles (that will be overcome) including 'Rangers (2012) Ltd' having to reapply for membership of the SFA (Scottish Football Association) etc.
"It is a sad point to have reached, but if managed sensibly, it can result in Rangers returning to its former glory as a football club in the shortest time possible.
"We must all strive to ensure that an appropriate ownership structure guarantees that this event is never repeated.
"We must remember that our footballing friends across the city came very close to the point that we now find ourselves in.
"Scottish football needs a strong Rangers and Celtic - but perhaps in a slightly humbler form."
King announced his intention to take legal action against Murray.
King added: "I seem to be one of the few people who actually invested cash into the club. I have made a claim of £20 million on the basis of non-disclosure by the then chairman, David Murray, of Rangers' true financial position as far back as 2000.
"Other shareholders may feel deceived like I do and wish to take similar action. (David Murray will no doubt argue to the contrary and the merits of this will be dealt with in due course in the appropriate forum.)"
Murray and Murray International Holdings Limited were aware of King's comments but a response was not immediately available.
King insisted any monies recouped would be invested into the club.
He said: "Any benefit I receive from my claim will be fully reinvested into the restructured football club. I remain 100% committed to the Rangers football club and will do whatever I can to advance its interests."
King claimed Whyte "duped" fans over the Ticketus agreement. Whyte was not immediately available for a response.
Ticketus paid £24million to secure the right to sell the club's future season tickets, with part of the cash used by Whyte to complete his takeover last May.
Duff and Phelps confirmed money from the deal was used by Whyte to pay the club's £18million debt to Lloyds Banking Group when he purchased Murray's majority shareholding and Ticketus last week released a statement, calling for a "rapid and successful conclusion" to the administration process and saying they were willing to hold talks with any potential new owners in a bid to help achieve that goal.
King said: "I met with Craig Whyte during my recent visit and he provided clarity on the funding position.
"His true financial commitment was not by way of cash (as he had previously advised me) but rather guarantees that he and/or companies associated with him had given to Ticketus.
"He confirmed to me that Ticketus has no recourse to the football club. Hopefully the administrators will be able to confirm this.
"The upshot of Craig Whyte's confession is that the fans were duped. Immediately upon the acquisition of the club by Craig Whyte (far from being debt free as was trumpeted by the Murray Group and Craig Whyte at the time) the club was in a much worse economic position than before and had no chance of survival even if we had progressed in Europe."
King has previously admitted he considered launching his own takeover bid before Murray sold his shares to Whyte for £1. He was put off by the demands of Lloyds Banking Group.
King today added his backing to director Paul Murray, who quickly expressed interest in forming a takeover consortium after Rangers went into administration on Valentine's Day.
"I will be putting my full support behind Paul Murray's initiative to secure the future of the club," King added.
"Paul is a very smart businessman of undoubted integrity and a man who holds all that is sacred and traditional at Rangers Football Club very close to his heart. He is exactly the type of man the club needs at this time."
King, who has been involved in a long-running dispute with the South African tax authorities, was reported to be on the verge of being removed from his position just before the club appointed administrators. However, he remains on the board as a non-executive director.
King has approached the SFA over his future involvement in the club.
He added: "I intend to remain involved with the club, at least on my present basis, post-reconstruction if that is at all possible under the new ownership structure.
"I am, however, alert to the raw sentiment around the need for Rangers to have 'fit and proper' persons at its helm. In view of my own well-publicised and acrimonious legal disputes with the authorities in South Africa I have taken it upon myself to approach the SFA in that regard in advance of considering an increased role in the club going forward.
"I will be guided by the SFA's response in that regard."