3 May 2012

Will fans buy Miller’s bid for Rangers?

Either Rangers’ administrators Duff & Phelps have extraordinary chutzpah or they are men in the final stages of desperation.

Announcing the US trucking magnate Bill Miller as the bloke-most-likely to buy Rangers FC, they refused to take questions at what was absurdly described as a press conference.

Nor did they mention at any stage in this, the three really key things which have to be mentioned in connection with owning this club.

Not one mention of assured creditor Craig Whyte who, he tells me, wants, £30m. No mention either for the ticket company Ticketus who may require around £27m.

And the small matter of HMRC the taxman, who could end up due around £75m if the club loses a major tax hearing due any day now.

So Rangers fans – rightly – will need a lot of convincing on all of this.

Other fans will be outraged. Because what they’re attempting to pull off here is a huge tax avoidance and debt avoidance plan from the club already notorious for both.

It boils to this. D&P say: “Mr Miller’s proposal involves the use of a specially created newco (new company) in addition to the retention of the Rangers Football Club plc. The business and assets he proposes to purchase will be sheltered in a newco and returned to the plc once the plc has been ‘cleaned up’.”

Yeah – well they may use inverted comas for ‘cleaned up’. What does it mean? Who by? When? Who pays all these vast debts the plc could owe? What will Whyte, Ticketus and HMRC (taxman) say?

(Click on the picture above for more on the crisis at Rangers)

None of it answered.

Would you buy into any of this?

Non Rangers fans sense a massive sell out in which the plc will end up liquidated, the taxpayer shafted, RFC in the Premier League with few big punishments and any kind of sporting morality out the window.

Unlike other clubs who paid their tax, balanced their books – and got relegated.

That said, even Rangers look like being banned from Europe for a long time – several seasons. Many players will thus soon leave. They are banned (pending appeal) from buying new players for a season. Penalties for sure, but if they do manage to pull this off, nothing like the penalties many feel should be imposed.

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