9 May 2012

Next 24 to 48 hours are vital for Rangers’

Being in Brussels doing something completely different and thus probing Rangers part-time is less than ideal but I can now reveal something of what’s been going on and where we are now headed.

Broadly, the Scottish Sun story is correct this morning so cap duly doffed etc – but there’s a lot more to it of course. I can reveal that the group of England-based businessmen with UK big-football club experience has, in fact, been in talks with Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps for around a week.

That is, all the time that D&P were staging “bogus” press statements at Ibrox and giving pitch-side interviews, they were also talking to this group at least, and possibly at least one more outside-bidder from beyond the UK.

As Channel 4 News indicated last week, much of the whole Miller-meltdown appears now to have been little more than a very public “smoking-out” exercise to see if the Tennessee Trucker really was serious or liked what he saw at Ibrox when he looked at the books or heard the Bears growl “Yanks Out” and other welcoming noises.

Craig Whyte is certainly serious about the Sassenach Saviours and is talking with them today and tomorrow. My information is that, unlike the Miller’s Tale (with apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer), we are now talking something more real with individuals whom it would not be helpful to name at this point.

As one at the heart of it all said:

“Alex – you can certainly say the next 24 to 48 hours are vital for Rangers Football Club.”

And this time around I’d be strongly inclined to say this is more credible stuff after last weeks Caledonian-American ceilidh-of-the-absurd.

So where’s Craigy? The majority shareholder of Rangers, Craig Whyte is talking, talking seriously I believe. And he is shifting. Not long ago he was asking whistfully for £30 million from a club you’d do well to extract 30p from, just now.

I’d say that position’s changed or changing as we speak. He will, I know, be extremely angry at all the time this has taken and the turbulent courtship of Mr Miller will have improved nobody’s mood around these talks.

In sum: expect an English-led deal from people with genuine football experience, minded to avoid liquidation via a CVA (which will be treated like a Newco, UEFA tell me with a 3 year ban), and expect Craig Whyte to agree a final exit strategy.

I’m saying expect something like this to be put on the table, that is not the same as expect this to happen.

But…but…this is Rangers Football Club. I’ve done what I can to map it til, say, Friday but…check against delivery.

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