10 May 2012

Whyte slashes price of his Rangers shares

From the horse’s mouth – so to speak. The man whose name is sung around Parkhead by the green faithful has duly reduced the price of his share buy-out by the small matter of £29,999,999.

Craig Whyte, the man who bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for a pound when the club was in a deep mess will now – in theory – sell it on for a pound now it’s in a much deeper mess.

Theory, because the whole thing depends upon a Company Voluntary Arrangement being set up and agreed with shareholders.

Duff and Phelps – the Rangers administrators, went well out of their way last week to say this will take 6-8 weeks, meaning Rangers could still be in administration even at the beginning of next season and incur more penalty point deductions. Scottish rules are tougher than the English ones in this respect.

D&P made it pretty plain that a CVA at Rangers was pretty much a non-starter.

So the clock ticks.

Creditors have to get a CVA document by the end of next week realistically. Creditors then need around 3 weeks to vote and consider the deal. Then they have a 28 day cooling off period. The clock is indeed ticking.

Mr Whyte’s only real hope therefore is that this process – whilst still adhered to in theory – will in practice be somewhat short-circuited by cash onjections early on and nods of good faith at every turn. Well, perhaps. Craig Whyte keeps telling me he’s desperate to get the club out of admin by the before the beginning of the new season.

And then that leaves the floating charge Mr Whyte has over Rangers – effectively another large separate financial stake in the club and I can reveal this is still to be negotiated away somehow. This is where the tough-talk has still very much to be done.

So: floating charge subject to talks and shares still to be nailed down subject to that CVA. Is this a done deal?

No. Hence all the secrecy and everyone saying the name of the buyers will leak but nobody yet leaks of course.

All will soon be clear but a real deal? It is not in the bag.

The other big issue is UEFA. I am  urgently seeking clarity over this yet again but last week UEFA’s Head of Communications went away to their compliance  department and explicitly checked – again – that UEFA are now minded to look at CVAs just like a new company (Newco) ie it’s a 3 year ban from European football.

Speaking to Craig Whyte his understanding is very different and this could hardly be more vital – buying into a CVA at Ibrox would surely be a non-starter with that 3 year ban in place?

Well – UEFA wouldn’t be the first party totally confuzzled by this 38 act tragi-comedy. They’ll not be the last either. Let us see though, whether they or Craig Whyte are correct on this.

From omnishambles to ubershambles? Rule nothing in or out just yet…

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