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SBD Global/June 13, 2012/Franchises

SPL Rangers Face Liquidation After Tax Plan Turned Down

SPL Rangers face liquidation after British tax authorities "turned down prospective buyer Charles Green’s attempt to reach agreement with creditors on his takeover of the stricken Glasgow club," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. HM Revenue & Customs, owed £21.5M ($33.5M) by the Rangers, said liquidation would protect taxpayers “by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years." Green’s proposed company voluntary agreement (CVA) totals £8.5M ($13.2M). The CVA "would have restricted the chance to pursue such claims and does not undermine the sale of the club." Its rejection means the club will still exist, but must do so "under a new company structure." HMRC said, “It also means that the new company will be free from claims or litigation in a way which would not be achievable with a CVA. Rangers can make a fresh start" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/12). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported that the decision leaves the Rangers parent company "facing liquidation." Administrators running Rangers since February said that the 140-year-old club "would survive and continue to play at its Ibrox stadium." However, other SPL clubs "will have to give their blessing for Rangers to remain in the top tier of Scottish football" (REUTERS, 6/12). In London, Lamont & McLaughlin reported that Green was "hugely disappointed" by HMRC's decision. Green will now attempt to purchase the club's assets for £5.5M ($8.6M). Green said, "We will be liaising with the football authorities at the earliest opportunity to establish our position regarding the SPL" (BBC, 6/12).

RAPID VIENNA OPPOSE: In London, Ewing Grahame reported that Bundesliga's Rapid Vienna will send lawyers to the  meeting at Ibrox on Thursday and the Austrians "have instructed their representatives to oppose" the CVA. The Austrian club is still owed more than £1M ($1.6M) by the Rangers from the £4M ($6.2M) transfer of Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic in Aug. '10. Green’s offer to creditors means that Rapid "would need to settle for a maximum" of more than £91,000 ($141,596) even though Rangers will receive £5.5M ($8.6M) from the sale of Jelavic to Everton in January (TELEGRAPH, 6/11).
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