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SBD Global/February 8, 2013/International Football

Rangers Want To Tap Into The Middle East; Debt Dispute Is No Threat To Club

Rangers CEO Charles Green looks to the Middle East to take Rangers forward.
This month marks one year since former Rangers Owner Craig Whyte "announced the club was going into administration," according to Gary Meenaghan of THE NATIONAL. As current Owner Charles Green "watched the news unfold on television in his London apartment, he received a text message from Imran Ahmad of Zeus Capital offering him the opportunity to become the chief executive of one of football's biggest football clubs." He replied: "No thanks." Green said, "I thought that was the end of it. But a few days later he hounded me again and we met in London. That was when I realized not only that Rangers had to be bought by someone, but that Rangers could be bought by my group." Last summer, while "sourcing investors for a consortium that would eventually acquire the business and assets of the financially-stricken club," Green managed to raise close to £4M worth of investment from the region. Green suggested that, without a rich benefactor, "it is hard to come up with a sustainable model for running a football club." Green said, "But our vision is to instead use these great assets that we have got: the academy and our worldwide network." Green "will look east to continue Rangers' renaissance by tapping into Arabian Gulf, subcontinent and Far East markets." Green said, "The growth of football is going to be in those regions." Rangers have a back story stretching 140 years, but with a growing number of European clubs opening elite football schools in Asia, Green knows that Rangers "will need to move quickly to ensure a foothold." He "has already held meetings regarding training camps and academies and hopes to use the connections he has developed in the UAE over the past decade or so to help the club's cause." Green said, "It's part of what I am doing here because there is a pool of talent in this region -- both local and expat." He added: "I know Emiratis like their football as much as they like their horses, so there would be a strong interest. I had a meeting earlier with a very close friend and he is extremely excited about the prospect of trying to help me drive this here" (THE NATIONAL, 2/7).

DEBT DISPUTE:
REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Rangers "have dismissed fears that the club could face a new battle for survival over a disputed bill." Britain's Channel 4 News reported that Singapore-based Orlit Enterprises "was planning to go to court to seek a winding-up order against Rangers over disputed invoices" for £400,000 ($628,000). The bill "was for help in finding investors to rescue the club last June." Rangers said in a statement: "With regard to stories circulating about Rangers and Orlit, the sums sought are insignificant and agreement has been reached subject to the necessary paperwork" (REUTERS, 2/7). In Glasgow, Keith McLeod reported despite the claim, "no evidence exists that a winding-up order has been served." The Daily Record "could find no papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh" Wednesday relating to an order against Rangers. Wednesday night, "it emerged that Green had been linked to a director of Orlit." In May, "he resigned as non-executive chairman of Nova Resources, who have interests in the Far East and Mongolia." Another board member of Nova Resources is a lawyer called Chan Fook Meng, who "is also listed as a director of Orlit Enterprises" (DAILY RECORD, 2/7).
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