Administrators call on support of Rangers fans

 

Rangers' administrators have told fans their continued backing is crucial in helping to secure the club's future.

The Scottish champions attracted their biggest home crowd of the season for last week's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Kilmarnock at Ibrox - their first match since going into administration.

Financial firm Duff and Phelps - who took control of the running of Rangers last Tuesday over an unpaid tax bill of £9million accrued since Craig Whyte's takeover last May - want to see a repeat of that support in a bid to generate income for the crisis-hit club.

David Whitehouse, joint administrator, said in a statement yesterday: "Ibrox was sold out last Saturday and hopefully that can be the case for the rest of the season.

"The fans are clearly extremely loyal to Rangers and by coming to matches at Ibrox they are directly contributing to the club's future.

"Right now, it is quite simple - income now will help secure the future of Rangers."

Whitehouse says the situation at Rangers is "positive" and claimed other clubs were sympathetic to their plight.

He said: "Overall, I would describe the situation as positive.

"Everybody recognises the plight that the club is in and have come to the table to help and assist where possible.

"We have also had very good support from the football authorities and have met with both the SFA and the SPL.

"For 140 years Rangers has been a key part of Scottish football.

"We hope that the influence and the support which the club has given to the game over the years will carry some weight at these difficult times.

"Generally other clubs are sympathetic. I think clubs realise this is a difficult time for the football industry in general and Rangers isn't unique in its financial position.

"They are very supportive of the survival of the club which is critical to Scottish football."

Rangers director Dave King - the only survivor from the Sir David Murray era on the board - was at Ibrox yesterday as manager Ally McCoist held talks with the administrators.

Earlier in the day, it emerged that Rangers, under Whyte, had sold shares gifted to them by Arsenal in the 1930s for around £230,000.

That revelation came after the administrators and Whyte himself confirmed on Tuesday that a £24million cash injection from investment firm Ticketus, based on advance season ticket sales, had been used to pay off £18million in debt owed to Lloyds Banking Group at the time of the takeover.

Whyte has already taken a step back but any involvement in the club after the administration process is complete seems difficult to envisage given the impact on his reputation over the last 10 days.

Whyte stressed on January 31 that claims he had used the Ticketus money to fund his takeover were not true, but has this week been forced to backtrack.

Andy Kerr, president of the Rangers Supporters' Assembly said: "It's looking less likely he can come back because of the concerns and doubt and lack of confidence in him."

Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston last night questioned whether Whyte met the conditions of the sale purchase agreement when he purchased his majority shareholding in the club, urging the administrators to investigate and report on the takeover.

PA

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