Paul Murray plays down Rangers liquidation fears

 

Former Rangers director Paul Murray believes the club can be saved from liquidation despite fears to the contrary by Dave King.

Ibrox director King revealed in a lengthy statement today that he believes the Scottish champions will not be able to come through administration and that liquidation was "inevitable."

However, Murray - who plans to lodge a takeover proposal with administrators Duff and Phelps on March 16 - disagreed with King's claims.

He told talkSPORT: "From my point of view and talking to the administrators, I'm certainly not working on the basis that liquidation is inevitable.

"I'm surprised Dave King has actually released that statement, as he certainly didn't clear it with me. I agree with a lot of what he said, but with regard to liquidation I'm not sure I agree with that."

South Africa-based King, the only survivor from the Sir David Murray era on the board, also announced his intention to sue the former Rangers owner for £20million on the basis of "non-disclosure".

Sir David Murray responded to those comments via a spokesperson for the Murray Group today who said: "We note with some interest, and much incredulity, Dave King's press statement.

"It is difficult to understand his motives, given he has been a director of Rangers Football Club since the year 2000.

"Throughout the period of his directorship, Dave King has attended and participated in regular board meetings, including those approving the annual audited accounts, received board papers quarterly, had full access to the executive management of the club, and been privy to the same detailed financial and commercial information as every other board member.

"In the event that he actually lodges a claim, we would vigorously defend it."

A statement added: "Murray Group fully intends to make further detailed press comment on the wider circumstances at Rangers Football Club once it considers this will not detract from or interfere with the difficult and delicate work of the administration.

"It is deeply regrettable and hugely saddening for all the employees and supporters that the club finds itself in its present situation."

The Glasgow giants entered administration on February 14 as a result of an unpaid tax bill of £9million accrued since Craig Whyte took over Sir David Murray's majority shareholding last May, and King also criticised the current Ibrox chief in his statement.

King added that he backed Paul Murray and his plans to form a takeover consortium - dubbed the Blue Knights - but his fears about Rangers' inability to avoid a scenario whereby the company is liquidated will be of most concern to worried fans.

Paul Murray added: "It's a pretty comprehensive statement but Dave lives in South Africa and I think he's currently in China on business, so he's a little bit distant from the detail here."

The administrators have invited "best offers" from interested parties by March 16 and Paul Murray confirmed his intention to submit a takeover bid by that date and says he is "working flat out" with the administrators on a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

He said: "I'm working on the CVA proposal as the way forward and obviously that's in the best interests of the club and that can change the club. We need to settle our debts but at least that enables the club to emerge out of administration into a new form.

"CVA basically interns the company and the club in its present state and is a negotiated settlement with the creditors that Rangers have got and would enable Rangers to emerge from administration.

"I'm working with administrators flat out on a CVA solution to this particular issue. Any insolvency process is very complicated. The administrators are three weeks into the process and working through some pretty complex legal situations.

"But I've met with them twice and they've been pretty helpful in terms of giving information and they've also been set a date of the 16 March to get to the first round of interested bids and I fully intend to be making a proposal on that day."

Today's developments unfolded against a backdrop of ongoing uncertainty regarding Rangers staff as further talks aimed at avoiding redundancies ended without conclusion last night.

Players and the administrators were unable to reach an agreement on a wage-cut plan after negotiations stalled over personal conditions, with discussions continuing at the club's Murray Park training ground today.

Left-back Sasa Papac was seen leaving the Milngavie complex around 1pm, with the rest of the playing staff still believed to be locked in talks inside, with no announcement as yet on potential job losses.

A spokesman for Whyte said: "Mr Whyte has no intention of getting involved in mud slinging or name calling."

But the spokesman added that Whyte had said: "There is absolutely no necessity for Rangers Football Club to go into liquidation.

"I believe we will come out of administration by way of a Creditors Voluntary Agreement.

"That is in the interests of all the stockholders."

PA

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