Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Rangers in crisis over £9m tax bill

Rangers FC owner Craig Whyte leaves Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow after the club lodged legal papers to enter administration
A Rangers fan outside his club's stadium

Scottish football giant Rangers has gone into administration over an unpaid tax bill of £9 million - accrued since Craig Whyte's takeover.

The Ibrox club appointed its preferred administrators this afternoon, a day after it signalled its intention to do so.

Joint administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, of Duff and Phelps, were brought in by Rangers.

The move, one of the most dramatic in the club's 140-year history, triggered an automatic 10-point deduction by the Scottish Premier League.

The Glasgow-based club appointed Duff and Phelps after a petition was lodged by HMRC at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to have one appointed for them.

The Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions, who have fallen 14 points behind leaders Celtic as a result of the decision, are also awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal which could cost them £75 million.

Duff and Phelps, which describes itself as a financial advisory and investment banking firm, said in a statement: "The appointment follows a petition for administration presented to the Court of Session in Edinburgh today by HMRC following the non-payment of circa £9 million PAYE and VAT following the takeover of the club in May 2011."

Paul Clark, partner at Duff and Phelps, said: "HMRC have been working closely with the club in recent months to achieve a solution to the club's difficulties. However, this has not been possible due to ongoing losses and increased tax liabilities that cannot be sustained.

"We are working together with management and its major creditors including HMRC to achieve a solution to the financial problems which will ensure the ongoing survival of the business, which is of paramount importance to all concerned."

The move initially raised questions over Rangers' next SPL game, against Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday, as Strathclyde Police sought assurances they would be paid for policing the event. The force later confirmed talks had been held and the game was being planned as usual.

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