Battle to save Glasgow Rangers from the abyss
Efforts have begun to secure the future of football giant Rangers after the club went into administration.
The Ibrox club yesterday appointed Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, of Duff and Phelps, a day after it signalled its intention to do so.
The firm revealed Rangers was forced into administration over an unpaid tax bill of £9 million - accrued since Craig Whyte's takeover in May last year.
The Glasgow-based club appointed their preferred firm after moves by HM Revenue and Customs to have one appointed for them.
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 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.
But Mr Clark believes the club can emerge in better shape from the process.
He told Rangers TV: "We had a staff meeting here at Ibrox a short time ago and that was very well attended, I think we had the vast majority of the staff able to attend.
"We will be conducting regular meetings with the staff and, wherever we can, will keep giving messages to the fans who we know have an interest in the work that we are doing.
"I can't give any firm commitment but certainly over the next day or two we hope to get control of the finances of the club and to better understand what we need to do in the coming days and weeks.
"The club had been in such a period of uncertainty that the administration will actually relieve that uncertainty and start to build the future."
Mr Whyte admitted the club had been running at a loss for some time, resulting in the "regrettable" outcome of administration.
In a statement on the club's official website, Mr Whyte said: "Due to its cost structure, the club has been loss making for many months.
"This situation has resulted in increasing liabilities and the club has been in discussion with HMRC regarding these liabilities.
"These liabilities combined with the threat of the outcome of the first-tier tax tribunal left the club no option but to formally restructure its financial affairs."
He added: "It remains our firm belief that the club's future can be secured and we hope this period of administration will be as short as possible."
An HMRC statement read: "We can't discuss specific cases for legal reasons but tax that has been deducted at source from the wages of players and support staff such as ground keepers and physios, must be paid over to HMRC.
"Any business that fails to meet that basic legal requirement puts the survival of the business at risk."
Administrators are expected to look to cut costs at the club, which could include job losses among the playing staff.
The plight of one of the biggest and most influential clubs in Scotland was described by Holyrood's sports minister Shona Robison as a "concerning situation for everyone involved in Scottish football".