Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

SPL clubs all need Rangers: Goram

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 12: Lifelong Rangers fan Sammy Patterson poses for a photograph on June 12, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. Following the creditors deal being rejected by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the Rangers today announced the club will have to reform as a new company. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram has warned the Scottish Premier League clubs who will decide what level of football will be played at Ibrox next season — "be careful what you wish for."

Rangers will need an 8-4 majority among their SPL colleagues to transfer their share to Charles Green's proposed newco club after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs decided to reject a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal.

Fans of opposing clubs have lobbied their boards to reject any application with some known to be holding off buying season tickets until Rangers' future is secured.

However, with doubts over the future of television deals without a Rangers in the SPL, commercial interests could surmount sporting issues.

Goram said: "It's a massive onus on the other clubs in the SPL. They have got to be very careful.

"It's the old saying, be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

“I don't see any future for any of the clubs if they vote us out of the league.

"With the Sky money coming in, £1m a year, with the two gates they get with Rangers fans coming, they will not get any of that."

Goram highlighted the position of Hearts — who could not afford to keep Scottish Cup-winning manager Paulo Sergio — and Motherwell, who made cuts despite finishing third in the SPL, which gives them a place in the Champions League qualifiers are Rangers are now banned from Europe for the next three years.

"It just shows you the state of Scottish football," he said.

"Can they do without Rangers? I don't think so. Even the most bitter Celtic fan, I think if they are honest with themselves, they can't do without Rangers in the SPL."

Goram, who won six titles with Rangers in the 1990s, summed up his feelings over the club's imminent slide into liquidation.

"It's the worst day in the history of Rangers Football Club," he said.

"As an ex-player, as a fan, it's probably the worst day in your life. A lot of people could see it coming but now it's here it's a big blow."

The surprise developments from HMRC have angered Rangers prospective new owner Charles Green.

Green, who will have to apply to the SPL to acquire Rangers' share in the league if he pushes through with his purchase of the club's assets, expressed his disappointment at HMRCs’ decision to vote against the (CVA), meaning he will have to create a new company at Ibrox following forced liquidation after buying the club for £5.5m.

“Frankly, I do not see what benefit will be achieved by this decision,” he said.

“The solemn promise I can make to fans today is that this club will continue as Rangers Football Club and will continue to play at Ibrox. We will be liaising with the football authorities at the earliest opportunity to establish our position regarding the SPL.”

HMRC say that the liquidation process allows them to pursue individuals for the debt incurred, rather than the club.

Duff & Phelps, administrators at Rangers, said: “HMRC consider that the decision will enable a liquidator to instigate a wider investigation into all of the financial affairs and management of the club in recent years and to bring to task those they believe are responsible for its collapse.”

That does not wash with Green, who believes the taxman would have recouped more money through the club itself.

“I do not believe that by opting to vote against the CVA proposal, HMRC will generate more cash by pursuing those they believe as responsible – but that is a matter for them.” Green said.

Meanwhile Livingston are threatening to sue the Scottish Football Association if Rangers are allowed to continue playing in the top flight.

Livi were demoted to the Third Division in 2009 for breaking insolvency rules, and say Scottish football will be “tarnished” if the Old Firm club do not face a similar punishment.

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