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Rangers to go into administration

The owner of embattled Scottish football giant Rangers has said he took the first step towards administration to ensure the club did not die altogether under the potential burden of a "shocking" £75 million tax bill.

The club has lodged legal papers signalling their intention to enter administration with the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The Scottish champions are awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal which it was thought could cost the club around £49 million if the judgment went against them, but Whyte revealed that figure was substantially out.

The HMRC case centres around the use of employee benefits trusts (EBTs) which were in place before Whyte took over from Sir David Murray last May.

Whyte said it was necessary to look at administration. He said: "If we hadn't done that then liquidation could have been a possibility. This secures the long-term future of the club.

"The £49 million often quoted is the tax bill and interest but they can charge you a penalty on the tax bill so we could have been up at £75 million. It is a shocking figure and there is no way we could pay it."

Whyte was heckled by some Rangers fans when he emerged outside Ibrox after 6pm to read a statement outlining his intentions. The Motherwell-born businessman admitted it had been a "tough day" but insists he has no intentions of leaving the club.

"I can understand how the fans feel," he said. "But I came in to sort out the financial situation and that's what I will do. It has been a tough day. No one likes it but I am doing what has to be done.

"I would say to the fans to stick with (manager) Ally McCoist and the team, they need you more than ever. I have not gone through what I have gone through in the last year to walk away. I am here to stay."

Administration would bring an automatic 10-point deduction and would likely lead to the sale of players. Rangers also face a race to prove to the Scottish Football Association that their finances are in shape before March 31 or face expulsion from Europe next season.


From Belfast Telegraph