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Brian Kennedy out of race to buy Rangers

By Lisa Gray and Ronnie Esplin

Brian Kennedy is no longer in the running to buy Rangers and has urged the club's administrators to opt for a rival bid instead, a representative for the Sale Sharks owner has said.

Press Association Sport understands Kennedy was told by Duff and Phelps that his takeover bid was too low.

He appears unlikely to table an improved proposal after saying he hopes administrators go with another bid tabled by former Ibrox director Paul Murray and his Blue Knights consortium.

Kennedy was one of a number of parties who had expressed an interest in taking over the ailing Glasgow giants, who were forced to call in the administrators on February 14.

A spokesperson for Kennedy said he was "disappointed but not surprised by the outcome".

Kennedy added: "I was only going to get involved for the good of the club.

"I am glad the process is now moving on and I hope the administrators now go with the Paul Murray/Blue Knights bid as they have the best interests of the club and the supporters at heart."

Administrators hope to name a preferred bidder, possibly next week, after recently receiving a fifth offer for the club from a Singapore-based consortium.

As well as bids from Kennedy and Murray's Blue Knights consortium, United States-based Club 9 Sports and a UK-based consortium have also indicated their interest.

Speaking earlier today, Kennedy told administrators they must speed up the process of finding a buyer for the Ibrox club, in order for Rangers to be ready for the challenges of next season.

Kennedy told Press Association Sport: "They need to get a move on, time is pressing on.

"I am pretty much speaking to the administrators on a daily basis, but I am not unique in that, the other bidders are too.

"But for the sake of the club we need to move forward.

"Contracts need to be sorted out, the club needs to know who is going to be playing next season and needs to ensure it has a good, competitive team."

Rangers' administrators Duff and Phelps welcomed the former chief executive's decision.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "We are pleased Martin Bain has, in light of the present situation at Rangers, offered to drop his action for damages following his dismissal by Craig Whyte whilst chairman.

"Mr Bain has also agreed to release to the club a significant proportion of the sum that was arrested as part of this action. He has made plain the litigation was a response to the actions of Craig Whyte and not Rangers FC and given developments he now wishes to end the litigation action and do what he can to support the club in these difficult times.

"Duff and Phelps have agreed to settle the litigation with Mr Bain, thereby avoiding the unnecessary costs of continuing with this court action."

The statement went on: "On other litigation matters, on 23 March the High Court in London ordered that in addition to the current proceedings regarding the £3.6million that was transferred into the safekeeping of the administrators' lawyers, Taylor Wessing, the parties with claims against Collyer Bristow (former lawyers to Craig Whyte and Rangers FC) should bring their claims by 16 April 2012.

"This has widened the court proceedings because we have substantially larger claims against Collyer Bristow, which we wish to bring as soon as possible. The original trial dates of 30 March-4 April are now not being utilised as the wider claims are still being formulated.

"A further hearing will take place as soon as possible after the deadline for claims against Collyer Bristow of 16 April.

"As regards the general administration process, we, as the club's administrators, would like to pay tribute to Rangers supporters for their continuing oustanding efforts to support the club at this time.

"We appreciate greatly the contributions made to the Rangers Fighting Fund and welcome the fact that those who are administering the fund have taken the decision to release funds which will offset some of the debts owed by the club to other clubs."

Belfast Telegraph


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