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Rangers 'out of administration by end of season'

By Lisa Gray

Duff and Phelps believe Rangers could be out of administration by the end of the season after four bids were received for the stricken Scottish champions.

The administrators set a deadline of 5pm yesterday for "best and final" bids to be submitted for the club.

The Blue Knights consortium - headed by former Ibrox director Paul Murray - and Ticketus confirmed they had tabled an offer, while Press Association Sport has reported the other bids are from groups in Singapore, Germany and the United States.

Joint administrator David Whitehouse said: "The bids are structured in various ways but I would describe them as positive and constructive.

"The administration team will now analyse these bids over the forthcoming days and hold discussions with relevant parties to gain further understanding of the details of their bids.

"It will be our intention to accept an offer next week and this will be followed by a period of due diligence and exclusivity.

"At this stage we cannot be precise in timescale but estimate that an exit from administration before the end of the season is achievable. We appreciate the need to conclude this process as quickly as possible.

"It is, however, most important to secure the best possible outcome for creditors, Rangers Football Club and its supporters."

The bid from Germany is the most surprising development as there had been no suggestion of interest from the continent until now.

The Blue Knights are the only group so far to offer information on their proposal, which opposes liquidation and favours a scenario whereby Rangers exit administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Murray said: "We are determined to try and save the club in its current form. We strongly believe that there is value to be gained from the financial and football benefits that a CVA can deliver that would be immediately lost if the club went into liquidation.

"We are confident in the strength of our bid and the consortium's unique ability to rapidly return financial stability to the club with the support of Ticketus.

"As a Rangers fan first and foremost, I want to bring a swift end to the current uncertainties that are clouding the club. Our bid can deliver this."

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy said he would not submit a revised bid ahead of the deadline, but would return to the table at a later date if he believed the Scottish champions were in danger of being liquidated.

Meanwhile, administrators will present a report to the club's creditors today and ask them to vote on a series of proposals.

All creditors will have the opportunity to vote on the proposals, with a deadline of noon on April 20 set for votes to be cast.

Duff and Phelps have stressed that it is part of standard administration procedure and that the report and proposals are not a creditors' meeting at which a CVA will be put forward, or any other form of exit from administration determined.

The report will be uploaded to Rangers' official website.

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