Rangers administrators reveal outside interest

Administrators for Rangers say there have been "several expressions of interest from parties not connected to the club".

"These will be subject to ongoing discussions and examined in the forthcoming days," said Paul Clark, of administrators Duff and Phelps.

Clark said that the prospect of liquidation for the current Scottish champions was "not at all likely".

But he admitted that a lack of clarity on the club's finances was a problem.

The club appointed administrators on Tuesday, with HMRC pursuing an unpaid £9m tax bill accrued since Craig Whyte assumed control at Ibrox last May.

Of the missing tax, Clark's colleague David Whitehouse said: "They were deductions that were made at source that were fundamentally used as a funding tool for the club. It's something we need to look into."

It also emerged that some £24m borrowed against future season ticket sales from the company Ticketus has not gone through the club's accounts.

On entering administration, Ally McCoist's side were immediately docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League and now sit 14 points adrift of leaders Celtic.

The administrators stressed that Rangers will survive as a football club and that Saturday's game against Kilmarnock will go ahead as planned at Ibrox.

"This morning I spoke to the club's manager Ally McCoist and the playing staff at the club's training at Murray Park," added Clark.

"I told them a review of staffing, including playing staff, would be necessary as part of the process and that it would be next week at least prior to any decisions being taken in this area.

"I'm not going to speculate what this review will entail. I am delighted to confirm that we will be making the February payroll obligations in full."

Rangers are awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal, which could cost as much as £75m, but Clark said that he does not believe there is any danger of liquidation.

"There has been widespread comment and speculation about the finances of Rangers," he explained.

"At this moment it is not possible to give a detailed financial report but we can assure everyone that as part of the process there will be a full account of the club's financial affairs and this will be published in due course and become a public document.

"Looking to the future we are hopeful that a Company Voluntary Arrangement can be achieved and these are measures that are put in place and deal with all of the club's liabilities.

"As a result of our preliminary assessment we are wholly confident that Rangers will continue as a football club.

"We do not think that liquidation and the closure of the club is a likely outcome at all.

"We need to stabilise the financial position and ensure from now on income exceeds expenditure.

"We fully understand the 140 years history of Rangers Football Club and are taking steps to ensure this history will endure."

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Neil Lennon indicated that he was less than impressed with the media conference, writing on his Twitter account: "Well that press conference was clear as mud. Every question body-swerved."

Clark and Whitehouse discussed the administration process in detail but were unable to answer several of the questions put to them about the club's finances.

They rejected any notion of an improper link with Whyte, given a company Duff and Phelps acquired last year had provided consultancy advice to Rangers post the takeover at Ibrox in May.

"We act as officers of the Court and we are accountable to the Court," added Clark.

"We have a statutory duty to act in the best interests of creditors and stakeholders and that is what we will do.

"This administration will be carried out under the most rigorous public scrutiny and will be conducted to the highest professional standards."

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