Johnston to guard against Gers debt

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Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston is determined to prevent Andrew Ellis or any other potential purchaser saddling the club with the kind of debt the Glazers have brought to Manchester United.

Johnston has vowed to ask the tough questions of London-based property tycoon Ellis, who is reportedly in the process of examining the cash-strapped Ibrox outfit's finances as he weighs up whether to make a bid for Sir David Murray's 90% stake.

"The club's board are charged with upholding the reputation of Rangers, and so, if any deal is in the process of being done, we will examine it thoroughly and determine in our own minds whether it is for the good of Rangers," he told The Times.

"What is not of interest to us are the benefits of any deal for the Murray Group -- it is the viability of Rangers under any new owner that is of supreme importance to us. We have a responsibility -- morally, ethically -- to be the guardians of this club.

"When any such deal like that is reaching agreement, then it is game on as far as we are concerned. We will ask any potential new owner: how committed are you? How much money do you intend to put into Rangers? And how verifiable is that money?

"We would also want to ask any buyer: how do you propose to finance your deal for Rangers? Because what we don't want is any Glazers/Manchester United situation at Ibrox."

Johnston admits any takeover could spell the end of his short spell as Rangers chairman.

"I might be at this club for years to come, or I might be here for just a matter of weeks - it depends what happens," said Johnstone, who succeeded Murray in August.

"It is not a condition or even necessarily an ambition of mine that I am with Rangers for a long time. If it works out that way, fine, but I've left my briefcase by the door.

"I'm not in this for myself. I'm in this, I hope, for the good of Rangers, to secure the best possible future for the club."

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