Rangers 'liquidation' a concern for all

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Rangers have endured a quite dramatic decline in recent weeks and, it would appear, the situation will become catastrophically worse before there is any glint of salvation.

The Glasgow giants entered into administration last month over an unpaid of £9 million tax bill the club had accrued since Craig Whyte bought the controlling interest in Rangers from David Murray in May 2011.

Rangers have already been deducted ten points after going into administration, but must perform severe cost cutting measures off the field in order to salvage any long-term stability.

The SPL champions' administrators Duff and Phelps need to eliminate £4.5 million from the budget between now and the end of the season - the equivalent of saving around £1 million each month.

This task will be aided when the club's top earning players agree a wage cut of 75 percent, while those further down the pay structure will accept drops of 50 percent and 25 percent respectively.

According to The Guardian, club captain Steven Davis and goalkeeper Allan McGregor now stand to earn less than £10,000-per-week - having both previously made in excess of £25,000.

Two players have already been released from their contracts having taken voluntary redundancy without any compensation, which will save the club £50,000 each month in wages.

Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik are those to have walked away from Ibrox, with the latter having only joined the club from Swedish club GAIS during the January transfer window.

Wyldle, a 20-year-old winger, said he was leaving Rangers in order to save those in greater need of keeping their jobs 'like the kitchen staff'.

However, despite the best efforts of the players and administrators, the grim view is held by some that the club could go out of business entirely.

Chief among these is Rangers director Dave King, who does not believe the club will be able to exit administration and says liquidation is 'inevitable'.

"I do not believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the company can come out of administration," King said in a statement. "I believe that liquidation is inevitable."

"The club will not meet its financial requirements before the UEFA deadline. There will consequently be no European football next year and liquidation might extend that by another two years.

"The harsh reality is that Craig Whyte has abused the loyalty of the fans by trading that future loyalty for cash in a manner that has excluded the club's ability to provide the very product that the fans were expected to pay for.

"To have done this, and then blatantly lied about it, is an abuse that no fan of any club should have to suffer."

This potentially tragic tale of financial mismanagement may not, however, just have repercussions for Rangers but should be a cause for concern for British football in the main in terms of how owners are assessed.

All prospective owners and directors of major British football clubs must undergo the 'fit and proper person test' in the hope of preventing corrupt or untrustworthy businessmen acquiring them.

However, evidence discovered by BBC Scotland of alleged criminality in past business dealings of Rangers owner Craig Whyte did not come to light when he bought a controlling stake last year.

The documentary 'Rangers: The Inside Story' heard allegations that Whyte was banned from being a director for seven years, but controlled a company despite this ban - an offence which could incur a two year jail term.

Whyte, it must be stressed, denied all accusations in 'the strongest way possible' and proceeded to withdraw any Rangers cooperation with the BBC, while he has since taken legal action against the corporation.

It does, however, beg the question of how such allegations were not discovered when Whyte underwent a 'fit and proper person test' and, had they been, it would surely have put any takeover in jeopardy.

So then, given Rangers' well-documented problems, what does constitute a person deemed 'fit and proper' to run a such a famous football club?

Whyte passed the test, but there will be some to question his credentials. Perhaps it is time the 'fit and proper' regulations are looked at once again, in the hope of ensuring Rangers' plight remains a nadir in British football.

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