Several bids made to buy Rangers

rangers players celebratingThere have been "several" indicative bids for Rangers, the club's administrators have said.

Sale Sharks Rugby Club owner Brian Kennedy and the "Blue Knights" consortium fronted by Paul Murray have confirmed they have submitted bids.
Reports claim Chicago-based Club 9 Sports has also lodged interest. The investment firm has previously failed with investment offers in Sheffield Wednesday and Tranmere.

Administrators Duff and Phelps said last week that any interested parties would have to come forward by yesterday with details of funding capabilities.

Joint-administrator David Whitehouse said: "We believe the level of interest in purchasing the club from around the world reflects the pedigree and history of the club and the fact the financial position of the business is beginning to clear and will continue to do so over forthcoming weeks.

"However, it is evident from our preliminary assessment of the expressions of interest and indicative bids that prospective purchasers are looking for clarity on certain issues at the earliest possible opportunity prior to submitting more detailed formal bids.

"There are complex issues to be resolved and there is no doubt they are having a bearing on the bidding process. At this stage we have indicative and conditional bids only."

Mr Whitehouse said that interested parties were looking for clarity on the club's financial affairs before lodging more detailed proposals.

He said last night: "This process will involve further discussions between ourselves and interested parties and will begin early next week with a view to clarifying the content of each offer.

"The key element of the bidding process thus far has been to give prospective bidders the opportunity to demonstrate their funding capability.

"We cannot, under our remit, exclude the possibility of a bid by any other party and interest was expressed by a party today suggesting a bid will be made over the weekend."

The issues holding up more detailed offers include a court case with Ticketus, uncertainty over a tax dispute and the status of majority shareholder Craig Whyte.

But former Rangers director Paul Murray believes all three can be sorted and even called for administrators to make some form of decision before the club's clash with Celtic on March 25.

Murray, who is backed by Ticketus, supporters' groups and several wealthy individuals, said in a statement: "We're ready to go, we have the finances in place and we want to get the club stabilised as quickly as possible.

"Like every other Rangers fan, I'd love there to be some certainty about the future of our club before next weekend's Old Firm game."

The Blue Knights confirmed their offer contained the promise of capital backing from Ticketus - without ownership rights in return - and a fans' share issue.

A £24.4 million cash injection from Ticketus allowed Mr Whyte to complete his £1 buyout by paying off the club's bank debt, and a Court of Session hearing over their rights to the club's future season tickets has been continued until Monday.

Mr Kennedy has described himself as a reluctant bidder but Rangers manager Ally McCoist said he did not get that impression from their recent meeting.

Mr McCoist said: "Brian was extremely positive about the club, extremely positive about the club's future and extremely positive about what his involvement in taking the club forward would be.

"I had a great meeting with Brian. I have got absolutely no doubts, if his bid was accepted, it would be positive for the club."

Mr McCoist added: "I have met two or three, and spoken on the phone to two or three interested parties. David said there were three or four more and he was hopeful that I would get an opportunity to meet with some of them early next week."
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