Administrators remain upbeat despite Rangers’ unpaid tax bill

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Rangers’ administrators last night said the continuing function of the Ibrox club was their “first priority”.

Joint administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, of Duff and Phelps, were put in charge of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions on Tuesday.

Yesterday, they said they hoped to reach a stage “as soon as possible” where the club can emerge from administration. Their statement added: “Our first priority has been to ensure that the football club continues to function and this is being achieved with the help of staff, players and management at the club.

“In broad terms, supporters can be reassured that Rangers will continue as a football club and we hope to reach a stage as soon as possible where the club can emerge from administration.”

The firm revealed yesterday that Rangers was forced into administration over an unpaid tax bill of £9m – accrued since Craig Whyte’s takeover in May last year.

The Glasgow-based club appointed its preferred firm after moves by HM Revenue and Customs to have one appointed for it.

An automatic 10-point deduction by the Scottish Premier League (SPL) was administered as a result of the move.

The club, which has fallen 14 points behind SPL leaders Celtic as a result of the decision, is also awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal which could cost it £75m.

The statement said “very good progress” had been made so far.

They are expected to meet the club’s staff at least once a week throughout the process.

The statement went on: “We would like to thank the club’s business partners who are going the extra mile to ensure that Saturday’s home match against Kilmarnock goes ahead as scheduled.

“We had extremely constructive discussions with Strathclyde Police and we can confirm the match will take place.

“We fully recognise this is a difficult time for players and staff at the club, and are extremely appreciative of their reaction to the situation.

“We will be holding meetings with the staff on a weekly basis at least to inform them of developments.

“We are also in the process of speaking to representatives of supporters’ groups and that will be an ongoing process.

“We have had expressions of support across the political spectrum in Scotland within the last 24 hours and there is clearly a desire to see Rangers come through this situation successfully.”

Earlier in the day, Scottish Sports Minister Shona Robison revealed that she had spoken to the administrators.

She said the future of the club was a “key concern” of the Scottish Government.

She added: “In a telephone conversation this morning with the administrator, I explained that we want to see an outcome in the best interests of Rangers staff, supporters and the game of football in Scotland as a whole, whilst enabling the club to meet its obligations.

“A key concern for us is the future of those employed by the club and the potential economic impact of administration.

“The Government stands ready to offer assistance to anyone affected by implications for jobs and we will stay in contact with the administrator throughout the process to ensure we are informed of any developments.”