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Mar 7, 2012

Liquidation 'inevitable' for Rangers

Rangers' second-largest shareholder has said he believes it is "inevitable" that the club will go into liquidation.

• Report: Quintet agree to leave Gers
• North of the Border

South Africa-based director Dave King believes Rangers, the defending Scottish Premier League champions, have little prospect of leaving administration.

Talks are ongoing over pay-cuts for the players, and it was reported on Tuesday that five players have walked away from the club without redundancy pay.

King, the only survivor from the Sir David Murray era on the board, also announced his intention to sue the former Rangers owner and criticised current owner Craig Whyte in a 1200-word statement.

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

After meeting with Gers boss Ally McCoist and administrators Duff and Phelps on February 22, King said the moment was right to comment on the situation "having had the opportunity to visit key stakeholders and to properly consider the information now available to me".

He said: "It grieves me to state that it seems inevitable that the footballing institution will survive but the company won't. This will entail many hurdles (that will be overcome) including 'Rangers (2012) Ltd' having to reapply for membership of the SFA (Scottish Football Association) etc.

"It is a sad point to have reached, but if managed sensibly, it can result in Rangers returning to its former glory as a football club in the shortest time possible. We must all strive to ensure that an appropriate ownership structure guarantees that this event is never repeated.

"We must remember that our footballing friends across the city came very close to the point that we now find ourselves in. Scottish football needs a strong Rangers and Celtic - but perhaps in a slightly humbler form."

On his intention to take legal action against Murray, King added: "I seem to be one of the few people who actually invested cash into the club. I have made a claim of £20 million on the basis of non-disclosure by the then chairman, David Murray, of Rangers' true financial position as far back as 2000.

"Other shareholders may feel deceived like I do and wish to take similar action. (David Murray will no doubt argue to the contrary and the merits of this will be dealt with in due course in the appropriate forum.)"

King insisted any monies recouped would be invested into the club. He said: "Any benefit I receive from my claim will be fully reinvested into the restructured football club. I remain 100% committed to the Rangers football club and will do whatever I can to advance its interests."

Sir David Murray responded to King's comments via a spokesperson for the Murray Group, who said: "We note with some interest, and much incredulity, Dave King's press statement.

"It is difficult to understand his motives, given he has been a director of Rangers Football Club since the year 2000. Throughout the period of his directorship, Dave King has attended and participated in regular board meetings, including those approving the annual audited accounts, received board papers quarterly, had full access to the executive management of the club, and been privy to the same detailed financial and commercial information as every other board member.

"In the event that he actually lodges a claim, we would vigorously defend it."

A statement added: "Murray Group fully intends to make further detailed press comment on the wider circumstances at Rangers Football Club once it considers this will not detract from or interfere with the difficult and delicate work of the administration.

"It is deeply regrettable and hugely saddening for all the employees and supporters that the club finds itself in its present situation."

Former Rangers director Paul Murray, meanwhile, has said he does not believe the club is doomed to liquidation.

"I'm surprised Dave King has actually released that statement," Murray told talkSPORT. "I obviously agree with a lot of things he said as it's a pretty comprehensive statement, but not in regard to liquidation.

"Talking to the administrators, I'm certainly not working on the basis that liquidation is inevitable. I'm working on the CVA proposal as the way forward, and that's in the best interests of the club."

Murray added that his consortium will bid for the club in the near future.

"Any insolvency process is very complicated," he added. "The administrators are three weeks into the process and working through some pretty complex legal situations. I've met with them twice and they've been pretty helpful in terms of giving information. They've also been set a date of March 16 to get to the first round of interested bids and I fully intend to be making a proposal on that day."

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