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Jul 18, 2012

Ex-Gers skipper backs takeover bid

Former Rangers player John Brown is set to step up his attempt to enable his backers and Rangers supporters to buy out Charles Green's Sevco Scotland and take control of the club.

Brown, who helped Rangers win nine titles in a row during the 1990s, has enlisted the support of ex-Ibrox skipper Barry Ferguson, now playing in England with Blackpool.

He said: "I have spoken to Barry, and he has promised me that he is 100% behind me. He is out of the country just now on a pre-season training trip, but there is no doubting his commitment and his enthusiasm for my deal.

"Because of his pre-season training and playing commitments, it will be a couple of weeks or so before we will be able to sit down together and hammer out the details.

"But I can assure everyone how excited Barry is to be given this opportunity to do something for the club he loves."

Blackpool have also confirmed that Ferguson fully backs his former Ibrox youth team coach's proposals.

Brown, who quit his position as an Ibrox scout to lead takeover attempts after Green bought Rangers' assets for £5.5 million following the liquidation of the old club, has put up £40,000 from his personal funds to start his fans' fund.

"It is only right that, as I have been out in the front of this, I should put my own money in too. I'm not a wealthy guy and £40,000 represents a huge commitment for me," he said.

"But if it helps Rangers supporters to see how serious this fans' buyout plan that I have is, then it will be money well spent."

He said having Ferguson's support was a "huge boost" and expressed the hope that he would be "the first of many other well-known names from Rangers' past who will be happy to back this commitment to the club's future".

And he explained: "One of the reasons why Barry was so keen to give me his 100% commitment is that he came right through the ranks at Ibrox to go on to become captain.

"He is upset at seeing the same dreams he had, and which so many of the youngsters at Ibrox have also had, being destroyed by what has happened to the club."

On Tuesday, Green revealed that he was jetting to Switzerland in an attempt to negotiate a settlement with UEFA over the £3 million owed by Rangers to European clubs.

Green - whose newco Rangers must begin their footballing life in the Scottish Third Division - will travel to Athens, where he intends to hold talks about organising a friendly with Olympiakos at Ibrox, before arriving in Zurich.

Rangers are currently in negotiations with the Scottish Football Association for the newco to gain membership of Scottish football's governing body.

Green told Sky Sports News: "Part of the conditions for the newco to meet SFA membership is that there are certain old club debts to European clubs.

"It is not inconsiderable - it is about £3million that has been accumulated as part of the historical baggage."

He said the newco was having to "suffer the sins of the fathers" but added: "What I want to go and say to these [European] clubs, as well as UEFA, is that we are here for the long haul - we want to be honourable."

Meanwhile, Craig Mather, a Nottingham-based businessman, has been confirmed as an investor in the Rangers newco. Green said Mather had invested more than £1million for a share of around 10%.

Mather, the managing director of Simply Sport Management, said in a statement on the club's official website: "I am delighted to have invested in The Rangers Football Club with my business partner Guy Gisborne.

"I look forward to being part of the team rebuilding this fantastic club."

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