Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rangers off the market

Another of the SPL's interminable sagas would appear to be over. For now at least.

In a statement released today Rangers have announced they are no longer for sale:
MIH has received interest in its controlling stake from a number of parties. At this time, however, the board of MIH has not been able to secure an offer which it considers to be in the best interests of the Club, its shareholders and its fans.

Following on from the success of winning the 2009/10 SPL title and thereby securing participation in the group stages of the Champions League during 2010/11, the Club recently announced that the football management team had signed new contracts. At the same time the board of directors of the Club announced improvements in its financial position compared to the previous year stating:

"We believe the outcome of our recent positive discussions with the bank gives us a real platform for operational stability at the Club and we thank Lloyds for their support. We have a clear business plan in place and will continue to maximise efficiencies and endeavour to increase our non-playing income.

"The board of directors of MIH therefore considers that the interests of stakeholders are presently best served by providing the football management team and board of directors with an opportunity to implement its business plan which is supported by Lloyds Banking Group. In these circumstances, MIH hereby announces that it is no longer actively marketing its controlling stake in the Club for sale."
The statement was signed by Sir David Murray. Bad news, then, for those Rangers fans who wanted him out.

Clearly the bank are also happy enough that their interests will be better served by the devil they know. As the old saying goes: "Owe the bank £5000 and you've got a problem, owe the bank £30 million and they've got a problem."

And questions will remain: Will those interested parties just walk away? What lies ahead with the tax investigation? What money will be available for transfers? Has this healed the apparent boardroom rift that opened up during the protracted efforts to find a buyer? Where do the fans groups who had aimed so much of their ire at Murray go from here?

But the immediate future would seem to be clear. Rangers head into next season owned by David Murray and managed by Walter Smith.