Ibrox, Murray Park may be sold but staff will be paid

Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park could be sold off to cover the club's multi-million pound debts, the administrators for stricken Rangers have admitted.

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But Paul Clark, of insolvency experts Duff and Phelps, said the firm would avoid selling the ground if at all possible.

He also confirmed there had been "several expressions of interest" from parties not connected to Rangers. Mr Clark said all expressions of interest in the club would be taken into account.

During a press conference at the stadium that was broadcast live across the UK, Mr Clark said: "As administrators we have to look at all other expressions of interest in the club and we have received several from parties not connected to the club.

"These will be subject to ongoing discussions and examined in the forthcoming days."

Mr Clark, and his co-administrator David Whitehouse, also made assurances all wages would be paid for February.

He confirmed that staff, including players, would receive salaries this month, with the club paying tax on wages.

Duff and Phelps were appointed on Tuesday after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs went to the Court Of Session to get payment of £9million in PAYE and VAT, which it said had not been paid since Craig Whyte's takeover of Rangers in May last year.

Mr Clark said he and Mr Whitehouse aimed to have the administration process completed by March 31, the deadline for clubs to secure their licence to play in Europe.

If it is not finished by then Rangers will not be allowed to qualify for the Europa League.

Jobs could be lost and players sold as part of the process to clear the club's debts, but any announcements will not be made until next week.

Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse said they would work closely with manager Ally McCoist before letting any players go, but that it "would be next week at least prior to any decisions being taken in this area".

As Rangers wait for news of a £75m tax tribunal, Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse said liquidation of the club was unlikely, with both men "wholly confident" of Rangers's future.

They also said HMRC is not pushing for liquidation and also respects the 140-year history of the club.

A full review of the club's finances will be published at the end of the administration process, they said.

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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