it's the race for rangers Four bids on table to secure club s future

BLUE Knights consortium leader Paul Murray awoke this morning to face the match of his life – a worldwide battle for control of Rangers.

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As the clock ticked down to last night's 5pm deadline for offers, there were four bids on the table for the Ibrox club.

But Gers fans, anxious for further news on just exactly where the club goes from here, must still wait to find out what happens next.

The bids came from four consortia: Murray's Blue Knights group, which has been received vocal backing from Walter Smith, and also the consortium the vast majority of the Rangers support would like to see at the helm.

In addition, there were bids from Singapore and the United States, as well as a surprise bid from Germany.

The interest from the country had been previously unknown, but administrators Duff & Phelps are positive they can now take the club forward.

And they have maintained that steering Rangers out of administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) rather than liquidation is their preferred option.

A statement released last night re-iterated their desire to have the Ibrox club out of administration by the end of the current season.

The final date on the Scottish football calendar is May 19 – the Scottish Cup Final – and there is a 28 day notice period required for creditors to consider the terms and conditions of any CVA that is put to them.

Essentially, what that means is that Duff & Phelps would need to identify a preferred bidder, agree a deal with them in principle and negotiate with creditors to agree a CVA by around April 21 – which is just 16 days away.

The taxman is the biggest creditor and ultimately could have the decisive say on any proposed CVA.

Joint administrator David Whitehouse, said: "The bids are structured in various ways but I would describe them as positive and constructive.

"The administration team will now analyse these bids over the forthcoming days and hold discussions with relevant parties to gain further details of their bids.

"It will be our intention to accept an offer next week and this will be followed by a period of due diligence and exclusivity.

"At this stage, we cannot be precise in timescale but estimate that an exit from administration before the end of the season is achievable.

"We appreciate the need to conclude this process as quickly as possible.

"It is, however, most important to secure the best possible outcome for creditors, Rangers Football Club and its supporters."

A statement from Ticketus, who are part of the Blue Knights group, said: "The members of the consortium remain united in their belief that a collaborative approach is essential in securing the club's future through a successful and swift CVA process.

"The consortium strongly believes that a CVA, not liquidation, is the best way to protect the club's value and legacy."

Mr Murray said: "We are determined to try and save the club in its current form.

"We strongly believe that there is value to be gained from the financial and football benefits that a CVA can deliver that would be immediately lost if the club went into liquidation.

"We are confident in the strength of our bid and the consortium's unique ability to rapidly return financial stability to the club.

"As a Rangers fan, I want to bring a swift end to the current uncertainties that are clouding the club. Our bid can deliver this."

Scots-born Brian Kennedy, owner of the Sale Sharks rugby league side, earlier confirmed he would not submit a revised bid for the club but would return to the table at a later date if he believes Rangers are in danger of being liquidated.

Kennedy, who had a previous bid rejected for being too low, will not go head-to-head with the Blue Knights. But he is so fearful of Rangers being liquidated, he will offer the administrators an alternative if they choose another bidder.

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