Rangers Owner to Step Down Following Administration End, Fans to Get Shares

February 22, 2012

Glasgow Rangers FC owner Craig Whyte has vowed to step down as chairman once the club comes out of administration.

The Scottish champions were forced to call in the administrators last Tuesday over an unpaid tax bill of £9million accrued since Whyte’s takeover of Sir David Murray’s majority shareholding last May.

Rangers are also awaiting the outcome of the first tier tax tribunal, the so-called ‘big tax case’ relating to Employee Benefit Trusts payments made during Murray’s regime, which was initially believed could result in a bill of £49million, although Whyte has claimed the amount could be as much as £75million.

As well as stepping down as chairman, Whyte has also indicated he will consider the possibility of “gifting” the majority of his shares to supporters.

Speaking in a statement yesterday, he said: “I will not continue as Rangers chairman post-restructuring.

“Regardless of administration and irrespective of the tax case, the club had serious long-term structural problems financially and they needed to be addressed with some urgency.

“I knew that when I stepped up to the plate and, despite the accusations and abuse that I have suffered over weeks and months, I was determined to see things through.

“I will admit there have been times when I have wished that I had never entertained the idea of taking over Rangers.

“But I am a Rangers fan, and, like other Rangers fans, I don’t do walking away.”

He added: “If I can succeed in coming through this administration process I am very keen on the idea of gifting the majority of my shares to a supporters’ foundation.

“It makes a lot of sense, but fan ownership would work only after the current process is completed because the club has to get into a position where it is running at break-even in order for that prospect to be viable.

“I am open to all serious offers of outside investment. Indeed, I am currently in active discussion with a number of potential bidders and investors.”

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by Ismail Uddin