GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 20: Nikica Jelavics of Rangers battles with Charlie Mulgrew of Celtic during the Co-operative Insurance Cup final between at Hampden Park on March 20, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Craig Whyte's Glasgow Rangers Takeover Bid Reaches Impasse

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'Time Running Out' On Craig Whyte Rangers Takeover

Craig Whyte's takeover of the Glasgow  Rangers may be more troubled than originally thought. The Scottish businessman had looked sent to complete his purchase of the financially troubled side in short order, but apparently that's not to the liking of the Rangers board, who'd prefer to wait to complete the takeover until the end of the season. According to a source close to the deal, Whyte would like to move now, and time is running out:

Everything is set to go, but some members of the independent committee for some reason want to delay completion until after the end of the season. The reality is there is a very short period of time left for this deal to complete.

The reality is also that Whyte could simply purchase the club without the board's involvement, which would rather get around the fact that they don't want to complete the deal until summertime. However, this would require him to initiate what is expected to be a protracted and rather annoying battle to remove the original board, which unsurprisingly he'd rather avoid. Let's see who blinks first (our guess is Whyte).


Glasgow Rangers Chairman Wants 'Forcing Mechanism' For Whyte Takeover

Alastair Johnson has more on his plate than just the impending £30M takeover from Craig Whyte, what with the threat of being fined an obscene amount by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs hanging over his head, but the Glasgow Rangers chairman is still obviously fairly involved in the supposed change of the club's ownership. And, frankly, he doesn't see particularly trusting of the potential new owner:

[The takeover] is a two-way street. [Whyte] is still enthusiastically addressing the issue and we are looking at his credentials.

I want a forcing mechanism to force him to do what he says he is going to do in terms of future investment in the club. His agreement with the bank and with David Murray has nothing to do with Rangers. I want assurances of his ability to fund what he says he is going to do.

Craig has to understand the club's position and the expectation level of the fans. It is very easy to talk about £25m investment, but there must be a forcing mechanism. We must get it into any purchase agreement.

Essentially, the 'forcing mechanism' in the takeover would require Whyte to commit to certain promises (presumably to do with funding, cash flown, etc.) upon taking ownership of Rangers. Obviously, the less Whyte has to promise to get the team, the better for him, but if the club was sold without such a mechanism they'd leave themselves badly exposed in case something were to go wrong.

With Rangers already in some financial trouble, they're well within their rights to force any potential new owner into making certain concessions, and they've apparently already briefed Whyte on cash flow requirements for the immediate future. It's unclear whether the potential monster fine from HMRC has entered into the picture as of yet.


Glasgow Rangers Chairman Admits Financial Worries As Takeover Looms

Glasgow Rangers chairman Alastair Johnson has admitted that the side could go out of business if a tax bill from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs related to possibly dubious player payments turns out to be more than the Scottish Premier League club can afford, which, according to Johnson, is not a whole lot. This, apparently, is a separate issue to the £30M takeover bid launched by businessman Craig Whyte, and it's one which may cripple the side sooner than later. Johnson was worryingly incoherent when discussing the potential fallout from the tax decision, which will apparently be made in the autumn:

The reality is that, if the decision is bad and the club can't pay, there would be a decision to be made. It's not clear where the liability lies. It could be October or November before we find out... I have no idea of the sum for which we may be liable, but Rangers cannot afford much.

While it seems staggeringly unlikely that one of the two pillars of Scottish football would be allowed to go under because of strange tax practices (Rangers, for their part, deny that they've done anything wrong despite a Government investigation into offshore payments to both players and the club's holding company), this may well have a major impact on Whyte's takeover bid - it's difficult to see why a potential new owner would want this situation hanging over his head within his first six months in charge.


Craig Whyte's Glasgow Rangers Takeover Inches Closer

Craig Whyte's stop-start purchase of Glasgow Rangers looks to finally be going forward as the last major obstacle in his past begins to give way. The deal had been held up by Lloyds Banking Group, which holds most of the £27M debt on the Scottish Premier League side. Lloyds - who have already prevented at least one takeover attempt from Rangers director Dave King - had apparently been demanding an 'exit payment' in excess of £1M to allow the deal to go through, but they have now denied that any such restriction is in place. According to 'a source', this should leave Whyte free to purchase the club in a deal believed to be worth more than £30M:

An agreement has been reached between Lloyds Banking Group and Craig Whyte. The debt is no longer an obstacle or an issue.

Rangers, who've already won the Scottish League Cup this year, currently sit in second place in the league, two points behind arch-rivals Celtic but with a game in hand that could take them to the top of the table. Their current owner, Sir David Murray, bought the club for £6M in 1988, and has led the club to fifteen titles in his 20 years stewardship. Over the past few seasons, however, he's been publicly contemplating ending his involvement with the club, but could find no buyers suitable to take over until Craig Whyte came into the picture.

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