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Rangers turnover down but takeover expected in next 48hrs

Fri 1st Apr 2011 | Money & Finance

Rangers Football Club turnover falls

Rangers announced their interim results for the six months to 31 December 2010 today showing turnover had decreased by £4.1m, but expect a takeover of the club to be complete in the next 48 hours.

The accounts showed Rangers retained a profit before exceptional provisions for the six months to 31 December 2010 of £11.9m. However, turnover for the six month period decreased by £4.1m to £33.7m due to the reduction in the number of Clydesdale Bank Premier League home games including the absence of the first Old Firm game, in comparison to the prior year.

Rangers, who are currently in talks with businessman Craig Whyte over a possible takeover stated that the results reflect the economic downturn with a 4.9% decline in the number of season tickets sold together with a reduction in sponsorship income.

The Scottish Premier League club’s net operating expenses at £21.1m were in line with last year, with base salary costs at similar levels and reduced matchday costs offset by higher maintenance expenditure and provisions for doubtful debts.

The club’s bank facilities have been renewed in the normal cycle until 31 December 2011.

But in his statement on the clubs website chairman, Alastair Johnston said; “while we appreciate the support of the Lloyds Banking Group through the Bank of Scotland in extending our credit arrangement and recognising the progress that has been made in developing a template for collaboration, certain provisions imposed on the Club continue to compromise, in our opinion, management's ability to conduct its role with maximum efficiency.

“Having said that, as has been widely reported, the majority shareholder is currently engaged in ongoing discussion with a view to selling its equity interest in the Club. The outcome of this process could change the role that the Bank will play in going forward in its financial structure,” Campbell added.

However, Johnston believes that Craig Whyte's prospective takeover of the club could go through within the next 48 hours.

In an exclusive interview with RangersTV Johnston revealed that there have been a series of meetings which he described as positive and constructive where the issues of Mr Whyte's funding and ability for further investment were explored and discussed.

He told Blues News: "I'm not prepared to speculate over whether the deal will go through but I'm pretty sure we will know within the next couple of days whether it will happen or not.

"We had a meeting yesterday and it was positive to the extent that Craig was very engaged. We had had several smaller prior meetings. A couple of weeks ago he met with Walter Smith and Martin Bain.

"When we were in Eindhoven a couple of weeks ago Walter and Martin gave a briefing to the directors in terms of the realities of where our squad is and the amount of money that we needed and the resources that we needed to apply.

"I suggested after that this would be good presentation for Craig to hear so we arranged that and it took place.

However, the club are also in discussions with HMRC over its use of a Discounted Option Scheme which it used in conjunction with player tax contributions between 1999 and 2003.

“Discussions are continuing with HMRC to establish a resolution to the assessments raised,” Campbell explained.

“Distinctly separate from the Discounted Option Scheme, and in touching on HMRC's enquiry into the Murray Group Management Limited Remuneration Trust, I would emphasise that no allegations have been made to suggest any illegal activity, and tax vehicles of this type have been used by a number of companies throughout the country.

“We continue to vigorously contest HMRC's challenge on the taxation treatment of the Trust and in doing so continue to receive reassuring opinion from tax, accounting and legal specialists.”

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