Blue Knights may borrow 5m from Ticketus to help with Rangers takeover
23:09 GMT, 19 March 2012
Blue Knight: Former Rangers director Paul Murray
The Blue Knights will look to borrow more than 5million from Ticketus to use as working capital if they win the battle for control of Rangers.
The Paul Murray-led consortium are one of the three formal bids administrators Duff & Phelps have on the table, although others are anticipated in the coming days.
Ticketus’ involvement with the Blue Knights raised some eyebrows, given that the London-based firm previously paid Craig Whyte 24.4m for the next three years’ Ibrox season tickets to fund his buyout last year.
Duff & Phelps were in court
yesterday trying to remove the claim Ticketus have on future tickets.
That matter will be considered again on Tuesday. If Duff & Phelps
are unsuccessful, Ticketus will remain a major player.
Murray plans to ask them for 5m in
order to get the club to a point where they can have a share flotation
to generate more funds.
He then hopes to renegotiate the terms of the ticket deal Whyte secretly struck with Ticketus to help Rangers pay off Lloyds Bank to the tune of 18m. Murray’s consortium includes businessmen Douglas Park, Scott Murdoch and John Bennett, as well as supporters’ groups. But it appears Ticketus will bridge the short-term finance gap.
Last week, Murray spelled out his intention to increase the club’s borrowing if his takeover is successful. ‘When you are bringing together a consortium of 10 people to put up funding, it can take time,’ he said.
Bidding war: Three bids have been submitted
‘Ticketus will, in effect, underwrite stage one of our plan, which will be to back the cash purchase of the club and provide initial working capital.
‘The Blue Knights will be a body standing behind them. The individuals will give personal pledges to Ticketus against the money used.
‘We may not need all of the working capital, as we would hope to have season-ticket money coming in May. ‘Stage two would then be a share issue open to all. Again, the Blue Knights would invest in that, as well as the cash pledges being put up to complete the purchase.
‘Stage three would be to renegotiate the Ticketus terms to something which the club can afford to pay.’
Meanwhile, Kyle Lafferty, out injured since January, is one of five players Rangers hope to have back for Sunday’s Old Firm game.
Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian will return after suspension, while Steven Whittaker, another who has been on the injured list, could also be in the squad.