Not for sale! Green blanks calls to sell Rangers to Smith consortium
23:43 GMT, 14 June 2012
Charles Green has vowed to resist
mounting pressure to sell Rangers after a dramatic 11th-hour bid from a
consortium fronted by club legend Walter Smith.
On the day Rangers were formally
liquidated, the Yorkshireman transferred the old club’s assets over to a
newco for 5.5million and completed his takeover.
We've won: Charles Green says he has bought Rangers
Denying reports he intends to ditch
manager Ally McCoist, Green set out his long-term plans by appointing
himself chief executive, naming a new board of directors and
identifying his investors.
In the process, Green doused
supporter hopes that he might accept the 6m offer from the Smith
consortium — also featuring multi-millionaire businessmen Jim McColl and
Douglas Park — to walk away.
‘I’m not surprised that anyone has an interest in buying Rangers because it’s such a great institution,’ said Green. ‘What I am surprised about is why people would come in on the day that everyone knows is completion day and think that they could buy it.
‘Walter stated that he was looking to negotiate to buy the club — well, no one’s rung me. I’ve never spoken to Jim McColl or Walter in my life. I’ve said from May 13, anybody can come to this club and join my team. Unless the money is from prostitution, drug dealing or child trafficking then I’ll take the money.’
Green was responding to a shock statement from Smith earlier in the afternoon which prompted excitement amongst supporters.
It read: ‘I can today confirm that, following talks over the last few weeks, I am leading a new bid for Rangers Football Club.
‘I have been assisted by Jim McColl, Douglas Park and other prominent Scottish businessmen with a shared objective — that Rangers Football Club should be in the hands of Rangers people, who will stabilise the club and protect it from future situations like we find ourselves in today.
‘With this in mind, representatives have, on behalf of my group, made representations to BDO, Duff & Phelps and, indeed, Charles Green, notifying them of our willingness to offer on the newco basis on which Mr Green is proceeding.
‘We would call on Mr Green to step aside and allow us to proceed with our deal, which is in the best interests of the creditors, the employees, the fans and the various other stakeholders of Rangers Football Club.
End of the road Rangers boss Ally McCoist leaves Ibrox on Thursday morning
‘None of our group has any desire to own Rangers FC but we have put this deal in place to save the club.
‘However, our overriding objective is to ensure that the stadium, the
history and everything else magical about Rangers is protected and
nurtured back to good health and provide a platform for Rangers for
generations to come.’
And last night businessman McColl, who is reported to be worth 800m,
added in his own statement: ‘I would like to issue a public appeal to
Charles Green to strongly consider selling the club to the Walter Smith
‘This would be in the best interests of Rangers FC, the fans and all of
Scottish football. Mr Green does not have the backing of the Rangers
support and the longer he delays, the harder the situation will become.’
The opportunity remains for the Smith consortium to make Green and his
investors an offer they cannot refuse, amid fears supporters will
abstain from buying season tickets under the new regime.
Ruling out a future sale, however, Green added: ‘I’ve got a fiduciary
duty to report back to investors any offer that is made for the club but
I’ve also bought shares and put my own cash in. So would I sell my
shares No — because I believe this is a great club and it’ll go
‘To come in and suggest we’ll make a quick buck — I can assure you there
are easier ways to make a quick buck than I have experienced in the
four months we’ve been involved in it, with late nights, hard work, the
legal fees and hours that have been put in.
‘I actually get insulted by that because if someone wanted this club
they should have bought it. I got criticised for being the last one in.
End of an era: Rangers will be forced to reform as a newco after liquidation
‘It was: “Where did he come from Nobody knows about him. He can’t be
serious”. Every single thing I’ve done I’ve been criticised for and
every single thing I’ve promised, I’ve delivered.
‘I don’t have a problem with them — whether it’s Ally, Jim McColl or
Walter. We’ve said since the first day that people who want to buy
shares can buy shares.’
Green also trained his sights on former director Dave King, suggesting
the South African-based businessman was working to destabilise the new
regime by telling McCoist he is about to be sacked.
The Ibrox manager had spent yesterday considering his future after being
informed by a third party he was to be axed. Green denies that,
accusing King — a vocal opponent of his takeover — of spreading
Sources close to McCoist, meanwhile, say he will only go if he is sacked and handed a 1.5m pay-off.
‘If I was getting rid of Ally, I would say to him, face to face: ‘Ally —
I’m sacking you’. That’s never happened,’ Green insisted. ‘In fact, the
second meeting I ever had with Ally was in the office here at Ibrox
where I said to him: “I’m quite happy to put a clause in my contract
that says the day you get sacked” — because inevitably it would be me
doing it — “I leave, too”.
‘That was so Ally knew and understood it wouldn’t help me one iota for
him to fail and that he had my support. Ally will confirm that.’
FULL CHARLES GREEN STATEMENT
Following the formal decision of the creditors' meeting at Ibrox Stadium today, the consortium I represent has fulfilled its agreement with the administrators and has completed the acquisition of the business and assets of The Rangers Football Club plc.
The transfer of the business and assets to a new company structure has taken effect immediately and the new company is The Rangers Football Club.
An application has already been made by the company to register with the Scottish Football Association and to participate in the SPL.
These applications will be considered over the next few weeks and I will continue to have discussions with the football authorities in relation to the club's position.
This day is bitter-sweet for the consortium I represent. From our first involvement we made it clear we would have preferred to acquire this great club through a CVA.
The decision by HMRC to vote against the proposal was, in my view, counter productive and did nothing but visit the sins of the past on the owners of the future and indeed the supporters who care so much for Rangers and deserve better.
It was however prudent for us to prepare for this outcome and we are proud and honoured to acquire Rangers and begin a new chapter in its illustrious history.
These are early days and there is a huge amount of hard work to be done to rebuild Rangers.
It will take time and effort, passion and commitment. Rangers will rise again and that journey began in earnest at Ibrox today.
First I must address the issue of the Manager's position at the club. Our consortium wants Ally McCoist to remain as Manager and we firmly believe he is the man to take Rangers forward.
He embodies everything that is great about the club and without question we want him to continue as the Rangers manager.
I fully understand that other people have courted Ally who do not wish to see my consortium succeed however, I believe time for decision and rancour is over now that the club has been sold and everyone with the interests of Rangers at heart should unite.
The rebuilding of the club will happen from today.
As I have stated previously, it is our intention that no single investor or institution will own more than 10-15% of the shareholding.
One of the saddest aspects of the refusal by HMRC to support a CVA is that small shareholders have lost their shares in The Rangers Football Club plc.
However, supporters and shareholders will have the opportunity to invest in the new company.
My consortium has been determined from the outset that from now on Rangers will be run to the highest standards of corporate governance.
To that end, the club will have two boards in the future – a company or plc board and a football board with appointments announced in due course.
In terms of investors in the company, to date our investors include Chris Morgan, a UK-based businessman representing family trusts; Glenmuir, the renowned Scottish clothing company; Ian Hart a Glasgow-based businessman; Alessandro Celano of Blue Pitch Holdings and Zeus Capital.
We are looking to expand that investor base and are in discussions with a number of interested parties.
I have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm investors have shown and their belief that Rangers can have a great future. I believe that too and I, along with everyone at the club, will work tirelessly to make it happen.