Scottish football champions Rangers set for administration
Club in talks over £49m tax bill amid fears other teams could face similar problems
THERE are fears that British football could be heading for financial meltdown after one of the biggest clubs in the country, Scottish champions Glasgow Rangers, applied to be placed into administration.
The move comes as the club, which has already had its bank accounts frozen, tries to negotiate a £49m bill from the taxman.
Owner Craig Whyte, who took over at Ibrox last summer, made the announcement on Monday afternoon. "If we hadn't done that then liquidation could have been a possibility," he said. "This secures the long-term future of the club."
The Daily Telegraph says that the club's financial problems have been building for a decade. The paper explains that Revenue & Customs has been examining the club's use of a complex tax avoidance device, EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts), to pay staff. "Up to eight current or former Premier League clubs are facing a similar investigation into their use of EBTs, which were considered an efficient - and legal - means of reducing tax until relatively recently," the paper warns.
The Guardian says that if the club goes into administration its bank accounts, currently frozen, will be freed up and staff and bills can be paid for the first time since Christmas. However, administration leads to a 10-point deduction that would kill off the club's quest for a 55th Scottish title.
Rangers is "one of the game's great institutions and by far the biggest club to have their existence thus threatened in the modern era," says the Guardian.
"As well as the automatic points deduction, going into administration would see Rangers banned from European competition next season unless they reach an agreement with all creditors before the end of March," says the Daily Mail. "And, with Whyte admitting that a 'winding up order' from the tax man remains a possibility, Rangers could yet be forced to start all over again as a brand new company."