Consortium in 'advanced' talks over Rangers deal

RFC, a consortium led by former Northampton chairman Andrew Ellis, last night announced they are in “advanced negotiations” to buy a controlling interest in Rangers.

RFC, a consortium led by former Northampton chairman Andrew Ellis, last night announced they are in “advanced negotiations” to buy a controlling interest in Rangers.

There has been plenty of speculation that a deal with Gers owner David Murray is imminent, with reports indicating it is being part-funded by investment from Dubai and Qatar.

RFC’s message last night stated that no firm timeline is in place to conclude their negotiations with Murray, but should terms be agreed between the parties the consortium will be obliged by law to make an offer on the remaining share capital of the Glasgow club.

Although the move has been mooted for some time, the release made it clear that the process is far from complete.

The statement read: “RFC, which is controlled by Andrew Ellis, notes today’s press reports regarding discussions between the company and Sir David Murray.

“The company confirms that it is in advanced negotiations with Sir David Murray to acquire a controlling interest in Rangers Football Club Plc, however no price has been agreed and no timing has been established for the conclusion of the talks.

“If a deal is concluded between Sir David Murray and RFC, the company would be required under Rule 9 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers immediately to make an offer for the remaining issued share capital of Rangers.

“It is emphasised that this announcement does not amount to a firm intention to make an offer and there is no certainty that any offer will be forthcoming or as to the terms of such an offer.”

Rangers have been sorely tested by financial constraints in recent seasons, with manager Walter Smith restricted to free transfers and loan signings for the past two years.

Their debts are estimated at between £25-30m (€30-€36m) – a figure which the consortium’s proposed arrival could potentially eradicate in a stroke.

The Rangers Supporters Trust last night welcomed the news that Ellis has taken a big step closer to buying the club.

David Edgar, spokesman for the trust, said: “If this is the case then great.

“It is positive news if it takes us out of limbo that we are presently in and we can move on.

“So we would welcome Andrew Ellis to the club but obviously we want to know more about him – who are his backers? What are his plans for the future?

“We also want him to mend bridges between the fans and the club under the present regime.

“Throughout all this he has handled himself well but we need to we need to know more about him.”

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