Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston admits the club could go bankrupt should a tax ruling go against them.
Johnston also predicted that the outcome of a takeover attempt from Scottish businessman Craig Whyte would be resolved ‘one way or another’ in the next 48 hours.
Johnston’s acknowledgement that the club could become insolvent comes after half-yearly figures indicated Rangers owe 29 million pounds, and although the chairman feels the amount is significantly less than that, he concedes the club could not afford a hefty tax bill.
Rangers are awaiting a judgement from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over tax in connection with offshore payments to players and the Murray Group Management Limited Remuneration Trust.
“I have no idea of the sum for which we may be liable, but Rangers cannot afford much,” Johnston said.
“The reality is that, if the decision is bad and the club can’t pay, there would be a decision to be made.”
“It’s not clear where the liability lies. It could be October or November before we find out.”
“The situation is not holding up the sale, but it does inhibit new financing and new investment.”
“Today’s figures are a snapshot – they are not bad figures.”
“Progress is good. Around 22 million pounds is a more realistic debt figure.”
Johnston denied the club had been involved in any illegal dealings regarding their taxation issues.
“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,” he said.
“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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