Kennedy will bid again to save club from liquidation

Brain Kennedy will only launch an eleventh-hour bid to rescue Rangers if Paul Murray’s Blue Knights fail to win control of the stricken club.

Record Sport understands Edinburgh-born millionaire Kennedy – eliminated from the takeover process last week – will return to the table in the next 24 hours if the club is in danger of being forced into a form of liquidation by another rival bidder.

With final bids due before 5pm tonight, a consortium from Chicago – involving Club 9 Sports – is edging towards preferred bidder status after pledging to pump in more money than Murray, Kennedy or a Singapore group headed by wealthy businessman Bill Ng.

Last night Group 9 Sports released a statement on their website indicating that, if successful, they’d aim to emerge from administration by setting up Rangers as a new company.

Kennedy will not stand back and allow the club’s 140 years of history to be wiped out. And he insisted any such move could put Rangers out of existence completely.

He said: “The prospect of a newco frightens the living hell out of me. Whatever euphemism you may want to use, we are ultimately talking about the liquidation of Rangers FC and the selling of its assets into a newco, with all the issues which result from that.

“If this is the only option left standing, that’s when I will come back in.

“The financial model involved in a newco situation does not work unless you are prepared to invest many millions of pounds and take a four-year view on the club’s finances. You would need to accept losing excessive amounts of money.

“These guys will be looking for a decent return. They are not doing it for the love of Rangers so why enter into a deal like this?

“The existence of the club is at stake and the next 48 hours could be crucial.”

While Kennedy kept a watching brief from his base in New York, Club 9 Sports in Chicago were admitting for the first time they are putting together a bid to buy out owner Craig Whyte. The Americans have been in regular dialogue with Rangers director Andrew Ellis. It’s believed they have secured financial backing from both the States and the UK and shown proof of funds to the administrators. But they are reluctant to release details about the make-up of their consortium.

A statement posted on the their own website last night read: “At no time has Club 9 Sports itself offered a bid to acquire the club. Our role has been as a member of a proposed consortium.

“We understand it has been strongly rumoured our group planned to liquidate.

“It should be made clear any party that attempts to acquire the club, eliminate the debts and put the club back on solid ground is in fact saving the club from liquidation.

“By putting all of the assets into a different corporate structure, the assets are rescued from liquidation. Such a transaction would be very similar to the one that occurred at Leeds United in 2007, which allowed the club to shed its debt burdens.”

Shamed Whyte was still insisting yesterday he has not struck a deal to give his shares to Murray’s group even though administrator David Whitehouse was busy saying a deal is in place.

Whitehouse said: “As of today, I am told by Paul Murray’s consortium that they have an agreement with Craig Whyte.”

That claim also came as a surprise to Murray who has struck a deal with Ticketus to wipe out £17million of the £27m currently owed to them by the Ibrox club.

Whitehouse also confirmed at least one of Murray’s rivals has plans to liquidate and the administrators have already opened talks with the SFA and SPL about how a newco could re-enter the Scottish set-up.