Murray blasts American critic

Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray insists their plan to restore

financial fortunes at Ibrox is on course despite warnings from a

rival’s advisor.

US-based Jon Pritchett, who advised Bill Miller on his offer for

the ‘oldco’ club, wrote in American business magazine Forbes that

there was no return possible and stated that “I don’t think the

Rangers math works”.

Miller was named preferred bidder by administrators in May but

withdrew his offer five days later after stepping up his due

diligence.

The tow-truck tycoon openly planned a ‘newco’ transaction, which

Charles Green’s Sevco Scotland company eventually carried out in a

?5.5million deal after an offer to creditors failed.

Pritchett, who is chief executive of investment firm Club 9

Sports, wrote that it would be difficult to end the long-standing

culture of over-spending within Ibrox, which resulted in the oldco

club being consigned to liquidation with debts of up to

?130million.

Responding in a statement, Murray said: “The last time Mr

Pritchett had sight of any financial information about Rangers was

many months ago and, as a result, his article in Forbes Magazine is

ill-informed, misleading and scaremongering.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no risk of the club going

into administration and any suggestion otherwise is scandalous and

appears written to attract headlines.

“Projections Mr Pritchett had sight of have not been relevant

since May and from the day I became chairman, I have been committed

to ensuring this club lives within its means and never again comes

to the brink of collapse.

“We have already secured significant investment in the club from

the individuals and organisations who are part of our consortium

and the successful IPO (initial public offering) later this month

will generate many millions in additional revenue.

“It does not take a genius to work out that costs needed to be

cut at the club and this has happened, with the first-team wage

bill being reduced significantly.

“However, we also have a plan to maximise commercial revenues

and develop many areas of the club that historically were

under-utilised.

“It is my understanding that Mr Miller’s plans were based purely

on cost-cutting and little additional investment in the club.”

Murray added: “What is also clear from his article is that Mr

Pritchett completely underestimated the loyalty and commitment of

the Rangers fans.

“In addition to the 36,000 season ticket holders so far this

season, the attendances at our home matches have surpassed many of

the top clubs in England and the rest of Europe.

“We have a clear plan to rebuild this great club and believe

that with solid business practices and the ongoing tremendous

support from the fans, this will be achieved.”

Pritchett stated in his article that losses in player-asset

values – many first-team stars refused to join the new company

– were exacerbated by contractual obligations.

“Due to the long-standing largess of the club, fully 70% of the

fixed salaries and benefits of the employees were insulated from

reduction or elimination,” he wrote.

“Without the ability to significantly reduce overhead expenses,

a commercially reasonable turnaround of Rangers FC was not

feasible.

“From Bill Miller’s perspective, there appeared no possible

return on his considerable investment.

“Upon full inspection, Rangers was not a ‘turnaround’

opportunity. It was (and is) an opportunity for someone with great

wealth and a love of football and/or Scotland to give away tens and

tens of millions of pounds.”