Murray blasts American critic
Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray insists their plan to restore
financial fortunes at Ibrox is on course despite warnings from a
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
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
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
“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
“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.”