Going, going, gone? Scotland Tonight on the downfall of Rangers


On Thursday, after 140 years of glory that made it domestically the most successful club in the world, Rangers, as a business entity at least, died.

As a football club though, it lives on, its supporters fighting for it to the last.

After over 100 years the club has a new name - The Rangers Football Club - and it has a new chief executive, Charles Green.

Its most successful manager Walter Smith has also dramatically emerged to front a bid to buy the club from Green. But either way it will be a new Rangers, a newco, and for many fans, it will never be the same.

In a special edition of Scotland Tonight, STV's John MacKay was joined in the studio by guests Archie MacPherson, journalist Tom English, tax expert Tracey-Campbell Hynd and former Rangers player Colin Jackson to discuss what went wrong at Rangers, and what the future holds for the troubled club.

Colin Jackson said that events of recent months had left him "shattered".

He said: "So many things have been happening over the last 24 hours. It's been heartbreaking, it's dragged on too long."

He added that he would support Walter Smith's bid, should the new owners express interest.

"If you rule by your heart, you have to go with Walter. I don't think he'd be the front man but his name carries so much weight and the supporters believe in him. We need final decisions now," he said.

Ms Campbell-Hynd confirmed that the Green consortium would be able to sell part of the company "to whoever they want".

She added: "It could be any consortium or person who comes along with an offer. It is just what would be acceptable to the newco."

On the subject of the team's failure to reach a CVA agreement, Ms Campbell-Hynd said that is was unfair to blame the HMRC for the club's woes.

She added: "To be fair to HMRC, it was on their website, the policy. They were going to reject it. There maybe had been talks which made CVA more attractive to HMRC.

"The thrust of it is more that HMRC want to go after individuals that potentially may have caused this."

Turning point

Archie MacPherson said the liquidation was "a turning point in the Scottish game", and said that Rangers needed a spokesman their fans could trust.

He said: "They need someone who's coherent, who offers some contrition and who makes it perfectly clear he can distinguish between fact and fantasy.

"Whoever is in charge needs to explain and articulate exactly what has happened and what they're going to do with the new company. That's why so many supporters are bemused. They don't know and haven't known from the start what has been happening."

"Communication is key, and now if we're going to have a fight between Smith's consortium and Green someone has to explain this clearly to the supporters."

Football writer Tom English said that Thursday's speculation over the future of Ally McCoist was designed to create tension within Mr Green's consortium.

He said: "There was a pincer movement. This morning we had a story about Ally McCoist that piled pressure on Charles Green. Here is the ambassador of the club supposedly driven out by Green.

"Green was bombarded by the fans at that stage and then as soon as the dirty work is done, Walter Smith comes in. The fans see this nirvana, this possibility of Walter Smith taking over the club.

"Green is holding all the cards here but once the fans articulate to Charles Green that they won't buy tickets off him, the consortium will be stymied."

MacPherson expressed some doubts about Mr Green, saying: "I have not been convinced by Charles Green - he changes his story a lot.

"Even tonight, he lists a number of his consortium and one businessman, Ian Hart, is listed as a backer, then within an hour Ian Hart issues a statement saying he's not involved.

"How can you trust someone who can't even get his ducks in a row on this momentous day?"

And Tom English disputed Mr Green's comments that if he had not stepped in, the club would have gone down.

He said: "If there was no Green, there would've been the Blue Knights. The Blue Knights could have taken Rangers into liquidation and done exactly the same."

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