Wednesday, 7 March 2012

If Rangers head to liquidation then what?

So there are now fears that Rangers will not come out of administration and could end up in liquidation.

In a statement today director Dave King says that no matter where Rangers finish in the SPL they will be taking part in Europe next year as they will not be able to met UEFA's financial requirements by their deadline of 31 March.

The bigger question though is what would happen should the 'mighty' Rangers go into liquidation. Paul Murray a fellow director who has sought approval from the SFA to be a 'fit and proper' person to be in charge of a football club to help his attempt to save the club he tried to buy last year says that liquidation wouldn't help him in a takeover bid because of the footballing implications.

What implications? Well, there are three precedents in the last 10 years.

Airdrieonians who in 2002 were the first Scottish League team since Third Lanark to go out of existence. Their Excelsior Stadium, is still the home of league football due to the phoenix Diamonds of Scottish football thanks to their supporters, Airdrie United, who bought over the in trouble Clydebank team and moved then to Airdrie. The team that took the league spot of the defunct club were Gretna, though of course not in the first division, where Airdrieonians were lying in second when the club went out of existence, but in the third division.

Gretna Had been in the SPL when they went into administration, however their point deduction pushed them well away from the 11th placed club. At the end of the season they, after being relegated were unable to confirm they would fulfill their fixtures and where those relegated to division three. Subsequently they went into liquidation and ceased to exist, resigning their place in the football league. There was a team established by the supporters trust Gretna 2008 who are in the East of Scotland league outside the SFA's league structure.

Livingston went into administration for a second time in the summer of 2009. Things moved even quicker with them than have moved with Rangers thus far. Having enter administration on the 24th July, insolvency proceedings started on the 29th, but stopped the following day when the SFA accepted the offer of the current runners of the club as a rescue bid. Livingston officially exited administration on the 13th Aug. So three weeks of chaos that all associated at the club, bar the then owner, were doing all they could to avoid were punished by a sanction to the bottom rung as a result of less than 24 hours of the Administrators looking to wind the club up.

If liquidation does become a reality at Ibrox it will be interesting to see what sanction is taken against the club. With three precedents of action for administration under differing circumstances it will be interesting to see if equity of outcome happens. If not and Rangers are giving special treatment there is likely to be outcry.


  1. Stephen,

    Minor correction: Airdrie United didn't take the defunct Airdrieonians position in the league - that went to Gretna. It was when Clydebank went bust (at the same time) that the new Airdrie United bought out their place in the league - which was in the Second Division.

  2. Darn! You are correct of course.