Hearts amongst Rangers creditors

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov

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It has emerged that Hearts football club and the city council are among those owed money by Rangers, as it was reported that its debts could top £134 million.

The beleaguered football club owes £800,000 to Hearts, but just £90 to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Several other companies from the Lothians are among those owed money by the club.

The largest creditors in the area are Hearts and The Premier Property Group, which is owed £103,210.96. Law firm Dundas and Wilson is owed £24,027.84, advertising buyers MediaCom £11,544.42 and there are debts of £18,612 to merchant bank Noble Grossart.

Also among the creditors are Lothian and Borders Police and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

HMRC could be owed more than £93m if the club lose “the big tax case”, and Ticketus is also among the creditors, after paying £26.7m for the right to sell season tickets.

Murray Group Holdings, whose chairman is former Rangers majority shareholder Sir David Murray, is owed £278,000. Other football clubs owed cash include Celtic, Dundee United, Arsenal Chelsea and Manchester City.

Despite the massive debts, administrator Duff & Phelps maintains the hope of securing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), whereby creditors would settle for a proportion of what is owed – perhaps as little as 15p in the pound.

This would let Rangers stay in the Premier League and the club would be eligible for Europe from 2013-14.

David Whitehouse, joint administrator, said: “We can now see light at the end of the tunnel whereby the club can exit from administration and focus upon success on the pitch.

“While we cannot be precise on timescale, exit from administration does look achievable by the end of the season.

“We also hope to announce next week acceptance of one bid, which would then be subject to a period of due diligence and exclusivity.

“Most importantly, following the bidding process, we believe the most likely exit from administration will be the successful implementation of a CVA.

“We would stress, however, that if a CVA could not be achieved, bidders have discussed with us the next best alternative, being the sale of the business to a new legal entity which would continue to trade as Rangers Football Club.”

Duff & Phelps, itself owed £1.2m in legal fees, said it had whittled down the number of bidders for the club from four to three, believed to include Paul Murray’s Blue Knights consortium, and bidders from the United States and Singapore.