A £6m offer to buy the newco Rangers will be formally submitted to London investment bank Zeus Capital by businessman Jim McColl this morning.
The bid will be placed on behalf of the group fronted by former manager Walter Smith, who will then await a response from the Charles Green consortium which took control only four days ago. The offer is unlikely to succeed given that Green has already claimed his investors had spent around £10m on acquiring Rangers' assets and were not looking for a quick sale, but it willbe the catalyst for further discussions between the rival parties which could eventually result in a fee being agreed and another change of ownership.
Smith is currently on holiday, but McColl and fellow consortium member Douglas Park are both available to progress any negotiations if they receive any encouragement from Green or his financial backers this week.
The bid will come as the Scottish Premier League board meets at Hampden this morning. Green will submit a formal request for the transfer of Rangers' SPL share held by the oldco, called Rangers Football Club plc, to his newco called The Rangers Football Club. A 14-day notice period will be required before the 12 top-flight clubs can meet to discuss whether to allow newco Rangers into the SPL and, if so, what undertakings Green would have to give for that to happen.
The SPL will publish its 2012-13 fixture list at 9am this morning and Rangers' name will not appear on the schedule. Their place will be taken by "Club 12", which could turn out to be the newco or – if the vote goes against the club – potentially Irn-Bru First Division runners-up Dundee or even Dunfermline Athletic, who were relegated from the top flight last season. A statement on Rangers' official website said: "The governing body is sticking to the schedule of announcing the matches as planned but have taken the Ibrox men out of the list after the developments of last week, which saw Rangers FC change ownership under a newco scenario."
As a result of the Rangers crisis the Scottish Football Association is continuing to look into a possible merger of the SPL and Scottish Football League, in order to create a single national league body with a more equitable distribution of income and a pyramid system. But there is no prospect of that complex development being agreed before the start of next season.
One SPL club director yesterday said Rangers' liquidation had given the SPL a rare opportunity to change its voting procedures and remove the controversial requirement for an 11-1 majority on votes on commercial issues. Motherwell board member Andrew Lapping said Rangers had to be punished for past arrogance and bullying but the bigger picture was the opening their liquidation created for change in the SPL. Describing Rangers and Celtic as "sworn enemies on the pitch but avid lovers off it" he said the 11-1 clause, which effectively gives the two clubs the power of veto because they habitually vote together, had been hugely damaging since the formation of the SPL.
"Rangers' inevitable demise has given the game a real chance to cure its ills, most importantly to reintroduce true competition to the SPL," said Lapping in a personal, rather than Motherwell FC, letter to Herald Sport. "The SPL should seize the opportunity to change its voting structure such that decisions are made by the majority not the minority. On football grounds alone, Rangers need to be punished for their arrogance, tax evasion and downright bullying – the punishment will only be temporary but the real opportunity is for a change in voting rights to facilitate wholesale reform for the good of the game. This may be tough on both Celtic and newco Rangers, but most supporters will welcome a more level playing field.
"Competition will raise standards, increase interest from passive supporters and ultimately see a redistribution of income across a wider number of clubs. The catalyst is an immediate change in the voting system, to be followed by a root and branch review in the knowledge that the conclusions can be implemented."
Meanwhile, Green last night denied that Mike McDonald and Rafat Rizvi had put any money into last week's takeover. Rizvi, a British citizen who was once on Interpol's wanted list after being accused of stealing assets from Indonesia's Bank Century two years ago, a charge which he denied, had been linked with the consortium which bought Rangers for £5.5m. Former Sheffield United chairman McDonald had publicly discussed a potential investment. "[Mike McDonald and Rafat Rizvi] are not investors in Rangers nor in any fund that has invested in the club," said Green.
Rangers' new finance director, Brian Stockbridge, also denied that Zeus Capital wanted a quick sale of the club for profit, or that they might try to sell Ibrox and enter a rental deal for the stadium. "Zeus are not sellers and there will be no sale and lease-back of the property assets," said Stockbridge.