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01 March 2024

Rangers shares suspended after accounts row


Trading in shares in Scottish Premier League champions Rangers were suspended on Monday after the Glasgow giants submitted unaudited accounts.

The club also confirmed they were considering withdrawing their listing on the PLUS Stock Exchange.

"As a result of the delay in publishing its audited accounts to 30 June 2011, the board announce that the company's shares have been suspended from trading on PLUS," a Rangers statement said.

The club's financial position is under threat from a potentially massive tax bill and concerns about chairman and majority shareholder Craig Whyte.

Rangers published accounts in November revealing a near 50 percent reduction in net debt to £14 million (ê22 million) in the 12 months to June 30.

But they could, if they lose a court case with British tax authorities, be hit with a bill for £49 million (ê77 million).

The financial uncertainty surrounding the club is expected to limit its dealings in the January transfer window.

Rangers, while publishing their November figures, also said Whyte was "disqualified to act as a director of Vital UK Limited in 2000 for a period of seven years", prompting the Scottish Football Association to seek "clarification" about his position.

However, Monday saw Rangers say their November report had not been signed off by an independent auditor, as required by exchange rules, and that this was due to the looming tax case.

Whyte said it was doubtful if Rangers needed to be on any exchange at all, given he now has such a huge stake in the club.

"The fact that the club has a majority shareholder controlling more than 80 percent means there is very little trading in shares.

"In reality, a public listing means more bureaucracy."

The club also announced that "last year's postponed AGM will be held as soon as possible after the accounts are finalised".

The tax tribunal, postponed in November, is set to resume next week. The dispute relates to staff payments made to staff before Whyte took over Sir David Murray's controlling stake in the club.

Rangers have recently slipped to second in the league, two points behind leaders and arch-rivals Celtic.