Scottish Fire Sale

Are Glasgow Rangers in big financial trouble?

Teddy Bears prepare to sell their captain and top scorer

Kris Boyd and Barry Ferguson

One of the biggest surprises in transferland today is the announcement that Rangers will almost certainly sell Kris Boyd to Birmingham by the end of the week. The striker has scored a whopping twenty goals already this season, and has been the Gers top scorer for three seasons running. Understandably, his sale to a Championship side for just £3.5m has raised more than a few eyebrows in the Scottish capital [er, of football - Ed.].

Captain Barry Ferguson is also said to be on the move for a similar price, although Walter Smith this week denied a move from Newcastle Utd for the player.

Owner Sir David Murray has made no secret of his desire to trim down his squad, arguing that the club lost £10m in projected revenues when they dismally crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers.

During an emergency transfer strategy meeting, Smith and Murray reportedly agreed that Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Pedro Mendes, Steve Davis and Kevin Thomson are “untouchable”, but will deal with their estimated £20m debt by shifting ten players.

According to whispers on talkSPORT this morning, however, the entire first team is up for grabs.

What exactly is going on north of the border? Is David Murray in a deeper financial mire than he is letting on, or is his fire sale simply a lesson in how not to run a football club? Let us know your opinion on the matter below.

16 responses so far
  • Bryan // January 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Since when was Glasgow the Scottish capital?

  • dave // January 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    It is the Scottish capital when it comes to concerns of football!

  • Patrick // January 7, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Oh dear. ?Unfounded rumours and innuendo from Celtic sites are being taken seriously.

    We now live in an idiocracy.

  • Matt // January 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Murray International Holdings who own Rangers are in debt to the tune of approx £750 million.

    Doesn’t take a genius to work out why they’re having a fire sale a Ibrox.

  • Kendo // January 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Matt to make that kind of comment you have to be able to back it up so ……………

    Also it is a PLC and a completely seperate company from RFC is it llegal to pay of 1 companies debts using anothers assets??

  • Matt // January 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Kendo, the figures are available in the published MIH accounts.

    RFC is a subsidary of MIH, they are mentioned in the MIH accounts as “Football Operations”.

    In regard to your last question, I refer you to the £50million which Sir D Murray moved from RFC to another part of MIH a few years ago when he underwrote a share issue after only £0.25million was raised by other share holders.

  • Mort // January 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm


    MIH is not a PLC. it is a privately owned Limited Company which operates under entirely different principals to a PLC.

  • barca72 // January 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    David Murrays shareholding in Glasgow Rangers is held by Murray Sports Ltd a seperate business altogether all be it it may be part of a group of companies. However the £750m alleged debt by MIH is more than managble due to the profits and assets the group hold. After all Man Utd have a debt in the region of £600m is anyone claiming they are in dire finacial difficulties, no because they make money as does MIH. MOVE ON SCAREMONGERS

  • Dubcelt // January 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Good man, Barca72. Keep believing that everything that you see happening before your own eyes is Timmy at it.
    £750m used to be manageable – but you may have noticed a slight change in the worlds finanacial affairs lately. Although with your head in the sand perhaps you haven’t.

  • Mort // January 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm


    maybe so but man u’s latest turnover (end of 2006/07) was £245m with profits of £59.6m. They also payed £62m in that time servicing debts. MIH however had a turnover of £542m but profits of only £5.072m for year end 1 Jan 2008. No figs available for the amount they paid to banks servicing debt but I’d imagine on debts of £730m it will be quite a lot.

    Wonder what the profir would have been if they hadn’t pocketed £8m for Alan hutton on 31 Jan 2008?

  • barca72 // January 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Dubcelt no one mentioned “Timmy” but there you go you just can’t wait to be blamed for something how sad. Mort it seems to me that an awful lot of people on here are very interested in accounts but only seem to want to talk about the bottom line. No discussion on finance to invest at a very asstute time, supported by the way, by MIH banking partners no discussion on the fact that they are clearly meeting the banks demands on repayment of loans and still making profit. I am sorry to break it to you guys but MIH is one of the most successful companies ever to come out of Scotland and yes there will be some bumbs on the road due to the current climate and also due to MIH repositioning in many sectors of their businesses none the less the fact remains they are a worldwide respected company and will continue to be so despite “internet accountants”.

  • Stick in the mud // January 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Most of MIH (the H is for Holdings, ie property) assets are in property, property which in this current climate are loosing value every day. The bottom line is that what they owe and what they are actually worth are getting very close to each other. If their net debt becomes more than they are worth then they will become insolvent. When that happens then investors/banks start looking to recoup their money. Which by the way looks like the sort of reason to sell your top goalscorer.
    As far as “one of the most successful companies” bit goes, yes it WAS, passed tense. If banks and large multi-national companies the world over can go under so can MIH, not saying they will, but they could. Halifax/BoS, that huge banking establishment that went under….who would have thought?

  • woody // January 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    the figures are correct..
    MIH are in debt to the tune of £740m as reported at the year end (31 january 2008..funnily the last day of the transfer window).

    Rangers ARE a part of MIH since MIH underwrote the last accrued debt to the tune of £69m.

    Although Rangers had a successfull season last reaching the champions league group stage followed by a run to the UEFA cup final the club still LOST a staggering £5.1 m,not to mention that that figure included the sale of hutton to the tune of £8m and received a initial lump sum of £18m from jjb for signing thier merchandising rights away for the next 10 years.
    The final figures for the financial year ending on the 31st of january 2009 will be absolutely frightening,some are predicting that due to the lack of european football the debt ‘could’ rise to £40m…and thats just the football operations side of MIH.

    Murrays assets mainly consist of property and the metals business…both of which have been hit the hardest by the ‘credit crunch’ and i would suspect that murrays assets may have dropped by as much as 40%.
    As his assets are valued last year at £928m (when both markets were ‘extremely bouyant’ ) is reckon MIH whom are no longer stroked by HBOS will be very close to administration with no knight in shining amour to bale him out.

    lets say a consortium offer a generous £20m for the club plus take on the debt (now that would be a fan and not a credible businessman) murray cannot sell,you see…he revalued the club last year at £128m (to help last years books) now that leaves a shortfall/loss of £108m in MIH balancesheet and will simply BANKRUPT him.
    he cant sell either!.

  • woody // January 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Barca72.. my dear chap.

    internet accountants?…not at all.
    simply go to

    the last 10 years accounts are there to see.

    The only knight in shining armour that could have helped…Sir Tom Hunter has just lost a whopping £250m in the last 4 months due to todays financial climate.
    He is far richer that Murray and doesnt have most of business interests in property nor metals.

    never mind though.

    im sure murray will appease you with another tosh story on the 5th of febuary like he did a year to that date….

    what was it again?

    Murray to build £700m super stadium to eclipse that of the sapporo dome?

    what ever happened to that again? remind me.

  • woody // January 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    or was it just another moonbeam to help people like you forget that he has just sold his best player in the middle of a championship fight (hutton) without reinvesting the money?.

    i hope he stays…
    maybe you will take your head out the sand as celtic are nearing 10 in a row.

    by that time it will be too late.

  • // January 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I am a season ticket holder at I brox , i would love to see Ferguson, Boyd , Burke and Mcgregor all go ,…In that order..These are the guys (Specially Ferguson) who would not play for Mcleish , Le Guen , and Berti….

    I would get rid of them all Ferguson help get Le guen the sack by not wanting to play for him and in turn shat on Mr Murray…..Nice to see Rangers bide there time and get as much as possible for these guys instead of the tempting knee jesrk reaction and selling them when they could have…


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