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The depth of Rangers' debt
AFP, February 21st, 2012 3:52PM

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The depth and scope of financial problems plaguing Scottish club Glasgow Rangers are beginning to emerge. Officials appointed to manage the club's finances confirmed Tuesday that Rangers owner Craig Whyte used money from future season-ticket sales to help fund his takeover of the Scottish club. Rangers administrators, empowered by British banking laws to handle the club's finances when it entered administration, said part of the 24 million pounds ($37.9 million) raised in a deal with agency Ticketus had been used to pay off a club debt of 18 million pounds owed to Lloyds Banking Group last May.

"Since being appointed administrators last week there has been widespread concern raised with us, not least by Rangers supporters and season-ticket holders, about the agreement between the club and Ticketus," joint administrator David Whitehouse said in a statement.

Whyte says he entered into an agreement with Ticketus upon advice of financial advisors. Rangers were placed in administration last week following the non-payment of around 9 million pounds in taxes since Whyte's takeover.

The club was immediately docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League to all but end its hopes of clinching a fourth title in a row. Administration is the process, similar to bankruptcy in the USA, in which a company surrenders financial control in a bid to remain operational. Rangers is also awaiting the verdict of a British tax tribunal that could leave the 140-year-old club with a bill of up to 75 million pounds ($127 million), according to Whyte.

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