Borders financier wins backing of Ibrox old guard for Rangers bid

Rangers fans outside Ibrox show their solidarity with the club in their current financial state..  Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman 18th Feb 2012
Rangers fans outside Ibrox show their solidarity with the club in their current financial state.. Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman 18th Feb 2012
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A BORDERS-BASED businessman is expected to lodge a takeover bid tomorrow for troubled Rangers Football Club.

Paul Murray has a home near Abbotsford House and is on the board of governors at St Mary’s School in Melrose.

Former Rangers director Paul Murray during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.

Former Rangers director Paul Murray during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.

The former Deutsche Bank high-flyer has this week received the backing of former owner David Murray and manager Walter Smith for his Blue Knights consortium.

The former Rangers director has gathered a number of wealthy individuals to financially back the proposal, including motoring tycoon Douglas Park, top UK fund manager John Bennett and Scott Murdoch of retail property advisors CWM.

Ticketus will also be involved in the consortium, whose £24million purchase of the rights to sell future season tickets was used by former Rangers FC chairman Craig Whyte to pay the club’s £18million bank debt and complete the takeover.

Paul Murray told reporters this week: “We had a very good meeting with the administrators. We are in good shape for Friday.

“We will be making an offer to buy Rangers.”

A wealthy chartered accountant, Paul Murray was made a non-executive director of Rangers in 2007 and is believed to have played an important role in lowering the Lloyds Bank debt.

He tried to takeover Rangers with a consortium in 2009 and in 2011 – when he was outbid by Mr Whyte, after which Mr Murray was removed from the board.

Outside football, he is involved in a number of companies, including a role as a director of R Delamore, a plant selling company.

At St Mary’s, he is suitably in charge of finance as one of 13 school governors.

David Murray finally admitted this week that he regretted selling the Ibrox club to Mr Whyte last year, after the club was plunged into administration in February.

But he was supportive of his namesake’s plans, which include Smith and Rangers legend John Greig returning to the club.

David Murray, who is no relation, said: “I think Paul Murray is a genuine Rangers fan. I don’t have a problem with Paul Murray at all.

“I hope he gets it [buys the club] - I hope the best person for the club gets it.

“I know Paul is disappointed with what has happened, and he’s made that known to me.”

Smith, who left in May 2011 after guiding the cash-strapped squad to another SPL title, added: “When I came back to Rangers five years ago, the make-up of the board had changed completely from what it was during my previous stint as manager.

“That was the first time I met Paul Murray.

“Throughout the four-and-a-half years that I was there, I was always really impressed by the way he handled himself at the board meetings.

“What came across more than anything else was that everything he did was for the good of Rangers Football Club.

“If you are looking at somebody stepping in to sort this out, I don’t think anyone could question both Paul’s integrity and the fact that he is without a doubt a big Rangers supporter.

“He will only do what he believes to be best for the club.”