Richard Keys, Rangers liquidation and Statement from Celtic Supporters

Former Sky Sports pundit and host of Bein’s English Premier League coverage in the Middle East, has been corrected on Twitter after he made a factually incorrect statement on the liquidation and death of Rangers Football Club (1872) online.

Keys had been the face of Sky Sports Premeir Legaue coverage for years up until a scandal surrounding sexism from himself and co-anchor, Andy Gray. Both men then suffered a hiatus from the football world until an offer of work in Qatar.

Keys was trying to make a point about the allegations that have been levelled at English Premier League champions, Manchester City, which has broken today. Using his social media platform to voice his opinion on the issue, the English pundit referred back to the situation surrounding the old Rangers and their starting again at the bottom of the professional leagues in Scottish football.

He said via Twitter:

“Do we think the charges levelled at City are in any way comparable to/worse than those that saw Rangers relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football – without due process? Good to know their CL titles are safe though.”

Dear oh dear.

It seems that Richard has been severely misinformed when it comes to the veracity of what happened back in 2012 – just like so many others who seem to suffer from a sudden and inexplicable amnesia, particularly in the media and press. But thankfully there was a range of folk on hand to put the confused football pundit on the straight and narrow.

Here’s some of the reaction to that mendacious comment by Mr Keys:

No doubt Richard has had his pal Andy Gray in his ear bending over backwards to try and gloss over the fact that Charles Green bought the body parts of the old club and stitched them together in a fable that makes the Victorian Gothic genre seem plausible!

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em! Maybe this will help Richard Keys get a better appreciation of the facts rather than the made up fairy stories that are peddled by the Rangers liquidation deniers.

Remember the Statement from Celtic Supporters that was published in the Sunday Herald the weekend before the first ever meeting in the League Cup semi-final back in February 2015, between Celtic and the Phoenix club formed by Charles Green three years before.

The text is always well worth recalling…

Celtic Football Club was founded in 1887 and played their first match against Rangers Swifts on 28th May 1888.

On 1st February 2015 Celtic will meet the club currently playing out of Ibrox – the traditional home of Rangers Football Club – in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup. Many Celtic supporters, from all sections of our support, feel it necessary to state our clear position with regard to the current “Rangers” club prior to this match.

Celtic supporters believe there is no track record of matches between Celtic and our semi-final opponents and that the game on 1st February is in fact the first meeting between Celtic and the new Rangers club, which was established in 2012.

The original Rangers Football Club was established in 1872 and was incorporated into a private limited company in 1899 in exactly the same way that Celtic Football Club became the Celtic Football and Athletic Club Ltd two years earlier in 1897.

Upon incorporation into a limited company, the officers of Rangers Football Club signed up to and adopted a set of Memorandum and Articles of Association, which stated clearly that Rangers Football Club and the new limited company had become one single legal entity and were inseparable in law.

For over a century, football authorities in Scotland and Europe accepted that Rangers Football Club and Rangers PLC – as the limited company would eventually become – were one and the same legal person and club. In the past, all Scottish Football authorities accepted and endorsed contracts of employment and other legal documents, which stated that Rangers Football Club and the limited company it had become were one and the same.

In 2012 Rangers Football Club, established in 1872 and subsequently incorporated into a limited company in 1899 was liquidated owing at least £21 Million to the UK tax payer and the club, as defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Rangers PLC and elsewhere, was legally brought an end.

The place in the SPL previously occupied by the liquidated club was taken by Dundee FC as a direct consequence of the space created by the liquidation of Rangers PLC. As every other club finishing below Rangers (1872) in the league moved up one place to fill the gap caused by the liquidation of Rangers PLC, space became available in the bottom tier of the Scottish Football league for another club to be admitted into the Scottish League Football structure at this lower level.

Administrators Duff and Phelps published a document on 5th April 2012 in which they outlined their intention to sell the assets and business as a going concern should a CVA be achieved. After creditors of Rangers Football Club rejected the proposed CVA two months later, the Rangers administrators merely sold the assets as they were unable to sell the business as a going concern.

These assets were sold to a new limited company set up by Charles Green.All of the clubs in Scottish Football – including Rangers PLC (IA) then voted and as a result, Mr Green’s new company was offered admission into the bottom division of the SFL. This offer was accepted by the new company (Sevco Scotland Ltd), which applied for membership of the Scottish Football Association, which had vested in Rangers PLC for many years.

Prior to the grant of this application for transfer, The SFA quite separately granted a unique conditional membership of the SFA to Charles Green’s New Rangers Club whilst maintaining the existing SFA membership vested in Rangers PLC.

Without conditional SFA membership the new Rangers Club could not have competed in the Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin City on 29th July 2012. As at that date, both the old and new clubs were members of the SFA at one and the same time.

The application for transfer of the SFA membership held by the old club was subsequently granted, and the new club became a full member of the SFA replacing the old club. That is the position that all of the other clubs in Scottish Football agreed to and accepted.

There was no demotion of Rangers 1872 as that club had ceased to function and could no longer exist in any legal, commercial or sporting sense. The old Rangers ceased to be and Charles Green’s “new Rangers” started again at the bottom of the Scottish league system – without either the debt or titles and trophies won on the field of play by the former club.

The application to transfer the SFA membership vested in Rangers (1872) to The Rangers (2012) was approved solely at the discretion of the SFA and represents a specific membership being transferred from one entity to another and from one member to another.

Further, when Rangers 2012 became a member of the Scottish Football League, the original Rangers club were still members of the Scottish Premier League which again clearly points to two separate clubs being in existence.

To recap: following upon the grant of conditional membership of the SFA, Mr Green’s club made separate application for a transfer of the full SFA membership held by the old club and at no time did Rangers 1872 and Rangers 2012 exist with one uninterrupted full membership of the SFA as the new club had quite separately been granted its own distinguished, individual and separate membership.Rangers 2012 were subsequently treated as a new club, participated in the early rounds of the Scottish Cup and were not eligible to play in UEFA competition due to not having been members of the SFA for the mandatory 3 year qualifying period all in terms of Article 12 of the UEFA rules.

As Celtic supporters, we regrettably recognise that our club had an association with Rangers (1872) through the collective descriptive term, The Old Firm. We believe this term is now redundant following the liquidation of Rangers (1872).

On 1st February (2015) Celtic supporters will support our team in the semi-final against a new club, which came into being in 2012. This will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs and the purpose of this statement is to place our position on record so that Celtic supporters can enjoy the occasion for what it is and without playing any part in what we see as the Rangers “club continuation” fiction.*

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.


  1. Thanks for this through & clear explanation of how Rangers became the Sevco
    Well researched & outlined
    Leaves nothing to the imagination