Blue Knights: Deal was close
The Blue Knights believe they were on the verge of being named preferred bidder by administrators for a Rangers takeover on Friday.
The consortium - in partnership with Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy - claim they had even exchanged contracts for interim funding between their lawyers and Duff and Phelps.
However, they withdrew their offer just hours later after administrators failed to meet a noon deadline they had set, with Duff and Phelps continuing to hold talks with other interested parties.
The Blue Knights were adamant that work on a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) would need to have begun this morning to have any chance of completion before the start of next season.
The group, which has been fronted by former Ibrox director Paul Murray, now want answers from joint administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.
A statement released by the Blue Knights on Saturday evening read: "We ask Mr Whitehouse why our current bid was considered in the right 'ball park' in a conversation between Mr Kennedy and Mr Clark on Saturday, 28th April.
"We would also ask why we were told last Thursday morning that, given our advanced stage of due diligence, we were likely to be given preferred bidder status.
"In fact, on Friday morning of 11th May, there were exchanges of contracts for interim funding between our lawyers and Duff and Phelps.
"Clearly our bid was enough then, until a higher bid was received and firmed up at the 11th hour."
Administrators said last night that discussions with two bidding parties were at "a very advanced stage", with one of the groups involved in discussions having links with former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green.
The Blue Knights statement continued: "We would like to add that should a higher bidder be given preferred bidder status, and such a person or persons are fit and proper and robust financially with high likelihood of completing the deal, all Rangers men, women and children should support this if it is considered this is in the best interests of the club.
"The Blue Knights objective is not to own Rangers. It is to save Rangers."
Kennedy and Murray called a press conference in Glasgow yesterday afternoon, where they outlined what their bid entailed in terms of finances and the people they planned to bring on board if they took control of the stricken club.
They valued their bid at £11million, including £5.5million up front, conditional on a CVA being agreed by creditors.
Whitehouse responded in a statement last night, saying: "Of the £5.5million cash on 'day one' figure Mr Kennedy quoted, £3.5million of that would be provided by us in any case from the club's debtors."
The Blue Knights statement tonight added: "Following more disingenuous spin on the value of the Blue Knights bid we clarify the following:
"Payable on completion of CVA (around the end July) we will pay £5.5million net into the creditors pot.
"On acceptance as preferred bidder, we take over all costs incurred.
"These are estimated at £3million per month so to the end of July losses are £6million.
"The club are due payment of around £2.4million, from football debtors, so the cash shortfall will be £3.6million. The Blue Knights will pay this.
"Therefore, on exiting CVA at the end July, the total cash out, paid by the BK investors is £5.5million plus £3.6million = £9.1million.
"There will be substantially more cash required from the investors going forward from this date to ensure all costs and losses are funded.
"I'm sure all honest people can imagine how furious the BK investors were when they read the recent comments by Mr Whitehouse attempting to confuse by focusing on the figure £2.5million.
"The total amount we believe is needed to fund RFC, including the £9.1million by the end of June, is around £20m.
"Any transfer monies in would reduce this, but we may need to make some player purchases too."
Meanwhile, the Rangers Supporters Assembly, the Rangers Supporters Trust and the Rangers FC Supporters Association have demanded urgent talks with administrators regarding the bidding process.
A joint statement read: "As a matter of extreme urgency the three leading Rangers fan organisations have asked for an immediate meeting with the club administrators, Duff and Phelps.
"In view of the recent history of the club and the purchase process, all Rangers fans are highly nervous about the identity of potential owners and that they have the ability to deliver promises made in bidding for the club.
"Fans are the major investors in Rangers and deserve clarity on potential owners and the plans they have for the club ahead of completion of a deal."