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Singapore group closer to Rangers deal
A Singapore-based group appear set to be named as the preferred bidder for Rangers after the Blue Knights consortium announced they were taking a step back from the process.
The Blue Knights, spearheaded by former Rangers director Paul Murray, were offered the chance to enter into exclusive talks with administrators over concluding a deal. But, during a delay in attempting to raise a £500,000 fee to do so, their financial backers Ticketus agreed a deal with the Singapore group that the Blue Knights cannot match.
They have now moved aside in the hope that Bill Ng's group can conclude a deal, but they could re-enter the fray if no agreement is reached. In a statement issued to BBC Scotland, the Blue Knights said they were taking "a step back to enable Duff & Phelps, Ticketus and the Singaporeans to conclude a deal as quickly as possible or not".
Ticketus have a contract giving them the rights to £27million of season-ticket money over the next three years after providing capital to the club since Craig Whyte's takeover in May last year.
The Blue Knights, whose bid was backed by fans, had agreed a new deal that would see the investment firm paid back only £10million of that money over a longer period in return for financial backing for their offer.
The Blue Knights revealed they had confirmed their offer on Thursday following a request by administrators Duff and Phelps.
"We reconfirmed our position and we believed that we would be awarded preferred bidder status on Friday morning," the statement read.
"As part of the process of awarding exclusivity, Duff & Phelps had requested a non-refundable deposit. During the course of Friday Ticketus informed us that they were not prepared to provide this deposit.
"During the course of the weekend individuals within the consortium offered to put up the deposit subject to a small number of conditions which were broadly agreed with Duff & Phelps.
"During the course of the weekend we were also made aware that Ticketus had been in discussions with the Singaporean consortium who, on Friday, had offered Ticketus a 'substantially' better deal to the one offered by us. We confirmed that we were not prepared to increase our offer to Ticketus which we believe to be in the club's best interests."