Scottish soccer team Rangers F. C. sought bankruptcy protection last week over a tax dispute involving 9 million pounds, or approximately $14 million. Additionally, a tax tribunal has yet to issue a ruling on further liabilities of up to 75 million pounds ($117 million).
The team has gone into administration, meaning that financial advisors will operate the team with an eye towards ensuring the “ongoing survival of the business.” The tax debts go back to 2001. In the intervening years, the team has changed ownership, but the new owner has been unable to make much headway in addressing the debt.
Manager Ally McCoist lamented the decision but noted that “it’s the opinion of many people that it might be the best thing for this football club.” The Glasgow-based team is the most successful in the Scottish system, boasting a world-record 54 domestic titles in its 140-year history. As a result of this latest development, however, the team has been docked 10 points in the standings, in effect handing the title to cross-town rivals Celtic.
The club’s financial crisis is the latest development in a worrying trend in European soccer. Europe’s top club teams have collectively accumulated debt of over €8 billion, or $10.5 billion.
The AP’s report can be found here.