Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

YOU WON'T LOSE YOUR SOUL; Steve Gibson's Message to Rangers Fans

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

YOU WON'T LOSE YOUR SOUL; Steve Gibson's Message to Rangers Fans

Article excerpt

Byline: ANTHONY VICKERS

STEVE GIBSON has told tortured Rangers fans their identity and history will remain undented whatever shape or name a new club takes.

After months of turmoil the troubled Old Firm outfit were finally liquidated this week as the taxman refused their administrators' final proposal to offer creditors - and HMRC, who are owed pounds 22m, and by far the biggest - at settlement of just nine pence in the pound.

It means the Glasgow giants were wound up after 140 years and a new company must now be formed out of the wreckage amid wrangling over the assets and at what level a reconstituted club will play.

And there is arguing too over what to call the new club with fans desperate to keep the historic old Rangers name alive. A new club would need a new name and become a separate legal entity.

But Gibson - at the heart of the escape from liquidation when Boro went through their own near death experience in 1986 - has reassured Rangers supporters their sense of identity and the soul of the club will emerge intact.

Gibson, who led the consortium that salvaged bankrupt Boro, told the Scottish media: "What happened with us in 1986 and is about to happen with Rangers is effectively the same. And my own view is if the SPL allow Rangers to stay in the top flight, nobody will notice any difference.

"Celtic fans might want to rub it in a bit but that will only last 12 months. People will get bored with that. The best thing for Rangers is to beat Celtic a few times and the fans will be as happy as can be.

"Chairmen, managers and players all come and go. But you're situated in the heart of your town. The club is the people who come to watch it. It's not a technical piece of paper. It's being in your town with the people from the town supporting the club.

"I know Glasgow's different because you've got two very different clubs but you've got two very different communities, each of which determines the type of football club it is. …

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