However, senior figures at the club fear that the tax bill, along with penalties and interest, could soar to a whopping £54 million.

Officials believe that the blow from HMRC could push the club into administration and make the club unsellable.

The Scottish Premier League champions have lodged an appeal against the decision but this could just increase the debts even more so.

It is believed that the club are preparing to sell many of their first team stars in a desperate bid to lower costs and raise some much needed cash.

Sources from Ibrox Park have said:-

“This tax bill is a catastrophe for us.

We’re already struggling to pay £30m we owe the bank. Another £50m could tip us in to the abyss of administration.

We’ve been hit with a £24 million ‘assessment’ from the taxman. The implications are HORRIFYING. The interest could be £12m and there may also be a penalty element of between £12 and £18 million. This is a desperate situation.”

The assessment issued by HMRC relates to offshore payments made to Rangers’ players over the past 10 years.

HMRC claim the players have received ‘loans’ from Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) managed by the club’s parent company Murray International Holdings Ltd.

Rangers are not the only club under scrutiny for offshore payments; HMRC have launched investigations into many of the top English Premier League clubs such as Manchester United.

Rangers will now take their case to the First Tier Tax Tribunal which, if they lose, they can then appeal again to the Upper Tribunal.

However, this process is a lengthy one and could take up to you and still there is no guarantee of a successful outcome. They could end up with a debt to HMRC of £54 million.

It has been widely rumoured that Rangers will choose to delay their case in the hope of finding a new billionaire owner.

Although there has been some interest in the club, prospective buyers are still mulling over their options.

However, it may actually be better for any potential buyers if the club DID in fact go into administration.

That way, they would get the club for a bargain price with no outstanding debt and no tax bill to pick up.

The club would of course be deducted the usual 10 points for going into administration but would also be banned from signing any new players until they are out of administration.

It would not be in HMRC’s best interest of course to levy huge penalties against the club because, if Rangers does go into administration, HMRC would only receive a fraction of the tax bill they are trying to claim.

So at the moment it seems that Rangers’ only option to avoid administration is to find a new buyer, and quickly.

However, judging by the financial state of the company and the size of these colossal debts this seems very unlikely.

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