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Blue Knights withdraw bid for Ranger takeover

"It is disappointing the Blue Knights are withdrawing at this stage, particularly in view of the fact that last week it was made clear to them and Ticketus that their indicative bid placed them in a strong position," David Whitehouse, joint administrator, said in a statement on the Rangers website.

"We were therefore surprised that their offer to pay an exclusivity fee was withdrawn and although discussions over the exclusivity fee continued over the weekend, no agreement was reached.

"At all stages of the process, The Blue Knights/Ticketus bid has been given the most serious consideration by us as administrators, particularly due to the fact that it was being encouraged by supporters' groups."

Rangers were forced into administration after running up a debt of nine million pounds in unpaid taxes since Scottish businessman Craig Whyte took an 85 percent stake in the club last May.

Founded in 1872, they have been domestic champions 54 times, a world record, including for the last three seasons and won the old European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972.

The Blue Knights bid was one of the three being considered by the administrators, who said they still expected to name a preferred bidder later this week.

"We are aware that Ticketus has also been, at their own instigation, in parallel discussion with one of the other bidders over the last few weeks and it remains to be seen whether these discussions will be taken forward," Whitehouse added.