Field Fisher Waterhouse corporate finance partner Christine Phillips spent much of 2012 on one of the highest-profile deals of the year, advising Rangers FC.
Rangers’ assets have now been floated on the AIM-listing and the club has raised £22m to improve its facilities and capital and boost the squad after liquidation saw it go from its premier position among Scottish football clubs to a lowly place in the third division of the Scottish Football League.
“It was a business that supported a lot of other suppliers,” says Phillips, “so inevitably for any football club to struggle economically in any city it causes problems for a lot of local businesses.
“It’s important that you feel you’re doing something constructive for the local economy and with that club it was such a massive brand with a very dedicated and loyal supporter base that it has also been very rewarding to think that you’re helping the survival of the club.”
The deal was a rewarding but trying one, with the club’s fortunes all the while in the public eye. The consortium led by Charles Green, the club’s former owner, attempted to structure assets as acompany voluntary arrangement to try and ensure the survival of the club and its Scottish premier League membership.
Key creditor HMRC refused to support this, which meant the construction of a newco and the subsequent vote by the Scottish Football League for Rangers to
join the third rather than first division.
Phillips has both secured admission to AIM and an offer to fans to buy shares in their club, the total value of which is now £45.6m. Her work will make her popular with at least half of Glasgow.