Football: Rangers' administrators named US businessman Bill Miller as the preferred bidder for the Ibrox outfit today — and revealed that a takeover could be completed by the end of the season.
The tow-truck tycoon had been vying for control with the Blue Knights consortium led by former Rangers director Paul Murray and backed by Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy, but Miller appears to have won the race to succeed Craig Whyte as owner.
His £11.2 million bid for the Ibrox outfit has found favour with administrators Duff and Phelps, with his proposal centring on the creation of what he describes as an “incubator” company for the club’s assets, while Duff and Phelps would attempt to take the club out of administration by setting up a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement.
Joint-administrator Paul Clark revealed that Miller has proposed creating a new company — or newco — alongside Rangers Football Club plc.
He said: “The business and assets he proposes to purchase will be sheltered in a newco and returned to the plc once the plc has been ‘cleaned up’.
“He sees this route as a necessity rather than a choice and in our view this is an entirely workable strategy.”
Miller later issued a statement in which he vowed to end the club’s culture of over-spending.
Miller also stressed his belief that all associated with the club had suffered a “travesty and from what I can see they have been badly let down by a number of individuals.”
He said: “Under my stewardship, Rangers will be managed with fiscal discipline such that the club not only conforms to Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations but also such that Rangers will never have to suffer this kind of anguish again. From now on, Rangers will live within its means — no excuses.”
Miller added: “I have fought hard to try and offer Rangers a fresh start and I hope all Rangers fans will continue to rally round the club as we endeavour to leave behind this distressing chapter in the club’s history.
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have worked hard to ensure that there is no loss of history, no loss of tradition and no liquidation of Rangers football club. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
If Miller can complete the transaction before the Scottish Premier League ends on May 13, it would ensure that his request to acquire Rangers’ share in the competition would be subject to the discretion of the SPL board.
SPL clubs this week adjourned a vote on financial fair play proposals, which include financial and points penalties against “newco” clubs until Monday, but the rules would not take effect until May 14.
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