Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Rangers sale agreed - American’s dream comes true as Miller enters the Ibrox hotseat

Administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark during a press conference at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.
Rangers' manager Ally McCoist during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 29: Garry Hooper of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on April 29, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Bill Miller could complete his purchase of Rangers by the end of the season after Administrators named the American businessman as preferred bidder.

And Miller has promised to end the culture of overspending at the club.

Miller is seeking to buy the assets of the club, which could have debts of up to £135million, and form a new company while bidding to take the current club out of administration.

Completing his transaction before the Scottish Premier League ends on May 13 would ensure that his request to acquire Rangers' share in the competition is 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 Monday, May 14 anyway.

Miller's success was announced in a statement from Administrators Duff and Phelps, which read: “We are delighted to announce that we have received an unconditional bid for the business and assets of Rangers Football Club plc from Mr Bill Miller which has been accepted and he is now the preferred bidder.

“Mr Miller now proposes to complete his transaction by the end of the season.”

The club were forced into administration in February over unpaid VAT and PAYE bills accrued since the takeover of Craig Whyte a year ago.

Whyte completed his deal by paying off the club's £18million bank debt with money sourced against future season ticket sales after buying the 85 per cent stake of Sir David Murray who had previously underwritten a £50million share issue scheme after debts reached more than £80million.

Manager Ally McCoist and his players have battled through the adversity of the last couple of months, but they know that regulations mean they are excluded from Europe next season.

Miller released a statement through the club which described his opportunity to buy “one of the UK's most venerable football clubs” as a “great honour and privilege”.

The American added: “What Rangers have been put through, particularly in recent months, is a travesty and from what I can see they have been badly let down by a number of individuals.

“This will not happen on my watch should I become the custodian of this great club.

“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.”

Rangers take on Motherwell at Ibrox tomorrow in McCoist’s side’s penultimate game of a troubled season.

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