8 May 2012

‘Major own goal’ in battle for Rangers

“You sound a little bit sceptical,” said C4 News’ Krishnan Guru-Murthy to me last Thursday as I spoke to him live at Ibrox.

Well yes, I predicted then that Bill Miller’s takeover was just the latest wild gesture from the artistes of despair currently known as Rangers FC administrators Duff and Phelps.

After a bizarre day where press conference questions were banned and administrator Paul Clark walked out of my interview because he’d said they’d only done “some” due diligence on Bill Miller. I had expected more than “some” after the previous takeover fiascos at this club – and he realised it too late.

When those desperate to flog the financially-toxic club don’t mention by name any of the key creditors and shareholders, as they did not in their statement, you can feel the deal crashing all around you.

All the while one key shareholder telling me this was going nowhere, that he’d been shut out – that other new deals out of sight would soon shove this nonsense aside.

Then Bill Miller openly abusing Craig Whyte from the US. Hardly tactically astute when Mr Whyte enjoys major shareholder status whatever your plan. Craig Whyte knew it, saw it, read it, failed to see the funny side dontcha know?


To cap it all a Glasgow tabloid then deciding the really smart thing is to start raking up the muck over Bill Miller’s marital situation, divorce and remarriageĀ  – would you want to come to Glasgow and spend millions? This – ladies and gentlemen – is just not how they do things among the country club set in Tennessee, nor Florida where Mr Miller has retired. Own goal – major own goal.

We don’t know how genuine the fans’ animosity was and I’ve yet to talk to Mr Miller but he at least says it was a major factor as well. And since so many RFC fans want demotion several divisions – though for various reasons – not the Miller Shiny Happy Rangers People, who can blame the guy?

Then there’s the taxman, for whom all this Newco/Oldco shenanigans will go down like a cup of proverbial. They were never brought in, never fully consulted and resented what appeared to be the administrators briefing anybody daft enough tio listen, that they had been consulted. I mean, why brief the media that the taxman had been a part of this then make no mention of the taxman in your public statement. Omnishambolic.

Neil Doncaster, the Scottish Premier League boss, has just been on to reassure me that it makes no difference to their 30 May meeting – postponed from yesterday – to deal with penalties for clubs who can’t manage their cash. He seemed pretty relieved frankly – at least one storm that it was all about shoehorning Bill Miller’s new Rangers back into Premier League football can blow itself out.

There’ll be plenty more, as he’d be first to acknowledge.

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