3 May 2012

Miller named as Rangers preferred bidder

Chief Correspondent

Rangers’ administrators name American businessman Bill Miller as the preferred bidder for the club but tell Channel 4 News there is “no prospect” the taxman will be paid in full.

Miller last month unveiled plans for an £11.2m bid for Rangers which would create what he described as a new “incubator” company.

A creditors voluntary arrangement (cva) will be proposed to deal with the “old company” and all its debts.

Administrators Duff and Phelps say that the two entities could later reunite in an “entirely workable strategy”. They described Miller’s offer as “unconditional” and said the club would avoid liquidation.

Rangers face a potential tax bill of £75m but Duff and Phelps’ Paul Clark told Channel 4 News there is “no prospect” the taxman would be paid in full: “This offers the best return for the creditors so from the taxman’s point of view they’ll receive the best return by Mr Miller’s solution.”

He added: “I don’t really see this as a massive tax dodge because the fact is the club was insolvent and it’s gone through an administration process and there will be a pot of cash to pay the creditors and that’s what will be paid to the revenue at some later date.”

Will fans buy Miller's bid for Rangers asks Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson?

"Non Rangers fans sense a massive sell out in which the plc will end up liquidated, the taxpayer shafted, RFC in the Premier League with few big punishments and any kind of sporting morality out the window."

Read more from Alex Thomson here

Positive discussions

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has had “positive” discussions with Miller.

Speaking after last night’s 5-0 win over Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, McCoist said: “I think everybody has got to be given a chance, whether it’s Bill Miller or whoever it may be.

“If we have to go a couple of steps back but can take the club forward then so be it. That’s certainly a better proposition than what could be.”

McCoist has had a number of conversations with Miller by telephone and was asked whether he believes the tycoon has the best interests of Rangers at heart.

He said: “I’ve spoken to him and it’s not ideal because I know Bill would rather I was next to him and looking across the table and so would I.

“But he is obviously across in America and that’s not possible.

“But every conversation I’ve had with Bill – and indeed I’ve met his representatives – have all been absolutely positive.

“They have asked the right questions and I would like to think I’ve asked the right questions back.”