Rangers Football Club has rejected a more than £18 million takeover bid from Robert Sarver - but said they would welcome financial support from the businessman with funds likely to run out before the end of this month.
Sarver revealed that the owner of US basketball franchise Phoenix Suns' interest in Rangers was sparked by the club's former left back Davie Robertson who now coaches youth football in Phoenix, Arizona.
He also made it clear he is serious about taking an interest in Rangers.
“First and foremost I believe what the club needs today is a very quick, major injection of capital to stabilise things and I can give the Rangers supporters a categorical assurance that I have the resources and ability to get this club back to its elite level,” he said.
“I've had detailed research carried out on Rangers and I'm convinced that we could take it back to the top of the Scottish game on a stable and sustainable basis.”
Rangers said that Sarver had offered to buy 100 million new shares in the company at 18p a share which would give him majority control and then make an offer for the other shares at the same price.
But the board said this did not “adequately value a controlling interest” and, in any case, the plan was unlikely to get the needed 75% backing of current shareholders. These include Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley with an 8.9% stake.
Last night another of Ashley's lieutenants Barry Leach joined the Rangers board. He is now finance director having been a consultant since October. Leach is head of brands at Sports Direct and joins another Ashley man Derek Llambias at Ibrox.
Rangers shares fell 1p to 25p.
Sarver also revealed that he had initially looked at investing either in an English Premier League team or one in Spain but Robertson had convinced him to look at Rangers.
“I'd be the first to admit that I'm not a lifelong Rangers supporter, but anyone who knows me is aware that I'm a genuine sports fanatic and owning two major basketball franchises for the past decade has been an enormous privilege,” he said.
“I've spent the vast majority of my career in public companies and I'm used to working in very highly regulated environments. I understand the crucial importance of business integrity and transparency.
“Rangers fans have every right to be wary about someone showing an interest in the club they love, especially given some of the events of recent years.”Reuse content