Brian Kennedy back in the frame for Rangers takeover

 

The interminable saga surrounding the proposed takeover of Rangers took another twist last night when Brian Kennedy put himself back in the frame.

The Sale Sharks owner saw a previous bid rejected last month for being too low but said at that time he would return to the table if he felt the club's future was in jeopardy and yesterday he contacted administrators Duff and Phelps.

Kennedy confirmed he had made the new "substantially improved" offer in this morning's Scottish Sun where he also urged administrators to make a decision soon.

"I have made a substantially improved verbal offer and am waiting for the administrators to come back to me," he said.

"Whether they go the Paul Murray and Ticketus route or my way, I would implore them to act swiftly.

"We're both coming at it from exactly the same angle. We both have Rangers at heart, we're both Scottish, both live here and both know what's best for the club. We've got responsibility, we've got accountability.

"Whether it's Paul or me I don't mind, I just want this to be sorted - and sorted soon."

American tycoon Bill Miller and Bill Ng, a Singaporean businessman, are rival bidders while former Rangers director Paul Murray's Blue Knights consortium, originally backed by Kennedy, have stepped aside to help facilitate what they hope will be a quick deal with any of the other bidders in order to save the club from liquidation.

However, despite "intensive discussions" taking place last night the takeover saga shows no signs of reaching a conclusion any time soon with Duff and Phelps frustrated in their attempts to get an unconditional bid on the table.

While it is not yet quite clear what Edinburgh-born Kennedy is offering, it is believed some of the conditions attached to bids from Miller and Ng cannot be fulfilled or guaranteed by the administrators who are continuing to work towards a resolution.

The apparent impasse is not good news for Rangers fans or manager Ally McCoist who on Tuesday called for the administrators to name a preferred bidder as soon as possible after expressing concerns over the protracted nature of the bidding process.

The source said: "The administrators are acutely aware of the desire to get a deal done as soon as possible.

"They want to accept unconditional offers but all bids have conditions and some of them can't be fulfilled by administrators."

It is believed one of those conditions involves Ticketus, the London-based investment firm whose money allowed Craig Whyte to buy the club from Sir David Murray last May.

Ticketus, who have rights to £27million of season tickets at Ibrox for the next three seasons, confirmed they are still speaking to the Blue Knights and Ng, but will leave it to the administrators to chose the preferred bidder.

A spokesman for Ticketus told Press Association Sport: "Despite some reports (to the contrary) we have been talking to Paul Murray by phone on and off since Monday, we are still talking about a possible joint bid.

"We are also still in discussion with the Singaporean bidders."

Murray revealed the Blue Knights are ready to re-enter the race for Rangers in light of "lack of activity" in the bidding process over the last couple of days.

He told the Daily Record: "On Monday I made it clear that, in the best interests of the club, the Blue Knights were prepared to take a step back from this process.

"We did so because we did not want to further delay the absolutely crucial task of selecting a preferred bidder.

"But we also made it clear our offer was still on the table.

"Now, in the light of the lack of activity over the subsequent 48 hours, I am reconsidering our position.

"This situation has to be resolved with maximum urgency as we are now heading beyond the point of no return.

"I have discussed things in great detail with Brian over the course of today (Wednesday) and we are in total agreement as regards the absolute urgency of the situation."

PA

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