American set to become Rangers owner

Rangers (Getty Images)

All signs point to another American joining the fold at Rangers, only this one won't be playing on the field. He'll be sitting in the owner's box.

After a drawn out process that has seen the legendary Scottish club go into administration and reach the brink of liquidation, the club's administrators have approved the sale of the team to American Bill Miller, a Tennessee-based businessman. The completion of the sale has not yet taken place, but Miller and the club are hopeful of the takeover of the club that employs Americans Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya happening by season's end.

Miller, whose £11.2 million, unconditional bid was preferred to that of a group led by former Rangers director Paul Murray, is tasked with taking the club out of its darkest time. In addition to going into administration and owing up to £135 million in taxes (depending on a court ruling), Rangers were hit with a year-long transfer ban and could see a mass exodus of players this summer, despite the takeover. 

"What Rangers, which includes supporters, players, staff and anyone with the club at heart, 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," Miller said in a statement. "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. From now on, Rangers will live within its means – no excuses."

According to a club statement, the assets that Miller purchases will be put into a new company for shelter purposes, and he will work with the club's creditors to ensure that all debts are paid and order is restored going forward.

"The bid submitted by Mr. Miller is substantially greater than any other proposal and provides the best return to creditors, a fundamental part of our duties as administrators," the club's administrators wrote in a statement. "Importantly, the structure provides a stable platform through which new investment can be deployed to ensure that the club thrives again in the future."

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41 Responses to American set to become Rangers owner

  1. CoachSean says:

    11.2M GBP buys you a Scottish Football Club? Seems like a steal, not even MLS clubs can be bought that inexpensively.

  2. BSU SC says:

    It’s only a matter of time before we see one of the giants of world soccer go under…Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan…who’s next?

  3. RK says:

    CEO of a tow-truck company in Tennessee buys storied Rangers. Who knew there was so much money in that?

    Wondering if he has to assume that debt, though, as well.

  4. RK says:

    That’s what austerity measures are for!

  5. matt says:

    Most MLS clubs do not start -135 million GBP in the hole. (I’d still consider it a steal though given Rangers pedigree and history)

  6. matt says:

    Whoops, guess that’s a double-negative. Should be 135 GBP in the hole.

  7. Rob M says:

    My understanding is that he’s never set foot in the country, never mind been to a game or seen them play. Support is understandably skeptical given how they were driven in to huge debts under Murray & then raked over the coals with Whyte – most I know would have preferred the Blue Knights consortium as they are known quantities and known fans, not much is known about Miller.
    Rangers had an American majority share-holder previously in Lawrence Marlborough, Marlborough appointed David Holmes Chairman & Holmes would sign Graeme Souness who led Rangers to win the league title for the first time in 9 years in 86-87. Marlborough sold his shares to David Murray, largely responsible for the current mess, in 1988.

  8. Old School says:

    I’d love to be happy for them but the SPL is horrible to watch and the quality is embarrassing at times with far too many clubs.

  9. THomas says:

    Yes…but that’s just the back taxes. They didn’t mention how much debt the club has. So in the end it’s likely a few hundred million pounds. But like you said, not bad considering there’s only one place to go, UP!!

  10. CSD says:

    http://www.internationaltowingmuseum.org

    Tennessee is the towing center of the World. I am guessing his company were big contributors to this museum.

  11. Max says:

    Yuck, I’ve had enough of Americans being associated with this horrible club.

  12. Tyler says:

    Seems you’re in the minority old chap.

  13. b says:

    So Wolff/Fischer/Beane from the Oakland A’s ownership and San Jose Earthquakes ownership own part of Celtic, and now Bill Miller will own the Rangers. The Old Firm is turning quite American. Hopefully like the Quakes example, Miller will do something to bring professional soccer to Nashville, even if it’s below MLS level. TN would be a great place for it, soccer is really increasing in popularity in the area.

  14. Martek says:

    At this rate, watch Miller move Rangers to Nashville!

  15. Martek says:

    Personally, I find it easy to feel sympathy for Rangers fans, but none at all for the club. They are in the position they deserve to be in.

    I hope Miller turns into the stereotype Deep South tow truck driver up there. “Yee-haw y’all! She-oot! I thought I boughts me a FOOT-ball team. What’s with that round ball and them short pants? And I ain’t no EX-pert or nuth-in but that quarterback back there cain’t throw that ball for a touchdown like that. And them slides? That ain’t no tackle. Look boy, ah’ll show ya how to make a tackle.”

    Oh, this is going to go swimmingly.

  16. CplDaniel says:

    You also buy the debt!!

  17. Kevin_Amold says:

    I might be wrong, but it seems like the whole problem in cases like Rangers’ financial plight is a classic case of misaligned interests.

    No one at Rangers is happy with the current state of the club. The owners hate that the team is so far in debt and can’t sustain itself.

    The fans also hate that their finances are awful, but only because of what it means. It means that they might not be able to continue to compete at the level they do in the SPL. That is to say, that most fans don’t necessarily care about a team’s debts/obligations, they care about winning.

    So the degree to which fans care about financial problems is only the degree to which said problems impact the product on the field.

    The new owners and fans both agree right now that rangers need to be brought out of their current mess and start “living within their means.” But what happens when “living within their means” results in a loss of competitive edge with Celtic and the SPL? Will the fans be so on board with living within their means? Or will there be fan protests with “Yanks Out!” signs? Will the owners find a way to stay competitive while being financially responsible?

    Sorry, don’t mean to sound like the end of an SBI post, but these are things I’ll be interested to watch develop in this whole Rangers saga.

  18. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Wouldn’t that be your ‘buying’ for $11GBP? Therefore the investment is 146GBP?

    Or, is it anticipated that most of that debt will be wiped out through this receivership?

    Can’t imagine that the SPL will grow in stature. Seems like Mr. Miller would be WAY better off investing in an MLS franchise, not even close. Let’s review this thread in 5 years…

  19. Spank says:

    Even better bring Celtic and Rangers to the MLS! That would be a nice move.

  20. Stephen Armstrong says:

    The tradition and history will go in the fabled land of Scottland. I am really proud that an American has stepped up to guide them through redemption process. Good financial move and I hope that much of the debt will be forgiven. Exciting news!

  21. london22 says:

    I think that would be a considerable step up for the Rangers players. Nashville is beautiful area and they certainly would support a pro but major league soccer team like one of women’s teams that is struggling. What those advertisers could do with Hope Solo, Alex Morgan or Lori Lindsey among several others. Nashville would be a great home for the league office too. Very central, vibrant, historic and such. I really am glad a US buyer is taking over the Rangers, as at Liverpool and a few others (is that right? How many Yanks own EPL teams?), something for us across to pond to pull for in a great league. But our US women’s team would be more than a threat to maybe 25% of the men’s league, any league.

  22. eddie says:

    Minority, hardly so! The Rangers club have a notorious history of racial abuse. Maurice Adu has been plagued with racist antics since joining the club. Hard to feel sorry for the losers. Americans need to wash their hands of garbage, we’re more civilized than that.

  23. insomniac761 says:

    yea, but with it you get to owe up to 135 million in taxes… so basically 146 mil. and next season all the good players leave for clubs that can actually pay their salaries

  24. eddie says:

    How can anyone feel sorry for an organization, fans more importantly who advocate racist behavior. Maurice Adu an American has been victim of racist fans. Terrible history they have.

  25. eddie says:

    Are you kidding me. Celtic and Rangers in the MLS. That would never work. You just destroyed 200 years of football in a football country, to now try to invent something in the heart of NFL land. It”ll never work.

  26. SteveMcSteve says:

    Edu.

  27. MVsoccerDad says:

    His family’s company, Miller Industries (or related company), invented the tow truck. They’re not hurting. I’m thrilled to see a Chattanooga resident bring this connection to the world of international football to our community. It would be a nice surprise for Rangers to have a youth team come visit to train and play some friendlies or something ;-)

  28. MVsoccerDad says:

    wow… you’re really, really sad. Too bad you fail to realize that Chattanooga (where Miller’s a resident)probably has as much passion for soccer than any city it’s size in the country. Let me know when you find another amateur club that averages several thousand fans in attendance such as Chattanooga FC has done…

  29. MiamiAl says:

    Didn’t Beasley’s BMW get set on fire too?

  30. Lorenzo says:

    I wish it was Maurice Adu. If you crossed all those strengthes together we’d have a kick -ss player!

  31. Lorenzo says:

    I think Ranger’s should be buying players on free-transfers. Looking to produce young players that can be sold on with a transfer fee.

  32. Rob M says:

    1 incident with 1 fan in the car park = “plagued with racist antics”? It’s the other side of the city you’re thinking off, the one that sent him racist tweets on twitter, did the same to Bartley, made monkey gestures at Diouf last year, & gave Bartley racist abuse again last week. Rangers were set to sign Walter Tull, but he perished at the battle of the Somme.

  33. Rob M says:

    If you want to see a club with a notorious history of racial abuse look up Mark Walters debut at Parkhead, the home side threw dozens of bananas on to the pitch link to youtube.com

  34. GW says:

    Gee, I can see it’s working really well where it is now.

    Miller isn’t going to destroy 200 years of football in a football country.

    Rangers have been doing just fine at self destruction all by their lonesome.

  35. Brian says:

    It did. But why would Rangers supporters fire bomb a Rangers player’s car?

  36. Good Jeremy says:

    My money is on Milan.

  37. Rob M says:

    Apparently he picked the wrong lady to fool around with, from the Daily Record – Exclusive: DaMarcus Beasley firebombing was ‘revenge for fling’
    RANGERS star DaMarcus Beasley’s £65,000 motor was firebombed over a fling, the Record can reveal. The single midfielder had been involved in a relationship with a woman which led to “tensions”. Her boyfriend is connected with leading underworld figures in the city.
    link to dailyrecord.co.uk

  38. Rob M says:

    See also my post above, but hint: the guy didn’t support us.
    Police arrest man for racist Tweets against Rangers players
    A 41-year-old man has been arrested by Strathclyde Police and is being detained in custody. The arrest follows complaints that defender Kyle Bartley and midfielder Maurice Edu had been abused on social networking site Twitter.
    link to mirrorfootball.co.uk

    And look up the the treatment of El Hadji Diouf by the other side of the city: link to lh4.googleusercontent.com
    Celtic fan jailed for racist jibe at El Hadji Diouf
    A Celtic fan who made monkey gestures towards Rangers player El Hadji Diouf during an Old Firm game has been jailed for three months.
    link to bbc.co.uk

    “You’re deid you black bastard, ye!”
    link to youtube.com

  39. Neal says:

    Wow, just looked up their site, impressive.
    Looks like better attendance numbers than some higher division USL clubs

  40. MVSoccerDad says:

    You would be correct :-)

  41. eddie says:

    I see your point. Appears to be societal issues at the root. Rangers can’t take the moral high ground either with their once upon a time anti Catholic policy and modern day hatred. Both sides are plagued with out of control fans. Perhaps Americans should take heed and look for MLS clubs to purchase verses overseas ventures. Frankly, I don’t see the benefit of buying clubs that are bankrupt. Too much of a financial risk and the political bigotry issues surrounded by both clubs sucks big time. Really something to consider and makes me proud America has become the most civilized country in the world.