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Rangers Football Club an inhospitable environment

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Miller’s adviser, John Pritchett chief executive of Club 9 Sports, explained that the American tycoon baulked at the years of mismanagement at the club and after receiving ‘vitriolic’ emails from Rangers fans who feared his proposals would lead to the liquidation of Rangers 1872, along with a number of other issues.

Which included the future of players and the proposed sanctions from the Scottish FA and the SPL.

Pritchett said: “There were three contributing factors to his decision not to go forward. There are big legacy costs as a result of doing things poorly over a number of years, structural and commercial problems.

“It was a fairly inhospitable environment for Bill. He was getting hundreds of emails every day – vitriol and Expletive-filled – saying ‘Go home Yank’. Bill felt like it was a pretty unwelcoming environment.”

“It would be a hard time turning things around and implementing structural changes and discipline. Such changes would have made Bill very unpopular given the way things have operated.

In what is a warning to not only those in the periphery of the bidding process but also the Rangers fans, Pritchett added: “Even after Bill announced his austerity measures last week there were people within the club asking how much money was available to be spent. It would take a fairly large amount of money to keep it from dying.

“The second factor is some of the contingency liabilities: are the players coming or going? What are the final decisions with regard to the SFA and SPL and sanctions?”

Rather than welcoming Miller on board, it seems that certain elements of the Rangers support didn’t take kindly to a man with no links to Rangers whatsoever and who was in reality looking to make a return on his money as any businessman would.

Pritchett continued: “The third factor was more about the environment. It was a fairly inhospitable environment for Bill. He was getting hundreds of emails every day – vitriol and expletive-filled – saying ‘Go home Yank’. Bill felt like it was a pretty unwelcoming environment. He would have had to do a lot of things that would make him less popular.

“With that combination of factors, Bill asked himself if it was really worth spending part of his children’s inheritance on this. He decided this morning that it wasn’t.”

The actions of a mindless element of the Rangers support which bordered on racist abuse could have done untold damage to the club, despite Duff & Phelps statement of three mysterious bidders coming on the scene conveniently hours after Miller walks away from the table.

Miller who had been selected as the preferred bidder last Thursday by administrator Duff and Phelps over an offer from the Blue Knights and Brian Kennedy, issued a statement after he withdrew his bid.

A statement from Miller read: “As soon as I was announced as preferred bidder for Rangers, my team began to press ahead with our due diligence. Until then, information had been limited to what was made available in the internet data room and questions addressed to the administrators and their staff.

“In addition, I had preliminary discussions with the Scottish Footballing Authorities and limited discussions with Ally McCoist. Upon being named preferred bidder, discussions with Rangers staff started and discussions with all interested parties intensified.

“We continued to work through the holiday weekend in order to meet a very compressed schedule. By late Monday night, it became clear to me that preliminary information, discussions and analysis were, unfortunately, more optimistic than reality.

“Having no intention of negatively affecting the potential outcome of the club’s future and after hearing the message from Rangers supporters and fans loud and clear (“Yank go home!”), I notified the administrators today that I have withdrawn my bid for Rangers and will not be moving forward.

“I am deeply disappointed as I had considered the opportunity to bid for one of the most historic football clubs in the world, an honour and a privilege.

“I wish Rangers fans, supporters and employees my very best. I hope all your dreams and wishes come true. You certainly deserve it.

“I am most disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to walk into Ibrox Stadium on the day of an Old Firm match as my friends tell me the hair on my arm will stand up and I will never witness such passion and spirit at any sporting event.

“God Speed, Rangers!”

A dignified retreat from a businessman who was the target of a mindless and undignified element, coupled with the mountainous amount of financial issues at the Ibrox club.

So while Duff & Phelps publish optimistic figures, comments and statements, any potential bidder who then looks at the books get a dose of reality and it’s not pretty.

The administrators are now being likened to comedy double acts such as Cannon & Ball, Morecombe and Wise, even the chuckle brothers. But their actions whether hiding the truth or dragging the @rse out of this whole fiasco is no laughing matter for those linked to the 140-year-old institution.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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