Miller’s decision to unhitch from Rangers leaves liquidation a racing certainty
May 8th, 2012
Bill Miller, chairman of Miller Industries, a tow truck manufacturer based in Ooltewah, Tennessee, has today scrapped plans to buy Scottish football club Rangers F.C.. News that Miller was withdrawing his £11.2 million offer for the beleaguered Glasgow club came as no surprise to me, given that (reportedly) he has not previously displayed much enthusiasm for football (“soccer”) and allegedly doesn’t even have a passport.
Here is the official statement from William G. Miller:-
“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from Rangers supporters and fans loud and clear (“Yank go home!”), I notified the administrators today that I have withdrawn my bid for Rangers and will not be moving forward.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 honor 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”
Reading between the lines, it seems Miller must be thin-skinned, and is clearly also trying blame Duff & Phelps (now known by fans as ‘Duff & Duffer’, or ‘Laurel & Hardy’) for being less than candid in their presentation of Rangers F.C.’s future financial position. Given all the angst that owning Rangers would have brought the American (the banners, including “Truck off Miller .. Yanks No Thanks”, unfurled at the Dundee United game last weekend were telling), I suspect the tow truck entrepreneur is well-advised to cut his losses and run.
There is fighting talk from the club’s administrators Duff & Phelps, formerly Menzies Corporate Restructuring, of three new bidders entering the frame, but I suspect this is bluster. And it seems that Paul Murray and his “Blue Knights” consortium, whose £1.5m offer was rejected by Duff & Phelps when they declared Miller their preferred bidder last Thursday, falls a long way short of being a credible buyer for Rangers.
I suspect that Miller’s decision to walk away from Rangers, a football club pretty much destroyed by the hubristic over-leverage and seeming corruption of the Sir David Murray years, leaves liquidation the only option.
Note: Anonymous blogger RangersTaxCase has produced a far more comprehensive blog examining Miller’s true wealth, which includes an analysis of the Miller Industries P&L and share price performance (published Saturday May 5th).
Picture via The Celtic Hub
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