Why the Bill Miller bid should worry Rangers fans

Last updated : 02 May 2012 By Mark Dingwall

If someone wants to “invest” in Rangers the simple question to ask is “what sort of return on your investment do you expect to make?”  If they are making an emotional investment that is fine - if they are expecting a financial return then there is only one way they can do that and it is by asset-stripping - by selling off the land, other assets and doing a lease-back on the stadium.  There’s no other way.


 If the investor wants to enjoy the thrill of owning a big club - Old Firm games, the undoubted profile etc, then fine.  But the historic shortfall has been around £5milllion a year over the last 20 years and that has been filled by share issues to David Murray, Joe Lewis and Dave King.


We know nothing of Mr Miller’s plan - he has refused, as is his right, to engage with fans representatives.  After all that we have been through with David Murray and Craig Whyte is that credible?  Are Rangers fans really saying that they will back someone with no track-record and no visible plan?  If he wouldn’t engage before purchase what is that telling you?


I am very wary because I reckon it’ll be promises of jam tomorrow but in actual fact it will be the fans stumping up again, paying for the mistakes of David Murray and Craig Whyte while all the time boosting up the value of a business bought for a pittance while the family silver is flogged off in the background.  Call me naive - but I’m not for taking that chance.


Then we have the question of associated - Sport 9 Club and Andrew Ellis are in the background somewhere of that I have no doubt.  Sport 9 people have definitely been advising Miller since after they claimed to have no links with him - they have been in on phone calls with the administrators.  That is a fact.  The Andrew Ellis stuff you just have to check out the newspapers for.  We could be literally mad as a support to have anything to do with a deal which involves Ellis after his association with Whyte.


The administrators told  us on Monday that Miller had plans to market Rangers to the 30 million American who claim Scottish ancestry.  I think that’s moonshine and if that’s part of his business plan then we should be worried.  The idea that we are a worldwide unexploited brand is of course a nice thought but to exploit it needs ten of millions poured into marketing and if we aren’t in the Premiership or regularly competing and winning in the Champions League then that is simply window-dressing.


The we have the form of his deal.  We’ve no examples of an “incubator company” working the way he proposes - I suspect that if he buys the club he’ll “discover” how difficult it all is and be left with “no option” but to liquidate.


Lastly, I might be being very unkind and paranoid but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  I’ve always suspected that Craig Whyte needed to have a buyer lined up for his scheme to work and for him to ride away with a pay-off.  I’m simply ultra-suspicious of anyone who isn’t a Rangers fan who would take on the club once they had a look at the books.


My core objection is as simple as that.


The least that you can do as a fan is to ask awkward questions.