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Miller vows to keep Rangers intact

The US businessman named as the preferred bidder for Rangers Football Club has vowed that his proposal offers a "fresh start" with "no loss of history".

Rangers' administrators say vehicle recovery tycoon Bill Miller could complete his purchase of the Glasgow club by the end of the season.

Duff & Phelps has now announced Mr Miller as the preferred bidder, almost three months after the club went into administration.

He succeeded with his £11.2 million proposal which involves buying the club's assets and moving them into a new company while trying to agree a deal with creditors to move the current company out of administration, after removing his conditions.

Mr Miller had sought assurances from the football authorities that his "newco" club - one which has been in liquidation and re-emerges - would not be subjected to sanctions next season.

Completing the transaction before the Clydesdale Bank Premier League ends on May 13 would ensure his request to acquire Rangers' share in the competition is subject to the discretion of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) board.

Rangers fans have protested against Mr Miller's plans, arguing that they could spell the end of the club formed in 1872. But joint administrator Paul Clark claimed it would continue and that Mr Miller's bid preserves the club's history, although that appears dependent on a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) being agreed at a later date.

"There is no liquidation involved in this strategy and we cannot stress that strongly enough," Mr Clark said. "As we stated at the outset, one of the prime objectives of the administration was to achieve a CVA which would deliver a return to creditors. Mr Miller's bid meets this criteria."

Mr Miller later issued a statement through the club in which he promised to end the culture of over-spending, saying it was a "great honour and privilege" to have the opportunity to buy Rangers. He said: "I respect the club as one of the world's great sporting institutions and one of the UK's most venerable football clubs.

"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. 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."