On 6 January Rangers were forced to turn to existing shareholder Alexander Easdale so that the £500,000 in working capital it needed to avoid a winding up notice could be secured. The amount was loaned on an interest-free basis and secured against the sale of a player to English team Brentford.
Glasgow-based Rangers have been listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) since October 2012 and frequently used its position as a public company to raise money for player transfers.
In response to Sarver’s bid, which involved a placing of 100m shares at 18p each, Rangers stated: “While the directors welcome Sarver’s approach, they believe that, notwithstanding the current financial difficulties, the proposal does not adequately value a controlling interest in the company and accordingly the resolution to approve the placing is unlikely to achieve the 75 per cent majority required.
“The directors do not intend to hold the general meeting which would be necessary to implement the proposal.”
The “financial difficulties” the board refers to date back to February 2012 when it entered administration after accruing debts of £134m.
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Rangers has now invited Sarver, who owns US basketball team the Phoenix Suns and made his money setting up the National Bank of Arizona, to consider “participating in a similar discussion” alongside other “supportive shareholders”.
Commenting on his bid, Sarver said that all three of his sons play for a Phoenix team set up by former Rangers player Davie Robertson.
He added: “Initially, I’d had some of my advisors examining potential investments in teams in the English Premier League and in Spain, but Davie encouraged me to take a close look at Rangers.
“I believe what the club needs is a very quick, major injection of capital to stabilise things and I can give the Rangers supporters a categorical assurance that I have the rescues and ability to get this club back to its elite level. I’ve spent the vast majority of my career in public companies and I’m used to working in very highly-regulated environments. I understand the crucial importance of business integrity and transparency.”
Despite rejecting Sarver, Rangers has revealed that further funding, on top of the £500,000 secured on 6 January, will be needed before the end of January. The club added that it is currently in discussions with its “significant shareholders” in the hope of sorting out finance in the form of loans in the short term and equity further along.
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