Sarver insists he’s acting alone in bid for Rangers

Robert Sarver insists his Rangers takeover deal is nothing to do with any other parties
Robert Sarver insists his Rangers takeover deal is nothing to do with any other parties

Robert Sarver insists his Rangers takeover deal has nothing to do with Mike Ashley or Sandy Easdale.

The US financier - who has lodged an increased £20million bid with the Ibrox board - also shut down internet rumours claiming he has had dealings with former owner Craig Whyte or ex-chief executive Charles Green.

A spokesman for the owner of NBA side the Phoenix Suns said: “There appears to be some speculation in online fans’ forums, prompting questions from the media asking if Mr Sarver is working in conjunction with other figures associated with Ibrox. Let me assure you he is not.

“To be very clear, Mr Sarver has never met or spoken to Mike Ashley, Sandy Easdale or James Easdale. And for the complete avoidance of doubt, he has never met or spoken to Charles Green or Craig Whyte.

“He is not working with, acting for, or alongside any of these individuals.

“Mr Sarver is acting on his own behalf, although he has repeatedly said that if he succeeds in acquiring a majority stake in Rangers he would like to work with others who clearly have the best long-term interests of Rangers at heart.”

Sarver’s statement came after the Rangers board announced it will consult with major shareholders before deciding if it will accept his new bid for power.

The 53-year-old has increased the £18million offer he made on Tuesday and also offered a £6.5million emergency loan to help keep the crisis-hit club afloat in the meantime.

The Ibrox board rejected his first proposal despite announcing it was dangerously short on cash.

In a statement released to the Stock Exchange at around 11am yesterday, the board said: “The directors thank Mr Sarver for his continuing interest in Rangers. They are studying the revised proposal which was received on Wednesday night, and are consulting with major shareholders, to understand whether the proposal is capable of being implemented. A further announcement will be made shortly.”

Sarver says he is willing to provide cash to pay off loans taken out from Newcastle owner Ashley and football board chairman Sandy Easdale in recent weeks, although the club did confirm they had settled the £500,000 fee from Easdale after receiving the first instalment of Brentford’s £850,000 purchase of midfielder Lewis Macleod.

He also hinted he would be willing to continue working with former oldco director Dave King and the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - who have both bought significant stakes in the past week.

In a statement given to the Stock Exchange at 7am on Thursday, Sarver said: “This revised proposal hopefully helps the board deal with its short-term cashflow crunch and also addresses my desire to see the club on a solid long-term financial footing.

“It would also enable Rangers to repay the loans from Mike Ashley and Sandy Easdale, and free it of debt.

“I know, of course, that there are various groups of prominent fans who have been working hard for a long time to bring change to the club and they can rest assured that, if my proposal is accepted, I am committed to building a strong partnership with fans and key stakeholders to do what is best for the club.

“I look forward to receiving the response of the Rangers board.”

Sarver wants to buy a majority shareholding in the club, which needs fresh funds by the end of the month if it is to survive, by way of new shares and will then make a bid to buy out the remaining shareholders at 20p a share.

The CEO of the Western Alliance Bancorporation has already provided proof of funds to the club. However, it still remains unlikely that he will be able to get the support needed to have his bid accepted.

The Rangers board voted down its own resolution nine at the last month’s AGM, which would have allowed it to issue fresh shares to new investors without first offering them to existing stakeholders. Any move to issue fresh equity, therefore, requires 75 per cent shareholder approval, but, with King and the Three Bears now in control of around 34 per cent and that may prove too great a hurdle.