American withdraws bid to buy struggling Rangers

American businessman Bill Miller withdrew his bid to buy the

financially stricken Rangers club on Tuesday.

Last week, administrators running the record 54-time Scottish

champions considered Miller their preferred bidder. But Miller said

in a statement that he was dismayed by hostility from fans unhappy

with the prospect of foreign ownership and that the 140-year-old

club’s financial situation is worse than he initially thought.

”By late Monday night, it became clear to me that preliminary

information, discussions and analysis were, unfortunately, more

optimistic than reality,” Miller said. ”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clear, I notified the administrators today that I have withdrawn my

bid for Rangers and will not be moving forward.”

Miller, the chairman of a Tennessee-based towing and recovery

equipment company, said he had been told ”Yank, go home” but did

not say by whom.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and

Liverpool are among the English Premier League clubs under foreign

ownership. But neither Rangers nor Celtic – the biggest teams in

Scotland – have ever been bought by overseas owners.

Rangers entered bankruptcy protection in February following a

long-running dispute with British tax authorities.

Its future has been at stake after falling into tax debts of $14

million since a takeover by Craig Whyte a year ago. The Glasgow

club is also awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal involving as

much as $119 million.

Rangers is under a transfer embargo, preventing the club from

signing players for the next 12 months unless they are under age 18

and cannot play in next season’s Champions League because UEFA

rules prevent it being granted a license.

Its already narrow hopes of retaining the Scottish Premier

League title were ended by a 10-point deduction that was

automatically triggered by going into administration.