Rangers' new owner promises to preserve club history

Ranger fans Credit: Scottish Football Association

The administrators of Rangers Football Club have approved a takeover bid by the US truck tycoon Bill Miller.

The club were forced into administration in February over unpaid VAT and PAYE bills accrued since the takeover of Craig Whyte a year ago.

Paul Clark, of administrators Duff and Phelps, told staff at a meeting at Ibrox stadium: "We are delighted to announce that today we have received an unconditional bid for the business and assets of Rangers Football Club plc from Bill Miller."

Mr Clark confirmed that Mr Murray is the preferred bidder and said the takeover would probably be completed before the end of the season.

Bill Murray, who made his fortune building tow-trucks in the US, said it was a "great honour" to own "one of the world's great sporting institutions. He said:

Rangers' new owner - Bill Murray Credit: PA

Mr Murray plans to split the club into two parts, dividing its debt from its assets.

The debt will remain in the old companywhile Duff and Phelps bid to take the club out of administration through a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) - an agreement between creditors to accept a pence in the pound return for what they are owed.

The assets of the club - Ibrox stadium, the Murray Park training ground - will be put into a new company (newco).

Rangers' manager Walter Smith and team after their Scottish Premier League victory in 2010/2011 Credit: REUTERS/David Moir

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Debi Edwards believes it could be difficult to negotiate a CVA on the debt with HMRC and Ticketus as major creditors.

HMRC are currently owed £15m by the club with a potential further £75m in the pipeline. The club's liabilities could rise to around £135million depending on the outcome of a tax tribunal held in January.

It's thought that Mr Miller was given assurances from the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association that his 'newco' club would not be subjected to sanctions next season.

Rangers ambassador and former player Sandy Jardine, who has played a central role in mobilising supporters' action in recent months, said he spoke to Mr Murray and "took great comfort" from what he said about the future of the club.

Soon to retire gracefully - the fans' number 12 jersey Credit: Rangers F.C.

Rangers announced today that it would retire the number 12 jersey are a gesture of gratitude to its fans who have supported the club through difficult times.