Sarver Open To Supporting Rangers

Robert Sarver has told the Rangers support he could still ride to the club's rescue - despite pulling the plug on his latest takeover bid.

The US financier has walked away after the Ibrox board rejected his £20million offer.

Sarver wanted to buy a controlling stake in the crisis-hit Glasgow outfit but saw his hopes spurned when the Rangers directors decided they could not get 75 per cent of shareholders to back him.

The 53-year-old has opted against making a further bid - paving the way for the Three Bears, wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, to offer up a £6.5million emergency loan.

But he hinted he could return at a later point.

In a statement given to the Stock Exchange, Sarver said: "I'm disappointed the Rangers board has rejected my revised offer, which addressed the club's immediate and long-term needs.

"Clearly the current directors have a different path they want to go down. I hope for the sake of the club and the fans, who've been very warm and supportive towards me, that it works out.

"I wish the club and fans the best of luck. If they want my support in the future, then they only have to ask.''

Sarver's statement also said that he "reserves the right'' to make another offer for the club within the next six months.

Sarver, who already owns NBA side the Phoenix Suns, made his first move just after Christmas when he offered the board an £18million deal but saw it rejected last Tuesday.

He responded 48 hours later with an improved £20million and in return Sarver asked the club to call an urgent general meeting to vote on proposals to hand him enough new shares to give him control of 51 per cent of Rangers.

But the club's directors were left hamstrung by the decision to vote down their own resolution at last month's AGM which would have allowed them to issue new shares to fresh investors without first offering them to existing stakeholders.

They were then blind-sided when first the Bears and then Dave King made two surprise share purchases, handing them control of 34 per cent of the club.

In a 7am notice to the Stock Exchange, the club announced: "The board has sought the views of a number of major shareholders on this revised proposal and has reached the conclusion that the resolution to approve the placing is unlikely to achieve the 75 per cent majority required.''

The Three Bears have left a £6.5million investment plan on the table but the ruling regime could yet turn to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for more help.

Ashley, who owns 8.92 per cent of Rangers, has already handed the club a £3million loan as the Sports Direct tycoon seeks to protect his lucrative commercial contracts.

But after placing associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach onto the board, he risks another confrontation with the SFA - which has already charged him with breaching "dual ownership'' rules - if he deepens his Ibrox involvement while remaining in charge at St James' Park.

He may, however, decide to work with the Bears who, along with King, are nearing the kind of shareholder support which would allow them to call an emergency general meeting and make wholesale changes to the Ibrox board.

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