GLASGOW: American businessman Bill Miller has been named as ‘preferred bidder’ by the administrator of Rangers after being given assurances on possible debt-linked sanctions from the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association.

Miller has thus taken an advantage in bidding over the Blue Knights consortium which is led by former Ibrox director Paul Murray and backed by Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy.

His plan is to create what he described as an “incubator” company while Duff and Phelps bid to take the club out of administration through a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Miller had previously sought assurances from the football authorities that his ‘newco’ club would not be subjected to sanctions next season.

Completing his transaction before the Scottish Premier League ends on May 13 would ensure that his request to acquire Rangers’ share in the competition is subject to the discretion of the SPL board.

SPL clubs this week adjourned a vote on financial fair play proposals, which include financial and points penalties against newco clubs, until Monday, but the rules would not take effect until May 14 anyway.

Last Saturday around 7,000 Rangers fans marched to Hampden in protest at the penalties imposed on the club by the Scottish Football Association, which include a one-year transfer ban and a £160,000 fine relating to charges of rule breaches, although the club are in the process of appealing the verdict.

Rangers are also being investigated by the SPL over alleged undisclosed payments to players since 1998.

Duff and Phelps’s David Whitehouse, who refused to reveal if Miller had increased his original £11.2m bid, said: “Bill Miller’s bid has been conditional upon him reaching terms with the SPL and SFA in relation to on-going sanctions. Until today his bid was conditional, now it is unconditional, so I can guess you can assume from that that he has the level of comfort that he needs to proceed.”

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