Robert Sarver increased his initial offer of £18million to £20million for the ownership of troubled Rangers Football Club.  As part of the deal he is also offering an immediate sum of £6.5 million which could be injected to relieve the club’s short-term shortage of funds and repay the loans given to the club by shareholders.

The Ibrox-based outfit rejected the American’s initial proposal of £18 million as inadequate. The board are now reconsidering the increased offer by Sarver. However, as the American businessman is a non-shareholder, there will need to be an approval of 75% shareholders that such a large number of shares are given to a non-shareholder, which will be difficult to obtain.

The board are also looking at other possibilities to save the club from going into administration and repeat the pandemonium of February 2012 when Rangers went into liquidation and were deduced 10 points and forced to play in the fourth tier of Scottish football.

More than 50% of Rangers' shares are currently held by the club’s fans; the other shares are held by the major and significant shareholders.

Mike Ashely, who is also the Newcastle United owner, is the major shareholder of Rangers, virtually controls the club through his allies on the board. One possible option to save the club would be for Ashley to increase the portion of his shares above 10%, but this will not be permitted by the Scottish Football Association. Ashley’s aim is to go for 30% of shares.

Another option would be for other significant shareholders to provide more funds; Sandy Easdale, a significant shareholder and the club’s current chairman, provided £500,000 to the club in December, as an emergency interest-free loan.  However, it has been reported that this short term loan has recently been repaid from a sale of a player.

The board faces a difficult decision and time is running out; they know that if the club goes into administration yet again and gets demoted, most of the key first team players will refuse to stay at Ibrox and are likely to move elsewhere. This will not go down well with the Gers fans, which might see the current club’s saga just as a battle for the boardroom influence.

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