Miller's actions explained
American businessman feels there is too much to be done at Ibrox
Last Updated: May 8, 2012 8:41pm
Ibrox: Financially-crippled Rangers saw Bill Miller withdraw his offer for the club on Tuesday
An 'inhospitable environment' was partially responsible for Bill Miller's decision to withdraw his offer for Rangers, according to one of his advisers.
Jon Pritchett, chief executive of Club 9 Sports, explained on Tuesday that Miller had discovered what he felt were years of mismanagement when he began his due diligence after being named preferred bidder last week.
The American businessman also baulked in the face of 'vitriolic' emails from fans who feared his newco plan would lead to the liquidation of the original club, and general uncertainty surrounding a number of issues.
These included the future of players, who might not have been obliged to join his new company, and as yet undecided sanctions from the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League.
Club 9 Sports were initially involved in a consortium with Miller before announcing they had pulled out but Pritchett said he was still personally advising his friend, who made the bulk of his money in the tow-truck business.
Pritchett said: "There were three contributing factors to his decision not to go forward.
"There are big legacy costs as a result of doing things poorly over a number of years, structural and commercial problems.
"It was a fairly inhospitable environment for Bill. He was getting hundreds of emails every day - vitriol and expletive-filled - saying 'Go home Yank'. Bill felt like it was a pretty unwelcoming environment."
Jon Pritchett Quotes of the week
"It would be a hard time turning things around and implementing structural changes and discipline. Such changes would have made Bill very unpopular given the way things have operated.
"Even after Bill announced his austerity measures last week there were people within the club asking how much money was available to be spent. It would take a fairly large amount of money to keep it from dying."
Pritchett added: "The second factor is some of the contingency liabilities: are the players coming or going? What are the final decisions with regard to the SFA and SPL and sanctions?
"The third factor was more about the environment. It was a fairly inhospitable environment for Bill.
"He was getting hundreds of emails every day - vitriol and expletive-filled - saying 'Go home Yank'.
"Bill felt like it was a pretty unwelcoming environment. He would have had to do a lot of things that would make him less popular.
"With that combination of factors, Bill asked himself if it was really worth spending part of his children's inheritance on this. He decided this morning that it wasn't."
The motivation of Miller in bidding for Rangers has been something of a mystery. The 65-year-old has been described as someone who guards his privacy and is not concerned with the trappings of wealth and publicity despite his status.
Pritchett claimed Miller's love of sports and his ability to turn around a company made the project of rescuing the Ibrox club seem a worthwhile pursuit.
"Bill loves sports," Pritchett said. "He has looked at things in the US but he has some Scottish and Irish friends who told him how big Rangers and the Old Firm are. I told him how big Rangers are.
"There is probably not a comparison in terms of the spirit involved in the club in the US other than college sports and you can't buy a college team.
"The other thing is, if you look at Bill's history, he has been very successful in finding distressed companies and turning them around and getting them operating in the right way. Rangers can be turned round.
"With virtually every sports club, you don't make money on an annual operating basis.
"But if you don't have any debt and look after the assets then you could get something worth a lot more a long time down the road."