Rumour Mill: Rangers | Robert Sarver | McFadden

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FORMER Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston questions motivations of potential Ibrox bidder Robert Sarver; SPFL chiefs deny reports Rangers at risk of losing points; St Johnstone’s James McFadden could face disciplinary action over gesture, plus all the latest football news and gossip

Rangers forced to take £500,000 loan from Sandy Easdale

Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. Picture: Getty Images

Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. Picture: Getty Images

On the day that Rangers confirmed American businessman Robert Sarver’s £18 million takeover bid and also announced Barry Leach as their new finance director, the dire state of their cashflow was laid bare when director Sandy Easdale loaned them £500,000 to avoid being wound up for non-payment of National Insurance.

The reason for the loan led to a rapid investigation by the Scottish Professional Football League, who can take punitive action if payments such as NI or tax are late by 28 days or more. After getting in touch with Rangers, SPFL secretary Iain Blair was satisfied that no such default had occurred, though the governing body will seek updates from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Easdale’s loan was secured against the income from last week’s sale to Brentford of Lewis Macleod. By common consent, the Ibrox club’s most impressive player this season, Macleod headed south for a fee of around £1m. (Scotsman)

Rangers reject Robert Sarver takeover proposal

Rangers have rejected a bid by NBA basketball team owner Robert Sarver to take over the club. In a statement issued by the club this morning, the Phoenix Suns’ owner’s offer was knocked back because it did not “adequately value a controlling interest in the club.”

The statement said: “While the directors welcome Mr Sarver’s approach, they believe that, notwithstanding the current financial difficulties, the proposal does not adequately value a controlling interest in the company and accordingly the resolution to approve the placing is unlikely to achieve the 75 per cent majority required.” (Rangers.co.uk)

Alastair Johnston questions Sarver motivation

Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston has questioned Robert Sarver’s motivations for seeking to buy Rangers. The owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team has been revealed as a potential bidder for the cash-strapped Ibrox club, but Johnston suggested that the decision to considering purchasing Rangers didn’t add up.

He said: “I have no preconceived notion he is a bad guy. He has a good reputation in the NBA and is not known as one of those renegade owners. But I can’t for the life of he understand what his agenda is.”

He added: “Someone must have planted the idea in his mind and it would be better if he told us who that was.” (Daily Record)

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Bobby Madden to take charge of Old Firm match

Bobby Madden is set to referee next month’s Old Firm clash, according to the Scottish Sun. The 36-year-old, who has never officiated a Rangers-Celtic match before, looks likely to be installed as the man in the middle at Hampden when the two teams contest their Scottish League Cup semi-final fixture on February 1.

Madden is rated as Scotland’s top referee, and is highly thought of at Uefa and Fifa level. The official announcement regarding the identity of the match official will take place the week before the tie, but Madden is expected to get the nod. (Scottish Sun)

Deila: Celtic back in title race

Ronny Deila declared Celtic were back on the Scottish Premiership title track after their convincing 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Goals from left-back Emilio Izaguirre and striker Stefan Scepovic took the champions to within one point of leaders.

The Norwegian said: “It was a good performance, particularly in the first half, and we scored two good goals.

“I think it was a very good answer from the players.

“I have said all the time that I believe in them and this performance shows what is in the group.” (Press Association)

James McFadden in trouble over gesture

St Johnstone striker James McFadden could be facing a ban after appearing to make a gesture towards opposing fans in a game against Hamilton Accies.

The former Scotland forward was sent off after a second booking in the closing stages of Saints’ 1-0 defeat. McFadden then made what appeared to be an abusive gesture towards Hamilton fans.

The 31-year-old’s behaviour was caught on camera and the incident was noted by SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan, who may yet take action against the former Everton and Motherwell attacker. (Daily Record)

Dundee United celebrate £1.2m profit

Dundee United’s annual accounts, published yesterday, showed the club in rude health with a profit of £1.2 million. The figure was a rise of £900,000 from the previous year. It is the fourth time in five years that the club has made a profit - and the figures exclude funds generated from the sale of Ryan Gauld and Andrew Robertson.

United chairman Stephen Thompson said: “Thankfully we’ve got out of the debt. Other clubs have also managed to renegotiate their debt with the bank which is good for the game. But none of us can ever go to the banks again if things get tough.” (Daily Record)

SEE ALSO

Stuart Bathgate: Robert Sarver may have made Rangers move too late

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