Monday January 5th, 2015

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has made an £18 million ($27.5 million) offer to buy a controlling stake of Rangers, reports BBC Scotland. ESPN's Marc Stein subsequently confirmed the news.

Sarver reportedly made the offer shortly after Christmas in an email to club chairman David Somers. According to the BBC, Sarver initially intended on buying 100 percent of the club, but recent share purchases by other groups have made Sarver seek merely majority control.

[Sarver] was initially committed to buying 100% of Rangers, but with [Douglas] Park, George Letham and George Taylor now owning almost 20%, and [Dave] King almost 15%, that is unlikely. At least another 15% is held by supporters who are unlikely to want to sell their shares.

At least 75% of shareholders would have to agree to new shares being issued to a non-shareholder at a general meeting, after resolution nine was defeated at the annual general meeting in December.

However, the BBC has learned Sarver is prepared to work alongside fans' groups and other Rangers-supporting businessmen.

ESPN.com reported that Sarver's interest in Rangers was initiated by David Robertson, a former defender for the club who resides in the Phoenix area and has coached Sarver's sons on youth teams. Rangers is expected to hold a board meeting Monday to respond to Sarver's offer.

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Sarver would become the latest American sports owner to at least partially own a European soccer team. Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke has partial ownership of Arsenal, Fenway Sports Group (consisting primarily of John Henry and Tom Werner) owns both the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool and the family of late Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer owns Manchester United.

Rangers, a historic Scottish power, fell into financial difficulties in 2012 and hasn't competed in the country's Premier League since 2011-12. The club is currently in second place in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of Scottish soccer.

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Sarver has owned the Suns since 2004. Phoenix made the playoffs in five of the first six full seasons under Sarver's ownership, advancing as far as the Western Conference finals in 2005, 2006 and 2010, but hasn't made the postseason the past four years.

Ben Estes

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