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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma
By ESPN Staff

Rangers owner Murray signals intention to sell

Rangers owner David Murray today revealed he could sell the club within three years and has already had interest from potential buyers.

The tycoon, who took control at Ibrox in 1989, said he would only sell to someone prepared to invest more cash.

'I'm coming up for 20 years, and I think that will be enough for anybody,' the 54-year-old entrepreneur told the Financial Times.

'We've had a couple of people speak to us tentatively, but I would only sell the club if it was somebody who could take it to a higher level.

'There's no point in selling Rangers to people who then can't invest more money.'

Murray's portfolio of metals, mining, property and venture capital businesses have made him Scotland's fifth richest man, worth £650 million.

The founder-owner of Murray International Holdings, he bought Rangers for £6 million in 1989.

One fans group said he would be missed by the vast majority of the club's followers if he sold up.

John Macmillan, secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association, said: 'I am confident Mr Murray would only sell to someone with the best interests of the club, its players and supporters at heart.

'It's true he has had his detractors who say he only took over Rangers for his own profile but he has invested lots of time and his own money in the club.'

Stephen Smith, of the Rangers Supporters Trust, said: 'Our biggest nightmare would be a Malcolm Glazer taking control at Ibrox.

'One man who might be interested is Sir Tom Hunter, he's known to be a big Rangers fan. But we don't want one unaccountable rich man replaced with another.

'David Murray owns 91.8% of the club, that's unhealthy, and whoever takes over we would like to see ownership radically overhauled and re-distributed.'

Murray's time at the club will be best remembered for Rangers' nine-in-a-row championship wins between 1989-1997.

In 1989, he also signed Maurice Johnston, the first high-profile Catholic to play for the club since the Second World War.

But Murray was blamed by fans for the financial woes at the club which followed a spending spree during Dick Advocaat's spell as manager.

He stepped down as chairman in July 2002 but returned to the post in the summer of 2004.

The same year, the Ibrox club launched a rights issue which raised £51 million, helping to help claw back debts of £74 million.

Murray cheered up fans disappointed by the club's on-field performance last season by landing a deal with sports chain JJB that could be worth nearly £50 million.