Rangers: Lalit Modi keen on buying stake in Ibrox club

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Lalit Modi
Lalit Modi's representatives have made contact with Rangers' football board chairman

Lalit Modi, the first commissioner of cricket's Indian Premier League, has expressed an interest in buying a 26% shareholding in Rangers.

Modi's representatives made contact with the chairman of Rangers' football board, Sandy Easdale, this week.

"Glasgow Rangers FC is an institution in itself given the history and lineage of the club," Modi told BBC Scotland.

"Yes I am looking at acquiring a stake in this Scottish institution as I think the club is seriously undervalued."

It is believed a price has already been discussed for the stake Easdale controls and a meeting could take place as early as next week.

Modi's statement continued: "Glasgow Rangers have a fabulous fan base, a solid home and heritage that dates back over 100 years, all of which make for great long-term value.

"I have thus initiated talks with a couple of shareholders to understand the situation on ground and am keen that these discussions lead to fruition.

"Having said that these discussions are still at a very preliminary stage."

Modi was banned for life by the Indian Cricket Board of Control after they found him guilty of indiscipline and misconduct.

Modi was the man behind the success of the IPL

Who is Lalit Modi? BBC Sport's Joe Wilson explains...

To understand how Lalit Modi views himself, glance at his Twitter profile.external-link "Founder and architecht of the Indian Premier League" is how it begins, "cleaning up cricket mafia" is how it concludes.

This sums up the arc of his recent career.

He is fundamentally associated with the birth and popularisation of one of the world's most successful sports leagues, the IPL, which changed cricket. Modi didn't invent the TwentyTwenty format but he sold it to the biggest cricket audience on earth.

He maintains that he made billions for the Indian Cricket Board, but they fell out very badly, to say the least. He was suspended for life amidst allegations of impropriety which he vehemently denies.

Modi relocated to the UK, citing fears for his life if he stayed in India. Subsequently has has used the media to issue a steady stream of comments, criticisms and allegations about corruption in cricket - especially in India.

His background is marketing sport on a massive level. The prospect of making Rangers popular in India, as an emerging football market, might be enticing for both parties. Whatever Modi does, he is unlikely to do it quietly.