David Low, who ­formulated the plan that ended in the takeover of Celtic in 1994, has revealed he was approached to be “the local partner” from an overseas concern investigating a bid for Rangers.

The Ibrox club, with a debt of £31m, has not attracted a concrete bid since being put up for sale by its owner, Sir David Murray.

Low, a Glasgow businessman with extensive interests, came up with the strategy used by the group, led by Fergus McCann, to force the discredited board from Celtic in a dramatic coup 15 years ago.

The management and financial consultant said ­yesterday: “I was approached by one of my clients – a very, very wealthy family, with existing interests in sport – about being their local partner in a Rangers takeover.”

Yet the Glasgow businessman felt he had had to turn down the offer from the overseas concern. “It would not work,” he said. “I am an unreconstructed Celtic fan. But at the end of the day, business is business and that should not be an obstacle.

“Even if I could convince myself to do it, and to accept all the nonsense that would come with it, there are people around Rangers who are just not ready to deal with someone like me taking on a role such as this. It would damage the business itself, with threats of boycotts and such like.

“It would be like Mo Johnston times 10. No matter which way I looked at it, it just did not seem feasible,” said Low, referring to the furore 20 years ago when the striker signed for Rangers, having initially agreed to return to Celtic.

Low, who represented the family in other financial ­matters, said that it had been “awkward” explaining the situation to them. “One of them said: ‘Surely, if America can elect an African-American president, then Rangers can have a Roman Catholic chairman’.”

Low declined the offer and the family has since cooled its interest in the club. “They saw Rangers as a good opportunity to get a big club at a competitive price,” said Low. “But the downturn worldwide has had its effect. If they found another business partner, though, their interest could be reignited.”

Lowe emphasised the need for a local presence to help outsiders who wanted to invest in Scottish concerns. “Fergus McCann always insisted that there were locals on the ground to help his bid,” said Low of the man he helped take the helm at Celtic.

Low has revised his account of coup at Celtic in the The McCann Takeover, ­published this week.