Rangers shareholders put their faith in new director Dave King
Scottish businessman promises to plot a brighter future for club’s long-suffering fans
Dave King greets the press following his election at the Rangers egm at Ibrox Park in Glasgow. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
Dave King has promised to repair Rangers after being voted on to the club’s board at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday, with Mike Ashley’s associates, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, emphatically ousted.
King’s consortium of Paul Murray and John Gilligan received an 85 per cent backing from Rangers’ shareholders, resounding support in a move that was greeted with cheers by fans outside Ibrox. Llambias, the chief executive, and Leach, the director of finance, were voted off the board.
A number of shareholders voted by proxy, although many were present at Ibrox for the 13-minute egm. Ally McCoist, the former Rangers coach currently on gardening leave, attended the meeting and King spoke to fans outside the stadium.
The Scottish businessman, who is based in South Africa, has previously stated that Rangers require more than £20m to fund the club in the medium-term and he vowed to place supporters at the heart of future plans.
“We’ve come on a long road and the Rangers fans have suffered for quite a few years now,” he said. “What has happened today is something that cannot be understated. This is definitely a turning point for Rangers Football Club . . .
“I’m quite shocked to come here, to come into this building and see the dilapidation. It’s not just a question of a couple of tough years on the park and in the boardroom. There’s not much working at Rangers right now.
“We’re going to be asking the fans to support us. There have been a lot of changes but for the first time in a number of years ... it’s a clear road. We’re going to work with the fans and work very hard to increase fan ownership. We’ll look to get fan representation on the board.”
King added: “The club is broken. There’s footballing issues, there’s infrastructural issues, there’s scouting issues. Pretty much everything within the club has to be looked at. It’s important that we get on top of that very quickly.”
Neither Llambias nor Leach attended the egm, while David Somers and James Easdale had resigned from the board beforehand. The first move by the new hierarchy was to appoint shareholder Douglas Park as a director.
King, who owns 14.5 per cent of shares in Rangers International Football Club plc, stated it would be “quite challenging” for Sports Direct – Ashley’s company – to take up an option to propose two new members to the club’s board.
The Newcastle United owner has a number of commercial contracts relating to Rangers’ business through Sports Direct. Ashley, who has an 8.92 per cent stake in the club, was fined £7,500 by the Scottish FA this week after the organisation found him guilty of a rules breach in relation to dual interest in Rangers and Newcastle.
“I reached out to Mike Ashley a couple of times before at shareholder level and Mike Ashley has chosen not to engage with me, which is fine, he’s entitled to do that. As far as Sports Direct is concerned I would certainly be encouraging them to come and work with the new board because they are a partner. . .”
Rangers must now make moves to secure a new nominated advisor, a company that runs the club’s listing on the stock exchange.
Rangers’ recent history has been fraught with controversy since they entered administration in February 2012, before being liquidated that year.