Rangers shareholders vote to remove Derek Llambias and Barry Leach
Dave King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan to take over after receiving neary 86% of vote
John Gilligan, Dave King and Paul Murray have been voted in to replace Derek llambias and Barry Leach at Rangers Photograph: Getty
Just 15 per cent of the club’s shareholders voted to keep Mike Ashley’s placemen in power, with almost 86 per cent backing King’s bid to claim the throne.
The results come after around 800 fans turned out for Friday morning’s decisive 12-minute general meeting.
King claimed last week that he was headed for a “landslide victory” and that was proved correct as the motion to appoint the former oldco director — who called the meeting back in January — to the board received 85.59 per cent of the vote, while Murray got 85.45 and Gilligan 85.89.
They will now start the process of rebuilding a club which has been beset by turmoil in the four years of turmoil since it was plunged into administration and then liquidation.
The vote also saw 84.64 per cent of the shareholders back King’s call for Llambias to be chased out of the club, with 84.75 per cent agreeing Leach should be removed.
The board’s last stand lasted just 12 minutes after chief executive Llambias and finance director Leach both failed to show up.
Around 800 shareholders squeezed into the corner between the Govan and Broomloan Road stands ahead of the vote and applauded King as he arrived for the meeting five minutes before its 11am kick-off.
Unlike December’s rowdy AGM, there was no tent and only a small table covered in a blue sheet for the directors to sit at. Five chairs were laid out but when it became apparent Llambias and Leach were not coming, three were removed and it fell to club secretary Matt Wood to open proceedings, before Andrew Dickson, the club’s head of football administration, was elected chairman of the meeting.
King was flanked by Murray and Gilligan as well as James Blair of fans group Rangers First. There were also cheers for former boss Ally McCoist — put on garden leave by Llambias three months ago — as he arrived to vote.
The angry shouts which marred the AGM were replaced by polite applause as the votes got under way, while one fan shouted: “Long live the King.”
Fans group Rangers First welcomed the news.
Spokesman Ricki Neill said: “Rangers First members voted in favour of Dave King’s General Meeting Resolutions so we are delighted with the confirmation there is a change at boardroom level at last.
“Our club has been abused by those only interested in themselves for long enough and the rehabilitation of Rangers begins today with the appointments of Dave King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan.
“The Rangers supporters have voiced their discontent at the way the club has been run in recent years but we are confident the new board will treat the club and supporters with the respect they deserve after years of being taken for granted.
“Rangers First has gained around 13,000 members and acquired a 2.46% shareholding in the club and I would like to thank all those who have signed up to our initiative.
“We have an important and powerful voice and our growth in the last few months has been incredible but our work is just starting. Rangers First was never about just buying shares and voting for change at the General Meeting.
“We are here for the long haul.
“I firmly believe our fan ownership model can help make a positive difference to the club going forward and we want to work closely with the new board for the good of Rangers Football Club.
“Supporters have been embarrassed by the lack of corporate governance at the club in recent times but we have cause to celebrate today as men of impeccable corporate pedigree and genuine Rangers supporters are now in control of the club.
“We share their goals of taking the club back to the higher echelons of Scottish football and we all want to see Rangers competing in Europe once again. It will be a long journey but with the support of the fan base it can be achieved far quicker.
“I continue to encourage fans to keep signing up to Rangers First, we have members all over the world and we can have an influence in the running of our great club.
“Even this week we have added another 175,000 shares to our portfolio which now takes us up to 2.46% of the club — which equates to over 2 million shares purchased.
“Proper fan representation at board level is essential at this club in particular and that is what we will be striving for.
“The fans have done an incredible amount to achieve regime change and the growing level of support Rangers First commands cannot be ignored.
“The club and fans can and should unite for the good of Rangers. We all want to get back to Ibrox to watch our team and I am sure supporters will fill the stadium for all our remaining home games this season.
“We should now have a stable board and that should mean more focus can be placed on the one thing that matters to everybody and that is winning games on the park. As the late, great Davie Cooper once remarked, this is not the end. It is just the beginning.”