Dave King: Rangers board ‘one of the worst ever’

Dave King says he'll have no problem proving that he is fit enough to run Rangers. Picture: SNS
Dave King says he'll have no problem proving that he is fit enough to run Rangers. Picture: SNS
Share this article
0
Have your say

DAVE King says he will have no problem convincing both stock market bosses and football chiefs that he is fit enough to run Rangers.

The former Rangers oldco director has called an extraordinary general meeting to vote on plans to oust the Ibrox board.

He will also ask the shareholders to vote in himself, former Blue Knight Paul Murray and John Gilligan as their replacements.

The current Rangers regime – including David Somers, Derek Llambias, Barry Leach and James Easdale – released a statement to the stock exchange yesterday morning insisting they would fight King’s bid.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Johannesburg-based businessman King, they said: “The AIM rules require that all individuals appointed to the board of an AIM company are suitable to be a director of a UK public company.”

The Castlemilk-born millionaire was forced to hand the South African Revenue Services a cheque for £44 million last year in a bid to stave off a tax investigation.

• {http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-to-resist-egm-as-club-defends-ibrox-move-1-3665368 |Rangers to resist EGM as club defends Ibrox move|Link to article}

SARS claimed that he owned £149 million but he was spared jail after accepting liability for 41 lesser charges in relation to income tax laws.

Both he and Murray will also have to explain their part in the demise of the club after serving on the board under former owner Craig Whyte, who put the club on the path to liquidation in 2012, if they are eventually appointed as part of the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) “fit and proper” person test.

But King said last night: “There are no problems regarding the AIM regulations and the issue with the SFA is simple. Only once a director is appointed is an application made to the SFA by the club. Both myself and Paul will have to deal with our previous directorship at the time that Craig Whyte got involved. Additionally, I will have to deal with my reasons for staying on the board and trying to impose some level of governance during the Whyte era. I will also deal with my favourable settlement in South Africa.

CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN

Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning

• You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google +

“These are all issues that the SFA rightly has to address in the same way that the SFA has to review the history of anyone who gets involved with a Scottish football team. That was all considered by me prior to my application – as was the likelihood that the incumbent board will use the media to try and influence the debate by misrepresentation.

“The enthusiasm that this board adopts to ‘media management’ and its failure to act in the interest of shareholders and other stakeholders is exactly why they should be jettisoned in favour of directors who have the requisite business skills and respect for the tradition of Rangers to take the club forward.

“History will judge this board as one of the worst the club has ever had. There is not one individual who puts the club above personal interest.”

King hit back just hours after the board called on him to drop his general meeting and save the cash-strapped club the expense of hosting it. The board’s 7am statement added: “If the notice [issued by King] is valid and is not withdrawn, the directors intend to recommend that shareholders vote against the proposed resolutions.”

In a second statement, the directors conceded they may have to consider using Ibrox as security on a loan – but insisted any decision would not be “taken lightly”.

Thousands of fans protested against that possibility before Friday night’s abandoned clash with Hearts after it was revealed Newcastle owner Ashley was preparing to have his name added to the title deeds of both the stadium and Murray Park as part of a £10 million loan arrangement.

Mike Ashley is ‘Bank of Rangers’ - Freddy Shepherd

The Three Bears – wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – had already announced they would increase their own loan offer of £5 million – but would not ask for security on the stadium.

The board added: “The directors are pursuing bilateral discussions with two parties who are both stakeholders in Rangers. These discussions contemplate a significant amount of capital being available to the business on a long-term basis in order to enhance the squad which the directors believe is necessary.

“A consequence of funding to this level is that, in reality, it may be necessary to use Ibrox stadium as security; such a decision would not be taken lightly. No decision has been taken at the current time while discussions are being finalised in good faith.

“The advance notice does not mean that security will be given, and the directors are adamant that it will not unfairly advantage the party with whom it was agreed. The board will conclude a transaction, based on its merits, which it believes is in the best interests of shareholders as a whole in accordance with their fiduciary duty.”

SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS

• Download your free 30-day trial for our iPad, Android and Kindle apps

Keep up to date with all aspects of Scottish life with The Scotsman iPhone app, completely free to download and use