AFTER becoming the largest shareholder in Rangers following a £1.4 million deal, Isle of Man-based hedge fund Laxey Partners threw its weight behind the current board.
The group took its shareholding to 11.64 per cent of the company, Rangers International Football Club plc, after buying more than 3.3 million shares.
The purchase was made on Wednesday and Rangers notified the London Stock Exchange of the change of shareholding yesterday. Laxey Partners now has more than 7.5 million shares and also has a deal in place to buy more than 700,000 shares from former Rangers chief executive Charles Green when he is free to sell his pre-share issue holding on 19 December.
The club’s annual general meeting will be held on the same day, when former chairman Malcolm Murray and allies including Paul Murray will put themselves forward for election to the board. And Laxey signalled that it would vote in favour of the current board members at the agm.
The PLC board consists of Green ally Brian Stockbridge, Greenock-based businessman James Easdale plus three recent additions – new chief executive Graham Wallace, acting chairman David Somers and Norman Crighton.
Laxey founding partner Colin Kingsnorth said: “We will be voting for the current board at the agm. It feels like the requisitionists have pushed the pace of change for the good and there is now a professional and competent board in place.
“This is not the old board but new, good people. Graham
Wallace seems very good news. The days of wheeling and dealing seemed to have passed and a professional board is in place – we want to give them a chance to get on with it.”
Meanwhile, the Rangers Supporters Trust has responded to the appointment of Wallace as chief executive by urging him to act in the best interests of the club and not the warring factions battling for control.
The 52-year-old replaced Craig Mather in the role on Wednesday, following his predecessor’s resignation last month.
Wallace brings with him past experience of football’s top level, having previously spent four years at Manchester City, most recently as chief operating officer.
A spokesman for the fans’ group – which was set up to campaign for fan ownership of the Glasgow giants – said: “Mr Wallace seems to have plenty of experience and we are sure everything he has achieved, he’s done so by being his own man.We hope that is they way he will continue at Ibrox and that he genuinely wants what is best for Rangers.”