RANGERS have hit back angrily at former chairman Malcolm Murray after he denied responsibility for the director pay packages that were this week revealed in the club’s annual accounts.
Murray spoke out after Rangers chief executive Craig Mather claimed that the former chairman decided the salaries of Charles Green and Brian Stockbridge.
Former chief executive Green received a total of £933,000 in less than 12 months at Ibrox, mostly made up of salary, bonus and severance pay, and finance director Stockbridge pocketed £400,000, about half of which was a bonus.
Murray, who was appointed chairman of Rangers soon after Green’s consortium of private and institutional investors bought the club’s assets and business and formed a new company, described Mather’s comments as “misleading and vexatious”.
But the Rangers board countered on Thursday night by accusing Murray of making “grossly misleading statements”.
The club, who this week dismissed a request to hold a vote on Murray’s potential re-entry to the board at the club’s annual general meeting, issued a list of their version of events, which read: “Mr Murray was appointed by Charles Green on June 14 2012 to Sevco Scotland (now Rangers Football Club Ltd). There were no institutions in the club then. The club IPO was on December 19 2012 so it is grossly inaccurate to say Mr Murray was put there by said institutions to oversee corporate governance.
“Mr Murray proposed Craig Mather to the board.
“Mr Murray agreed Brian Stockbridge’s salary and bonus.
“Mr Murray agreed Mr Green’s salary and bonus.
“Mr Murray negotiated Mr Green’s compromise agreement and signed it off.
“Mr Murray was removed from the Pinsent Masons investigation (into Green’s alleged links with former owner Craig Whyte) by the board after leaking information to a third party.”
The statement continued: “The board of Rangers Football Club are appalled and saddened at the current demeanour of Mr Malcolm Murray and the damage that he is causing to the club and regard his behaviour as totally unbefitting a once respected practitioner in the City of London’s financial community.”
Murray, who left the board in July, six weeks after stepping down as chairman, had responded to the claims of Mather, and similar comments from Stockbridge, in a statement issued to Press Association Sport on Wednesday night.
The statement read: “I joined the board on the recommendation of the institutions to instil a high level of corporate governance at Rangers.
‘’This proved to be very difficult as I, Phil Cartmell and Walter Smith were outvoted by the Green placements at every turn.
“The contracts I was shown last summer were significantly higher than current levels and I struggled to get them down.
“Cenkos (then club nominated adviser and broker) and I tried again to lower them at IPO but found severe resistance.
“Pre IPO, I was the only non-executive and as a private company there was no remuneration committee.
“Craig Mather was proposed by Charles Green and rejected by me and two other board members. His remuneration was never certified by me.
“When Phil Cartmell left, Craig Mather was interim CEO and remuneration was not confirmed. These are symptoms of why the shareholders and fans demand change.
“Craig Mather’s assertion that I decided the executive salaries is misleading and vexatious.
“In fact, Phil Cartmell was chairman of the remuneration committee which never met once despite his attempts - and he is on record at being unhappy with levels of remuneration.
“Craig, I agree that there is a call for fairness in your statement. Do you, therefore, agree that we, the shareholders and fans unite to ask these people to pay these bonuses back for the good of the club?’’
Murray is aware of the club’s latest statement.