THE Rangers power struggle took another twist after reports claimed manager Ally McCoist had decided to gift his proxy vote to his home town supporters’ club ahead of the club’s pivotal annual general meeting.
McCoist last week declared himself undecided on which way to vote when the five current PLC directors are up for re-election and four challengers put themselves up for the board.
But reports in several newspapers claimed he had followed through on a promise to allow the Calderwood Rangers Supporters Club in East Kilbride to use his vote.
All of the organised Rangers fans’ groups have been campaigning for change on the board and especially the removal of finance director Brian Stockbridge.
McCoist was last year listed in the club’s share prospectus as owning one million shares with more than 70,000 others set to be purchased, taking his stake to 1.84 per cent.
Rangers declined to comment but one of the four men seeking a place on the board welcomed the development.
In a statement, Paul Murray said: “Ally McCoist’s decision to proxy his shares to the fans is a fantastic gesture and typical of the man.”
“We urge the board and all shareholders to listen to the views of the fans. They are the lifeblood of the club and cannot be ignored.”
Former oldco Rangers director Paul Murray is joined by former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray plus allies Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson in seeking a place on the board.
McCoist had earlier declined to reveal his decision but stressed his vote would be used.
Speaking on Friday, McCoist said: “I’m not 100 per cent certain what I’m doing yet regarding my vote. Everything’s a possibility at the moment.
“Of course I’ve thought about it but I’m undecided on my decision.
“My vote will 100 per cent be used. It’s really vitally important, the most important AGM in the club’s history.”
McCoist had previously admitted he would be “committing suicide” if he voted against his employers.
Malcolm Murray claimed at the weekend that he feared for the future of McCoist and told the Mail on Sunday: “I know him not to be favoured by some among the current incumbents.”
But a Rangers spokesman said: “Ally was told only yesterday by CEO Graham Wallace that the board are 100 per cent behind the manager.”
Each board member and prospective director needs a majority of votes based on the shareholding.
Sandy Easdale, who is on the football club board and whose brother James sits on the PLC board, controls almost 27 per cent of the votes and the club’s majority shareholders, Laxey Partners, which has a stake of more than 11 per cent, has stated it will support the current board.
Another major shareholder, Artemis, which owns 8.4 per cent of the club, is reported to have elected to also back the board, although sources at the investment house on Monday insisted it was still talking to both sides ahead of Thursday’s Ibrox meeting.
Artemis officially backed the Murray group when the four men submitted their request for a vote, which was initially rejected before a court intervention overturned the club’s decision.