RANGERS last night outlined their desire to put together a “perfectly balanced” board of directors at the club after cutting their formal ties with Charles Green for the second time.
Green, who returned to Ibrox in a consultancy role earlier this month after resigning as chief executive in April, had that agreement terminated with immediate effect following a telephone discussion with club chief executive Craig Mather yesterday morning.
It quickly emerged that Green has also agreed to honour his earlier commitment to sell his shareholding in Rangers to Greenock businessman Sandy Easdale, whose brother James was appointed a director of the club last month.
Green’s exit had been demanded by Rangers’ supporters groups who had reacted angrily to the Yorkshire businessman’s typically combative return to the club, which saw him raise doubts over manager Ally McCoist on the eve of the shock League Cup first-round defeat to Forfar Athletic at Station Park.
Mather had pledged to re-assess Green’s position at yesterday’s board meeting, which also discussed the requisition of an extraordinary general meeting by businessman Jim McColl and former club director Paul
Murray who are seeking the removal of Mather, financial director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive director Bryan Smart from the current board.
McColl’s group want to see Murray and financial services expert Frank Blin appointed as directors.
Rangers last night released a statement in which they said Blin would be welcome but expressed doubts about Murray’s return. The club also updated the situation regarding finding a new chairman following former manager Walter Smith’s resignation earlier this month. The board also expressed hope that a compromise can be found between the rival factions to avoid what would be a costly egm.
“Following a board meeting this morning, the club’s directors decided to terminate the consultancy agreement with Charles Green,” read the statement. “The decision was unanimous and takes effect immediately. However, the board wish to make it clear Mr Green was not the only point on the agenda at today’s meeting.
“The directors can state categorically that they have always been open to adding to the current size of the board and are actively seeking a new chairman, one who will bring instant and significant benefits. In particular it will be necessary to connect strongly with corporate Britain if the board’s ambitions for Rangers are to be fulfilled.
“This board has been working tirelessly to find an intelligent solution to the request for a general meeting and all of the directors are open to sensible and reasonable additions. For instance, the board are not against Frank Blin becoming a director but do have reservations about other proposals.
“Even so, the directors remain hopeful compromise can be reached and that everyone, the fans especially, will see this club emerge a much more stable and vibrant operation.
“It is the board’s belief that, with the right level of understanding from all sides, Rangers will prosper and be stronger than at any time in its history. This is what the directors are committed to achieving through the work of an enhanced but perfectly balanced board.”
While Green’s official connection with Rangers has been cut, the former chief executive remains the biggest individual shareholder in the club with a stake of over seven per cent. Green, who fronted the consortium which bought Rangers’ business and assets from administrators Duff & Phelps for £5.5 million when the club went into liquidation last year, is “locked in” to owning his shares until December under stock exchange rules. He has already committed to transferring a small percentage of his holding to Isle of Man-based hedge fund managers Laxey Partners, and will offer the remainder to Sandy Easdale.
Jack Irvine, spokesman for the Easdale family, said: “Charles Green has given first refusal of his shares to Sandy Easdale as he promised. Sandy may take all or some of the shareholding depending on the strategic requirements of other potential investors.”
Dave King, the former Rangers director based in South Africa, warned recently that the Ibrox club could face administration for a second time before the end of this year if they do not receive fresh investment.
Financial director Stockbridge has admitted the club have just £10 million left in the bank, despite raising £22 million from their stock exchange flotation in December and having sold 34,000 season tickets for their current campaign in League Two of the Scottish Professional
With institutional and individual investors still jockeying for position in the battle for control, it remains to be seen if yesterday’s move by the board will make the next chapter of the Rangers saga any less turbulent.