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Graham Wallace’s position untenable - Rangers fans

Union of Fans has doubts about Graham Wallace. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Union of Fans has doubts about Graham Wallace. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by EWING GRAHAME
 

DISSENTING Rangers supporters have given chief executive Graham Wallace a vote of no confidence, claiming his position is untenable.

The former chief operating officer at Manchester City joined the troubled Glasgow club in November and was regarded as a figure followers could trust.

Now, though, following a series of perceived gaffes and poorly received statements, he is considered persona non grata by the Union of Fans.

He blamed the club’s inability to accept credit cards for season ticket purchases on the threat by some followers not to renew their season tickets.

But it became clear that their merchant services provider had asked for Ibrox Stadium to be put up as collateral weeks before any boycott was made public, a request which was rejected.

News that Wallace would receive a bonus of £315,000 in August – effectively doubling his annual salary – has also been poorly received, especially with Rangers making non-football staff redundant.

Consequently, Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham believes that Wallace is a busted flush.

“We are of the opinion that his position at the club is untenable after the stuff that has come out in the past few weeks – and the bonus is only the latest thing,” he said.

“One of the things that particularly angered us was his attempt to shift the blame of the credit and debit card facilities on to the Union of Fans. We are perfectly well aware and we will reiterate it again that it had nothing to do with the season ticket boycott and we know it didn’t.

“There has been a complete lack of transparency, a total lack of engagement. It’s incredibly disappointing because when he did come in there was a big play made about his CV at the time. Here was a guy coming in who had worked for some good companies before and who had football experience.

“You looked on the face of it and he was a credible appointment but you can only go by what he’s done since he’s been in the job.

“There has been no engagement, there has been no apparent progress in terms of the finances. In fact, things appear to have gone backwards.”

While the Union of Fans yesterday backed a website which will allow fans to pledge their season ticket money to a trust set up by former director Dave King and Richard Gough, the captain of the nine-in-a-row team, instead of the club, Graham stressed that he was not in favour of supporters not backing the team when it came to attending matches and argued that King and Gough – the directors of the Ibrox 1972 Ltd website – are protecting those fans’ money.

“This is not a season-ticket boycott. We want the club to have this money,” he said. “The only issue we have is that there is absolutely no security for the fans at the moment with the cash that is being paid for season tickets.

“The financial position is extremely poor at the moment and the fact that they have withdrawn the debit and credit card facilities means that supporters who are buying cannot go back to their card provider and claim their money back if, for some reason, those tickets are not honoured.

“So we’re basically looking at a situation where people are being asked to put their cash up and keep their fingers crossed, hoping that the club is going to get through this okay.

“There are no other conditions attached to this. If we get the security over the assets that’s it – the club will get all of the money, there’s no drip-feeding.

“We don’t want this person or that person on the board or this or that person off the board – it’s not about that.

“Dave King will have to do whatever he has to do in terms of the share purchase, in terms of getting part of the club, but that’s almost a separate issue.

“This is about the fans being able to exercise a little bit of influence with season ticket money in order to secure Ibrox, in particular, because we do not have faith in the board without that level of security.”

It may well be that the board are unable to offer Ibrox as security because of a claim over it which has been lodged by former owner Craig Whyte.

“We’ve got no idea,” said Graham. “The board have not said that, they’ve said that they don’t want to give the security. We would completely understand why they don’t want to give the security over Ibrox to a credit card company or a hedge fund or whoever else.

“But that’s not what we are asking them to do; we’re asking them to give it to some people whom the fans trust on behalf of the fans.

“The other thing to remember is that this is not expensive money for the club. We’re not saying ‘We’ll give you a loan and we want the security plus interest.’ This is money that the club gets for free.

“All we have to do is provide the season tickets and give a level of security. I can’t answer about Craig Whyte. The club have repeatedly said that he is not involved. Who knows?”

BT Sport Q&A: Rangers | Hibs | Neil Lennon

THIS week’s BT Sport video Q&A looks at whether Rangers fans will buy season tickets and if the club’s supporters will force a change of ownership.

The form of Hibs under Terry Butcher is also examined following the Easter Road side’s derby defeat while the future of Neil Lennon is also considered following the announcement that his assistant Johan Mjallby is to depart at the end of the season.

Email your Scottish football question for the BT Sport panel to answer. The next show will be recorded on May 7 after St Johnstone v Celtic, which will also be shown live on BT Sport, with the video available on The Scotsman website the following day. You can also tweet us @TheScotsman.

A line-up of experts will handle your questions after each BT Sport game. Most match days, the team includes Darrell Currie, Derek Rae and Gary McAllister.

Over this season, BT Sport will air 30 SPFL matches plus 10 Rangers games from the SPFL League One.

• T&C We can not guarantee which presenters will answer your questions. Questions are vetted and no correspondence will be entered into.

 

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