FORMER Rangers director Dave King has urged fans to follow through with plans to withhold season ticket money after accusing the board of reneging on promises over the publication of a financial review.
Following a meeting with the Ibrox board last month, King stepped back from initial plans by fans to put season ticket money into a trust fund as he advised them to wait for the club to outline their spending plans.
But he has changed his mind and, on the eve of the club’s biggest match of the season, today’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United at Ibrox, advised fans not to buy club merchandise after further talks with chairman David Somers.
The Rangers board reacted with “astonishment” to what it described as King’s “untrue allegations” and insisted the 120-day review would be published
before the season ticket deadline.
Rangers launched their season ticket renewals on Wednesday and set a 6 May deadline. But King claims they will not publish chief executive Graham Wallace’s 120-day review – which is due to finish in the middle of next week – until the end of that renewal period.
In his statement, King said: “The board recommitted to issue the business review within the original 120-day deadline and, importantly, committed that the fans will have access to this review prior to advancing funds by way of season ticket renewals.
“Despite strong reservations from fan groups I asked the fans to give the board time to honour this commitment. Disturbingly, the chairman has advised me that the true intention of the board had always been to delay issuing the review until funds had been largely collected.
“I apologise to all fans for wasting time by lending credibility to the board’s false representations. I was wrong to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least we now can no longer have any uncertainty about the governance at the club.”
The Rangers response read: “In his statement Mr King makes a number of untrue allegations against the chairman and the board of Rangers FC alleging bad faith and false representation. The chairman and the board refute all such allegations in the strongest terms and have referred Mr King’s statement to the club’s legal advisors.
“Mr King clearly has elected to ignore the board’s previous public statement following the board’s meeting with him. In this statement, which was reviewed with him prior to issue, the board stated that it will issue the results of the business review prior to the season ticket renewal window ending.
“This position remains unchanged and Mr King is well aware of this having sought personal confirmation on this matter from the chairman as recently as yesterday. The business review period has not yet even ended, as Mr King is well aware. However, he has elected to make yet another public statement to serve his own purposes.
“When the board met Mr King a few weeks ago, he made it clear that he did not want to put another penny into the club and would prefer to see the club using other investors’ money.
“The board was therefore surprised, but gave him the benefit of the doubt when, a few days later, Mr King made media comments about a willingness to invest his money into the club. This is an easy statement to make to the media but is contrary to what he told the whole board. It is extremely disappointing Mr King should consider it appropriate to issue this latest statement, clearly designed to unsettle and mislead Rangers fans, on the eve of an important Scottish Cup semi-final match. For someone who claims to have the interests of Rangers at heart and as an ex-director, King’s untrue comments are nothing short of disgraceful.”
Meanwhile, former Rangers captain Richard Gough has confirmed he has been asked to look after supporters money for King.
Gough, 52, who now lives in Los Angeles, announced on Facebook: “Dave King has personally asked me to be a trustee to hold the supporters money and I have agreed. I think it is the right decision at this moment.”
The post attracted 448 likes in the first hour, with a number of fans commenting their approval.