A Middle Eastern lawyer with business ties to former Rangers chief executive Charles Green has revealed he is behind the motion to remove Malcolm Murray from Ibrox.
Mazen Nabil Houssami said he called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in order to have Murray sacked, and has also called for the installation of McGill’s Buses co-founder James Easdale and Chris Morgan to the Rangers board.
In the letter, which also calls for the removal of director Philip Cartmell, he said: It’s the right time for shareholders to meet and decide what to do.
“There’s been a lot going on. The shareholders haven’t been informed of what’s happening. Somebody has to do this.” He added: “Hopefully it will be good for the team. It’s suffered a lot.”
Blue Pitch Holdings has a six per cent stake in Rangers, and was part of the consortium formed by Charles Green that took over the club last year.
Rangers bid to ease fears over move to oust Murray
THE Rangers board of directors have declared their intention to “protect” the club after confirming they have been asked to call a general meeting of shareholders aimed at removing current chairman Malcolm Murray.
Blue Pitch Holdings, one of the original investors in former chief executive Charles Green’s consortium which purchased the business and assets of Rangers following their slide into liquidation last year, have instigated the bid to oust both Murray and non-executive director Phil Cartmell.
If successful, the move would see Green’s associate Chris Morgan join the Rangers board along with Greenock businessman James Easdale, of McGill’s Buses, who invested in the club during the Stock Exchange flotation overseen by the outspoken Yorkshireman in December.
Amid continuing unrest and uncertainty at Ibrox, with the outcome still awaited of an independent investigation into alleged links between Green and discredited former chairman and owner Craig Whyte, the latest twist in the battle for boardroom control will do little to ease the anxiety of the club’s support, who are being asked to renew their season tickets.
Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston said he believes a “cancer is spreading throughout the club” which will not go away until “self-serving investors” are rooted out.
Johnston, who was ousted in May, 2011 by Whyte, “has concerns” about the jockeying for position at the club.
“There is a cancer spreading throughout the club and it’s not going away,” he said.
“My concern is that until self-serving investors are eliminated then the club can’t go forward.
“With so many investors – in quotation marks – trying to play an active role in the guidance of Rangers Football Club, I don’t think that is a healthy situation.
“I don’t know the people involved but I really wonder about their agenda. I really wonder in whose best interests are they working.”
Rangers initially confirmed yesterday’s development to the Stock Exchange with a brief statement which read: “The board of Rangers has noted the recent press speculation regarding a requisition for a General Meeting. The board confirms that it has received such correspondence and is seeking to establish the validity of this requ-isition. Further announcements will be made as appropriate.”
A few hours later, the club issued a further statement on their website. It read: “The Club can confirm receipt of a requisition for a General Meeting. The Board is seeking clarity on the validity of this requisition.
“It is vital Rangers continues to progress and no matter how many distractions or obstacles are placed in our way, the Directors are determined to meet all challenges. The most important people in all of this are the supporters, the team, the staff and the management. Rangers’ fans deserve to know that the Board will not be prevented from doing everything necessary to protect this Club for them.”
If the request from Blue Pitch Holdings and James Easdale is deemed valid, Rangers have 14 days in which to call a general meeting, at which 51 per cent of shareholders would be required to back the removal of Murray and Cartmell. Murray has already been the subject of a vote of no confidence from the Rangers board but the Ayrshire businessman, appointed chairman by Green last year, is believed to be determined to keep his role.
Green, who remains a director despite stepping down as chief executive last month, has agreed to sell his stake in the club to James Easdale and his brother Sandy, whose investment company Arranglen Ltd owns Scotland’s largest independent bus operator McGills. They already own around six per cent of Rangers and have publicly declared their desire to increase that stake.
Green remains the largest single shareholder in Rangers with 8.7 per cent, although under Stock Exchange rules he cannot complete any sale of his stake until December. Following Green’s resignation as chief executive, he was replaced by Craig Mather, a Nottingham-based businessman who made a £1 million investment in the club shortly after Green’s consortium completed its £5.5m purchase of the liquidated business.
After previously announcing a freeze in season ticket prices, Mather stressed his support for manager Ally McCoist, saying: “Ally will 100 per cent be leading the team in the new season.”
Rangers, whose player registration embargo expires on 1 September, have made moves to sign Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell, Motherwell midfielder Nicky Law and Dundee United striker Jon Daly on free transfers.