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Rangers: Malcolm Murray demands end to secrecy

Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray. Picture: SNS

Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray. Picture: SNS

Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has warned the club’s “mysterious” shareholders they could be banned from voting at the club’s annual general meeting if they do not reveal their backers.

The club must host a shareholder meeting before December 31 under Stock Exchange rules.

But Murray and his partner Paul Murray have concerns about two shareholders - Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita holdings - who hold a 12 per cent stake in the club, with fans fearing they could be a front for former chief executive Charles Green or even Craig Whyte, the man who started the club on its path towards liquidation last year.

However, the two Murrays - who hope to win places on the club’s board alongside backers Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch when the AGM finally takes place - have warned that if Blue Pitch and Margarita do not volunteer the information, they could ask Rangers’ powerful institutional shareholders to call an emergency stakeholder meeting and bar their votes.

Murray, who was axed as Rangers chairman in May before being removed from the Ibrox board completely two months later, told talkSPORT: “In terms of institutions, we do know who the major shareholders are. They are very shy, retiring people. They are Hargreave Hale, Artemis, Reverend Mercantile, Miton, Kames Capital and Laxey Partners.

“But if you are getting after who the mystery shareholders are, the original shareholders brought in by Charles Green (in the summer of 2012) were, I was told, wealthy Arabs who were quite secretive about their identity.

“I have met representatives (of the Arab investors) many times over the last few months. They seemed to be quite reasonable until Charles Green left and then they became very aggressive, and supported the changes on the board which saw me and Phil Cartmell leave and the Easdales coming on.

“We don’t know why they changed their mind. All we know is their nominee name, which is Blue Pitch/Margarita, and accounts for about 12 per cent of the holding. We have demanded to know who they are but we have not been told.

“But the big stick we have is that if they won’t tell us, the institutions can demand to know who they are. And if they won’t tell us, those shares won’t get a vote. If there’s nothing to hide, why on earth won’t we be told?”

The Murray group - which is backed by Clyde Blowers chairman Jim McColl - took the Rangers board to the Court of Session last month when motions proposing the addition of four new directors - Malcolm Murray, Paul Murray, Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch - were blocked.

Lord Tyre ruled in favour of the Murrays, banning a planned AGM due to take place on October 24 and ordering the directorship motions to be included when a new date was set. That victory sparked the resignation of chief executive Craig Mather and Bryan Smart from the board, leaving just Brian Stockbridge and James Easdale as the club’s last two remaining directors.

But three weeks on, Murray is still waiting for a date to be set and he says the current board will be breaking the law if they do not stage the meeting this year.

He said: “Three weeks ago today, the highest commercial judge in the land ordered what remains of the current board to put the nominations of the four of us on (the list of business for the AGM). If they didn’t, it was illegal.

“We are now three weeks on and it’s not been done. No one understands why and it seems obfuscation and wasting time. There is no reason why.”

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