THE CULL of the Rangers board continued yesterday when Imran Ahmad, the club’s commercial director, left his position.
His exit came just a day after a report linked with him posting messages on a fans’ forum that were critical of Ally McCoist and Walter Smith. Rangers confirmed that Ahmad has gone and said that they would not be making any further comment on his departure.
McCoist said that the first he’d heard of Ahmad leaving the club was when he was told the news by journalists in the minutes after Rangers’ 4-2 victory over East Stirling. The manager would not be drawn on the development but it is believed that he will shed no tears for Ahmad or his main ally, Charles Green, who exited ten days ago.
Ahmad and Green were last week reported to the Serious Fraud Office in relation to their takeover of Rangers last summer, a company close to disgraced former owner, Craig Whyte, The Worthington Group, making the allegations. Ahmad and Green are also the subject of an independent commission set up to determine what links they had with Whyte. It is believed that Green intends to sell his shareholding to James Easdale, the owner of McGill’s Buses, and his brother, Sandy, who was convicted of fraud in 1997. They already own about
8 per cent of Rangers with Green’s shares possibly giving them another 8.6 per cent. Reports last night said that the Easdales could move sharply to buy Green’s and Ahmad’s shares, although it is not yet clear whether Ahmad intends to sell anytime soon. The suggestion is that the Easdales are looking to buy up to 29 per cent of the shares in Rangers with a view to taking control of the club.
When informed of Ahmad’s departure, McCoist said he wouldn’t comment until the commission (headed by Deloitte and legal firm Pinsent Masons) had finished its work. Asked if the club needs a Jim McColl-type figure to invest in whatever shares become available, McCoist agreed. “It would be unfair of me to stick Jim right in it to be honest, but he’s certainly a fine man, a very fine man. That would be a decision for Jim or anybody else. The most important thing is that the fans need somebody to come in who they can relate to and who will agree with their vision in taking the club forward.”
At Ochilview Park yesterday, the visiting support held up a banner before kick-off that said “We want our club back”. McCoist agreed with the sentiment. “The fans are right,” he said. “If anybody deserves the club back it’s the fans. We’ve already talked about how phenomenal the support has been this season, just when we’ve needed them most. It’s their club. And when one or two individuals start thinking about themselves, it’s not [acceptable], far from it. The club belongs to thousands and thousands of supporters and we need to get our club back.”
At the heart of the club yesterday there was undisguised relief that Ahmad had left as they saw him as a divisive character who was closely aligned with Green.