JIM MCCOLL has handed over his 10,000-share stake in Rangers to fans group Rangers First.
The multi-millionaire Clyde Blowers boss tried to topple the Light Blues board 12 months ago when he backed Paul Murray’s “requisitioners”.
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But the 62-year-old has kept a low profile since failing to oust the likes of Football board chairman Sandy Easdale and his PLC counterpart David Somers at the 2013 AGM.
The club has stumbled from one crisis to another in the months that have followed but, while the club is still dangerously short of cash, hopes have risen amongst the Gers faithful since Dave King and the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - grabbed control of around 34 per cent of the club with two surprise share purchases last week.
Anti-board campaigners are now trying to pull together a coalition of shareholders who will be able to finally secure power and lead the ailing Glasgow giants to safety.
Now McColl has shown his hand by donating his total shareholding to Rangers First, a community-interest company who plan to use a similar scheme to the one which rescued Hearts from administration to save the Ibrox outfit.
In a statement given to Press Association Sport, McColl - one of Scotland’s richest men - urged his fellow fans to follow his lead, as he said: “I was happy with the aims of Rangers First in uniting the fan shareholders and I have gifted my shares to Rangers First.
“I encourage other supporters to look at their aims and decide for themselves.”
McColl’s move is another boost for Rangers First, who have seen a surge in interest since last week.
The group has already bought up 600,000 shares - around 0.75 per cent of the club’s total equity which has been mostly paid for by donations and monthly subscriptions from its 2,000-plus contributors.
Since news of King’s 14.57 per cent purchase on New Year’s Eve, they have signed up another 424 members including a dozen fans who have splashed out £500 for life-time packages.
They now plan to snap up another 40,000 shares in the coming days.
A Rangers First spokesperson said: “The Rangers First support are committing to the future of the club. Players and directors come and go, but the fans are the one constant. More and more fans are now stepping up everyday. The fans will always be there.”
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