Rangers chairman David Somers could barely be heard amid boos and heckles as he told shareholders at the club’s annual general meeting of an “anti-Rangers feeling” pervading through Scottish football.
Somers and his fellow board members were roundly booed as they took to the stage on the Ibrox pitch little over 12 hours after announcing Ally McCoist had been removed from his position as manager and placed on garden leave.
Somers, Derek Llambias and brothers James and Sandy Easdale were greeted with chants of “out, out, out”, “sack the board” and “scumbags”.
Rangers have major self-inflicted financial problems and need to recoup most of their £8.3million annual losses before the end of the season just to keep the club afloat.
Somers attempted to deflect the blame elsewhere but his speech was roundly booed.
He said: “In these past 12 months, I have been surprised at a number of things. Firstly, the highly negative aspect of most of the media reporting regarding Rangers.
“Secondly, because it is clear to me that a stronger Rangers is good for Scottish football, I have been very disappointed to realise that outside of Ibrox, there sadly still exists a great deal of anti-Rangers feeling, perhaps (although I hope not) even in the football establishment.”
Somers also claimed that a season ticket boycott launched by former oldco director Dave King and backed by fans has put the club in fresh peril.
The club had 36,000 season ticket holders last term but home attendances this campaign have dropped as low as 19,000.
Somers said: “Rangers’ return to the top flight of our game, I am sure you will agree, will be more easily achieved if everyone who cares about the club works together for the betterment of Rangers.
“This turbulent year has seen people calling for a season ticket boycott, seen the disruptive creation of a season ticket trust for a while and other negative ideas.
“Such negativity is expensive for Rangers as it reduces season ticket and overall ticket sales, increasing the likelihood that I will have to borrow money to cover the shortfalls created. Our path to restoring Rangers to where we all want the club to be can only be achieved with the continued support of all supporters, shareholders and business partners.”
Somers, who has placed assistant manager Kenny McDowall in charge of first-team affairs, also said there had been a “chasm between the talented young players being developed at Murray Park and our first team”.
He added: “We need to focus on ways of developing our own young players for the first team rather than continually buying in players.”