RANGERS’ surviving directors were last night linked with a dramatic move to bring former Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir on board in a bid to stem the tide of support swelling behind Jim McColl and Paul Murray’s attempt to take charge at Ibrox.
McColl, a millionaire businessman, and former Rangers director Murray last night hosted a meeting with representatives of three leading supporters’ groups where the plans they outlined were positively received.
Now it is understood the current directors at the club – finance director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive James Easdale, along with the latter’s brother Sandy who sits on the separate football board – are considering Longmuir as a potential new chief executive.
Longmuir has been out of work since July when he lost out to former Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster for the role in charge of the new Scottish Professional Football League.
The 48-year-old had been at the helm of the SFL since 2007, having previously spent 20 years working for multinational drinks firm Diageo. During his final two years at the SFL, which saw the fallout from Rangers’ financial collapse land in his lap when the SPL refused the liquidated club a place in the top flight, Longmuir was perceived by Ibrox supporters as more sympathetic to their plight than either Doncaster or SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.
However, it is unclear if Longmuir would be interested in discussing a move to Rangers in the current circumstances.
Last night’s meeting, held at McColl’s Clyde Blowers offices in East Kilbride, took place on the day Rangers had been due to hold their first annual general meeting since the club plunged into administration and liquidation last year. But the agm had to be postponed when McColl and Murray won a Court of Session ruling last week which declared the current board had been wrong to prevent them requisitioning for the removal of existing directors and appointment of new ones at the meeting. That prompted the resignation of Craig Mather as chief executive and departure of non-executive director Bryan Smart.
Last night’s meeting lasted around three hours with members of the Rangers Supporters Trust, Rangers Supporters Assembly and Rangers Supporters Association quizzing McColl and Murray. Full details of the meeting will be released today but Andy Kerr, president of the Assembly, made it clear there was backing for McColl and Murray.
“I think the majority of fans are behind this,” said Kerr. “It was a very successful meeting. The main purpose was to gather information and we have done that and we will share that in a meaningful format with the fans. We were quite happy with what we heard from Jim McColl and Paul Murray and the key now is to communicate that information. We will put it together in a Q and A format.
“The AGM is going to be the pivot for all of this. We heard that a board is ready to go in and that a CEO and financial director are lined up and that was good to hear because it was something that was causing us anxiety. We have some level of assurance and heard nothing that has given us any concerns.”
No new date has yet been set for the agm. Dave King, the South African-based former Rangers director, is expected in Glasgow this weekend as he looks to return to the club. It remains to be seen whether he will do so with the existing board or lend his support to the McColl-Murray group.