RANGERS last night rejected internet rumours that the club will enter administration for a second time on Wednesday, but faced demands from supporters to answer claims that former chief executive Charles Green still has influence within the club.
A spokesman for the club said last night: “There is absolutely no truth in these claims [about the club facing administration], which appear to come from agenda-driven bloggers who are out to damage the club. There is no chance of administration while there is no board meeting tomorrow. This is all completely false.”
However, The Union of Fans – a coalition group representing six supporter bodies – released a statement seeking clarity about what happened to the Yorkshire businessman’s 7.68 per cent stake in the club after he ended his second stint with the club as a paid consultant last August. It comes after former director Dave King spoke out at the weekend about his fears that it was “quite possible that Charles Green is still de facto controlling the club”.
King now plans to travel to Scotland from his base in South Africa to launch his bid for boardroom change after claiming his previous attempts to invest in the club in order to avert a planned downsizing of the budget were thwarted by the current Ibrox regime.
Green stepped down as the Rangers chief executive last April after it was alleged he had links to former owner Craig Whyte, although he was later cleared by an independent commission. The 60-year-old then returned to the club during the summer but had his consultancy contract terminated after friction with manager Ally McCoist. It was announced then that Green would sell his stake in the club to investors Sandy Easdale and Laxey Partners but the fans say they have no record of the Easdale transaction ever taking place and want an explanation.
The Union of Fans’ statement said: “We welcome the fact that Dave King has committed to travelling to the UK. We very much look forward to meeting him in the near future to push things forward. We also note that, like us, he shares a fear that Charles Green and the people he represents are still de facto in control of our club. We would like this board to explain just what has happened to the five million shares Charles Green awarded himself at one penny each and which constituted a 7.68 per cent stake in Rangers. We are aware that some of those shares are now in the hands of Laxey. It was also widely publicised that Green had proxied his shares to the Easdales and struck an agreement to sell those shares to the Easdales in December 2013. But no record of such a share trade exists.
“It is entirely unclear who now holds the balance of Mr Green’s shares and if, indeed, they have even moved out of his control.”
Demanding the right to examine the club’s register of shareholders, the fans group added: “Dave King is quite correct to express his fear that Charles Green and those he represents are possibly still controlling Rangers. Just as we, as supporters and shareholders, are right to exercise our legal right to view the up-to-date shareholders register. Once again, we simply ask this board to answer the perfectly reasonable questions they are being asked and to not just speak about transparency but actually provide it.”