The struggle for power at Ibrox has intensified after Greenock businessmen James and Sandy Easdale outlined their intention to secure a boardroom presence as they continue to buy up shares.
• James and Sandy Easdale to buy more Rangers shares as duo seek ‘voice’ in mmanagement of club affairs
• Greenock brothers have made their fortune running bus firm McGills
The pair, whose business interests include bus firm McGill’s, are in line to buy Charles Green’s eight per cent shareholding when the former chief executive is free to sell under stock market rules later in the year.
The brothers have already invested in the club and revealed they were in talks to further strengthen their stake – and in doing so they want a significant say in financial decisions at Ibrox.
There has been a major shift in power in recent weeks following Green’s resignation and the departure of his business partner Imran Ahmad, while chairman Malcolm Murray reportedly lost a vote of confidence earlier this week.
The Easdale brothers are looking to step into the breach. In a joint interview with BBC Scotland, Sandy Easdale confirmed they were actively looking to increase their stake. He said: “The interest started about seven months ago and we bought into Charles and his dream for the future for Rangers. We have a delicate deal that when shares are available, we will purchase them. Other shares are an option to us and that is growing stronger. Every day we have some more negotiations with other parties.”
And the brothers made it clear they want some influence in return for their money.
James Easdale said: “Certainly, when you are spending that amount of money, a seat on the board would be nice. I think it would be unreasonable to think you wouldn’t like a say in any business that you invest such a large amount in. Control? Let’s wait and see. A presence on the board is something we would be seeking in the mid-term.”
Sandy Easdale added: “I think complete control would be a far, far distant place. I think somebody needs complete control at Ibrox. I don’t know if that’s where we want to be. We are quite willing to share Ibrox with people who want to do the job, do it properly and
support Rangers as a club.”
Sandy Easdale made clear their opinion that manager Ally McCoist and director Walter Smith should have a central role in helping the club progress.
He also called for people to move on from his conviction and imprisonment for VAT fraud.
“It’s not something I like going over and dwelling on,” he said. “It was 1996. To cast up 17 years ago seems a wee bit silly when everybody else has moved on.”