Rangers fans groups yesterday delivered a scathing rejection of Graham Wallace’s business review, and have called for the chief executive to be suspended pending a police probe into allegations he misled shareholders over the club’s financial health.
The Union of Fans umbrella group, representing various supporters’ organisations, issued a statement formally calling on Rangers chairman David Somers to suspend Wallace.
The group was “absolutely appalled” by the results of Wallace’s 120-day review and called on chairman Somers to address the role of football club director Sandy Easdale, who does not sit on the PLC board, and the reason for the club’s credit facilities being withdrawn.
Police Scotland confirmed at the weekend it was investigating a complaint they had received from a Rangers shareholder alleging that statements made by Wallace at the club’s annual general meeting on 19 December last year had contravened the Companies Act.
Former Manchester City chief Wallace, who was appointed in November, stated the club had “sufficient cash to continue to trade in the short term”, but loans totalling £1.5million were taken out in February.
The Union of Fans statement read: “Given the serious nature of the allegations, we expect David Somers, in his role as chairman, to suspend Mr Wallace until these investigations are complete. It is our firm belief that shareholders have been misled.”
A Rangers spokesman said on Sunday: “Mr Wallace has no knowledge of a complaint, which if put to the football club, has no grounds. The outcome of Mr Wallace’s business review published by Rangers on Friday gave a comprehensive overview of the circumstances surrounding his arrival at the club and the financial assumptions made at the time.”
The fans also called on Somers to respond to claims that payment processing company FirstData had first asked for security in order to continue offering credit facilities for season-ticket purchases back in January.
Wallace claimed in his review one of the major factors in the subsequent withdrawal of the facility was uncertainty over sales caused by the Union of Fans and former Ibrox director Dave King, who first mooted the idea of a season ticket trust fund.
The statement read: “Once again we have seen a Rangers board attempt to deflect the blame for their own incompetence onto fans who only want the best for the club. The fans’ representatives also criticised Wallace’s review, which stated the need to raise up to £30m after about £70m was squandered in less than two years through “mismanagement”.
The statement read: “They have provided no evidence that they can raise the necessary funds to take the club forward and we have no confidence in them to do so.
“We note Mr Wallace’s criticism of previous boards. James Easdale sat on the previous board from July of last year. Is he now going to be removed for his part in this financial mismanagement?
“Sandy Easdale became a de facto member of the previous board in September last year and has clearly had unprecedented and unjustifiable access to the PLC’s financial details since. His public statements just prior to the review showed that he has access to information he should not.”
BT Sport Q&A: Rangers | Hibs | Neil Lennon
THIS week’s BT Sport video Q&A looks at whether Rangers fans will buy season tickets and if the club’s supporters will force a change of ownership.
The form of Hibs under Terry Butcher is also examined following the Easter Road side’s derby defeat while the future of Neil Lennon is also considered following the announcement that his assistant Johan Mjallby is to depart at the end of the season.
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