FAN-ownership group Rangers First has increased its Ibrox stake after snapping up another 60,000 shares.
With three factions - Dave King and the Three Bears, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, and the existing board which is aligned with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley - all battling for control of the Glasgow giants, the Ibrox faithful could yet have a vital part to play.
Around 10 per cent of Rangers’ shares are owned by fans and small shareholders.
Now Rangers First has followed the lead of the Rangers Supporters Trust - which now has a one per cent stake after snapping up another 100,000 shares last week - by purchasing a further sizeable tranche.
Rangers First, which has set up a scheme similar to the one which rescued Hearts from administration, now controls 664,792 shares - or around 0.8 per cent of the club.
The board urgently needs to raise cash to keep the club afloat and an announcement on Sarver’s £20 million takeover bid and possible news of another emergency loan is expected early next week.
A general meeting may also be called if King and the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - can find the support to force boardroom change.
And Rangers First director Ricki Neill says the bigger the stake his group possesses, the bigger the impact it can have.
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He said: “With our membership growing on a daily basis, I really think that there is now a belief within the Rangers fans that we can now achieve fan ownership. If we can buy this amount of shares with the members we have, as regular as we are buying just now then I can’t wait until we’ve got the same kind of membership numbers as the Foundation of Hearts “
Rangers First announced last week that Jim McColl had given the group his 10,000-stake in the Ibrox outfit.
It already has 2,650 signed-up members making monthly donations which are used to buy shares and hopes to convince more supporters to join up after forking out £2,000 on a radio advertising campaign.
“Our latest aim is to try and spread the message from Rangers First to the offline community,” said Neill.
“Due to the way Rangers First is set up, all of our contributions from members can only be used to buy shares, so we had to find another source of income to run our latest advertising campaign.
“We recently emailed our members asking for help and the response has been exceptional. Donations have been coming in from all around the world and we are now ready to run our first ever radio campaign.
“The first campaign is going to be on radio on Monday night for two weeks and has a potential reach of approximately 300,000 people.
“I would love to see our membership double in the next couple of weeks in the run-up to the Old Firm game.”
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