Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace says that he would have no problem working with any of the four boardroom hopefuls who are seeking election at the club’s annual general meeting.
Former chairman Malcolm Murray and allies Paul Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson have been seeking support for their appointments and the removal of current board members, especially finance director Brian Stockbridge.
Recently-appointed chairman David Somers spoke scathingly of the quartet on Saturday but Wallace was more conciliatory as he seeks the stability required to move the club forward. Wallace, who was appointed on November 20, told Sky Sports News: “If the requisitioners, any one of them, were to be voted on to the board, that’s the will of the shareholders. Should that be the will of the shareholders, as a professional businessman, I would be absolutely willing to work with whoever is appointed.”
Next Thursday’s meeting comes after a long campaign for change by the Murrays, which included successful court action in October to force the postponement of the AGM and a vote on their potential appointments. That victory sparked several departures and Wallace, Somers and Norman Crighton have since joined Stockbridge and James Easdale on the PLC board. Wallace, a former chief operating officer at Manchester City, is hoping the vote draws a line under the upheaval.
“The club needs stability, it needs the platform to move forward,” said the Dumfries-born businessman, who refuted rumours that former chief executive Charles Green or former owner Craig Whyte may be involved in running the club.
“There has been a lot of conversations on the relative merits of particular campaigns and particular areas of interest to individuals. What I’m concerned about is having the stability and opportunity to be able to take the club forward. We need to have that mandate to move the club forward. We will have a wide range of supporters engaging with us in the run-up to the AGM. They want to know the club is in good hands, they want to know that the people in the boardroom have the interests of Rangers at heart. And I can categorically give them that assurance sitting from the CEO’s chair. My focus is 100 per cent to drive this club forward.”
Paul Murray has previously acknowledged the attributes of Wallace and had no problem with his appointment, but he urged shareholders to vote for him and his allies to bring trust to the Ibrox boardroom.
Murray, who was a director of oldco Rangers before being removed by Whyte following his takeover in May 2011, said: “We are not saying that the whole board has to be ousted. We want the best board to take the club forward. I think the most important thing after the last two and a half years is trust and transparency. People have to trust the people on the board and that has actually broken down in the last two and a half years.
“We have a couple of individuals on the board who have been there for most of the last 12 months and we have made our views clear on them in terms of the lack of stewardship and financial mismanagement.
“There have been three new directors appointed in the last month and we think, certainly Graham Wallace, looks like a credible individual.
“We have to ask the question: who appointed these individuals and why would they want to join the board at this time?”