Charles Green urges Jim McColl ‘put cash on table’

CHARLES Green has told businessman Jim McColl to show the colour of his money if he wants to have any say in the running of Rangers.
Former Rangers CEO Charles Green has invited Jim McColl to invest £14m in the club by Friday. Picture: PAFormer Rangers CEO Charles Green has invited Jim McColl to invest £14m in the club by Friday. Picture: PA
Former Rangers CEO Charles Green has invited Jim McColl to invest £14m in the club by Friday. Picture: PA

The Ibrox club are in the grip of a bitter power struggle after former oldco director Paul Murray and Scottish accountant Frank Blin, who is believed to be close to McColl, made a bid for power at the club.

The request for a general meeting, which is believed to have been signed by a group with a combined stake of about 30 per cent in Rangers, aims to see the removal of Green associates Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart from the board, along with chief executive Craig Mather.

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Green – who resigned as chief executive in April and who is back at the club as a consultant – said in an interview yesterday: “What I would say to Jim McColl – the world’s richest Scotsman – is put £14 million in a bank account by Friday of this week and me and my consortium will deliver to you 20 million shares, which is about 28 per cent of this club.

“Then I know you are serious about it. You’ve then invested some cash into the club that you want to run but you’re not going to do it without putting some money on the table.”

Green’s comments came as McColl issued a statement in which the Clyde Blowers chairman insisted he was not interested in a seat on the board or increasing his shareholding – but was determined to see boardroom change.

Green added: “We have a group of people – Paul Murray, the Blue Knights – who were going to buy [the club] from Duff and Phelps and failed.

“Paul Murray was on the board of Rangers when Craig Whyte bought it for £1. Well, if he had given David Murray £2, he would have bought it but maybe Paul Murray didn’t have £2 at the time. We have a situation from time to time where these people surface.

“After I’d bought the club, the Blue Knights again, through Douglas Park and various people, said: ‘We’ll buy it off you.’

“Walter [Smith], regrettably for him, agreed to allow his name to be put at the front and he was let down again because they didn’t turn up with any money. These people consistently mess with this club and mess with the minds of Rangers fans and don’t deliver.”

The off-field turmoil took a fresh twist on Monday when former manager Walter Smith quit as chairman, before urging fans to back the proposed boardroom changes.

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Asked why he believes Smith had to step down from the role, Green said: “I think Walter had issues three or four times.

“He actually came to see me in the first week in April and said to me: ‘Look Charles, I’m going to step down.’

“He said: ‘I don’t enjoy being on the board because of the way Charles Green does things – bull at a gate’ and we laughed about it. At that time, I was having difficulties, as all the fans and the press know, with Alistair [McCoist] and, of course, Walter is very loyal to him and that’s quite right.

“But also, from Walter’s point of view, which he said himself recently, he’s not a businessman, he doesn’t understand plc and he made the point that he would be stepping down.

“I think recent events have accelerated that decision and it’s sad for the club that Walter has stepped down but the club has to move forward and not look backwards.”

Green himself stepped down as CEO in April, amid claims of close links with discredited former owner Craig Whyte at the time of the Green consortium’s acquisition of Rangers’ business and assets last summer.

Green added: “The club is an absolute mess. I left the club in April to allow it to move forward, to get on, for me not to be involved because of the Craig Whyte issues.

“What I wanted to do was to see Rangers prosper and I think if you read Walter’s statement yesterday, he made the point that the board is completely dysfunctional and couldn’t agree on anything.

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“That never happened in my time because I ran the company and I made the decisions and there are no decisions being made on that board recently because of the arguments between it.

“Of course, Malcolm Murray stepping down – all of these things are a tragedy for the club.”

Meanwhile, Green is determined to stand by the comments that sparked a bitter war of words between himself and manager Ally McCoist at the weekend.

The Yorkshireman claimed in a newspaper article that the Rangers manager must deliver a cup, as well as the league title, this season. Hours later, Rangers crashed out of the Scottish League Cup to Forfar in extra time, with McCoist branding Green “an embarrassment” in his post-match press conference.

Green said: “I was chief executive, he was manager, we both did our jobs. It wasn’t a great relationship and the whole world knows it.

“Let’s be clear about where we are, this club has got the second biggest wage bill in Scotland, it’s got the biggest history and reputation in Scotland, and the fans, quite rightly, expect better than what they saw last year.

“What I said – and I still stand by it – is that he’s got to win the league and he needs to win a cup. Otherwise, we are not getting value for money.

“I didn’t say it to put pressure on Ally and I didn’t say it to put pressure on the players.

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“I said it because that’s what I believe. Anything less than that is not to the standards.

“People say: ‘You’ve put Ally under pressure.’ I’ll tell you what pressure is. Craig Mather is under pressure.

“He put £1 million into this club and then he gets his name put on the list that he’s going to be dismissed. That’s pressure.”

Green, who has reiterated his “conscience is clear” over the Whyte allegations, added: “I will never, ever change from what I set out to do – to make sure Rangers are back at the top, playing in Europe.

“We should have been on a plane today going to Europe, like Celtic were. That’s where we’ve got to get back to.

“It will never get back there with the old guard. It’s never going to get back there with the Paul Murrays.

“It needs change. That’s what I started to bring at Rangers.

“That’s why the authorities didn’t like me because Charles Green is a problem to everybody.

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“I’m a problem to Ally McCoist, I’m a problem to the FA, I’m a problem to everybody because I say it how it is.

“I don’t say it to be politically correct, I don’t say things to make friends. I say it because it’s correct.”