Rangers Supporters Trust to invest in share issue

Trust don't want their current shares diluted. Picture: Getty
Trust don't want their current shares diluted. Picture: Getty
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A MAJOR Rangers fans group says it will take part in the club’s upcoming £4 million share issue.

The Rangers Supporters Trust says it does not want to see it’s current 0.86 per cent stake in the club diluted when the open offer closes on September 12.

The crisis-hit Ibrox outfit have warned that should existing shareholders not take up the 19.8million new shares being put up for sale then the “future of the company will be uncertain”.

It comes after season-ticket sales dropped to 23,000 - down from 38,000 last season.

But now the RST has followed rival supporter group Rangers First by announcing it will take part in the share offer.

In a statement given to Press Association Sport, the group said: “As shareholders in Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) we have decided unanimously to partake in the upcoming open offer. This will be carried out using funds from our BuyRangers fan ownership scheme.

“Whilst we still have deep concerns about the current situation at the club, as a board we believe that given fan ownership is the raison d’etre of the organisation it is in our members interest to participate in the open offer to maintain our current shareholding.

“In order for the RST to continue its primary objective we urge as many fellow Rangers fans to join and contribute to our BuyRangers scheme from as little as £11.25 per month at www.therst.co.uk/buyrangers.”

Meanwhile, club director Sandy Easdale claims former Rangers chief executive Charles Green has already sold the naming rights to Ibrox.

Easdale claims Green struck a deal with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who is listed on the Rangers plc website as owning 4.56 per cent of shares.

In an interview with the Daily Record, Easdale would not reveal how much the deal was worth for confidentiality reasons. But the newspaper claimed the deal was struck for £1 with Rangers then spending £250,000 on legal fees in a failed bid to get the contract torn up.

Easdale said: “Let’s clear this up, the Sports Direct Arena. Charles Green had already done a deal with Mike on that. Sports Direct haven’t taken it up as yet. Mike Ashley could call it the Sports Direct Arena tomorrow.”

Green revealed in an interview with STV in March 2013 that he was close to agreeing a deal with Sports Direct but he left his role as chief executive six weeks later and no agreement was ever announced.

Ashley has been asked to back the share issue that was announced last week but his ownership of Newcastle is creating a problem.

And Easdale believes his extra involvement would be beneficial to the club as they bid to stave off a cash crisis.

Easdale said: “I’m pro Mike Ashley to the extent he is probably the guy who can help us at this moment in time.

“His plan was to increase his shareholding but he’s come across a stumbling block with the SFA. It’s up to him now to sort that out. But if he was allowed to increase his shareholding then who wouldn’t want a billionaire investing in their club?”

Bus firm owner Easdale said he was not opposed to working with former oldco Rangers director Dave King, who said he is willing to invest £30million in the club under the right conditions, but said that the South Africa-based businessman had never made them an offer.