Dave King terminates deal to sell Rangers shares to Club 1872 as 'futile' fan ownership bid falls short

Dave King has scrapped plans to sell his shares in Rangers to Club 1872 due to a lack of interest.

The former Rangers chairman agreed a deal three years ago to sell his 20.37 per cent stake in the club to the supporters group in a move which would have allowed them to become the largest single shareholder at Ibrox.

The agreement required 20,000 Rangers fans to get on board and fund the transfer of shares from the South Africa-based businessman, who stepped down as chairman in March 2020, at a price of 23.7p per share.

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However, after slow uptake, King has now terminated the deal after branding a previous plan to extend a three-year deadline on the arrangement as "futile".

Former Rangers chairman Dave King has terminated an agreement to sell his shareholding to Club 1872. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Former Rangers chairman Dave King has terminated an agreement to sell his shareholding to Club 1872. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Former Rangers chairman Dave King has terminated an agreement to sell his shareholding to Club 1872. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

In a statement, King said: "It is with disappointment that I advise that the agreement for Club 1872 to acquire my shareholding in Rangers has been terminated. This year was to be the final year of the agreement and despite my previously stated intentions to extend the agreement (to provide Club 1872 with more time) it has become clear that this will be futile.

"A review of the share purchases undertaken last month reveals that the take-up for the two years to December 2022 is so far short of the agreed amounts that further extensions will not have any meaningful impact in the next few years.

"When I initiated the Never Again campaign I had hoped that supporters would take advantage of my offer to become the largest shareholder in the Club but this never materialised despite the efforts of myself and Club 1872 to promote this campaign. My feedback on the possible reasons for this are: 1. Some supporters prefer to own shares directly. 2. Some supporters would support joint fan ownership but not within Club 1872. 3. The difficult economic conditions. 4. Supporters no longer feel that the Club is under threat. 5. The Club’s recent campaign against Club 1872 and its officers.

"I think that a combination of the above is correct and will remain as such for the foreseeable future.

"Over the last few weeks I have considered whether my dream of supporter ownership could be achieved by extending the offer to other supporter groups in addition to Club 1872 but there is no indication that this will make a material difference. In addition, the Club’s success with its restrictive resolution at the recent AGM imperils any would-be shareholder.

"I will continue to vote my shareholding as a supporter and in the best interests of the Club.”

Club 1872 issued a statement to contributors confirmed the position and promised to explore other avenues.

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It read: “We can confirm that Dave King has terminated the agreement with Club 1872 to purchase his shares.

"Whilst disappointed at this outcome, we acknowledge that Dave and his Trustees had the legal right to withdraw under the agreement, as Club 1872 did not reach the minimum required purchases for the first two years of the agreement.

“We were pleased to be able to increase the Club 1872 shareholding significantly, at a substantial discount of 20p per share, during the period of the agreement and under extremely challenging circumstances.

"We would like to thank Dave for the opportunity he presented to supporters and we will now focus on increasing the Club 1872 shareholding through other avenues. The Club 1872 Board has already identified a number of opportunities to do so and we will be communicating further with contributors in the coming days.”

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