Alastair Johnston’s King offer ‘not necessary’

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ALASTAIR Johnston offered to buy shares in Rangers to help Dave King and his backers win Friday’s General Meeting – only to be told he didn’t have to as they were so confident of success.

The club’s former chairman – at the Ibrox helm from August 2009 until Craig Whyte took power in May 2011 – pledged to support King’s bid for control if required.

The former Rangers chairman offered to buy shares to aid Dave King's bid. Picture: Robert Perry

The former Rangers chairman offered to buy shares to aid Dave King's bid. Picture: Robert Perry

USA-based Johnston has no desire to become involved in running the club again after serving as a director for a decade until he was removed from the 
board by Whyte nearly four years ago.

But he made his suggestion on the basis extra investment might be needed to purchase enough of a holding and the votes that come with that to swing a majority in King’s favour.

IMG vice-chairman Johnston presented his proposal to Paul Murray – one of three men poised to join the board along with King and John Gilligan – last week.

It was politely turned down because it was felt by the group such a step wouldn’t be necessary to oust those currently running the club.

Victory for King et al now seems inevitable after Rangers chairman David Somers’ resignation was announced in a London Stock Exchange announcement yesterday morning.

James Easdale also left the board last Wednesday and Friday’s meeting at Ibrox might not even have to take place if a majority via proxies and postal votes is declared before then.

Johnston is adamant he only said he would get involved to help get those he feels are the right men to be running the club in place. And as Derek Llambias and Barry Leach cling to their positions as directors, he looks on from across the Atlantic without feeling he has to play a direct role in their removal.

Johnston said: “After the fans bought out stock from the other side – therefore reducing the margin by one per cent rather than half – I had a conversation with Paul last week.

“I said to him I am not anxious or wanting to get involved in any way with Rangers again because that’s in the past. But I also said if another stack of shares was required, I would stick my hand in my pocket to help.

“Paul did say: ‘Thanks very much Alastair but I don’t think we’ll need it and we’re pretty sure we’ve got enough.’

“I wasn’t trying to be Billy Big Time and that wasn’t my intention at all. It was simply that if there was a margin and something was needed to swing it over, I would buy it.

“If we were really down to the nuts and bolts on a percentage sheet, I’d have been happy to cover another tranche to get the guys over the line if they wanted that to happen.”