My battle with Takeover Panel won’t affect Rangers, says Dave King

Rangers chairman Dave King. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Rangers chairman Dave King. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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Rangers chairman Dave King admits there is “no end in sight” to his courtroom battle with the Takeover Panel.

The Ibrox chief faces possible contempt of court proceedings after failing to comply with an order to make an £11 million offer to buy out the rest of the club’s shareholders.

The Takeover Panel ruled the South Africa-based businessman had broken stock market rules by “acting in concert” with other investors when he led a boardroom coup in March 2015 - but he has so far failed to lodge a compliant bid.

King says he needs time to set up a UK bank account so he can move funds from his base in Johannesburg.

But that request has been turned down and a hearing has now been scheduled for the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Friday.

Now in a statement to supporters, the Castlemilk-born tycoon admits the legal fight could linger on for months to come.

King - who also revealed director Alastair Johnston was still waiting to have his fit-and-proper status approved by the Scottish Football Association a year after returning to the Ibrox board - said: “At the Takeover Panel’s request, cash of approximately £11m was ring-fenced in a lawyer’s trust account to fund the offer.

“After agreeing to the public announcement of the offer by the South Africa company, the TP changed its mind and asked that the funds be placed in an account in the UK.

“I agreed to this but explained to the TP that I have no account in the UK and would need time to open one and to get exchange control approval to transfer funds out of South AFrica.

“The TP refused the necessary extension of time and instituted contempt of court proceedings against me for not complying with the original ruling to make a personal offer.

“That strange decision has now caused further unnecessary delay, with no end in sight. Fortunately, it does not affect the operations of the football club.”

King admits this latest court battle is costing him personally but has vowed to stand up to those who he feels are targeting Rangers, including Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley who has taken out an injunction to halt the sale of the club’s new Hummel kits.

“Litigation with the TP is another unwanted personal and financial cost to me of my initial decision to get involved with the club again to assist in rescuing it from certain demise under the previous board,” added King.

“Since then, I have devoted far more time to Rangers than to my other business interests. This was necessary because those who benefited from the previous regime adopted every legal strategy to avoid losing the vice-like grip they had on our club.

“Supporters will remember that I faced another contempt of court application when Mike Ashley tried to put me in jail for standing up to Sports Direct. That is what we are up against.

“My fellow directors and I have all had to endure personal attacks and we all spend far more time dealing with Rangers interests than any of us truly expected.

“But we did it willingly and continue to do so for no financial gain. Those that wished our club to fail have failed themselves and we will continue to progress despite inevitable set-backs that will come our way from time to time.”