BARRY Ferguson is desperate for Dave King to successfully take control at Ibrox and end two years of misery for the Rangers fans but he will not believe it until the deal is done.
The former Rangers captain has seen too many false dawns and been let down too many times. Now Ferguson is hoping that King will succeed in gaining control of the club, which is predicted to run out of cash before the end of the year, by convincing the board to accept his £16million bail-out deal.
King, who is allied with wealthy supporters George Letham and Paul Murray, met with the Rangers directors on Tuesday to continue dialogue over his rescue package in which he would assume a 51 per cent stake in the club through a new share issue. This follows the demand for an extraordinary general meeting by Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley, who now owns nearly ten per cent of Rangers, at which he will seek to oust chief executive Graham Wallace and finance director Philip Nash.
Ferguson said: “It’s good to see somebody like Dave King, who’s been at the club and knows what it’s all about, in talks. Ideally, somebody like him would come in but until it’s actually signed and sealed, we just don’t know.
“It’s been going on far too long for me. Until I see it in black and white and it’s done... then you can talk about it. Things have happened in the past and nothing has come of it. We don’t know how this will go.
“That’s the biggest frustration for Rangers fans – my mates and people I meet on the street. One minute you think things are going well. The next minute it all falls flat on its face. I don’t think any Rangers fans will be getting too excited right now. I’m the same as the vast majority. Until we see something happening, we can’t get excited because we have hit brick walls before.”
King was a director of Rangers for 11 years after investing £20m in 2000 and although Ferguson cannot claim to be close with him, he feels he is the right option for Rangers. Ferguson does not believe Ashley has the backing of the bulk of supporters and has thrown his weight behind the King bid.
He said: “Mike Ashley has done a hell of a job at Newcastle but if you ask the vast majority of the Rangers fans they would want a Rangers supporter to take over and that would be Dave King.
“We visited his house in Johannesburg with Rangers once. He had a lot of memorabilia but I remember the size of his wine cellar more than anything. It was massive!
“I spoke to Dave a few times. We never ever sat down and discussed things as he kept himself to himself. But what I do know is he’s a Rangers fan and that’s what you want.
“It’s a hard one because about a year ago, it looked as though Dave was coming back. Then it went quiet. I said then that we needed someone like him to come in, take control and put the club back on the map.
“We want to start talking about what happens on the pitch – not the nonsense off it. Everyone is sick of it – from the fans to the players, management and staff at the club, they just want it sorted. The fans deserve a break. They have been unbelievable and still turn up in their numbers.
“Fair play to them. There was a lot of talk about season tickets, but there are still 40,000 going to Ibrox. These guys have been through hell really. They just want their club run properly.”
The former Rangers skipper, who is now cutting his teeth as a boss with League Two side Clyde, knows that a successful King takeover will have a knock-on effect for under-fire manager Ally McCoist and his players.
Ferguson remains convinced that McCoist will succeed in leading Rangers back to the top flight but he knows that the battle for the boardroom must be having an impact.
He said: “I’ve heard Coisty say it [the off-field issues] will not affect him or the players but it must affect them in some way.
“They’ve done a good job so far and what they want to concentrate on is getting out of this league and back in the Premiership where they belong.
“I think they’ll still do that. I know a lot of people have written them off this season but I still think they have the best squad and I still think they’ll win the Championship.”
l Barry Ferguson was promoting Arnold Clark’s sponsorship of the Peter and Roughie football phone-in show on Central FM, STV Glasgow and online.