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  1. RNS Number : 4108A Rangers Int. Football Club PLC 22 December 2014  Rangers International Football Club plc ("Rangers" or the "Company")
AGM Statement As previously announced, the Company's Annual General Meeting will be held at 10:30am today, Monday 22 December 2014, at Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive, Glasgow G51 2XD. Access will be through Exit 30 of the Broomloan Stand which is adjacent to turnstile 64. Shareholders will have access to the Albion car park with access to the Stadium footprint for disabled Blue Badge holders to park near the entrance. Shareholders are asked to arrive in good time from 9am in order to clear the registration process. Shareholders should bring the attendance card which was included with the Notice of AGM, posted to registered addresses on 28 November 2014. In the event that the attendance card is lost, Shareholders should bring some other form of ID (a credit/debit card will suffice). Shareholders whose shares are held in a nominee account with their stockbroker will need a Corporate Representative's letter (issued by the custodian of their shares) in order to be admitted. Non-shareholders including guests of shareholders, will not be admitted. The meeting will consider the 9 Resolutions set out in the Notice of AGM, each of which will be subject to a vote by Poll, which will be verified by Capita Registrars Limited. The result of these Resolutions will be released to the London Stock Exchange by no later than 7am on Tuesday 23 December 2014. At the AGM the Chairman, David Somers, will make the following statement: "Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to this Annual General Meeting of Rangers International Football Club plc. It feels like years since I last stood in front of you and it is amazing that it is only just over 12 months. 12 months ago, as I had just joined the Rangers Board, I was given the impression that the Club had enough money to see it through the first few months to the season ticket window. Sadly, I quickly discovered that this was not the case. The Board then began metaphorically to take up all of the carpets; after which we were left with a very long list of legacy issues that needed to be sorted out, often as our finances would allow. So in the first few months, we reviewed all of the contracts, the finances and the legal issues, ending up with a long list of legacy issues that would need to be dealt with over time. Since then we have spent many months focusing on these legacy issues dealing with them one by one. To be honest, it is frustrating dealing with legacy issues, because you are effectively looking backwards during this time and dealing with issues you didn't create yourself. I know that most fans will not really be interested in such efforts, because it is not about football, but these legacy issues and contracts have had to be dealt with so that we can begin to move forward. I was always taught to be cautious, so I hesitate to say that we have dealt with all of these legacy issues, as whenever I think that, another legacy issue quietly appears, but we do seem to have addressed many or most of them. One of our biggest remaining legacy issues is the weak state of the Rangers finances. In the financial area, we have been fortunate that a number of people have supported us with loans during the last 12 months, namely Sandy Easdale, George Letham and Mash Holdings. I sincerely thank them for their support, which in some cases, has included their loans being interest free. In the early days, while developing our list of legacy issues to be addressed, Graham Wallace wrote a review, which became known as the 120 day review. In this he indicated a desire to spend £20-30 millions in reaching the top levels of Scottish and European football. After visits to various City institutions the Board believed that such a level of expenditure would be supported by the City institutions, and the then monthly rate of loss, would also be supported by the shareholders. In the event, this was discovered not to be the case, because when we came to raise funds through a share issue, we soon found that there was a lack of appetite from shareholders to invest significant extra funds just to pay wages and utility bills. Accordingly, we have moved to cut costs significantly. Like any household, Rangers can ultimately only spend what it earns and, as has been reported in the media, we have moved quickly to bring our costs down and much more in line with our income. Rangers Football Club has been living beyond its means for many years and much of the cost cutting and efficiency improvements should have been addressed years ago by previous boards when we were in the lower divisions. But they weren't, so we are doing it. A material part of our costs relate to player costs, however, and these can only be addressed over a long period of time because of the length of the contracts. These contracts are often measured in years, not months. In these past 12 months, I have been surprised at a number of things. Firstly, the highly negative aspect of most of the media reporting regarding Rangers. Secondly, because it is clear to me that a stronger Rangers is good for Scottish football, I have been very disappointed to realise that outside of Ibrox, there sadly still exists a great deal of anti- Rangers feeling, perhaps (although I hope not) even in the football establishment. Rangers return to the top flight of our game, I am sure you will agree, will be more easily achieved if everyone who cares about the Club works together for the betterment of Rangers. This turbulent year has seen people calling for a season ticket boycott, seen the disruptive creation of a season ticket trust for a while and other negative ideas. Such negativity is expensive for Rangers as it reduces season ticket and overall ticket sales, increasing the likelihood that I will have to borrow money to cover the shortfalls created. Our path to restoring Rangers to where we all want the Club to be, can only be achieved with the continued support of all supporters, shareholders and business partners. 2013/14 saw Rangers Football Club complete the second stage of our rise back to the top of Scottish football and the year also brought another vital component for a new Rangers to emerge for the future - a structured and measured approach to rebuilding the football club. An unbeaten SPFL League One campaign was an excellent return for Alistair, his staff and the players and they deserve our congratulations. While we were all ultimately disappointed to have been defeated in both the Ramsdens Cup Final and the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final, our fundamental objective of achieving promotion was comfortably achieved with a points total into three figures. I was delighted that the Board was able to further support the Manager in providing funds for the recruitment of nine players in 2013/14 and also in the period immediately after the end of the financial year when we brought Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Steve Simonsen and Lee Robinson back to the Club, together with the signings of Marius Zaliukas and Darren McGregor. While the success of any major football club will always be benchmarked by its first team, a strong Youth Academy is also an informative barometer of long-term health and well being. It is very pleasing to see the quality and quantity of young talent being nurtured at Murray Park. Last season our Under20s won the SFA Youth Cup and narrowly lost out in the title race in the final week of the campaign. 57 players from our Under 14 to Under 21 age groups were called into international squads and three more Murray Park Academy graduates made their first team debuts. The ladies and girls teams have come a long way in a short space of time, enjoying significant success. In season 2013, the Ladies reached the semi final of the Scottish Cup, The Under 17s team secured the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup treble, the U15s and U13s finished second in the leagues and a new U11s team has been introduced. Internationally, the Rangers ladies teams have contributed 22 players to the Scotland teams across all age groups. We are charting our future strategy in the five key areas of: • Developing Football Performance • Focus on Player Asset Management and Youth Development • Re-connecting effectively to our Local and Global Fan Base • Developing Best in Class Commercial and Operational Capability • Strengthening Commitment to our Communities The year also saw Rangers make the first, important steps towards building an effective programme of engagement with our fan base. Fans were contacted via email, SMS, online and at matchdays to assist in our Ready To Listen Initiative, showing we are serious about improving communications and dialogue with all supporters. Subsequent focus groups took place in Ibrox with feedback generated helping to shape the direction of the Club's fan engagement strategy. I think that we would all agree that we still have work to do in this area and one in which we must increase our endeavours. Although we have experienced difficult trading conditions, there have been a number of important and positive, developments in our fiscal position during the financial year. A 32% increase in total revenue from £19.1m to £25.2m was recorded in the year ending 30 June 2014, with the majority of the uplift due to the first full year of our retail venture with our long term partner Sports Direct. Reduced revenues from gate receipts and hospitality are down from £13.2m to £12.4m and were a direct result of the lower matchday attendances from both season ticket holders and walk-ins. This shortfall was offset by increased revenue from sponsorship and advertising up from £0.8m to £1.5m illustrating the improvements in the Rangers brand perception. Proceeds from ticket sales were also adversely impacted by the decision not to increase prices of either season or matchday tickets from the previous season. Season ticket sales were sadly down from 38,228 in 2012/13 to 36,039 in the 2013/14 financial year, resulting in a fall in revenue from £8.1m to £7.7m in financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 respectively. Our average home league attendance also fell from 45,111 in the 2012/13 season to 41,444 in 2013/14. Other Operating Income rose from £1.7m to £2.1m, a 22% increase, mainly as a result of hosting both Scottish Cup Semi Finals and an increased associated uplift in matchday catering revenues. At this AGM, we are requesting permission from shareholders to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the Club. We were not able to last year and I sincerely hope, for the good of the financial stability and future of the Club, that it will be forthcoming this year. We are now increasingly looking forward. An immediate priority is to re-build the Board with suitably experienced people and this is already well underway. We also need to look at the football side for a number of reasons. Firstly, there has for some time existed a chasm between the talented young players being developed at Murray Park and our first team. We need to focus on ways of developing our own young players for the first team rather than continually buying-in players. Secondly, as you all know Ally has decided to resign and has given us the required 12 months notice of his intention to leave the Club, as of yesterday Ally is on gardening leave. Sadly, this year, one of our greatest ever supporters will not be with us on the rest of our long journey. In April we lost Sandy Jardine - a truly inspirational man and Ranger. I had the privilege of meeting him a number of times before he left us and I found him to be one of football's true gentlemen. Sandy will be forever revered and the re-naming of the Govan Stand in his memory is a fitting tribute to a truly wonderful person who cared so passionately about his Club. My personal goals remain what they were 12 months ago. Namely to ensure that the events of Rangers' recent past can never happen again; to cleanse the Club of these events, and also to ensure that Rangers gets back to the top in football. I now recognise that we will not get much support outside of Ibrox for this; we have to do it ourselves. And we will. Last year I said that I was proud to be Chairman of Rangers. I will repeat that again today, because I genuinely believe it is a privilege to be in this position." http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12192436.html
  2. "The Union of Fans is extremely concerned at the recent public statements of Sandy Easdale, the Chairman of the so-called ‘football board’ at Rangers. Mr Easdale has a history of making ill advised, damaging and amateurish comments in the press about Rangers and last week he was engaged in more of the same. In April 2014, around a week before Imran Ahmad’s second failed attempt to have club funds arrested, Mr Easdale decided to take part in a BBC interview in which he raised considerable questions over the financial position of the club. These comments could clearly be seen to weaken the club’s case against Mr Ahmad despite victory in that instance. Last week, days ahead of Mr Ahmad’s third attempt to arrest funds, Mr Easdale did the same in a press Q&A. We would question the timing of both of these statements. Making this type of error once might be seen as naivety or stupidity. Making it twice starts to raise other questions. Mr Easdale was brought into Rangers to represent the wishes of the block of shareholders previously represented by Mr Ahmad and Mr Charles Green. Mr Easdale has, in our opinion, always represented their interests ahead of those of the club and it appears he is continuing to do so. Mr Easdale has hitched his wagon to Green, Ahmad, Blue Pitch and Margarita and, now that their influence over the board has started to diminish slightly, he appears to be seeking to retain his position at the club via an alliance with Mike Ashley. Indeed it appears that Mr Easdale will support anyone who will allow him to retain his director privileges and the borrowed respectability of being referred to as a Rangers director, regardless of their actions towards the club. Mr Easdale told the Rangers fans that Jack Irvine no longer worked for him. However, we have been told by a number of people that Mr Irvine has been in regular touch with them in a way which represents Mr Easdale’s interests. Mr Easdale told the Rangers fans in December 2013 that he had investors lined up for Rangers. This did not prove to be the case. Mr Easdale now wants the Rangers fans to believe that Mike Ashley, who has been handed “onerous” merchandise deals, virtually free stadium naming rights and now the Rangers club shops by Mr Easdale’s associates, is the man to take Rangers forward. Mr Easdale actively opposes any attempt to bring huge investment into the club from people who care about it but chooses to back someone who has clear issues with dual club ownership and is only interested in Rangers as a means to make himself money. We would ask the PLC board, the Nomad, Daniel Stewart and the LSE to investigate Mr Easdale’s comments and their effect on a court case which could have put the club’s immediate future in doubt. We would also ask them to clarify whether Mr Charles Green or Mr Imran Ahmad hold any shares for which Mr Easdale has a proxy through Beaufort Nominees. Mr Easdale is not, in our opinion, fit to be a director of Rangers Football Club and given his failure to be appointed to the PLC board we feel he has far too much negative influence on club affairs."
  3. RANGERS directors were locked in showdown talks in London yesterday as they attempt to stave off more financial chaos. Record Sport can reveal brothers Sandy and James Easdale travelled to meet with representatives of shareholders groups Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings before staging further discussions with the rest of the Ibrox regime yesterday afternoon. Talks will continue at 10.30am today at an official board meeting to be held in the offices of the club’s financial advisers, Daniel Stewart. The Easdales flew out of Glasgow yesterday on a morning flight to the docklands’ City Airport. Coincidentally on the same flight were the club’s shamed former finance director Brian Stockbridge and axed PR guru Jack Irvine. Rangers sources insisted last night that Stockbridge’s presence was ‘purely coincidental’ although all four were spotted chatting together in the departure lounge before boarding. On arrival in London, Stockbridge was seen heading for a train while the Easdales left in a taxi cab. But it’s understood the brothers were then involved in talks with the same mysterious investors who helped fund the £5.5million takeover which saw Charles Green, Stockbridge and Imran Ahmad seize control of the club’s assets two years ago. Blue Pitch and Margarita are now supporting the Easdales and sources claimed last night they will be willing to plough more money into a fresh share issue if, as widely expected, the club requires an urgent injection of cash after a dramatic slump in season-ticket sales. It’s understood chief executive Graham Wallace later met with the Easdales after flying back to Britain from a supporters convention in Canada. Wallace declined to answer fans’ questions when asked how many season tickets have been sold. Sources close to the board insisted last month 20,000 fans had renewed. Meanwhile, generous fan George Letham, who stumped up £1m in emergency cash to keep the club out of trouble in February, has still not had his loan repaid. Under the terms of his loan the money was supposed to be returned as soon as sufficient funds had dropped into the club’s account from season-ticket sales. And with June’s wage bill still to be covered at the end of this month, the regime’s need to secure fresh funds seems increasingly urgent. But before jetting back across the Atlantic for yesterday’s London talks, Wallace insisted on the club’s website that Rangers finances are not a cause for alarm. And he insisted fans can expect to see more new signings soon. Meanwhile, it has been revealed accountants and lawyers have raked in a staggering £2m in 12 months as the bill for winding up oldco Rangers continues to soar. The figures have been detailed in the latest six-month report from insolvency experts BDO who were appointed liquidators of the Rangers Football Club PLC after it failed to emerge from administration following Craig Whyte’s ruinous 10-month reign. And the unfathomable strategy adopted by Whyte is further highlighted by the fact almost half of this latest bill has been covered by the final instalment of the £4.5m deal which saw Nikica Jelavic sold off to Everton just two weeks before the club was plunged into financial chaos in February 2012. The BDO report, which was completed at the end of last month, reveals a cheque for £975k is expected to arrive from the Goodison Park club ‘shortly after 31 May 2014’. But that won’t come close to covering the spiralling costs – as BDO gear up for a potential multi-million pound courtroom battle with Collyer Bristow, the law firm who advised Whyte during his takeover in 2011. In total, more than £1m has been spent on legal fees and outlays with more than £650k of it going to solicitors Stephenson Harwood, who are preparing the case against Collyer Bristow. The report says a trial date is ‘currently set for the beginning of 2015’ but it is anticipated a deal could be negotiated and an out of court settlement agreed. BDO are also carrying out a probe into the conduct of administrators Duff and Phelps, who sold the club’s assets to Green for a knockdown £5.5m. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-directors-hold-showdown-talks-3668192
  4. THEY were dismissed, by some at least, as troublemakers with personal grievances against Rangers. They were accused of being opportunists who were simply after a place on the Ibrox board without spending a penny of their own money. But now the grave fears they expressed about their beloved club have been shown to be far more than just scaremongering. Scott Murdoch, Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray and Alex Wilson all failed in their bids to be elected directors at the Rangers agm in December. The backing of many institutional investors and major shareholders ensured the existing incumbents were all returned by sizeable margins. Yet, the Requisitioners, as they became known, have since been vindicated in their view that all was far from well behind the scenes at the club. And their prediction that limited funds would run dry without fresh investment - which they had managed to line-up - has also been proved to be accurate. The revelations contained in the 120-day business review carried out by Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace, then, came as no surprise to the group. "I read the review on Friday and noted what Mr Wallace had to say about the previous regimes and how they conducted their business with alarm and interest," said Wilson today. "To be honest, it is what we as a Gang of Four were saying in the build-up to the agm. "We also had a degree of disbelief that the club had enough money to see it through to the end of the season. "We had no inside information. It was just a general feeling. If you looked at the existing funds and the cash burn and then tracked forward you could see it running out. "Everything that we said was going wrong was indeed going wrong. Everything that we said we felt was going to happen has transpired. It is really, really, really frustrating." A complaint has been made to Police Scotland about Wallace allegedly misleading shareholders at the agm by stating the club had enough money to see out the season. Wilson said: "Whether Mr Wallace knew or not is for the police to investigate. "He had a financial director, Brian Stockbridge, who we had no confidence in and we said he was a disgrace at the time." But the Scot, who has worked in HR for multinational companies including BT, Ford, Guinness and ICI during a successful 40-year business career, feels another matter should be scrutinised. He was taken aback by an interview that shareholder Sandy Easdale gave to BBC Scotland last Thursday - the day before the review was released to the London Stock Exchange. Easdale revealed the Rangers finances were "fragile" and then expressed the belief that the Ibrox club would be unable to survive a second administration. Wallace distanced himself from the comments made by the bus tycoon in a series of media interviews on Friday. However, Wilson agrees wholeheartedly with the Union of Fans who have publicly called for club chairman David Somers to look into the matter. He said: "I have worked on boards before. Stuff like that is price sensitive. Speaking publicly about it breaks all sorts of stock exchange rules. "Mr Easdale is not on the main board. So how did he have access to that information? "If a board member has price sensitive information and has released it to another individual it should be looked at. "The director responsible should, at the very least, be censured." Somers broke cover to issue a firm denial of the "odious and unfounded" allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" against Wallace on Monday night. But there was no mention of the remarks made by Mr Easdale who has been accused of an "utter lack of corporate governance" by the Union of Fans. Wilson said: "The chairman has been notable by his absence and by his lack of comment on some of the issues which have arisen at the club. "If serious accusations are made, as has been the case, then you would expect the chairman to step forward and make a statement saying what will be done or saying that no action is necessary and why. "Graham Wallace's rebuttal of Sandy Easdale's remarks on Friday, when he said he doesn't speak for the board, was interesting. "Was he trying to save the situation with regards to price sensitive information being used?" Wilson was also scathing of the possibility that senior executives, including the chief executive, at Rangers could receive substantial bonuses at a time when staff are being made redundant. He said: "To make a ham-fisted approach to the players last year and ask them to take a 15% pay cut without at the same time taking an identical cut was a disgrace. "Again, I don't know what the situation with bonuses at the club is, but I would hope there is no executive on that board taking away a bonus when the finances are in such a parlous state. "We (the Requisitioners) said we would serve on the board for nothing. "Our purpose was not personal gain or self-aggrandisement. We were all prepared to work together for the good of the club." Lifelong Rangers fan Wilson, who has two season tickets at Ibrox and commutes to games from London, was also unhappy about supporters being blamed for the loss of credit and debit card facilities. It has been alleged that First Data withdrew their services in January - the month before fans were first urged to pool their season ticket money in a trust fund. Wilson added: "By all accounts, withholding season ticket money was not a serious proposition when they (First Data) first asked for security back in January. "I am sure that the action being taken by the Union of Fans has hardened their resolve. "But it has a lot more to do with just fans saying they were going to withhold season ticket money. "Once again, this smacks of the board looking to blame somebody else for the club's problems." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-requisitioners-warned-cash-storm-clouds-were-gathering-161584n.24094362
  5. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail.html?announcementId=11905464 Full results and report here: http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/375
  6. By Chris Graham Let me state from the outset that it is the right, and to some extent the duty, of fans to question the team and the manager. Rangers fans pay good money to support the team and like fans of any other team they have every right to debate team selection, tactics, signings and everything else that effects the team they love. So in some ways the recent debate around Ally McCoist and the focus on the performance of the team is a welcome relief from the constant boardroom shenanigans we've had to put up with over the past two years. Having said that, the debate over the board was peppered with misinformation and the recent discussion and debate over Super Ally has been the same. There is a unique hypocrisy to claiming you are a loyal fan and then performing an attempted character assassination on someone who, no matter how skilled a manager they turn out to be, is a club legend who held the club together through one of the most turbulent periods in its history. If you find that you are prepared to publicly describe a man, who was widely acknowledged as having carried the club on his shoulders during the past two years, as having "sold out" then you better make sure you have something to back up your claim beyond internet rumour and an inability to comprehend publicly available information. There have been three main examples of where recent discussion around McCoist has moved from normal fan and press examination to something considerably more sinister. Michael Stewart's ill considered rant on BBC Scotland Sportsound was one. The barely concealed vitriol of Glenn Gibbons' recent Scotsman article was another, and last but not least, and the most disappointing of all since it appears to have been written on behalf of a group of Rangers fans, was an article on the Vanguard Bears front page. Let us first consider Michael Stewart and friends on BBC Scotland last Saturday night. Stewart's opening gambit is to tell us that he's had a run in with Ally McCoist earlier that week over something he had written in the Sun, and what follows certainly indicates that he hasn't taken terribly well to being put in his place by the manager. He's ably assisted by Graham Spiers who decides to break the BBC rule of not commenting on internet leaks by discussing the general content of leaked emails which he wants us to think should be "difficult" for McCoist. Apparently McCoist is "feigning" not having detailed knowledge of Rangers finances. The entire BBC panel are happy with their original assumption that McCoist must know more about the finances than he's letting on. Nobody wants to challenge it. At no point does this panel, with literally no knowledge of management or coaching at a big club, club finances, or the internal conditions at Rangers for the past two years, consider that McCoist might simply have been working to the, with hindsight, wildly inaccurate financial projections of former Finance Director, Brian Stockbridge. Quite how a discussion which starts with talk of Stockbridge's removal turns into a critique of McCoist is a mystery which will have to remain with the panel. McCoist, we are told, "knows how to work it". He knows how to "manipulate public opinion". The first caller is inexplicably a Celtic fan who continues the character assassination and is allowed several minutes to object to any, even timid, defence of McCoist. I could go on. The entire thing is a disgrace. The programme is well into its swing before Stewart is teed up, in a move clearly discussed before the show, to indicate his disdain for McCoist's coaching talent. This is Michael Stewart who hasn't coached a team in his life. Spiers is allowed to state, without challenge, that McCoist's salary is £850k a year - the latest falsehood from a man to whom accuracy is a form of kryptonite. Stewart has spoken to former Rangers players (unnamed) who have told him "the training is very standard" and "nothing exceptional is being worked on". Standard training! How shocking. Spiers, who has previous on unsubstantiated claims from unnamed sources, tells us that an SPL manager has told him that Rangers "don't play like a very well coached team". We are then treated to some faux outrage about McCoist and his backroom staff celebrating too much over a goal against Dunfermline. Yes, really, they think he shouldn't be celebrating goals too much. I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail about Gibbons' article. If you haven't seen it then don't bother. It's exactly what you would expect from a man who cannot hide his hatred anytime he writes about our club. What was most remarkable about his article was not the content, or the malice in it towards McCoist, but the fact that certain Rangers fans were happy to promote the article on social media despite having full knowledge of what Gibbons was all about. All of which brings us to VB and the article on their front page. I should perhaps declare that I have previous with some members of VB but I largely ignore their more vitriolic output, even when it is directed at me and others I know. However, this article was so full of drivel, and frankly so disrespectful to a man who has given so much to the club, that it is worthy of comment. I'll pick up on a few points made by the anonymous VB scribe before moving on to try to lay out some facts about the past couple of years relating to Ally. The article states as fact that "at no point was McCoist working for nothing". This is nonsense. It tells us that Ally's salary was £825,858 per annum. This is wrong. It tells us that Ally's recent offer to take a huge wage cut is in fact a "deferral". Again not true. In addition to the above inaccuracy we have some pretty shameful language used to describe McCoist. He is a "so called Rangers man". He is "as much a drain on our resources as the people on the board who were branded spivs". Finally, in a show of both ignorance and arrogance the unnamed author tells us that "it appears we have been sold out by our manager". So let's examine McCoist the "sell out" shall we? Ally McCoist did work for free for 3 months during administration. He received no salary at all for March, April and May 2012. He has never received a penny of that money back. His gross annual salary is £750,000 a year. There were no bonuses. If you properly examine the accounts and the prospectus then this is quite clear. Following the takeover of the club, McCoist agreed to work for a lower wage of £600k for a period of five months. When £22m was raised from the IPO, his representative requested that his wage payments be returned to the contracted value and that those payments were brought up to date for the 5 month reduced period. At no point was McCoist's contract amended or was any suggestion made by the board that the wage reduction be permanent. McCoist did not at any point request an increase in his contracted salary. During Administration, when he should have been coaching the team, McCoist was constantly meeting with Administrators, the legal representatives of the SFA, SPL and SFL as well as the various office bearers and executives of those three organisations. Following that, he continued to take part in the process of negotiating the infamous five way agreement and the smart money is on the outcome of that being considerably worse had it just been left to Green. All of this was taking place when Michael Stewart would have us believe that McCoist should have been completely restructuring the playing side of the club. Even as late as November 2012, whilst still on reduced wages, McCoist was being asked, in addition to his football duties, to present to potential investors in London during a two week period ahead of the IPO. All of this was in addition to having to cobble together a squad which had been decimated by administration, to which the vast majority of additions were free transfers and where several of the additions were not of his choosing. Is his wage too high? With hindsight, yes, but he offered to reduce it in October 2013 and, for reasons known only to the Executives at the time, the agreed cut was not actioned until around a week ago. They seemed more intent on attempting to deflect attention away from their own disgraceful plundering of the club than they were on accepting a genuine offer from someone who cares as deeply as you or I about Rangers. The idea that McCoist should have offered to reduce his contractual wage when the original financial projections showed only a loss of around £1m for the financial year is ridiculous. It is even more ridiculous when you see the wages and bonuses being paid to others at the club at the time. Why would McCoist have thought the club couldn't afford it? Even when that predicted loss was amended to £7m it is quite apparent that those around McCoist, with a much clearer view of the club finances, were reassuring him that all was well. As recently as October 2013, Stockbridge was still telling everyone that player wages were "sustainable". As soon as it became apparent that Stockbridge, Green and Ahmad had got things woefully wrong and that the club was haemorrhaging money at an alarming rate, McCoist offered to reduce his wage in the region of 45%. Apparently, to some, this makes him a "sell out". The worst thing about this is that there is a coordinated feel to some of the recent attacks on McCoist and I sincerely hope that those Rangers fans taking part in it are doing so through ignorance rather than complicity. Criticise the manager to your heart's content for things you don't like on the pitch. Debate the team selection. Debate the signings. Moan about under par performances but remember the burden which has been borne by McCoist over the past two years. Ask yourself if anyone else at our club could have done it. Ask yourself if he genuinely should have had such in depth sight of our finances that he was able to contradict our own financial director's forecasts. Ask yourself if you really want the final, high profile employee at the club who has genuine feeling for Rangers, removed for failing to do a job that was never his to do in the first place. It's an odd situation to see a group of Rangers fans, who normally, often quite correctly, scream from the rooftops about BBC output, suddenly promote Michael Stewart's rant on Twitter and forums. It's odder still to see some of them promote the work of Glenn Gibbons whose previous they are more than aware of. When challenged on this approach we've seen the group in question's official Twitter account inform another Rangers fan to "take McCoist's c##k out your mouth". Frankly it's the sort of thing you'd expect from the most demented amongst the Celtic support. We've seen PR men, supposedly working for the club, not only look to undermine a potential investor in Dave King but now also attempt to turn fans against our own manager. Clearly some are more eager to believe this nonsense than others. You really have to wonder why. The time to judge Ally McCoist will be when he's had an opportunity to do his job unhindered. It will be when he's had the opportunity to build a team out of something other than free transfers and young lads. Despite that fact that none of these norms have been afforded to him during his time as manager, he's continued to do his best in trying circumstances and has comfortably achieved the required promotion from two divisions. I fully expect him to achieve the same next season. Perhaps Graham Wallace will show himself to finally be the CEO who will provide Super Ally with the basic tools to do his job and be judged in fairer circumstances. For all our sakes let's hope so. In the meantime, debate away but how about we show our manager, a club legend, some respect and don't lap up the vitriol from elements of the press and dark corners of the internet?
  7. WITH the cash crisis at Ibrox heading towards a critical point Keith wonders what the South African-based businessman is waiting for before making his move. ANOTHER week, another load of twists in the great Rangers Rubik’s Cube. Yet more puzzles created by this conundrum of a football club. On Friday night it was announced that Brian Stockbridge had finally left the building, a development which itself posed more questions – some obvious, others not so much. First, why on earth did it take so long for the penny to drop that the accountant in chief – and part-time home video enthusiast – had such apparent difficulty with numbers? And then, more intriguingly, what was the real story behind the repayment of Stockbridge’s £200k bonus? And did he, as was reported on Saturday morning, walk away with a year’s salary paid up in full? On the one hand, Stockbridge stood up at the club’s agm in December and stated bonus money had been handed back. It’s widely understood this was done at the insistence of the club’s largest shareholder, Laxey Partners, in return for their backing at the vote. Last week Graham Wallace, the recently appointed CEO who is battling to tidy up the mess, also went on record to confirm this money had been returned to the Rangers account. And that it was done so in advance of that December 19 agm. All of this would doubtless have come as some comfort to the club’s supporters who ran out of patience and trust in Stockbridge many moons ago. So let’s ask again then. What exactly was it that Stockbridge did to deserve leaving Ibrox with a full year’s salary in his tail? And while we’re at it, here’s another question: What do the players in Ally McCoist’s dressing room – who were being asked to consider cutting their own wages just the other week – make of this? The big question now is where Rangers go from here because what I’m hearing from inside Ibrox is that Stockbridge may have got his numbers wrong when he predicted the business would be down to its last million pounds by April. The true extent of the club’s short-term funding gap may be much deeper than that, according to certain sources. In fact, they made need a huge injection of money just to get to the end of next month. Which is why Dave King’s re-emergence at the start of last week was both timely and intriguing. Timely because his cash could help avoid any imminent crisis. But also intriguing as the Rangers board seem reluctant to ask him for any of it. Now this really is a riddle. Is King really the man to mend this basket case? And if he is, will the current regime allow him to? Or are they determined to keep him out? King appeared to leave logic at the door when he called for Rangers to carry on spending last week, despite previously warning of the possibility of Administration II. But, on closer inspection, his mixed messages were perhaps not as absurd as they seemed. When he says McCoist’s playing budget is not what is sinking the current regime, he is absolutely correct. Yes the wages he and his players have received to conquer the fourth and third tiers of Scottish football have been ridiculously over the top. But – at less than 30 per cent of the club’s turnover – they should not be endangering the club’s financial health. Far from it. In fact, this spend falls well within the ideal model of good housekeeping. So while it may have been unnecessary and even foolish to spend so much to win these leagues, what’s done is done. And now, at a time when Rangers are finally nearing the top end of the divisions, it seems almost every bit as ludicrous to start taking money away from McCoist who must wonder if his world will ever make sense again. One week he has accountants walking through his dressing room carrying clip boards and brandishing big red pens. The next he’s taking his players to Carnoustie for lunch and afternoon naps ahead of an away game at Forfar in a league that is already won. When this column revealed details of that road trip, it was taken by some as an attack on McCoist. Not so. Rather, it was an attempt to highlight the topsy-turvy, incoherent decision making going on above his head. So let me state again, the real culprits behind this club’s overspending have been based in the boardroom, not the dressing room. And now Stockbridge has gone but King remains on the outside looking in. Why exactly is that? There are some Rangers fans who understandably struggle to comprehend why he has not stepped up to the plate long before now. If King really has the collateral and the cajones to go with it, then what is he waiting for? Because the very last thing this club needs now is another flirtatious time-waster. He’s either serious about saving Rangers or he isn’t. However, there are others very close to King who are adamant that this man is not only the real deal but the club’s only viable chance of salvation. Their hope is that new shares are released and that King is then able to buy up control – with his money going straight into the club’s coffers. But there is concern too that King’s road might be blocked by those who seek to cling on to positions of power. Will the Easdales, Blue Pitch and Margarita, for example, be prepared to have their own holdings diluted in order to let King get his foot in the Ibrox front door? Meanwhile, Rangers are running out of money fast. Some short-term funding may have to be secured just to keep the floodlights on through February, March and April while the longer-term issues are being debated and resolved internally. But Wallace had better act swiftly to pull this thing together because all the while Rangers supporters are in danger of becoming disenfranchised from their own club. If enough of them should chose to keep their hands in their pockets this summer then another huge hole will appear in the club’s future funding. And then this endless puzzle of the Rangers finances might become impossible to solve.
  8. Like a lion-tamer jabbing a chair at the gates of Ibrox Dave King shows no sign of leaving a riled Rangers board in peace. The former director says a second Ibrox share issue is now ‘100 per cent inevitable’ and he expects to be involved. The response from an increasingly exasperated Rangers support – no doubt the directors as well - was a roar of frustration. Put up or shut up was the cry. Show us your money. When it comes to spending other people’s money, of course, football supporters are the wizards of Wall Street. Yet the truth is this. Many show a remarkable inability to either listen to or absorb the line King has consistently adopted on this. He says he has the means to buy Rangers. Shelling out £43.7million to the South African authorities last year in full and final settlement of one of the lengthiest tax disputes the country had ever known, King described it as a ‘favourable’ result. Money: Were King to buy up all 60 million of the shares in circulation at that price he could, in theory, take control of Rangers for £16.2m There are people out there worrying where their next meal might come from. Dave King isn’t one of them. His personal wealth is known only to him. How he acquired it is also a question the SFA could be forced to ask one day. But in the aftermath of the settlement with the South African Revenue Service shares in Micromega, his South African firm, soared. On paper, at least, he appears to be a hugely wealthy man. All of which adds to the bewilderment of Rangers supporters that he won’t simply step in and end their misery by paying the opportunist investors currently running the club to go away. Since last year’s IPO the Rangers International share price has dropped from 70p to a mere 27.25p on Friday morning. Were King to buy up all 60 million of the shares in circulation at that price he could, in theory, take control of Rangers for £16.2m. That’s a sum comfortably within his budget. It’s feasible he could pay twice that price and still have change left over. But that doesn’t mean he will. Or that the people currently running the show will stand back and let him. Supporters speak as if all King has to do is transfer a few million quid to an Escrow account and pick up the keys to Ibrox. It’s not that simple. He could certainly make an offer for existing shares but he has said from the start he won’t put money into the pockets of wide boys. In June 2012 King met Charles Green at Ibrox and quickly established that the Yorkshireman and his faceless backers saw Rangers as the vehicle for making a fast buck. By the time he left Green took close to £1m out of the club. In contrast King is the proverbial ‘Rangers man’. A rarity willing to put millions into buying players for his boyhood idols in the full knowledge he will lose every penny. He put £20m of his own cash into the David Murray regime and lost it all. To hand yet more cash over to the corporate sharks who have landed Rangers in a hell of a mess through their avarice and opportunism, then, would stick in the throat. Neither is there any guarantee Sandy and James Easdale – the public faces on the throne – would sell. Meeting Sandy Easdale at his bus depot in November, King struck up a cordial relationship with the Greenock tycoon. But right now the Easdales show no inclination to hand the reins over to anyone. Their problem, however, is this. Rangers are running out of money. They could sell Lee Wallace, they could cut back the playing squad and they could trim costs across the board. But King articulated a common view among supporters this week. Becoming a team of also rans is simply unthinkable to Rangers. Almost as unpalatable as Celtic reaching ten-in-a-row. Yet unless the Easdales find a way to raise cash quickly it could easily happen. King’s solution is to underwrite a fresh issue of shares and return to the boardroom. For existing investors that’s a last resort option. They would have to dig deep once more or see their power base eroded. They don’t fancy that one bit. But if the alternative is another insolvency event then they may have little choice. Another Ibrox sugar daddy won’t appeal to everyone. The common sense solution would be for Rangers to spend what they earn. To stop throwing good money after bad and live within their means. But, as Walter Smith observed recently, common sense and Rangers finances rarely go hand in hand. Dave King remains hellbent on proving it. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2545705/Stephen-McGowan-Dave-King-showing-no-signs-leaving-riled-Rangers-board-peace.html#ixzz2rP65E6Ui Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
  9. Toyed with the idea of writing a 'match' preview for this but we'll just go for the thread instead. Case opened at 10am but has been adjourned until 11 so lawyers for Rangers can read over a late submission from the Requisitioner who seek to have an open vote at the AGM on current and nominated board members.
  10. From BBC Chris McLaughlan #Rangers contact police over what they term 'offensive and threatening comments' made about a director on a fans website. BBC get the news first as usual.
  11. Shorerdbear discusses the alleged financial improvements we've seen at the club over the last year and asks just who is responsible for them. BEGINS In the last ten days a new wave of optimism has entered the psyche of Rangers fans - brought about with three new players being signed up. Signing players during pre-season is the done thing for football clubs; however, for Rangers fans last summer was the first season ever where new arrivals never materialised. According to the media it wouldnââ?¬â?¢t be the last either! We all knew the reasons why this was the case and for the most part, did not want to accept them. Pride can get in the way of logical decision making and when it comes down to football fans' expectations, business decisions can conflict with football ones. Walter and his players entered the 2009/10 season as champions. However, with no new arrivals to freshen the squad up, Walter faced the enormous task of challenging and retaining the title. Like the great managers of the past, Walter stepped up and delivered title 53 and secured the all important Champions League place and all the riches that comes with automatic Group Stage qualification! Moreover, we won the league against a backdrop of uncertainty via financial results and a rival who would do anything to discredit the success of Scotlandââ?¬â?¢s greatest football club. Across the globe success has always bred contempt; however, in some parts of Scotland - it only breeds paranoia and delusional thinking. To mould a winning team and hold your integrity intact takes a special type of person and thankfully - in Walter Smith - we have exactly that. Whether or not we win this years league championship, Walter can bow out with his head held high in the knowledge he played an integral part in turning the fortunes of Rangers around. The next name I mention may flabbergast fellow bears, it might even have them reach for the ââ?¬Ë?log offââ?¬â?¢ button. But, when a business model is failing and no investment is on the horizon, drastic measures have to be taken and it is usually in the way of ââ?¬Ë?cutsââ?¬â?¢! Donald Muir, ââ?¬Ë?the enemy withinââ?¬â?¢, was and in some parts still is seen as the devil. The shareholders voted against his appointment but when they roughly make up about 10% of the clubââ?¬â?¢s shareholding, it really didnââ?¬â?¢t mean much apart from a show of suspicion towards a man who was seen as the final nail in the coffin of our great club. However, Muir has remained steadfast in his approach to turning Rangers financial fortunes around. If he hadnââ?¬â?¢t, then we might not have signed three new players and perhaps Walter might not have had the chance to spend over Ã?£4 million on one player, the largest fee the club has spent on one transfer since Mikel Arteta was brought over from Spain. Weââ?¬â?¢ve heard all the ââ?¬Ë?rumoursââ?¬â?¢ of infighting on the board, threatened administration from the bank and that Walter might walk if he is not supplied with all the tools to challenge for honours. All blame has been directed towards Donald Muir and his alleged employers. Indeed, these perceived rumours might hold some water and perhaps somewhere down the line we might find out whether they were true or not! Now weââ?¬â?¢re reading published articles from the BBC that the debt has been ââ?¬Ë?substantiallyââ?¬â?¢ cut down and that there could be more arrivals to the playing staff. This would not be possible without drastic cuts in other expenditure; moreover, the current board seemed at a loss as to where they should make those cuts. Enter ââ?¬Ë?the enemy withinââ?¬â?¢ who, through his job role, and past experiences took a look at the club accounts and went about making tough and unpopular decisions that seem to be starting to reap dividends. Financially, weââ?¬â?¢re not out of the woods yet. Although, there is a clearing and this season is just as important as the last two. We have a squad more than capable of winning the league and with a ruthlessly business minded man on the board we may be on the cusp of a brighter future than we had been anticipating due to past mistakes. We have all thanked Walter up to now. Perhaps weââ?¬â?¢ll thank Donald Muir, ââ?¬Ë?the enemy withinââ?¬â?¢, sometime in the future?
  12. a post from rangers media Hi guys The Florida consortium story that has been unveiled in the press today is 100 per cent spot on. The Herald broke the story about the state of Rangers finances a month ago, then floated the fans buyout in the Sunday paper and it's culminated in this. My understanding is that Daryl King - who wrote the story - has been to Florida to meet the guys involved. They have NOT gone to the bank or Murray yet, the story clearly states that, which is why he Murray is technically right when he says no new approach. That's just his normal way of trying to rubbish people - he is dead on his feet and is trying to flush parties out, which has happened today. But this has been worked on for a long time, it's real, it involves the fans and it's been orchestrated all along to come out now. Plenty of people with big money are involved. Murray knows his days are finished, and the new dawn will not be far away if the punters buy into this plan. If I get anymore I will try to update. On way to game guys, so see if I can find anymore out. Just wanted everyone on here to stay calm -this CAN happen. I think the figure mentioned is a one-off �£1000 per head, with 45,000 people targeted over three years. Ie 15,000 fans raising �£15m a a year, and that can be paid up. That money gets you a membership, a vote, and a say. The debt will be covered by the consortium, is what I take from the story. I checked with some sources this morning and it's not a fairy story. King has been working on this guy and others for a while - wonder if they got wind Murray was doing a 'spoiler' and decided to break cover? Just a guess, but would make sense. Now is the time for the fans to step up. I would be in, I have �£3000 set aside I would put in, so that's the first 15000 down to 14997!!!! Good luck today lads, stay safe on the road and get behind the team.
  13. From the guy who first broke the Rothen story on FF last night:
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