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Murray claims current board are not at Ibrox for the love of Rangers and insists fans will not put up with it any longer


Malcolm Murray has insisted a cleansing clear-out of Rangers must be instigated this week - and implored investors and supporters among the shareholding ranks to seize the opportunity to bring long-lost trust and transparency back to Ibrox.


Murray, who stepped down as chairman in May and was ousted as director in July, is among a quartet of Rangers-supporting and highly-respected, successful businessmen hoping to drive through change at Thursday’s AGM and be voted on to the board.


His will has been emboldened by the wishes of the Rangers fans he’s met - from City of London boardrooms to supporters’ meetings in Glasgow and Belfast - that the club they’ve supported for life is rid of the mistrust and expensive revolving-door policy involving the hierarchy.



‘The fans are the most vociferous about changing the whole lot,’ said Murray. ‘Yet protests have been elegant and diplomatic. No intimidation. It brings a tear to your eye. I am absolutely astounded by the reaction. I’ve known guys who are self-employed taking days off to go to London, to see people, organise protests, do media. Those fans deserve their club back.


‘It needs a big clean-up. The current incumbents are not there for the love of Rangers and it does worry me. Sometimes you have to follow your instinct. I can’t prove my feelings but I’ve been around long enough to judge managements.


‘This is just a nightmare, the most difficult corporate governance situation I have ever seen.’


Rangers responded to Murray’s claims concerning the board’s motivation, a spokesman insisting: ‘They are there to bring corporate governance to the club, which Malcolm Murray patently failed to do, and to protect the interests of investors which Malcolm Murray failed to do.’


Murray was appointed chairman as Charles Green swept to power in a blaze of bombast and consortium backers in the summer of 2012 but the pair were fated not to get along.


Murray speaks of a ‘gradual’ feeling of unease with the people he was dealing with inside Rangers, rather than one dumbstruck moment of fear that the club might be in the wrong hands once again.


‘I said to many investors as early as January that, if this was any other company, I’d have to leave,’ he said. ‘They said: “You’ve got to stick in there”. With hindsight - and I think Walter Smith would agree - we should both have resigned much earlier and tried to sort this from the outside.’


He has been on the outside for five months since leaving with Phil Cartmell when James Easdale was appointed as a non-executive director. Murray has since worked alongside former director Paul Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson who, with the backing of Jim McColl, secured an interim interdict at the Court of Session in October to force the issue of their bid for board representation on to the agenda at the delayed AGM.


Paul Murray declared the position of financial director Brian Stockbridge and then chief executive Craig Mather as ‘untenable’ after the defeat of a Rangers board that were savaged by the shareholders’ group QC Richard Keen for engaging in ‘guerrilla warfare’.


Mather departed but Stockbridge remained and Rangers went on to bring in new chairman David Somers, chief executive Graham Wallace and non-executive director Norman Crighton. They, along with James Easdale, stand for reappointment on Thursday.


Bringing his men to the table, says Malcolm Murray, is the only way to end the cycle of suspicion felt by Rangers fans ever since the full horror of Craig Whyte’s reign came to light.


Murray says he is motivated to work on behalf of the fans hurting - from the top suits in his business world to the season-ticket regulars who held up the red cards to tell the Easdale brothers, Stockbridge and company to leave Rangers.


Sandy Easdale, however, carries up to 28 per cent of voting power and the biggest single shareholder, the Isle Of Man-based hedge fund Laxey Partners, have declared themselves supporters of the current regime.


Murray said: ‘The fans have dug so deep. They did it two years ago, as ever, buying season tickets when Craig Whyte took over. They then put their hands in their pockets when the club was close to going out of business last year.


‘Then, this year, it wasn’t a coincidence that, once the renewal deadline for season tickets had passed, the board moved with Charles Green to remove me and Phil Cartmell. That same week, they sacked Cenkos, who guided us to the IPO and are a blue-chip city advisor, and appointed a firm who had been connected to Green’s acolytes for decades and appointed the Easdales to the board.


‘I don’t think fans will put up with that again. They’ve shown amazing loyalty. I’ve mixed with it so much on the business side. They’ve gone through hell. It’s their hard-earned money that is disappearing quickly.


‘They’ve put up with a lot, so many mysterious characters coming through the front doors of Ibrox. They need to know what these people stand for. And so far they don’t.


‘As for the recent appointments, city institutions have asked me where the new chairman David Somers has emerged from.


‘They didn’t know who he was and I don’t know. Norman Crighton appears to be close with associates of Laxey Partners, who are not known as a long-term investment institution.’


Murray stressed that he enjoys the backing of a number of private and institutional investors prepared to stump up financial support in the event of his group being appointed.


They are alarmed by the figures posted by the club which reveal a trading loss of £14.4million for the 13 months until June 2013.


Murray was a pivotal figure of Manchester United’s share issue in the early 90s, when he had a stewardship of a 25-per-cent holding.


The Rangers launch 12 months ago raised £22m, yet Stockbridge has warned the club could be down to its last £1m by April.


Stockbridge earned £409,000 according to the books, although it is claimed he’s in the process of handing back half of that - a £200,000 bonus, apparently at the request of Laxey.


When asked if it would be enough for Stockbridge - the prime hate figure among the protesting Rangers fans - to be the single existing casualty on Thursday, Murray said: ‘I don’t think it is. It could be a step in the right direction but that’s assuming you get a totally clean, blue-chip finance director.


‘If that appointment is made by the Blue Pitch Holdings, the Easdales, Margarita, then they just put another guy in there that covers it. Transparency and trust and honesty are what needs to be here. That’s why I came here in the first place.


‘It’s about getting that kind of model of a big board, but one not paying themselves that much money. People that care about the club. We need a balanced view, we need non-execs that are supporters who understand the rich culture and history.


‘The key thing that our group has for the future are private investors, fairly wealthy businessmen, and institutional investors who will put more money up if the board is one that is transparent and trustworthy and they see it as such. They can kick the tyre and know where it’s going. We’re not putting it in our own pockets. They’ll know that the money is being put in the playing staff, the stadium - and not anywhere else.’


Murray, then, is interested in a rewind back to the frustrating days when his thoughts were suffocated in the boardroom, as he and Smith were constantly outvoted and outmanoeuvred.


When back on the outside, there were similar blockades as Murray and the requisitioners were turned away from winning an Extraordinary General Meeting to trigger change.


‘They allowed themselves to be talked out of it in late summer, with the board insisting it would prove too costly and a deal was made for boardroom changes to be dealt with at the perennially delayed AGM.


That moment is one of regret for Murray.


He said: ‘We should have gone ahead with the EGM. We tried to save the club money. You think you’re dealing with honourable people and we got messed about. With hindsight, there shouldn’t have been negotiation and compromise.


‘That’s why I think we need a really big change. There’s no point in me going in with some sort of coalition and conning the fans. I can’t do that. I was in a situation where I was in the minority and I’ll never do it again. Fans won’t accept that either.


‘I was on a board where Walter and I were continually out-voted on almost everything. On a good board, you don’t have to vote. You just discuss it until you get to a decent result. There would be no point being on a board where you are in the minority.


‘If everyone is independent, then you get a balanced view. But on the previous board it was almost always four versus a three of Phil Cartmell, Walter and I.


‘For example, when Green resigned, I put in place a search for a top-level chief executive.


‘We actually had Graham Wallace’s CV in then in April. Interestingly, the current board weren’t interested in an external appointment then. I had the rug pulled under me, with the other four saying they will appoint Craig Mather instead of a straight vote.’


Murray acknowledged McColl’s endorsement of Wallace and believes he could work with the ex-Manchester City chief operating officer.


That commendation was voiced at the end of last month when McColl, Murray and Co addressed 500 fans at a meeting in Glasgow - one of two staged without a representative of the club attending, despite being invited by the fans groups.


Murray said: ‘Their seats were empty in Glasgow and Belfast at the supporter meetings. I found that a contemptible and disrespectful approach to the customers. In any business, you can’t ignore the customers.


‘We put our manifesto up there. And so far from the incumbents? They won’t respond to the values we believe in. They’ve got to respond to the following questions. How much cash is left? How to plan to refinance that? Are you assuring the fans there will be no sale or lease backs whatsoever? Do they believe in representation and clear transparency on financial performance?


‘Somers has said they will answer at the AGM. That’s like having an election and saying that, once you’ve voted, I’ll tell you what the manifesto is! You’ve got to tell people what you stand for. We stand for honesty and things that will help the club recover - new money coming in, building a team.


‘I don’t want to become a hero. I want it to be a team effort. I’m with three other guys because we think we can help get the club back on the right tracks with shareholders and fans together.


‘We are only doing this because fans want us to do it. It’s not for self-interest because it takes your life away from you. I’ve had no life for a year - ask my wife. We’ve got to get this right.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2523948/Malcolm-Murray-insists-Rangers-need-cleaning--exclusive.html#ixzz2nXRXu0Yh

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Murray hits back at Rangers shareholder Sandy Easdale


Malcolm Murray has hit back at Rangers shareholder Sandy Easdale for ‘trying to scare’ supporters into scrapping boycott plans in the event of the current Ibrox regime retaining power.


Easdale, whose brother James is seeking re-election to the plc board at Thursday’s annual meeting, suggested that any campaign of disengagement by unhappy supporters ‘could prove fatal’ to the club.


He released a statement on Friday afternoon that also attacked former chairman Murray, slamming ‘conspiracy’ talk about the two secretive companies over which the McGill’s Bus company boss holds voting rights.


Easdale claimed that Murray ‘knows fine well’ the identity of those behind Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings that form part of the near 28 per cent of voting power available to the brothers.


However, Easdale, who also insisted that neither Craig Whyte nor Charles Green was involved in the club, did not put the issue over the mysterious shareholders to bed by naming the individuals concerned.


And former chairman Murray explained why his suspicions will remain until the Blue Pitch and Margarita men are fully unmasked.


‘I knew representatives of Blue Pitch at an early stage when they told me they represented rich Arabs who did not want publicity,’ explained Murray.


‘In the early part of this year, it become apparent they were fed up with Charles Green and said they had never heard of the Easdales.


‘Then, when Green resigned, they suddenly backed the appointment of Craig Mather as chief executive and the Easdales to the board.


‘That’s why there’s something mysterious, why I am suspicious and why we need to know who they are.


‘The blue chip investors that my group have backing us need transparency before they invest. Blue Pitch, on the other hand, along with Margarita are opaque.’


Murray is confident his financial supporters will provide funds to invest in the playing squad and football structure of the club if the ‘requisitioners’ gain places on the board.


In the Easdale camp within the club, however, there was a suggestion that fans buying club products was essential to keep Rangers going.


He voiced concern that if supporters do not purchase season tickets or if they go ahead with boycotts of matchday hospitality and merchandise, then that could trigger a fresh financial crisis at Ibrox.


‘Not to buy season tickets because of things you don’t like could be a fatal blow to Rangers,’ Easdale warned.


Season ticket renewals are not due until April and Murray was aghast at Easdale’s comments.


‘The fans are not threatening the club,’ stressed Murray. ‘They simply trust us to do the rebuilding.


The fans invited us to meetings in Glasgow and Belfast, which we went to. The current incumbents were invited to attend but did not.


‘The feelings about required future investment, about future transparency and trust are unanimously held by ourselves and those fans.


‘The current board have never made any effort to engage with them.


‘Instead, Mr Easdale is trying to scare them.’


A Rangers spokesman said: ‘The chief executive, almost immediately after he joined, contacted (Rangers Supporters Assembly president) Andy Kerr and our view was that the AGM was the proper forum for the board to meet all the fans.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2523948/Malcolm-Murray-insists-Rangers-need-cleaning--exclusive.html#ixzz2nXRwitYT

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Just snapping out two things ...


Murray claims current board are not at Ibrox for the love of Rangers ...


Honestly, how many CEOs and chairmen in Britain are there for the love of their clubs?


The current incumbents were invited ...


See, I want a chairman and CEO who represents the club with the class and standard and dignity it deserves. Murray's actions and statements such as above do not exactly fill me with any great confidence in him.

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Just snapping out two things ...




Honestly, how many CEOs and chairmen in Britain are there for the love of their clubs?




See, I want a chairman and CEO who represents the club with the class and standard and dignity it deserves. Murray's actions and statements such as above do not exactly fill me with any great confidence in him.


chairmen probably at most or all clubs. ceo less so certainly but a fair few.

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