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McCoist to go against the current Ibrox regime as he hands his vote to fans

 

Ally McCoist is set to hand his AGM vote over to the Rangers fans ahead of Thursday’s crunch showdown.

 

It’s understood the Ibrox boss will give the proxy for his one million shares — a stake of around 1.5 per cent - to the East Kilbride Rangers Supporters Club.

 

And that means McCoist’s vote will almost certainly be used against current directors when the crucial ballots decide the future make-up of the board.

 

McCoist grew up in East Kilbride and still retains strong links with the town. It’s believed he made a pledge to the supporters club when he first got the shares last year that they would be his proxy.

 

His decision to honour that promise is, however, highly likely to be to the detriment of those who currently employ him.

 

The main fan organisations have been united in their calls for change, backing the rebel shareholders who have nominated four new directors — ex-chairman Malcolm Murray, former director Paul Murray, Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch.

 

McCoist’s move is consistent with his view that the fans should have a major say in the future of the club, yet it provides another major twist ahead of the AGM.

 

It remains to be seen how significant his proxy could be to the final outcome, but it’s possible those share could yet prove pivotal in a tight vote over specific directors.

 

All five current board members — chairman David Somers, chief executive Graham Wallace, finance director Brian Stockbridge and non-executives James Easdale and Norman Crighton — have to stand for re-election on an individual basis.

 

Meanwhile, Rangers fans have been urged to use their votes to turf out the current Ibrox board as the battle for hearts and minds reaches fever pitch ahead of Thursday’s AGM.

 

The requisitioners aiming to force change believe that, despite the Easdale brothers — Sandy and James — strengthening their shareholding in recent weeks, votes on the make-up of a new regime remain too close to call.

 

Collectively, supporters hold about 12 per cent of voting rights. And those agitating for an overhaul believe that the financial muscle of fans threatening to ‘disengage’ means they could hold the balance of power — especially if their protests convince manager Ally McCoist to cast his vote against the men who employ him.

 

Former director Paul Murray, one of those leading the push for change, told Sportsmail: ‘It’s really important that every person who has a share comes along, asks the questions they want to ask, listens to the answers and then casts their votes. Every vote counts. Our message is simple: “Don’t waste your vote. Come along, listen to the arguments. It’s your club. Use your vote to make your voice heard”.

 

‘It’s up to all of us to convince people that we can add value to the club, that we can be trusted.’

 

McCoist has spoken of being in an impossible position.

 

Murray agrees, saying: ‘It may be unfair — but it’s a reality. Ally McCoist is a shareholder, as well as being a fan and an employee.

 

‘But I know he will do what he thinks is right for the club.

 

‘I also think he will look at how the fans have been reacting in recent weeks. In particular, he may look at the home game two weeks ago, when it wasn’t just one or two dissenting voices but the whole stadium registering their disapproval with the board.’

 

Despite the sub-zero state of relations between the warring parties, the most likely outcome now being put forward by many involves some of the more ‘acceptable’ members of the current board remaining in situ, to be joined by representatives from the group led by Paul Murray, former chairman Malcolm Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson.

 

Shareholder Sandy Easdale went public last week with his fears over fans refusing to buy season tickets.

 

He admitted that a serious impact on this revenue stream could prove ‘fatal’ to a club that ran up operating losses of £14million in the 13 months to June 2013. Malcolm Murray, who has called for a complete removal of the entire board, used a weekend interview to accuse Easdale of ‘trying to scare’ supporters into calling off boycott plans.

 

Paul Murray said: ‘Those fans who are buying season tickets and merchandise make them the lifeblood of the club. Sandy Easdale is right to say the continued financial support of the fans is critical.

 

'If they are not committed to supporting the club through buying season tickets and merchandise, any wise investor would think twice about investing.

 

'So the two issues are closely aligned. If you think that we can re-establish trust and transparency, then you will understand how investment will follow that.

 

'Investors realise that, if the fans are not on board, then that is a problem. If the issues of transparency and trust are not sorted out, a lot of people will disengage from the club.

 

‘They will not pay their season- ticket money up front — not when they have been made so many promises that have not been kept.

 

'What really surprises me is that the new board members have entirely failed to engage with fans.

 

'I can understands why some of the old guard have kept their heads down but the new men, like Graham Wallace and Norman Crighton, have not been out there addressing concerns.

 

‘The fans are the lifeblood of this club. If they are unhappy, then it is a problem for the board. That is why we are trying to put our message across to the supporters.’

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2524373/Ally-McCoist-hand-Rangers-AGM-vote-fans.html#ixzz2nbz2fuIm

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Probably the best option available to McCoist. Abstention would have been seen as cowardice by the fans and had the Requisitioners lost narrowly, he'd have taken the flack.

 

I don't expect any immediate repercussions for him (unless the Board want an all out fan revolt), but it will have weakened his position within the Club.

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