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"The Union of Fans is absolutely appalled by Graham Wallace’s business review and revelations over the weekend regarding Mr Wallace’s alleged behaviour and that of this board. Given the serious nature of the allegations, we expect David Somers, in his role as chairman, to suspend Mr Wallace until these investigations are complete. It is our firm belief that shareholders have been misled.

 

First of all we would like to address the London Stock Exchange statement, and Mr Wallace’s subsequent comments in his press conference, which attempted to lay the blame for the withdrawal of credit and debit card facilities at the door of UoF and Dave King.

 

We are aware that FirstData, the payment processing company, first alerted Mr Wallace to the need for security for these facilities on 23rd January of this year, a full month before Dave King and the Union of Fans spoke about the idea of a season ticket trust. FirstData clearly communicated that this was due to the shocking financial results released in December and Mr Wallace’s attempt on the 16th January, just four working days before FirstData raised the issue, to get the players to take a wage cut. FirstData did not at that time raise any issues with a possible decline in season ticket sales as being a reason for the need for security.

 

Once again we have seen a Rangers board attempt to deflect the blame for their own incompetence onto fans who only want the best for the club. Even more seriously, this is a blatant attempt to mislead shareholders as to the underlying reasons for the club’s inability to provide these facilities.

 

As if this was not bad enough, we now find out that Mr Wallace has been reported to police over his comments at the AGM about the club’s financial position. We have consistently stated that his AGM undertaking that the club had sufficient funds was false and nothing that has happened since has shaken us from that belief. We are not surprised that his consistent refusal to address this issue has led to angry shareholders taking this action and we hope there will be a full and thorough investigation.

 

Mr Wallace’s ‘120 day’ review could have been written by any Rangers fan before Mr Wallace even took up his position. It is full of vague promises for the future which read like a wish list from a fans forum. Whilst much of the content in terms of football progress is certainly desirable, there is a complete lack of any detail as to how this board can achieve it. They have provided no evidence that they can raise the necessary funds to take the club forward and we have no confidence in them to do so.

 

We note Mr Wallace’s criticism of previous boards. James Easdale sat on the previous board from July of last year. Is he now going to be removed for his part in this financial mismanagement? Sandy Easdale became a de facto member of the previous board in September last year and has clearly had unprecedented and unjustifiable access to the PLC’s financial details since. His public statements just prior to the review showed that he has access to information he should not, were share price sensitive and showed the utter lack of corporate governance being enforced by Mr Somers in his role as chairman.

 

It is time for Mr Somers, our absent chairman, to step forward and clear up this mess. He must explain why his CEO, Mr Wallace, misled shareholders. He must suspend Mr Wallace pending the conclusion of police investigations. He must deal with the serious questions over Sandy Easdale’s role and why he is being treated like a privileged PLC board member when he is simply a minority shareholder with undue influence. He should also inform shareholders and fans whether the board as a whole was aware that the reason given to the London Stock Exchange for the need for security to obtain credit and debit card facilities was misleading. He is responsible for the total lack of corporate governance on this board and must act now or his own reputation with be irrevocably damaged.

 

This board is a disgrace to Rangers Football Club and the current members of it are running our club into the ground whilst simultaneously making a mockery of the positions they are privileged to hold."

 

http://www.unionoffans.org/statements/2014/4/27/uof-statement-270414

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27183357

 

 

By Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland

A Rangers supporters group has called for the club to suspend chief executive Graham Wallace.

Police Scotland is investigating a complaint from a shareholder that Wallace made misleading statements about finances at December's AGM.

The Union of Fans wants the Ibrox chairman David Somers to intervene until the complaint has been assessed.

They also want Somers to address if Sandy Easdale has been privy to share price-sensitive information.

Shareholder Easdale is not a director of Rangers International Football Club plc.

"Given the serious nature of the allegations, we expect David Somers, in his role as chairman, to suspend Mr Wallace until these investigations are complete," the Union of Fans said in a statement.

We have seen a Rangers board attempt to deflect the blame for their own incompetence onto fans who only want the best for the club

Union of Fans statement

Wallace delivered a summary of his 120-day business review last Friday, which emphasised the fraught nature of the club's finances and plans to rebuild using money raised from a proposed share issue.

The review also claimed that the club is unable to process credit and debit card transactions for season tickets because of uncertainty about sales following the UoF's pledge to set up a trust fund for fans' renewal money. Their intention is to only hand this over to the club in return for security over Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park.

However, it has since been revealed that the finance company, FirstData, had asked for security in return for processing the card payments last January - one month before the idea of the trust fund was revealed - because of the club's yearly accounts to June 2013 and Wallace raising the prospect with the playing squad of taking a 15% pay cut.

A Rangers shareholder has also made a complaint to Police Scotland about Wallace's assertion at last December's annual general meeting that there was sufficient cash in the bank to sustain the business to May, only for the board to seek a £1.5m loan from two shareholders in February, to meet running costs.

A Rangers spokesman said: "Mr Wallace has no knowledge of a complaint, which if put to the football club, has no grounds.

"The outcome of Mr Wallace's business review gave a comprehensive overview of the circumstances surrounding his arrival at the club and the financial assumptions made at the time."

The UoF - a coalition of supporters groups - wants action taken in the meantime, though.

"We have consistently stated that his AGM undertaking that the club had sufficient funds was false," the group said in a statement.

"We are not surprised that his consistent refusal to address this issue has led to angry shareholders taking this action and we hope there will be a thorough investigation.

Rangers' review: Key points

Business needs to raise up to £30m over three years

New share issue planned for autumn 2014

Cuts of £2m have already been made with other savings likely

Plan to make the business sustainable by season 2015/16

Aim to make team Scottish Premiership winners by 2017

"We would like to address the London Stock Exchange statement [last Friday], and Mr Wallace's subsequent comments, which attempted to lay the blame for the withdrawal of credit and debit card facilities at the door of UoF and [former Ibrox director] Dave King.

"Once again, we have seen a Rangers board attempt to deflect the blame for their own incompetence onto fans who only want the best for the club.

"Even more seriously, this is a blatant attempt to mislead shareholders as to the underlying reasons for the club's inability to provide these facilities."

The UoF also responded to aspects of Wallace's review, which blamed the club's financial predicament on the way that previous boards spent all of the £70m raised in two tranches of season ticket sales and the launch of RIFC on the Alternative Investment Market.

They also called into question the role of Sandy Easdale, a shareholder and chairman of the football club board, who spoke before the review was published about the "fragile" nature of the finances and suggested the business would not survive an insolvency event.

"James Easdale [a current director] sat on the previous board from July of last year. Is he now going to be removed for his part in this financial mismanagement?" the statement added.

"Sandy Easdale has clearly had unprecedented and unjustifiable access to the PLC's financial details.

"His public statements just prior to the review showed that he has access to information he should not, and showed the utter lack of corporate governance being enforced by Mr Somers in his role as chairman.

"It is time for Mr Somers to step forward and clear up this mess."

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I mean...I don't actually disagree with much of that but I think it gives fans on 'the other side' so to speak, an excuse to avoid the content and focus on the UoF again.

 

It might have been better to let their actions and words reveal them without going in all guns blazing.

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It is okay, the board will sue them. So no need for the dear oh dear.

 

Assuming, of course, that the statement is full of lies.

 

"The board" is not "Sandy Easdale" or vice versa, no personal attacks by individuals either. So why suspect legal action? Of course, it makes for a healthy discussion - if any - in the weeks ahead.

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