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...from SFA panel that includes.. Celtic boss Peter Lawwell.



Dec 22, 2014 22:30

By Gary Ralston


THE Ibrox club's new chief executive will have to set out the blueprint for the future of the club for an SFA group that will include his opposite number at Parkhead.


DEREK LLAMBIAS will seek approval for Mike Ashley’s vision for the future of Rangers today from an SFA group that includes Peter Lawwell.


The Celtic chief executive is a member of the SFA board that will meet with the new Rangers frontman at Hampden for talks on the way forward for the cash-strapped club.


Rangers have been asked to detail the business plan and strategy behind any future investment from the Newcastle United owner.


Llambias, who denied he’s on Ashley’s payroll at a stormy Rangers agm yesterday, declined to offer clarity on the Sports Direct tycoon’s involvement at Ibrox.


He said: “I’m seeing the SFA and a clearer picture should emerge then.”


The SFA board, which also includes chief executive Stewart Regan, president Campbell Ogilvie, Hibs chairman Rod Petrie and SPFL chairman Ralph Topping, have the power to veto any plans.


They will be keen to hear if Ashley has ambitions to increase his shareholding or if he or any of his representatives plan to take up positions on the Ibrox board.


There has been disquiet among fans about the involvement of Ashley under “dual interest” rules, which frown upon individuals holding key positions at two or more clubs.


Strictly speaking, however, Article 13 of the SFA does not forbid Ashley having a sizeable stake in Rangers and Newcastle United, but he would require “prior written consent of the board” to increase his influence at Ibrox.


The SFA board will hear Llambias’ blueprint and may ask for further details before giving their judgment on Ashley in the new year.


The meeting today has been described as informal, but Llambias will be expected to shed light on a range of issues.


He is likely to be asked, for example, why the Rangers board felt they had no option but to accept Ashley’s recent £2million loan when Brian Kennedy and Dave King had also come to the table with investment proposals.


Lawwell’s involvement is an intriguing sideshow and, as talks progress, he may decide he is conflicted and step away from discussions.


He recently admitted the absence of Rangers from the top flight of the Scottish game was costing his club £10million a year.


However, an under-strength and under-funded Rangers effectively gives Celtic a free run at the Champions League each season and the riches it can provide.


The talks with the SFA board are separate from the notice of complaint recently issued to Ashley and Rangers by an SFA judicial panel.


Ashley and Rangers are accused of breaching an agreement he would not take control of the club and compliance officer Tony McGlennan acted after Ashley’s recent loans, totalling £3million, led to accusations he had been handed the keys to the door.


Meanwhile, Rangers fans have urged Ashley to turn to Dave King or other wealthy Bluenose backers after supporters vetoed plans to open the club to £8million of fresh investment from non-shareholders.


Only 45 per cent of shareholders backed a resolution aimed at inviting new investors into the club and it’s believed Ashley and the Easdale block voted against the proposals.


Chris Graham of the Union of Fans said: “It’s disingenuous for the top table at the agm to recommend the resolution, only to apparently vote against it.


“They clearly don’t want others to buy in without them having first interest. Legally, Dave King could still underwrite a new share offer and other backers, such as George Taylor in Hong Kong, have invested heavily recently.


“I only hope Derek Llambias acknowledges the scale of the disconnect between club and fans displayed at the agm. He can have Ibrox half full for the foreseeable future or turn it round the other way.


“Mike Ashley will still make money if outside investors come into the club.”


Sandy Easdale refused to rule out involvement in future from the likes of King and Brian Kennedy.


He told shareholders: “I’ve never dismissed any of these guys, they may yet be part of the future of this club.”


Llambias, who stepped down as Newcastle managing director in June 2013, told shareholders he was committed to returning the club to the top of the Scottish game.


Llambias added: “Not everything I do will be popular but everything I do will be in the club’s long-term interests.


“We need financial stability off the pitch and great football on the pitch. We want to get Rangers back into the top flight and the Champions League.


“That is our aim and hopefully next year I will give a much better speech.”



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SoS chief fears Ashley has upper hand as Rangers meet SFA


SONS of Struth supremo Craig Houston fears the prospect of severe financial problems at Rangers will force the SFA's hand when they hold crunch talks with the Mike Ashley camp today.


Ibrox chief executive and Ashley's close ally Derek Llambias will meet with the Hampden hierarchy to discuss the billionaire's plans for the Light Blues.


The Newcastle United owner has an agreement that he cannot hold more than 10% of the shares in Rangers International Football Club plc or exert undue influence at the club.


But with Llambias on the board and Barry Leach of Sports Direct working as an advisor, it has been claimed that they have already fallen foul of the Hampden rulebook.


Ashley will need consent from the SFA to increase his stake in next month's share issue, which was granted approval at Rangers' AGM yesterday as Llambias spoke for the first time since his appointment last week.


SoS chief Houston said: "When the board were asked to justify the selection process, we heard tales of head-hunters being brought in to find people.


"Unsurprisingly, the one with a connection to Ashley, who was promised two directors as part of the loan agreement, got the job.


"Rangers fans know why Llambias is there. The shareholders know why Llambias is there.


"The way I see the meeting going, the SFA will either say it is okay for Ashley to have more influence in the club or they won't.


"I suspect if they say he can't, Ashley will tell them that there will be administration soon because he is the sole creditor.


"If that was to happen, the 25-point deduction would likely see us remain in the Championship for one further season.


"It is not a situation I would like, but it is something I can see being used as a bargaining tool by Mr Ashley's representatives."


While Llambias escaped largely unscathed from his first Rangers AGM, the same cannot be said of his board counterparts as chairman David Somers, James Easdale and football board chairman Sandy Easdale came in for a barrage of abuse from shareholders.


The board were situated in a small gazebo in front of the Govan West Corner and Houston admits it was another unsatisfying day for the Light Blue legions.


He said: "It is a sense of total frustration. The questions were again cut short, despite the Union of Fans appealing to the Nomad to make sure that all questions were answered.


"They answered two or three at a time, again despite requests, and showed an utter contempt for fans and shareholders.


"Whoever decided to put Rangers fans in the away section has no consideration for us at all.


"When the chairman was asked why, he shrugged his shoulders and said they were trying to keep us dry. The stage was very far from the fans and the whole set-up was deplorable."


It was controversial chief Somers who bore the brunt of fans' frustrations as he was repeatedly booed and heckled during his speech and the question and answer session.


And Houston has blasted the under-fire chairman for his conduct as fans were left furious at the end of another stormy shareholder summit.


He said: "The contempt shown, particularly by Mr Somers, was an absolute disgrace. To tell Rangers supporters at an AGM 'when you are chairman of Rangers Football Club you can decide what to do' was absolutely abysmal.


"Like a lot of comments, it was made with total disdain in his voice. He was looking at his watch, asking supporters if they had any real questions when they were making very valid points. It was sickening and a man in that position should know better."



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How I look forward to the day Graham and Houston realise they are not the representatives of ALL Rangers supporters but only the small groups they represent


Look at Ibrox on matchdays.


Look at ST numbers from the summer.


Listen to shareholders at the AGM



Whatever 'group' or 'opinion' you consider yourself to be closer to, it would appear to be a small one who shout loudly (online)


One that has an unhealthy fixation about some individuals and fansgroups.


One that points the finger of blame at the media, the governing bodies, those fans mentioned, cabal of the day etc as those to blame for the state the club finds itself..


One that has shouted the partyline of all the sp.ivs and never learns but still have the gaul to still shout loudly


One that seems to have a particular fixation with giving the thumbs-up to all those sp.ivs that have passed through Ibrox.


One that is too far down the line of emotionally investing in the board to change.


The poverty of the general argument emanating from it should mean it is ignored.

Edited by buster.
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How I look forward to the day Graham and Houston realise they are not the representatives of ALL Rangers supporters but only the small groups they represent


Do you have evidence of either of them ever claiming to speak for all Rangers supporters? You appear to be confused again, Rab.

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Speak to Newcastle United supporters, they will tell you all you need to know about Ashley and LLambas, and it's not good. I wish more of our support had listened to Sheffield United supporters when they told us about Green.


agree on Ashley but most of them liked Llambias as far as i have seen.

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