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Rangers chairman David Somers could face probe by Stock Market regulators for his role in Mike Ashley bid

David Somers feared a successful rival bid by David King would mean the end of his chairmanship and also ensure the departure of the Easdale brothers



Stock Market regulators have been asked to investigate the conduct of Rangers chairman David Somers during the battle for control at Ibrox between Mike Ashley and Dave King.

The move follows the Telegraph’s disclosure of an email from Somers to Mike Ashley’s representative, Justin Barnes, over the proposed terms of a Sports Direct contract which the Rangers chairman feared would tip his fellow directors into supporting a takeover bid by King, a former Ibrox director.

In the email, Somers expressed his fears that a successful bid by King would mean the end of his chairmanship and would also ensure the departure of Sandy Easdale, the Rangers football board chairman, and his brother, James Easdale, a Rangers plc director. Somers also threatened to vote for a Stock Exchange announcement to the effect that Rangers would terminate the Sports Direct contracts by which the club’s merchandise is sold through Ashley’s retail chain.

In response to the Telegraph’s revelations, King told BBC Scotland: "His actions could be considered a breach of the Companies Act. It would seem from the email that Somers didn't like Ashley's initial proposal, yet that was the option the board finally went for.

"It also seems that Somers was prepared to threaten to cancel Rangers' retail agreement with Sports Direct to prompt Ashley to provide an alternative that would protect the positions of himself and the Easdales. Ashley owns less than 10 per cent of the shares, but now seems to control the club.”


King – who is based in South Africa - assembled a consortium which proposed a £16 million debt and equity takeover deal. This was rejected by the Ibrox board after Ashley refused to meet King during his visit to the UK in October. Somers has stated that, although King claimed that his consortium had eight members, not all of their identities were disclosed to the Rangers directors.

Somers has also insisted that, finally, the choice for a board whose club was close to running out of cash was to accept the offer of a loan from either Ashley or Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy. In the event, the chairman has said, the vote went in Ashley’s favour because the Newcastle United owner offered better terms.

However, the Telegraph understands that the contents of the email between Somers and Barnes has perturbed the Scottish Football Association, which announced on Wednesday that it had rejected Ashley’s proposal to increase his Rangers shareholding to 29.9 per cent, which would give him almost total control of the beleaguered club. The request was made in person by Derek Llambias, Ashley’s lieutenant, who was appointed as Rangers’ chief executive last Friday – days after disciplinary charges were brought by the SFA stating that the billionaire businessman had exceeded the terms of an undertaking limiting his influence at Ibrox.

The SFA’s refusal has cast serious doubt over the viability of a share issue due to be launched by Rangers in order to raise £8 million needed to meet the club’s financial needs for the next year. Had the SFA agreed to Ashley’s request, he would have underwritten the equity issue but it is now unclear how it will go ahead, if indeed it does go ahead.

There are also questions to be answered about why votes were cast by board members against their own proposal, at Rangers’ annual general meeting on Monday, for an open share issue, rather than one principally confined to existing investors, such as Ashley.

Meanwhile, one Rangers shareholder has written to the AiM investigations office, as well as the club’s LSE nominated adviser (NOMAD) and Ian Davidson, the MP whose constituency includes Ibrox, asking them to probe Somers’ conduct.

The shareholder wrote: “On Tuesday 23rd December, the Telegraph newspaper online carried a story by journalist Roddy Forsyth, regarding an e-mail sent by the Rangers International Football Club Chairman David Somers to members of the board and surprisingly non-members, including a representative of Sports Direct - Justin Barnes.

“The e-mail not only indicated the Chairman’s preference for investment by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, it actively encouraged this investment, in order, it seems, to secure the Chairman’s position and that of other board members and strangely enough a non-member (one Sandy Easdale), who seems to be party to PLC Board internal communications and - if the e-mail is to be read correctly - acting as a shadow director.

“A major concern for shareholders such as myself is, does activity such as this construe a “Concert Party” arrangement between board and non-board members with regards to overall boardroom influence?”

The shareholder goes on to ask if Somers’ email is in breach of AiM and corporate governance practice and if it triggered a legal threat from Ashley to the Rangers chairman and/or other directors. The Telegraph understands that other Rangers shareholders are prepared to add their complaints to that already lodged with the financial regulators.

All of which compounds the stormy backdrop against which caretaker manager Kenny McDowall – who was ordered by Llambias to take charge of the team after Ally McCoist was placed on gardening leave – must prepare the Rangers players for a tough fixture against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

Rangers have lost twice to Hearts and once to Hibs and Queen of the South, their principal rivals for promotion to the Scottish Premiership. They now trail Hearts by 12 points and currently they look set, at best, for the Scottish Championship play-offs – with 12 Ibrox players out of contract at the end of the season.

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The latest 'Dream Team New Board' are going the same way as the last one,............ and the one before that............


Anyone see a pattern ?





ps. hats off to Roddy Forsyth who has taken the bull by the horns.

Edited by buster.
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I have also fired off an email to AIM & to what I believe could be Paul Shackleton's email address.



To whom it may concern,


I am a shareholder in Rangers International Football Club. I believe that RIFC is in breach of AIM rules 10, 17 & 26. The attached image is an email by the current chairman of RIFC, Mr David Somers, in which he confirms that Mr Sandy Easdale is a member of the board. I have raised the issue of Sandy Easdale operating as a Shadow Director of RIFC with AIM on several occasions before!


The attached image is widely distributed on social media websites and is the subject of several newspaper reports today. I attach links to the newspaper reports for your information.


In the attached image, Mr Somers states that:-


"Dave King's proposal includes board seats which means Sandy, James and I will not survive on this board very much longer."


I read this statement as an absolute confirmation that Sandy Easdale is a shadow director of RIFC.


I understand that the NOMAD is required to ensure that RIFC comply with AIM rules.

I have previously been in touch with Paul Shackleton (Daniel Stewart) in this regard several times. He now seems to have assumed the same role with WH IRELAND, but I am uncertain of his contact email address. I would be grateful if you could investigate this issue fully & ensure that the Nomad complies with Aim rules.


Yours faithfully,


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You do some great work mate. Good on you.


Very much agreed though unfortunately our NOMAD is in itself part of the crooked and corrupt cabal. Writing to them to complain is like telling the school bullies lackeys that you don't like being bullied by their own gang leaders.

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