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Rangers fans chief fears new supporter boycott...


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...if Ibrox board snubs Three Bears' £6.5m bail-out.

 

THE Rangers board was today warned that even more fans could turn their backs on the Ibrox club if they block "The Three Bears" consortium.

 

By Matthew Lindsay

 

Gers fans George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor have offered £6.5 million to underwrite an equity issue early next year.

 

The move comes after the SFA prevented Mike Ashley from increasing his stake in the Glasgow giants to 29.9% last week.

 

Letham, Park and Taylor were part of an eight-strong group fronted by Dave King who had a £16 million rescue package turned down back in October.

 

Rangers chairman David Somers said King and his associates failed to provide proof of funds and reveal the identity of the investors.

 

But Letham, Park and Taylor have satisfied both of those criteria - and have impeccable business credentials as well as being bona fide fans.

 

Crowds have plummeted at Ibrox this season amid growing dissatisfaction at the way the SPFL League One champions are being run.

 

Their last two Championship games at home against Cowdenbeath and Livingston have attracted less than 20,000 spectators.

 

And Drew Roberton, of the Rangers Supporters Association, reckons crowds could fall even further if "The Three Bears" were prevented from increasing their shareholdings.

 

He said: "I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of some more people saying: 'Enough is enough'.

 

"I think we are down to the hard core of Rangers fans on match days at Ibrox now.

 

"I think we are down to the people who will go regardless of what is happening on or off the park.

 

"If the board decline them then they will probably hide behind stock market rules or some such.

 

"But they would have to come up with a very good reason why and try to convince people they have a long-term plan.

 

"It is difficult to see what plan they have apart from self-preservation.

 

"If the two Georges and Douglas fail then it wouldn't go down well with the fans - and I don't know how the guardians of Scottish sporting integrity (the SFA) would look upon it."

 

Roberton added: "I know George Letham to say hello to. He is a nice guy.

 

"I have no doubt the three gentlemen involved have the best interests of the club at heart.

 

"My view, and the view of the Rangers Supporters Association, is that it's not important who runs the club it's how they run the club that matters.

 

"And I have no doubt that George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park would help to run the club for the benefit of the club."

 

Rangers expressed disappointment at the SFA refusing to allow Sports Direct owner Ashley to increase his stake above 10% in a brief statement on their website on Christmas Eve.

 

They also revealed they would go away and consider all other options - and Roberton refused to rule out the billionaire businessman taking even greater control at Ibrox.

 

He said: "I am kind of of the view that if Ashley wants to increase his stake in Rangers he will.

 

"At the end of the day, I don't think there's a lot the SFA can do about it."

 

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-fans-chief-fears-new-supporter-boycott-if-ibrox-board-snubs-192879n.115246847

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