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When their board positions (and control of the Club) weren't on the line they held the AGM in a cheap tent on the pitch as far away from the fans & shareholders as possible.

 

Now that they're holding an EGM called by Dave King to remove them and appoint a new board, they're holding it in London at an astronomical cost, again as far away from the fans as possible, but this time as close to the 'city' and institutional investors as possible, presumably so that they can wine & dine and try to butter up some of the investors ahead of the voting.

 

You have to wonder how many brown envelopes stuffed with cash will change hands in swanky London restaurants leading up to this EGM. :whistle:

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Rangers move EGM 410 miles from Ibrox to London to avoid angry fans

General meeting will be held at London hotel to avoid repeat of angry scenes at Ibrox AGM in December when fans barracked and heckled board members

 

By Roddy Forsyth

 

The general meeting to decide the fate of the Rangers board will be held in London because the directors feared a repeat of the turmoil at the club’s AGM at Ibrox in December, when they were barracked and heckled by angry supporters, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

 

The extraordinary general meeting requisitioned by former club director Dave King, will be staged in the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Harrington Gardens on March 4 – the first time in the club’s history that a general meeting will have been held outside Glasgow.

 

It is understood that it was decided to stage the event 410 miles from Ibrox because the board felt that it would be impossible to keep control of the meeting were it to take place in Glasgow, especially at the stadium. The London location emerged after a delayed announcement to the Stock Exchange and an overnight decision to change the date of the EGM.

 

Telegraph Sport revealed on Wednesday that the meeting had been scheduled for March 6 and the date was confirmed to the club’s official fans board on Thursday by Derek Llambias, the Rangers chief executive. However, matters altered after a series of late-night consultations.

 

The announcement of the EGM was to have been made to the Stock Exchange at 7am on Friday but was delayed until almost 1.30pm, at which point the change of date was revealed. It is understood that the Rangers directors regard the scenes at the AGM as having been “volatile and out of control” and that to stage the EGM within reach of Glasgow was to invite another raucous demonstration of disaffection.

 

The AGM saw several angry outbursts, most notably from former Rangers player John Brown, who was loudly cheered when he branded the board variously as “stooges” and “rats”. The performance of the Rangers chairman, David Somers – who was drowned out more than once – was derided widely.

 

This time, most of the votes will be cast by proxy and – the directors hope – the meeting will be short and comparatively uneventful.

 

The decision to stage the EGM in London was condemned by the Rangers Supporters Trust which said in a statement:

 

"This board has shown its utter contempt for the 5,000 small shareholders in Rangers by holding the upcoming EGM in London. This can only be designed to make it much more difficult for fan shareholders to have their say at perhaps the most critical time in the club's history.They will now have to incur costs to attend, will have to proxy their votes to those attending or will have to cast their votes by post.

 

"The RST wil contact all these shareholders directly within the next week to provide detailed guidance on how to make sure their vote counts and we urge them to do nothing until they receive this guidance, unless of course they are 100% sure how to effectively cast their vote.We will also be contacting the Nomad, WH Ireland, over the weekend to express our displeasure at the EGM arrangements. Not only have they made it difficult and costly for shareholders based in Scotland to attend, they have also failed to make adequate arrangements for those who may wish to travel.

 

"Also, we note the venue holds only 500 people. There were more than 2000 in attendance at the recent AGM and even more at the AGM in 2013.

 

"We will be seeking clarity from the Nomad on what arrangements will be made if more than 500 shareholders turn up - something we fully expect to happen because it is essential for shareholders to vote. Clearly this board are afraid and are counting on the possibility that many fans will be put off by the venue. But let's show them that the Rangers’ shareholder base is up for the fight. Our message is simple, wait for guidance and then move swiftly and decisively to cast your vote or your proxy to remove the toxic individuals currently inhabiting the boardroom."

 

Meanwhile, as forecast by Telegraph Sport in an exclusive interview with King on Wednesday, the incumbent regime has focused on his prior convictions for tax evasion in South Africa in an attempt to present him as unfit to be a club director.

 

In a lengthy statement to the LSE, published on Rangers’ official website, the board said: “The directors have also been advised by the Company’s Nomad [stock Exchange nominated advisor] that there could be a material adverse impact on the company’s listing on AIM if David King, one of the proposed directors, is appointed to the company’s board.”

 

The statement contained detailed accounts of King’s tax convictions – he paid approximately £40 million in a settlement with the South African Revenue Service to avoid imprisonment – and also cited a drop in Rangers’ cash flow because of “low ticket sales (which the board consider may be due in part to the boycott by fans called by Mr King and others), which have led to the further deterioration of the company’s balance sheet during 2014 becoming critical at a number of points in the year”.

 

The statement contains details of the recently agreed £10 million loan arrangement with Sports Direct and the information that the annual loss in excess of £8 million, revealed in the most recent accounts, has been reduced by £2.5 million because of a programme of job cuts at Ibrox.

 

According to the board, Rangers’ current Nomad – WH Ireland & Co – will resign if King and his allies prevail at the EGM. In that event, according to the statement, “the company’s shares will be suspended from trading immediately. Under the AIM rules, the company will then have one month to replace the Nomad. The Board is of the view that in the circumstances, there can be no guarantee that a new Nomad will be appointed. In the event that a Nomad is not appointed within a month of the suspension of trading, the company’s admission to trading will be cancelled.

 

“Accordingly, if this were to occur, the company would no longer be traded on any Stock Exchange. In the judgment of the board, this is likely to make raising capital both more difficult and more expensive. There would then be no regulatory oversight of the type to which companies admitted to AIM are subject, and there would be no market for shareholders to sell their shares.”

 

In response to the board’s objections, King said: “I read the statement and, other than choosing London for obvious reasons, everything was a rehash of previous stories and was covered by me in my interview with The Telegraph on Wednesday – nothing new there and already discredited. At least the clock is now ticking.”

 

Meanwhile, it is understood that Llambias, along with football chairman Sandy Easdale, has been told by the club’s security advisors to stay away from Ibrox when Rangers meet Raith Rovers in the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round tie on Sunday.

 

The run-up to the match has been overshadowed by the claim by Kenny McDowall, Rangers’ caretaker manager, that he was ordered by Llambias and Easdale to play five loan signings from Newcastle, providing they are fit. Llambias denied the allegation and stated that team selection is solely a matter for McDowall.

 

It is understood that both men will heed the advice and will not attend the match.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11396950/Rangers-move-EGM-410-miles-from-Ibrox-to-London-to-avoid-angry-fans.html

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