sport

Rangers reject King's plans

Dave King's plan to ring-fence season-ticket cash has been rejected by the board of Rangers.

The South Africa-based businessman had called on supporters to place their money in trust to be handed over to the club on a game-by-game basis rather than a lump sum before the start of the campaign.

King, who invested 20m of his own money in oldco Rangers before they were consigned to liquidation in 2012, has the backing of a number of fans' groups keen to see the former director back on the Ibrox board.

The current regime at Rangers summoned King to a meeting last week after he openly criticised the way the club was being run after it was forced to take out a 1.5m 'working capital' loan from investors Sandy Easdale and Laxey Partners.

King's proposed scheme, which would have protected season-ticket cash from being used to repay the controversial loan, was dismissed by the board.

The loan agreement is secured against the Albion car park and Edmiston House and will earn Laxey a 150,000 profit in either cash or shares when it is repaid.

The club described their meeting as a 'helpful, open and honest discussion' with King adding that 'many of his concerns over the future of the club had been addressed'.

However, the two sides could not reach agreement on the issue of the season tickets and in a statement, King said: "The only significant issue that I discussed with the board that is not contained in the board statement is the Laxey loan facility.

"Mr Norman Crighton, on behalf of the board, made a forcible argument as to why the board considered and approved the terms of the Laxey loan.

"The board considered that a combination of legal risk and the current financial position justified the loan terms.

"I replied that a consequence of the board's view of the high risk to anyone advancing funds to the club is the board's fiduciary responsibility to ring fence any season-ticket money that is received (even if fans don't request this) unless sufficient committed financing is in place at that time.

"The board did not agree with me on this logical consequence but I believe that my observation is correct."

King had made his original call to fans after complaining about a lack of transparency over the club's financial state following last year's 14.4m loss and rumours of downsizing to boss Ally McCoist's squad which would affect their chances of challenging Celtic if they reach the Premiership.

One of his main concerns over the destination of the cash was he feared the board would mortgage off Ibrox and the Murray Park training ground to secure fresh finance.

But his statement continued: "The board has now publicly dealt with each of the above. The board has affirmed that it regards competition with Celtic and in Europe as being its continued aim and that this outlook will be reflected in the business review that will be published within the next month.

"Crucially, that will allow fans sufficient time to consider the review prior to investing in season tickets but it is also important that the board has now confirmed categorically that they will not use Ibrox or Murray Park as security for any form of fund raising.

"No one should be in any doubt that this public statement and commitment is significant and should be appreciated as such. Statements from a public company board are intended to be relied upon so in a couple of weeks we can expect a business review that will reflect the board's ambition and a funding plan to achieve this.

"The board has now communicated with the fans and has committed to do so in more detail within a month. Let us give the board time to comply with its commitment.

"I advised the board that I would wish to be a part of the required fund-raising as a component of a united fan group investment vehicle. This will require further discussion after release of the review in the next month."