sport

Rangers respond to King claims

The Rangers board have reacted to Dave King's latest broadside by accusing the South African based businessman of being economical with the truth.

King gave his backing to the Rangers board last month, telling fans to be patient and wait for the report of a 120-day spending review by the club, after meeting with chairman David Somers, chief executive Graham Wallace and other directors at Ibrox.

That backing came after King had been summoned to Ibrox following previous suggestions that supporters should withhold their season-ticket money.

Results of the spending review are not expected to be published for another month, and King has once again criticised the board on the eve of the club's biggest match against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

And Rangers have revealed they have contacted legal representatives regarding King's latest comments to the media.

A Rangers statement read: "Mr King makes a number of untrue allegations against the chairman and the board of Rangers Football Club alleging bad faith and false representation.

"The chairman and the board refute all such allegations in the strongest terms and have referred Mr King's statement to the club's legal advisors.

"This position remains unchanged and Mr King is well aware of this having sought personal confirmation on this matter from the chairman as recently as yesterday.

"The business review period has not yet even ended, as Mr King is well aware, however he has elected to make yet another public statement to serve his own purposes."

King was convicted on 41 counts of tax fraud in South Africa last year, and only avoided an 82-year prison sentence as he had enough assets to meet the costs of the outstanding monies.

He recently claimed he would underwrite a share issue of 30-50m to help the League One champions "compete with Celtic" - but that he was unwilling to buy out the owners of the League One club.

But Rangers have accused King, who invested 20m in the club several years before the club was placed in liquidation, of exaggerating his willingness to spend his own money.

The club statement read: "When the board met Mr King a few weeks ago, he made it clear that he did not want to put another penny into the club and would prefer to see the club using other investors' money.

"The board was therefore surprised, but gave him the benefit of the doubt when, a few days later, Mr King made media comments about a willingness to invest his money into the club. This is an easy statement to make to the media but is contrary to what he told the whole board.

"It is extremely disappointing that Mr King should consider it appropriate to issue this latest statement, clearly designed to unsettle and mislead Rangers fans, on the eve of an important Scottish Cup semi-final match."