As spectre of Green returns, fans braced for latest twist in Rangers game of thrones

THE gruff, no-nonsense Yorkshire businessman who shot straight from the lip took control at Rangers precisely two years ago on Saturday.

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Proper Charlie...Green forged an uneasy alliance with Walter Smith which quickly fell apart as did his relationship with Rangers boss Ally McCoist and then the fed-up fans turned their back on him after a string of negative headlnes
Proper Charlie...Green forged an uneasy alliance with Walter Smith which quickly fell apart as did his relationship with Rangers boss Ally McCoist and then the fed-up fans turned their back on him after a string of negative headlnes

Charles Green's consortium pipped an array of rival bidders to buy Rangers from administrators Duff and Phelps in what has become a hugely controversial deal worth £5.5 million.

And Green, in an inimitable style that would soon become familiar to every Scottish football supporter, insisted he was the man to restore the glory days to the stricken Ibrox club.

For a time, many fans bought into his maverick style as the former chief executive of Sheffield United rallied City investors behind the Rangers cause.

He was ebullient when £22million was brought in through an IPO - although that money was squandered amid claims of gross mismanagement.

And his blunt approach soon polarised the board and gradually alienated fans.

It slowly became clear that all was not well behind the scenes at the troubled 140-year-old institution.

He fell out with Rangers legend Walter Smith, who had returned to the club as chairman of a deeply-divided board.

And manager Ally McCoist was also left to handle the fallout after his ill-considered comments on his inexperienced team's often unimpressive on-field performances.

The end of the affair was messy. He quit the club in acrimonious circumstances due to "adverse publicity".

And after later selling his shares to Sandy Easdale he declared that he had no influence or financial interest in the club.

However, speculation has persisted that the former Sheffield United official was involved in some capacity behind the scenes.

The Requisitioners - the group that tried to get elected as directors in December - revealed Green had been drumming up support for the board among institutional investors before the AGM.

Now the spectre of the Green Reaper is looming over the club once again.

The reports come after it emerged last week that Rangers will hold a second share issue before August in an attempt to raise in the region of £8 million. And Craig Houston, of the Sons of Struth supporters protest group, believes Green could have resurfaced in an attempt to drive up the share price.

Houston said: "Charles Green only a few months ago said he was actively seeking to buy new shares.

"Between that interview, and what has come out on the BBC over the weekend, I have no reason to disbelieve him.

"In fact, the only thing that I would disbelieve is that he has been entirely cut off from activities at Rangers since standing down as chief executive."

He added: "But I find it strange that this story about Green has come out at a time when the club is preparing to hold another share issue. Obviously when you have got one person who is interested in buying shares then that means the share price will be x amount.

"But when you have two people who are interested in buying shares then the share price is immediately x amount plus.

"Before it was reported that Green was interested in buying a controlling stake in the club there was only one person interested in investing.

"So this might be an attempt to raise the share price of any existing investors who might be wanting to dispose of their shares in the near future."

Green could be called to give evidence in the court case against Rangers by former commercial director Imran Ahmad. His employment was terminated last year, but he claims he was entitled to a bonus and is seeking a £500,000 payout.

Houston reckons Green's potential return to SPFL League One champions would be fiercely opposed by both the current board and supporters.

He said: "I would be very surprised if any of the shareholders who hold power at Rangers at the moment would be happy with his return.

"Sandy Easdale has told me personally on several occasions that there is no like or trust of him among the members of the current board.

"The guy is in the top three most disliked characters to have been involved with Rangers in the last couple of years. And there have been a few in that time."

Football

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