Blues hired Nash before Stockbridge Rangers exit

RANGERS lined up accountancy chief Philip Nash for a major Ibrox role just weeks before controversial Light Blues finance director Brian Stockbridge left the club.

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Brian Stockbridge left Rangers last January
Brian Stockbridge left Rangers last January

And Nash, who was recently appointed to the board of Rangers International Football Club plc, will receive more cash for his part-time consultancy role than Stockbridge did for his full-time position in Glasgow.

Stockbridge parted company with Rangers on January 24, less than a month after he won re-election to the board at a stormy AGM that saw him come in for a barrage of abuse from fans.

A fortnight earlier, Nash was appointed as a consultant to the board in a bid to stem seven-figure monthly loses at Ibrox.

But SportTimes can reveal the deal to bring the accountant to Rangers was rubber-stamped in a conversation with chief executive Graham Wallace seven days before the AGM on December 19 last year.

The former Liverpool and Arsenal financial chief landed a deal that sees him bank £1,000 plus expenses per day for his services for a maximum of 16 days per month from his base in England.

Rangers announced on July 25 that Nash, who was appointed company secretary in March, had been handed a seat on the Ibrox board, a move that, in line with the other non-executive directors at Ibrox, could see him bank between £40,000-£70,000 extra per year.

That would take his remuneration above the £200k per annum salary Stockbridge received, a figure repeatedly criticised by fans during a controversial spell at the club.

Earlier this summer, Stockbridge, who returned the £200,000 bonus he collected after Ally McCoist's side won the Third Division title, snapped up 714,285 shares in RIFC plc for just £7,000 as part of a deal struck while he was employed at Ibrox.

Last December chairman David Somers launched a vociferous defence of the financial director but, just days later, the deal to bring Nash in was confirmed,

before Stockbridge was shown the door the following month.

In an open letter to fans, Somers said: "Brian Stockbridge suffers most from the lies thrown around by the people in the process of re-inventing themselves. Even the requisitioners must understand finance directors are members of boards and their actions are largely dictated by the board."

He added: "Without Brian, the club would, in my opinion, have been de-listed months ago and ironically the club should owe him a debt of gratitude for holding things together. Going forward, his new CEO, Graham Wallace, needs time to evaluate the whole structure within the business and the people within it. This will be true for Brian as for everyone else."

The revelations over Nash's six-figure remuneration come in the week Rangers announced they are looking to raise around £4million in a share issue to ease the financial pressure at Ibrox. Loans agreed earlier this year with director Sandy Easdale and Gers fan George Letham - worth a combined £1.5m - are due to be paid back by the end of this month.

But cash is short after thousands of fans refused to renew their season tickets in protest at the way the club is being run.

Tensions between the terraces and boardroom have escalated in recent months as fears have grown over the long-term futures of Ibrox and Murray Park.

And Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham says the details of Nash's salary will further infuriate the Light Blue legions, already up in arms at the 100% bonus available to chief executive Wallace.

He said: "It comes as no real surprise to learn the level of Mr Nash's payments from the club although it's obviously very disappointing. It's in keeping with what we've seen over the past two years, with executives taking huge payments out the club for what has so far been no tangible benefit.

"How can a club that has burned through so much money, had to take loans to complete last season and which is saddled with a board that has so far shown no signs of any ability to raise much needed investment, afford the luxury of a part-time, £200k-a- year finance consultant?

"Ibrox is crumbling, Murray Park is crumbling, almost every area of the club, on and off the pitch, needs investment, revenues are down and yet we are seeing a part-time consultant take home at least £200k a year and our CEO, Graham Wallace, earn a possible £630k. It's ridiculous."

In response, a Rangers spokesperson commented: "Philip Nash is a highly-respected football administrator with more than a dozen years of experience in senior roles at leading football clubs. He is making a valuable contribution to building a successful and sustainable Rangers."

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