Dave King: Rangers review 'great news for Celtic fans'

DAVE KING has branded Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace's business review as "great for Celtic fans".

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Dave King has slammed Graham Wallace's review
Dave King has slammed Graham Wallace's review

South Africa-based businessman King, who has said he is prepared to invest up to £50million in the Gers, savaged the review in a lengthy statement.

The former Ibrox director claimed it "could have been put together in a day by a relatively junior employee".

And the Scot was damning of the fact it only targeted launching a challenge to Celtic for the Scottish title in the 2016/17 season.

And he predicted the Parkhead club could pull further away from their city rivals under the business plan laid out by Wallace.

The statement read: "The board has conceded that it does not plan to effectively compete with Celtic in our first season back in the Premier League.

"This is a great review for Celtic fans. It is stated that the board might only raise £20million over the next three years.

"This paltry amount will guarantee that Celtic will be in a league of its own for the next few years - and possibly permanently thereafter.

"Celtic will continue to enjoy exclusive access to the Champions League windfalls and will go from financial strength to strength. The gap could become financially irreversible.

"The board still does not have a clear plan for raising capital despite knowing for some months that a financial crisis was looming."

Elsewhere, King criticised the Rangers board for refusing to let supporters know that credit and debit card facilities had been withdrawn.

And he dismissed suggestions that the threat of withholding season ticket money had led finance company First Data to take their drastic action.

The statement continued: "It is interesting that the credit card companies agree with me that the season tickets should not be released to the club.

"However, it is genuinely shocking that this board has, for several months, withheld the knowledge that fans would not have access to credit card facilities when renewing season ticket purchases.

"The board preferred to blame 'external parties' in an attempt to hide this serious non-disclosure. How can this board ask fans to ever trust them again?

"The board continues the blame game and takes no responsibility for the current debacle. In truth, it is this board's stubborn refusal to secure fresh equity that is the cause of the present fragile state of the club's finances.

"The board clearly hoped to muddle along by using the season ticket advances from fans. This review should reinforce to fans that this board cannot serve as an appropriate custodian for their season ticket money.

"The board has admitted that Rangers is not presently a 'going concern' and yet offers no plan on how this will be dealt with in the short term.

"Fans could once again lose their season ticket advances if given to the club at this time. It is unconscionable that this board has done nothing to bolster the finances since the last AGM."

King has called on Police Scotland, who may be about to commence a probe into allegations Wallace misled shareholders at the club AGM in December, to include other board members in their investigation.

He said: "I have taken time to carefully consider and reflect on this long awaited business review.

"It falls well short of the strategic business review that we were promised. There is nothing to read between the lines, no sign of a coherent plan to save this club, and more importantly no hope for the supporters or shareholders.

"I find it difficult that any CEO would expect this review to be taken seriously. I would reject it if one of my CEOs presented such a summary review to me.

"The CEO is now subject to a criminal complaint on this very issue, but I believe that his comments were made with the full knowledge of the board. Certainly no-one came out to contradict him. We should therefore expect any criminal investigation to extend to other board members."

In a statement released by Rangers, chairman David Somers said: "Graham Wallace is working tirelessly and doing an excellent job in leading the rebuild of our football club by creating a Rangers our fans can be proud of.

"He will continue to develop the club's long-term future plan which will return us to the top of Scottish football and competing in Europe.

"Any suggestions of inappropriate behaviour by him in relation to his duties as Chief Executive Officer are odious and unfounded.

"They will be defended with full rigour, if a substantiated complaint is ever put to him or Rangers.

"The history and facts have been explained in both the Interim Statement and the Business Review summary.

"Any media reports to the contrary are based on rumour and gossip which is damaging to the football club.

"If Mr King wishes to engage in constructive dialogue, then the door remains open.

"Regrettably however, he continues to make fictitious, inaccurate and misleading comments which are very unhelpful."

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