Legend Struth led the coup of 1947

LEGENDARY Rangers manager Bill Struth once masterminded a bitter boardroom coup in a battle for the famous Blue Room at Ibrox.

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Struth turned himself into a Rangers icon
Struth turned himself into a Rangers icon

Struth, then 71, teamed up with long-time ally and club secretary W. Rogers Simpson in a bid to topple the club’s three-man board in 1947.

The power struggle was sparked when Rangers chairman Jimmy Bowie tried to force the man they called The Boss to quit after a poor season. He wanted to replace Struth, who had been gaffer for 27 years, with former Rangers player Scot Symon.

Struth was offered a place on the board – as long as he quit as manager. Club rules at the time prevented paid employees from being on the board.

But Struth, the grand old man of Scottish football, and Simpson, launched their own counter-offensive.

They called an EGM for June, 1947, and slowly began building a voting power base among key shareholders and fans for what became known as “The Boardroom Coup”.

In an open letter to fans, Struth, wrote: “The efficiency of Rangers has not been achieved because of the directors, but in spite of them.”

The board said the move “threatened the future prosperity of the club”. They called members to a meeting the night before the EGM to “explain the facts” and issue new proxy cards. But it was a desperate move. They had been outmanoeuvred.

When the votes were counted,Simpson and Struth were elected to the board at the AGM which followed the EGM while remaining in their roles.

Ousted Bowie departed.


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