Light at the end of the tunnel at Rangers?

THE Rangers board will meet today to discuss giving legal guarantees over the future of both Ibrox AND Murray Park.

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Norman Crighton, Sandy Easdale and Graham Wallace met with Union of Fans representatives
Norman Crighton, Sandy Easdale and Graham Wallace met with Union of Fans representatives

If they agree to do so it could bring an end to the bitter stand-off between the Glasgow club and the Union of Fans.

And that would pave the way for supporters to buy season tickets as normal for the 2014/15 campaign.

The move follows talks between three senior club officials and representatives of the Union - an umbrella group comprising six fans' organisations - at Ibrox. Gers chief executive Graham Wallace, non-executive director Norman Crighton and major shareholder Sandy Easdale met with supporters last night.

Wallace told four fans' representatives that Rangers could be prepared to give a legally-binding undertaking over Ibrox for the next 12 months.

This would protect it from being sold, being sold and leased back or being used as security for a loan or other finance during that time.

However, UoF representatives asked to be given the same guarantees over the Rangers training ground at Auchenhowie.

And the PLC board will meet today to discuss giving identical assurances over the multi-million pound complex on the outskirts of Milngavie.

The Union has been urging fans to pledge their season ticket money to a company set up by former director Dave King, Ibrox 1972.

They wanted the club to grant them security over both Ibrox and Murray Park in return for season ticket cash.

Credit and debit card facilities have been withdrawn from the club and Wallace revealed last Friday that season ticket sales have been "slow".

And Gers chairman David Somers admitted in March that fans withholding season ticket money could threaten the "ability of the club to continue as a going concern".

The board have repeatedly said they will not grant security - but a guarantee over the two properties for the next 12 months is seen as an acceptable compromise.

Craig Houston of the Son of Struth protest group - one of the organisations in the UoF - has campaigned for security over Ibrox.

He is optimistic they can reach an acceptable agreement with the club if an assurance is given over the training ground as well as the stadium.

He said: "We had a meeting with the board and we discussed a way of resolving the issue.

"These discussions will continue over the next couple of days. We are hopeful of a positive outcome.

"One of the three main aims of the Sons of Struth when we were formed was to secure and protect Ibrox from being sold. We are quite confident we will now get that."

Rangers did not comment on the meeting.

A Union of Fans statement read: "Following a number of attempts for several weeks to arrange a meeting with chief executive Graham Wallace to discuss our proposals for security over Ibrox and Murray Park, the Union of Fans were invited by Mr Wallace to discuss this and other issues at a meeting on Wednesday night.

"Representatives of the Union of Fans met with Mr Wallace, non-executive director Norman Crighton and Sandy Easdale.

"A proposal was made by Mr Wallace that whilst the board would not grant a security they could consider giving a legally-binding undertaking which would protect Ibrox from sale, sale and leaseback or as any form of security for a loan or other finance.

"We made it clear to Mr Wallace that we felt it was also appropriate that they provide the same undertaking for Murray Park.

"Mr Wallace and Mr Crighton agree to discuss this with the rest of the PLC board as a matter or urgency and further discussions between the PLC board and the Union of Fans will continue once this board meeting has taken place.

"We believe we accurately conveyed the fears of supporters."

The deadline for Rangers season ticket renewals is Friday, May 16.

Rangers Ticket Centre is open 8am until 8pm Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16.

Anyone with any queries can email ticketcentre@rangers.co.uk

Football

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