Rangers fans turn heat on Somers

RANGERS fans today hit out at the 'utter lack of corporate governance' being enforced by chairman David Somers as pressure mounted on the under-fire board.

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James and Sandy Easdale, Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace and chairman David Somers are under the fans' microscope
James and Sandy Easdale, Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace and chairman David Somers are under the fans' microscope

Chief executive Graham Wallace issued a rebuke to shareholder Sandy Easdale last week over his comments that Rangers' financial position was 'fragile' and that the club would not survive a second administration.

And the Union of Fans have now questioned why Easdale, who is not a member of the Rangers International Football Club plc board, was able to make such pronouncements just hours before Wallace revealed the details of his business review and attempted to distance the current hierarchy from the off-field problems at Ibrox.

The UoF said: "We note Mr Wallace's criticism of previous boards. James Easdale sat on the previous board from July of last year. Is he now going to be removed?

"Sandy Easdale became a de facto member of the previous board in September last year and has clearly had unprecedented and unjustifiable access to the plc's financial details since.

"His public statements just prior to the review showed that he has access to information he should not, were share price sensitive and showed the utter lack of corporate governance being enforced by Mr Somers in his role as chairman."

Tensions between the boardroom and terraces have escalated in recent months, with a number of 'sack the board' chants heard during Saturday's 3-0 League One win over Stranraer, despite an official protest being cancelled following the death of club legend Sandy Jardine last week.

And the UoF have called for Wallace to be suspended from his position as Somers faces growing pressure to tackle the off-field issues at Ibrox.

The statement said: "It is time for Mr Somers, our absent chairman, to step forward and clear up this mess."

The UoF also called for an explanation of Wallace's statement to shareholders.

"He must suspend Mr Wallace pending the conclusion of police investigations.

"He must deal with the serious questions over Sandy Easdale's role and why he is being treated like a privileged plc board member when he is simply a minority shareholder with undue influence."

Wallace last week revealed the details of his business review at Ibrox but he is now facing allegations he misled shareholders at December's agm.

The former Manchester City CEO stated Rangers had enough money to see out the season but the board were forced to take out two loans totalling £1.5million just a few weeks later, with shareholder and investment banker Phil Maher now making a formal complaint to Police Scotland.

The authorities have launched a probe and are investigating whether Wallace has breached the Companies Act.

Wallace also claimed last week that plans by Dave King and the UoF were behind the decision by finance company FirstData to remove credit and debit card facilities for fans wishing to renew their season tickets this summer.

It is understood, however, that the company alerted Rangers on January 23, a month before the season ticket trust proposal was made, that they would require security before they would sanction such payments.

That request came just weeks after RIFC plc posted a loss of £14.4million for the 13 months to December last year and the board proposed a 15% wage cut to Ally McCoist's squad.

FirstData did not cite any issues regarding a possible drop in season ticket sales, and the UoF said: "Once again we have seen a Rangers board attempt to deflect the blame for their own incompetence on to fans who only want the best for the club.

"Even more seriously, this is a blatant attempt to mislead shareholders as to the underlying reasons for the club's inability to provide these facilities."

In response to the allegations towards Wallace, a Rangers spokesman said: "Mr Wallace has no knowledge of a complaint, which if put to the football club, has no grounds.

"The outcome of Mr Wallace's business review published by Rangers on Friday gave a comprehensive overview of the circumstances surrounding his arrival at the club and the financial assumptions made at the time."

Football

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