Rangers requisitioners warned cash storm clouds were gathering

THEY were dismissed, by some at least, as troublemakers with personal grievances against Rangers.

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Alex Wilson with former Rangers director Paul Murray
Alex Wilson with former Rangers director Paul Murray

They were accused of being opportunists who were simply after a place on the Ibrox board without spending a penny of their own money.

But now the grave fears they expressed about their beloved club have been shown to be far more than just scaremongering.

Scott Murdoch, Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray and Alex Wilson all failed in their bids to be elected directors at the Rangers agm in December.

The backing of many institutional investors and major shareholders ensured the existing incumbents were all returned by sizeable margins.

Yet, the Requisitioners, as they became known, have since been vindicated in their view that all was far from well behind the scenes at the club.

And their prediction that limited funds would run dry without fresh investment - which they had managed to line-up - has also been proved to be accurate.

The revelations contained in the 120-day business review carried out by Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace, then, came as no surprise to the group.

"I read the review on Friday and noted what Mr Wallace had to say about the previous regimes and how they conducted their business with alarm and interest," said Wilson today.

"To be honest, it is what we as a Gang of Four were saying in the build-up to the agm.

"We also had a degree of disbelief that the club had enough money to see it through to the end of the season.

"We had no inside information. It was just a general feeling. If you looked at the existing funds and the cash burn and then tracked forward you could see it running out.

"Everything that we said was going wrong was indeed going wrong. Everything that we said we felt was going to happen has transpired. It is really, really, really frustrating."

A complaint has been made to Police Scotland about Wallace allegedly misleading shareholders at the agm by stating the club had enough money to see out the season.

Wilson said: "Whether Mr Wallace knew or not is for the police to investigate.

"He had a financial director, Brian Stockbridge, who we had no confidence in and we said he was a disgrace at the time."

But the Scot, who has worked in HR for multinational companies including BT, Ford, Guinness and ICI during a successful 40-year business career, feels another matter should be scrutinised.

He was taken aback by an interview that shareholder Sandy Easdale gave to BBC Scotland last Thursday - the day before the review was released to the London Stock Exchange.

Easdale revealed the Rangers finances were "fragile" and then expressed the belief that the Ibrox club would be unable to survive a second administration.

Wallace distanced himself from the comments made by the bus tycoon in a series of media interviews on Friday.

However, Wilson agrees wholeheartedly with the Union of Fans who have publicly called for club chairman David Somers to look into the matter.

He said: "I have worked on boards before. Stuff like that is price sensitive. Speaking publicly about it breaks all sorts of stock exchange rules.

"Mr Easdale is not on the main board. So how did he have access to that information?

"If a board member has price sensitive information and has released it to another individual it should be looked at.

"The director responsible should, at the very least, be censured."

Somers broke cover to issue a firm denial of the "odious and unfounded" allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" against Wallace on Monday night.

But there was no mention of the remarks made by Mr Easdale who has been accused of an "utter lack of corporate governance" by the Union of Fans.

Wilson said: "The chairman has been notable by his absence and by his lack of comment on some of the issues which have arisen at the club.

"If serious accusations are made, as has been the case, then you would expect the chairman to step forward and make a statement saying what will be done or saying that no action is necessary and why.

"Graham Wallace's rebuttal of Sandy Easdale's remarks on Friday, when he said he doesn't speak for the board, was interesting.

"Was he trying to save the situation with regards to price sensitive information being used?"

Wilson was also scathing of the possibility that senior executives, including the chief executive, at Rangers could receive substantial bonuses at a time when staff are being made redundant.

He said: "To make a ham-fisted approach to the players last year and ask them to take a 15% pay cut without at the same time taking an identical cut was a disgrace.

"Again, I don't know what the situation with bonuses at the club is, but I would hope there is no executive on that board taking away a bonus when the finances are in such a parlous state.

"We (the Requisitioners) said we would serve on the board for nothing.

"Our purpose was not personal gain or self-aggrandisement. We were all prepared to work together for the good of the club."

Lifelong Rangers fan Wilson, who has two season tickets at Ibrox and commutes to games from London, was also unhappy about supporters being blamed for the loss of credit and debit card facilities.

It has been alleged that First Data withdrew their services in January - the month before fans were first urged to pool their season ticket money in a trust fund.

Wilson added: "By all accounts, withholding season ticket money was not a serious proposition when they (First Data) first asked for security back in January.

"I am sure that the action being taken by the Union of Fans has hardened their resolve.

"But it has a lot more to do with just fans saying they were going to withhold season ticket money.

"Once again, this smacks of the board looking to blame somebody else for the club's problems."

Finance

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