Former Rangers stars Gough and Rae support new plans

Richard Gough and Alex Rae have become the first two former Rangers players to back a scheme that could hand the club's supporters power at Ibrox.

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Richard Gough is backing fans' scheme along with Alex Rae
Richard Gough is backing fans' scheme along with Alex Rae

Representatives of the club's support have been invited to hear a presentation from Supporters Direct Scotland on how they could set about launching a bid for "greater fan ownership".

SDS has already helped supporters of Dunfermline and Hearts successfully arrange deals to take control of their clubs and believe the Rangers faithful could be the next to grab a greater say in how their club is run.

They will discuss the vision at a meeting at the Louden Tavern, Ibrox, on February 14 and have already won the backing of nine-in-a-row captain Gough.

The former Scotland defender said: "The fans are the heart and soul of Rangers Football Club and one sure way to guarantee that this remains the case at Rangers forever is for the fans to collectively have more power in the club.

"As we are a PLC, fans collectively owning shares is in my opinion one way to ensure this, and the more they own the louder their voice.

"I therefore look forward to hearing what comes out of this meeting on the 14th and hope it moves the cause of fan involvement forward at Ibrox."

Former Gers midfielder Rae - who helped the Glasgow giants land the 2005 Scottish Premier League title - has also indicated his support.

"When I go to Ibrox I hear the Rangers fans singing 'Four men had a dream' about the men who founded the club," he said. "Well the many thousands of Rangers Fans can now make that dream a reality again by gathering together with the single issue of collectively owning their club.

"That is why I look forward to hearing what comes from the meeting of the 14th and look forward to supporting the next step."

It is understood the SDS has drawn up a blueprint that will see a Community Interest Company formed which will then collect monthly contributions from fans.

It will be based broadly on the same model which has put the Foundation of Hearts group in poll position to rescue the administration-hit Jambos.

Head of SDS Paul Goodwin spoke last week of how a scheme with around 25,000 supporters handing over around £20 a month would give them £6million after 12 months.

The current Ibrox share-price has fallen to 25.75p - a huge drop on the 70p launch price.

The Foundation of Hearts announced last week it had struck a deal with majority shareholder UBIG to take control of their 78.97 per cent stake in the Jambos. The Gorgie bid is backed by more than 7,500 fans each making a monthly donation.

SDS is also currently working with fan groups and boards at Motherwell, Ayr United and Annan Athletic as they bid help take those clubs into community ownership.

Rangers announced a £14.4million loss for the 13-month period up to June with reports suggesting the club is still losing £1million a month.

The club's AGM just before Christmas saw angry shareholders lining up to criticise the Ibrox board for their handling of the club's affairs.

Last month, the first-team players rejected a proposed 15 per cent pay cut while chief executive Graham Wallace has started a 120-day review of the League One leaders' operations after admitting spending is out of control.

Football

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