The battle for Ibrox: King tells Wallace not to insult fans

Dave King has criticised Graham Wallace for claiming the Rangers support have destabilised the club with their threat to withhold season ticket cash - insisting the chief executive's comments are an insult to the Ibrox faithful.

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In a statement former director King has taken swipe at Wallace for questioning fans' loyalties to their club.

The Union of Fans issued a vote of no confidence in the Ibrox board on Thursday and backed King's bid to lead a fan-based group to secure a major shareholding in the club.

They also backed the South African-based businessman's call for trust to be set up that would collect season ticket fees and drip feed the money to the regime controlling the Light Blues week by week.

Wallace responded by saying that threat was "damaging" Rangers but King rejected his claim.

In his statement, King - who now plans to fly to Scotland to step up his bid for change - said: "Unfortunately, I can only express bemusement at the board's response to myself and the fans.

"In what is really a non-response the board states that our statements are an attempt to undermine the club. That is an insult to fans who have nothing other than the club's interest at heart."

The latest squabble in the long-running saga surrounding the club's ownership and finances was sparked on Monday when Rangers announced to the stock exchange that it had taken out a £1.5million loan from investors Laxey Partners and Sandy Easdale.

The terms of the loan handed both Laxey and Easdale security on the Albion car park and Edminston House facilities near Ibrox, while Laxey stands to make a £150,000 profit.

That angered supporters who claim a better deal was available from other shareholders.

Wallace, though, pleaded for the fans to trust the board's management but King - who lost a £20million investment when oldco Rangers were liquidated in the summer of 2012 - said: "They ask for trust but don't recognise that trust is a mutual relationship and requires transparency.

"What the board is really asking of fans is to have blind faith - not trust. This board has not earned that right and has, in fact, repeatedly demonstrated the opposite."

And King raised doubts about who was really pulling the strings behind the scenes.

"{The board states] that the current problems can be attributed to previous management (presumably Charles Green etc). That does not explain the ongoing lack of transparency on shareholding and finances by the existing board.

"It is quite possible that Charles Green is still de facto controlling the club. Certainly the existing directors have a minuscule equity stake and yet won't disclose the true 'power behind the throne'."

Rangers made a £14.4million loss last year and had to take out the Laxey/Easdale loan just to keep the Ibrox lights on until the end of the season.

King's statement concludes: "The board continues to treat the fans with disdain by offering mere platitudes.

"A more considered and constructive response was appropriate. It is insightful of the board's mindset that it is willing to borrow money from a preferred shareholder at a rate of interest that reflects a high risk to the investor.

"In doing so the board has finally confirmed its true view on the parlous state of the club's finances.

"What is incomprehensible however is that it then eliminated the risk to this investor (and separately to Sandy Easdale) by providing club assets as security while still paying the high-risk rate.

"That highlights that this transaction makes no commercial sense and was not conducted on an arms-length basis.

"Paradoxically, the board wants long suffering fans to lend money at no interest and with no security. Rangers fans are loyal but not stupid."Dave King has criticised Graham Wallace for claiming the Rangers support have destabilised the club with their threat to withhold season ticket cash - insisting the chief executive's comments are an insult to the Ibrox faithful.

In a statement released to Press Association Sport, former director King has taken swipe at Wallace for questioning fans' loyalties to their club.

The Union of Fans issued a vote of no confidence in the Ibrox board on Thursday and backed King's bid to lead a fan-based group to secure a major shareholding in the club.

They also backed the South African-based businessman's call for trust to be set up that would collect season ticket fees and drip feed the money to the regime controlling the Light Blues week by week.

Wallace responded by saying that threat was "damaging" Rangers but King rejected his claim.

In his statement, King - who now plans to fly to Scotland to step up his bid for change - said: "Unfortunately, I can only express bemusement at the board's response to myself and the fans.

"In what is really a non-response the board states that our statements are an attempt to undermine the club. That is an insult to fans who have nothing other than the club's interest at heart."

The latest squabble in the long-running saga surrounding the club's ownership and finances was sparked on Monday when Rangers announced to the stock exchange that it had taken out a £1.5million loan from investors Laxey Partners and Sandy Easdale.

The terms of the loan handed both Laxey and Easdale security on the Albion car park and Edminston House facilities near Ibrox, while Laxey stands to make a £150,000 profit.

That angered supporters who claim a better deal was available from other shareholders.

Wallace, though, pleaded for the fans to trust the board's management but King - who lost a £20million investment when oldco Rangers were liquidated in the summer of 2012 - said: "They ask for trust but don't recognise that trust is a mutual relationship and requires transparency.

"What the board is really asking of fans is to have blind faith - not trust. This board has not earned that right and has, in fact, repeatedly demonstrated the opposite."

And King raised doubts about who was really pulling the strings behind the scenes.

"{The board states] that the current problems can be attributed to previous management (presumably Charles Green etc). That does not explain the ongoing lack of transparency on shareholding and finances by the existing board.

"It is quite possible that Charles Green is still de facto controlling the club. Certainly the existing directors have a minuscule equity stake and yet won't disclose the true 'power behind the throne'."

Rangers made a £14.4million loss last year and had to take out the Laxey/Easdale loan just to keep the Ibrox lights on until the end of the season.

King's statement concludes: "The board continues to treat the fans with disdain by offering mere platitudes.

"A more considered and constructive response was appropriate. It is insightful of the board's mindset that it is willing to borrow money from a preferred shareholder at a rate of interest that reflects a high risk to the investor.

"In doing so the board has finally confirmed its true view on the parlous state of the club's finances.

"What is incomprehensible however is that it then eliminated the risk to this investor (and separately to Sandy Easdale) by providing club assets as security while still paying the high-risk rate.

"That highlights that this transaction makes no commercial sense and was not conducted on an arms-length basis.

"Paradoxically, the board wants long suffering fans to lend money at no interest and with no security. Rangers fans are loyal but not stupid."

Finance

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