A FORMER Rangers chief has told club chairman Dave King ‘I want out’ as he and his brother agreed to sell their stakes in the club for £1.3 million.

Sandy Easdale, the former football board chairman, his brother James and other family members have said they want to sell their 6,450,000 shares in Mr King’s court-ordered offer to buy out the majority of club shareholders for 20p a share.

Sandy Easdale, once the fourth biggest individual shareholder in the club, is to accept the offer for his 5,256,100 shares, which would end his association as an investor that began seven years ago when Rangers went into financial meltdown under then owner Craig Whyte.

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Mr King’s mandatory offer for the majority of the shares in Rangers has come after a court ruled the South Africa-based businessman had acted “in concert” with fellow investors in the Three Bears group when they took control of the club from a board of directors, including Mr Easdale, said to be allied to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley in 2015.

A spokesman for the Easdales said: “I know definitely that the Easdales will sell.”

It is believed that another major shareholder, Blue Pitch Holdings, which holds 4m shares, have intimated an intention to sell.

But it is also understood that the Easdales question whether there will be enough shareholders who will accept the offer to make it valid. 

Mr King’s takeover group, which currently holds a 34% stake, would have to control more than 50% of the club at the end of the offer, or it would be declared null and void.

Under Takeover Code rules Mr King should have made a written offer to buy the shares of other shareholders at the time of the takeover, having overtaken a 30% threshold.

The 63-year-old businessman, who had been defending claims of contempt of court over his failure so far to make the bid, agreed to meet a series of deadlines in December before fulfilling his pledge to make the offer, which would be expected to cost him £8m.

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It comes as Dave King and Rangers are preparing for another High Court battle with Sports Direct and Newcastle boss Mike Ashley over the rights to sell the club’s merchandise.

Claire Wallace, the Rangers Supporters Association general secretary, said there was an appetite from fans to see an end to the off-the-field court proceedings and to put the troubles of the recent past behind the club.

“Given what we have been through in recent years, we would be quite happy to move on and progress,” she said. 

“We would all like to see an end to the court cases and cut ties with everything that has happened in the past and just try to move forward.   Just now it just seems to be one thing after another.”

Mr King has gone through a lengthy battle through the courts, pursued by the Takeover Panel financial watchdog, to stave off pressure to buy the shares fearing the heavy financial toll it would place on him.

The shares offer came after a Court of Session contempt case in front of Lady Wolffe was paused after the Rangers chief said he was now “100%” committed to making the multi-million pound offer which is required under takeover rules.

Sandy Easdale, who with brother James own McGill’s Buses, left the boardroom after Mr King’s Blue Knights took control but remained the fourth biggest shareholder.

As he took no part in August’s £12.6m fund-raising shares issue, his stake in the club became diluted.  He is now the tenth biggest individual shareholder in the club, after his slice of the Rangers International Football Club plc pie went down from 6.45% before the share issue to 3.6%.

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However, there are major question marks over whether the bid will become successful, while shareholders have until 1pm on Friday to take part in the offer.

According to Takeover Panel rules the offer would fail, without Mr King having to pay a penny for shares, if fewer than 61 per cent accept the offer of those who have not already declared they will not take part.

Offer documents show that 11 shareholders, including Ally McCoist and the fans group Club 1872 who hold 38% of the club shares, have made undertakings not to take up the offer. 

Mr King has previously argued that a judge went “too far” in ordering him to make a mandatory offer at a price of 20p a share.

Mr King’s South African-based Laird Investments (Proprietary) Limited firm said in a March 29 announcement that the bid would be funded “using the receipt of dividends” amounting to £13,074,842.90, which was originally to be declared on April 4.

The King-led takeover group – which included Park’s Motor Group founder Douglas Park, Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First member George Taylor and Rangers fan George Letham – had always denied that they had acted ‘in concert’ to purchase shares in Rangers on December 31, 2014, and January 2, 2015.

Lord Carloway at the Court of Session dismissed an appeal in March forcing a bid for 66% of the shares to be made.