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Park demands seats on Rangers board

New Ibrox power struggle looms after trio offers investment

IbroxRangers are poised to head into the new year embroiled in another boardroom power struggle after a consortium headed by coach hire tycoon Douglas Park emerged this weekend.

Park has teamed up with businessmen George Letham and George Taylor to underwrite a new issue of shares that would raise £6.5 million for the cash-strapped club.

They want to buy all 40.7 million new shares being offered next month but following a vote at last week’s annual general meeting the existing shareholders must be given first refusal.

The offer comes with a demand for two board seats and was submitted after the stormy agm on Monday when an attempt to allow new shareholders to buy all the shares without them first being offered to existing shareholders was defeated.

This was seen as a move by the board to block new investment in the belief that the Scottish Football Association would overturn its rule preventing Mike Ashley raising his stake from 8.92% to 29.9%.

This latest move is bound to intensify the struggle for control at Rangers now that the Ashley route to raising badly-needed funds appears to have been blocked. The club needs at least £8m before April.

Park was a member of the Blue Knights consortium, while Letham has loaned the club £1m.  Hong Kong-based Taylor bought a 3.2% stake last month.

A spokesman for the Park consortium said: “Everyone knows the company is in dire need of fresh and significant investment and yet shareholders represented on the board decided to vote against investment from new shareholders.

“Presumably, they believed the SFA would clear the way for Mike Ashley to increase his holding but we now know that this was not approved. The SFA would have been aware there is a credible alternative and we would like to make sure the fans are aware of that, too.

“Our offer was based on Resolution nine being passed, but this was blocked. However, as existing shareholders we still believe it should be possible for us to gain a significant holding and are ready to invest in a new share issue.

“Our money is in place, proof of funding has been shown to the chairman and the company’s nomad. We are trying our best to do what is right for Rangers and the supporters.

“Why on earth would anyone not want a hugely successful businessman like Douglas Park involved?”

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