Hopes raised for united attack in Ibrox battle

King appeals to Three Bears in bid to oust Rangers board

Dave KingSouth Africa based businessman Dave King is this weekend attempting to persuade other shareholders in Rangers to back his move to oust the board.

King, who owns just shy of 15% of the club, submitted papers on Friday night, calling for a general meeting which is now expected within six weeks.

He needs to garner 51% of shares to win control and is hoping to persuade the Three Bears Consortium of Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor to vote their joint holdings of 19% in his favour. Another 11% is owned by the supporters.

Should he achieve majority support he will be able to force chairman David Somers, chief executive Derek Llambias, finance director Barry Leach, and non-executive director Sandy Easdale, off the board.

In their place would come King, former director Paul Murray and former brewery boss John Gilligan.

His move comes amid an intensifying battle for control of the Ibrox boardroom.  The Three Bears consortium has  offered to increase its offer of a £5 million loan to Rangers in a bid to prevent Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley taking a firmer control over Ibrox and its training ground.

The Newcastle United owner wants to take Ibrox and the Murray Park training ground as security against a £10m loand.

His move excludes other offers for 35 days, but the consortium says its offer does not include the club’s assets as security. A fans group has dropped a planned legal action after taking advice. A demonstration took place outside the stadium on Friday night.

Documents filed by Ashley’s Sport Direct retail chain with the Register of Scotland aim to add its name to the title deeds of the stadium and training facility.
The board has been accused of reneging on earlier pledges to reject any attempt to use the assets in this way.  In October, the club threw out an offer from Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy who proposed a similar arrangement.
Last May the club said: “For the avoidance of doubt and so that all Rangers fans are again reassured, the board has stated that is has no intention of granting security over Ibrox to anybody.”
Rangers issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange responding to reports about Ashley’s plans. It read:  “The company notes the recent speculation in the press. The directors confirm that they are currently considering various proposals to secure the financial future of the club, however no decision has been made at this time.”
But fans believe the board has done a u-turn as part of another plan to strengthen 8.92% shareholder Ashley’s grip on control.
His ownership of Newcastle prevents him from adding to his holdings in Ibrox above 10%.  The Scottish FA ruled that he would not be allowed to increase his stake to 29.9%.
A £20m takeover offer from US tycoon Robert Sarver, which would have enabled him to wipe out Rangers’ debts was rejected by the board earlier this week.

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