South African businessman Dave King has launched another attempt to unsettle the current regime at Rangers, by claiming that the club are bankrupt and still run by Charles Green.
In an interview with the Daily Record’s Keith Jackson, King claimed that he will not buy out the current regime as the club needs his money not the shareholders.
He said: “Charles Green doesn’t need the money. I don’t want to hand over my money to buy a bankrupt club. Where does the money come to build the team?
“Every single pound I put into this I want it spent on the team and on the facilities like Murray Park and Ibrox. Why on earth would I want to give any of that to Charles Green?”
When asked of accusations claiming he is muddying the waters with his comments, King fired a broadside at his critics claiming: “Quite frankly I don’t give a damn what people say or write about me. I will do whatever I think is best for me. The media and the fans will make no difference to my success or failure.”
It was only last month that King called on the Rangers support to consider withholding their season ticket money unless there is a change at Ibrox. Now it seems that the man who would be King at Ibrox, seems to think that the fans will make no difference to him and his desire to control the Ibrox club.
King also stated any potential protest against the current regime would be ‘silly’ citing that the board have given ‘assurance as a public company. It would be a criminal offence for them to mislead the fans. They have said it is their intention to compete with Celtic and in Europe and it’s vital they are held to that. Go for it boys. Show us your business plan. The fans should sit back and say: ‘The next move is yours’.’
As we mentioned last week, King has already outlined his plans to the Rangers fan representatives, but they have withheld said information from the majority of Rangers fans to date.
Despite Rangers’ financial problems past and present, King who was a member of Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte’s board that led to club into administration and subsequent liquidation, has said that Rangers need to invest significantly once again to challenge city rivals Celtic.
He added: “We have to cut the wage gap between ourselves and Celtic in preparation for the return to the top flight but that money won’t come from institutions. That is when I would hope to step in, with the fans, and take a very substantial shareholding.
When questioned on Rangers adopting a ‘less hubristic approach’, King continued: “My view is my view. I half joked to the fans that if I take over as chairman of Rangers then within six weeks some of them will be trying to get rid of me. There will always be fans who grumble. But a business plan should be based on common sense.
“There are two income streams available to Rangers. One is from the fans, the other is access to the European pot. Right now Celtic own that pot.
“The only way we can access that revenue is to compete with Celtic. To do that, in our first year back we are going to have to treble our wage bill as a minimum. Depending on how Dermot Desmond responds we may need to make it four times bigger.
“Somehow we must bridge the gap and understand that we will not get back to the top unless the costs lead the revenue. That won’t come from institutions, it’s going to come from soft investments. I’m willing to provide that soft money.
“If we compete with Celtic then Europe looks after itself. But we are going to need a big injection of capital.”
Meanwhile, Rangers have cancelled the controversial £1 million loan from Laxey Partners in favour of another with more favourable terms from shareholder George Letham.
The Ibrox club announced via the stock exchange that major shareholder Laxey had transferred the credit facility to George Letham, who had made a public offer in the wake of criticism of the original deal.
Laxey were set to make £150,000 on the six-month loan – which along with Sandy Easdale’s loan – was secured against Edmiston House and Albion car park.
A statement from Rangers’ plc read: “On 24 February 2014, the company announced that it had entered into two secured short term credit facilities for an aggregate amount of up to £1.5 million. These credit facilities were provided by Laxey Partners Ltd to the amount of £1 million and Alexander Easdale to the amount of £500,000.
“Laxey has, pursuant to an agreement entered into today, transferred all rights and obligations in relation to the Laxey Facility to Mr George Letham including all its rights in relation to the standard security granted as security for the Laxey Facility. Mr Letham is a shareholder in the company and a lifelong Rangers fan.
“The Laxey Facility, now transferred by Laxey to Mr George Letham, remains subject to the same terms and conditions with the exception that the premium payment has been reduced to £45,000 and remains payable in shares or cash.”