Rangers: Dave King claims victory in battle for boardroom

Rangers shareholder Dave King
Dave King is due to arrive in Glasgow this week to reveal how he would shape Rangers

Dave King claims he has recorded a "landslide victory" in his quest for regime change at Rangers.

King, who called for a general meeting to replace the board with himself and two associates, claims director Derek Llambias has acknowledged his resolutions have been successful.

"Mr Llambias put it best by advising me that I had achieved a 'landslide' victory," read a statement from King.

The extraordinary general meeting is due to be held on 6 March at Ibrox.

Ahead of the EGM, director James Easdale resigned from the board and chairman David Somers followed suit.

But chief executive Llambias and finance director Barry Leach, who are associates of Rangers shareholder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, have yet to resign from the board.

King wants all four current directors removed and replaced with himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan. If the result of the shareholder vote is clearly in King's favour, Llambias and Leach could appoint the three new directors then resign.

Rangers chief executive Derek Llambias
Chief executive Derek Llambias remains on the board of Scottish Championship outfit Rangers

They would still be bound to their employment contracts as chief executive and finance director and the BBC understands they are seeking full compensation for their 12-month notice periods.

King informed them in an email that he intends to hold them personally responsible for the costs incurred in staging the EGM given Llambias has already conceded defeat.

King, who owns 14.5% of RIFC, has been supported by a majority of shareholders, which includes the consortium of Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - who own 19.49% - and the two fan ownership groups, the Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First.

When Llambias was appointed as a non-executive director, the Stock Exchange was informed that this was under the terms of a loan agreement provided by MASH, the investment company owned by Mike Ashley, who holds an 8.92% stake in Rangers International Football Club.

Rangers respond (Tue pm) to Dave King's claims of victory
"Proxy voting closes tomorrow morning at 10am, and at the current time a significant number of shares have not yet voted; the outcome cannot therefore be determined with certainty. The position of the proxy voting will not be announced ahead of the meeting for regulatory reasons, and in any event shareholders have the right to revoke their proxy vote by attendance in person at the general meeting. "The Directors believe that they have at all times sought to act in the best interests of Rangers for the benefit of its shareholders as a whole . "By remaining in post the directors wish to give the Company and possible incoming directors (should the Board change) the best possible chance of complying with the AIM rules and of avoiding the risk highlighted in the circular of 06 February 2015 of the Company's shares being suspended. There can be no guarantee of avoiding suspension."

Leach left his executive position at Sports Direct, which is also owned by Ashley and has a retail agreement with Rangers, for his role at Ibrox.

"All of the Rangers directors that are subject to my requisition have now accepted that my resolutions have been successful and there is now no need for the general meeting to proceed," King's statement continued.

"I wish to thank all shareholders, and particularly the fans, for this resounding success. The future now looks more recognisable for all Rangers stakeholders.

"James Easdale and David Somers did the right thing by resigning, however the two appointees of Mr Ashley have stubbornly refused to resign and are using their current position (as remaining directors) to withhold implementation of the resolutions for personal gain."

In his email to Llambias and Leach, which King sent this morning, he referred to a conference call held with the Rangers chief executive and which was recorded as a matter of routine by WH Ireland, the company that manages RIFC's listing on the Alternative Investment Market.

He also noted that Somers had offered to remain in place until Friday, to ensure that a director was in place to implement the resolutions and remove the need for the EGM to take place.

Dave King (centre), Paul Murray (left) and John Gilligan (right)
Dave King (centre) wants himself, Paul Murray (left) and John Gilligan (right) appointed to the board

Once appointed to the board, King and Murray must seek approval from the Scottish Football Association under the governing body's fit and proper person criteria.

Both were on the board of Rangers Football Club plc in the period leading up to, and in King's case beyond, Craig Whyte putting the business into administration. King was also convicted of 41 breaches of the Income Tax Act in South Africa, following a decade-long legal case with the South African Revenue Services.

More appointments will swiftly be made to the new board, which must immediately address the club's cash flow problems. Sports Direct provided a £5m loan, with a further £5m made available, securing it against various assets, including Murray Park. The terms also allow Sports Direct to nominate two directors for the duration of the loan, although this option has not yet been exercised.

King intends to reveal the incoming board's plans for fundraising and other issues in due course, with the Castlemilk-born businessman travelling to Glasgow in the coming days.

"Now that the incoming board and I can focus on the future I will issue a further press statement outlining the immediate and intermediate steps that we have to take as we commence the road to re-establishing Rangers to the institution that its legacy demands," he said.

Rangers have been approached for comment but neither the club, Llambias or Leach have yet responded.

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