Rangers will host EGM at Ibrox after two London hotels pull out

Ibrox stadium
Ibrox will now host the club's extraordinary general meeting (EGM)

Rangers have responded to a second London hotel refusing to host their extraordinary general meeting (EGM) by deciding to stage it at Ibrox Stadium.

Earlier, the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel decided against hosting the EGM, citing concerns for the "comfort and security" of guests and staff.

Rangers said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the hotel pulled out because of "threats from persons unknown".

The Ibrox date has yet to be confirmed.

The Scottish Championship club had been forced to find another venue for 4 March after the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington pulled out.

Rangers' statement continued: "It is with regret that the board must announce that, following threats from persons unknown, the Grange Hotel at Tower Hill in London has informed the company that it is no longer willing to host the general meeting on 4 March 2015.

"Accordingly, the new venue for this general meeting will be Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow, at a date to be determined.

"The original London venue was selected for the general meeting because the board felt that previous general meetings held at Ibrox had been disrupted by chanting and other shouting and accordingly had sought a business venue where a meeting could be held with more decorum."

On Tuesday morning, the club announced that the meeting had been switched to the new venue near the City of London, but Grange Hotels changed its mind later in the day.

A spokesman for the hotel group said: "There is no question when it comes to the comfort and security of our guests and staff.

"We do not compromise on this and therefore the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel has declined the opportunity to host the proposed Rangers FC EGM."

The EGM was called by shareholder Dave King, who hopes to oust the board.

The club suggested that "complaints and false information" led Millennium Gloucester management to fear "disruption to guests and neighbours" and said the directors "continue to recommend that shareholders vote against the requisitioned resolutions".

Dave King (centre)
South Africa-based businessman and Rangers shareholder Dave King (centre) requested the EGM

King, a former director of the Ibrox club, wants himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan to replace James Easdale, Barry Leach, chairman David Somers and chief executive Derek Llambias on the Rangers board.

Rangers say the current directors envisage a board that includes the three largest shareholder groups - including King and three prominent shareholders known as the Three Bears group - and at least two independent non-executive directors to provide "consensus management".

They argue that the smaller board proposed by King makes "no promise that all shareholders' interests will be represented".

They query whether King, who was convicted in South Africa of contravening tax laws, would pass the Scottish FA's fit and proper person test for being on the board.

Rangers also question whether the club would be able to remain trading on the Stock Exchange if he is elected a director.

"Shareholders who do not wish to, or cannot, attend are encouraged to vote by proxy," added Rangers' statement.

Meanwhile, membership of Rangers First, one of the groups campaigning for fan ownership of the Ibrox club, has moved above 10,000.

The organisation has become the largest fan ownership group in the UK, a little more than a year after it was formed.

Membership has spiked in the run-up to the forthcoming EGM.

Former club captain Richard Gough said: "Rangers fans have always been passionate and now they have a voice and a genuine chance to affect change at Rangers."

Rangers First owns 1.75% of Rangers International Football Club, while the Rangers Supporters Trust has just under 6,000 members and owns 1.53% of the shares.

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