THE RANGERS football board chairman Sandy Easdale has increased his shareholding in the cash-strapped new club after buying up a further one million shares.

The purchase means he now owns just over 5,250,000 shares – or just less than 6.5 per cent – as the struggle for control in the boardroom intensifies.

The McGill’s bus boss previously held proxies for just over 17 million shares belonging to a number of other shareholders, including the mysterious Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Funds Holding Trust.

But the new club’s statement confirmed he now has voting rights for just 16 million shares, worth 19.6 per cent, suggesting the shares he has bought come from within the proxy group.

He previously owned 5.21 per cent, but appears to have bought up his latest tranche on Friday afternoon just as the glib and shameless Dave King was making his big move to sweep the current board out of Ibrox.

The South Africa-based “businessman” and wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor bought up around 34 per cent of the new club late last month.

King has now called a general meeting to oust the current board of directors which includes Easdale’s brother James as well as chairman David Somers and Mike Ashley associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach.

The former oldco director – who is set to fly into Scotland early next month – and his three associates will need to win a majority vote if they are to rout the boardroom and are now frantically trying to build an anti-board coalition with at least 51 per cent of the new club’s total shareholding.

With every vote vital, Easdale has now strengthened his hand slightly as he bids to cling on to power alongside Ashley.

A new club statement said: “The Company announces that it was notified on 19th January 2015 that Alexander Easdale purchased 1,014,000 ordinary shares of one penny each in the Company on 16 January 2015.

“As a result, Mr Easdale now holds 5, 256,110 Ordinary Shares in the Company, equal to 6.451 per cent of the issued share capital of the Company.

“Mr Easdale also holds voting rights over, but does not own, a further 16,028,084 Ordinary Shares, representing 19.672 per cent of the Company, meaning that in total he holds voting rights over 21,284,194 Ordinary Shares, representing 26.123 per cent of the issued share capital of the Company.”

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