THE Rangers board insist they will fight Dave King’s attempt to take over the club, but admit they may have to mortgage off Ibrox stadium as security on a loan.
Former director King has called a general meeting as he starts the process of trying to remove chairman David Somers, chief executive Derek Llambias, finance director Barry Leach and director James Easdale from their positions of power.
But in the first of two Monday morning statements to the Stock Exchange, the current board say they will ask King to withdraw his bid in order to save the cash-strapped club from the expense of hosting the meeting.
And if King does not agree to their wishes, they will recommend the South Africa-based businessman’s motions are voted down by shareholders.
The Rangers board has admitted that Ibrox stadium may need to be put up as security to get much-needed funding.
If the meeting goes ahead, it must take place between three and six weeks from Friday when the board were originally informed.
King faces a race against time to build an anti-board coalition with enough shares to win a majority vote, but can expect support from three wealthy fans – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor.
The club statement reads: “The company is currently verifying that the notice (issued by King) is properly constituted.
“If valid, the board intends to seek to have such notice withdrawn in order to avoid the cost and disruption of an ad hoc general meeting.
“If the notice is valid and is not withdrawn, the directors intend to recommend that shareholders vote against the proposed resolutions.
“A circular will be sent to shareholders in accordance with the act. However, in the meantime, the directors will not be distracted from the more important matter of securing the future of the business. A further announcement will be made shortly.”
In the second statement, the directors conceded they may have to consider using Ibrox as security on a loan, but any move to use the stadium – or their Murray Park training ground – as collateral will prove highly controversial.
The second statement said: “Over the past few weeks the company has held discussions with a number of parties with a view to finding a stable financial future for the business.
“At the current time the assets (other than Ibrox), cash flow and business of Rangers does not support a significant financing, on an open market commercial basis, to achieve the goals which the directors have set for the club.
“Directors are pursuing bilateral discussions with two parties who are both stakeholders in Rangers.
“These discussions contemplate a significant amount of capital being available to the business on a long-term basis in order to enhance the squad which the directors believe is necessary.
“A consequence of funding to this level is that, in reality, it may be necessary to use Ibrox stadium as security. Such a decision would not be taken lightly.”
The Rangers directors announced earlier this month that they require urgent funding just to see the club through January yet they were forced to reject American financier Robert Sarver’s £20m takeover bid after admitting they could not get enough shareholder support to vote it through.
It remains unclear if the Board realise that the club and the holding company are completely separate and that the club lives on forever regardless of any of these issues. They should all just chill.