written by – John McIntosh
The Three Bears, comprising of George Taylor, George Letham and Douglas Park along with Dave King, brought some much needed hope to Rangers fans at the new year buying around 34% shares in the company collectively. They state that they are not a concert party but rather will work closely together for the club’s interests.
Many of the fans have been questioning the likes of King for his amateur tactics in trying to wrestle control of our club, I myself criticised him not so long ago in an article for the Rangers Report however he has changed his tactics of only investing – if the money goes straight into the club and I am very glad he has had a re-think.
While this is good new, the club is still on its knees and has days to survive another insolvency event. Rangers star player Lewis Macleod has been sold for £850,000 to Brentford, while we have received a £500,000 loan from Sandy Easdale – what a great guy he is.
Interestingly, American Robert Sarver had bid for control of the club with an £18,000,00 and then an improved £20,000,000 offer – both of which have been rejected, this has come as no surprise as resolution nine states that no outsider can invest in a share issue without gaining 75% approval. The fact that the “good guys” have a combined 34% shareholding instantly made the takeover offer impossible to pull off.
Sarver has now withdrawn from any further bidding process and I have to admit for the time being I am happy with this as it will hopefully now allow Parkco and King to improve their position.
Now back to the increasingly worrying financial status of our club, there is an offer of a loan later turned to equity from Parkco and from reports this offer is being seriously looked at. They are expected to be in pole position to have this offer accepted. Not only will this increase their shareholding in the club, this will also allow two members on the board which is vital before an inevitable EGM will take place
An EGM has been talked about over the last few days more and more and really this is the only logical way to go about this. It is highly expected that King will be the party to call the EGM and as he has over 10% shareholding this will go ahead if called for. This is a massive moment in the battle for control and the good guys will aim to remove members of the board and put their own trusted guys in.
There has been talk that some of the requisitioners – yes, that word may jog your memory – will be recommended to take a boardroom seat, whilst two board members is not enough it will do right now as an EGM can take seven weeks to take place and it is a must we have trusted people on board.
There is a possibility that Mike Ashley may look to provide Rangers with another loan however the figure quoted that we need is a minimum of £6.5 million and you really have to question what Ashley motives are now. You could say he could do well to get aligned with the Three bears and King as they are the party who can take us forward and he could do well from the onerous retail deal currently in place.
Do Parkco and King believe they have the support in an EGM to effect major change?
It is a question that many people are asking and I personally believe they do however the outcome of a successful EGM for them could come down to the fans who are rumoured to hold 10%, they are individual fans and not aligned to one group which makes it harder to call.
Let’s breakdown the groups and individuals who currently have shareholdings that are likely to back the good guys, Dave King has 14.57%, the three bears have 19.49% combined – so there is 34.06%. That means that they need 16% shareholders to back their vision.
There are rumours that River Mercantile and Artemis back them and they have 5.77% and 5.26% respectively – then there’s Keiran Prior 1.35% Ally McCoist 1.31%, Rangers Supporters Trust 1.01%, Felix Magath 0.99%, Rangers First with 0.8% and Malcolm Murray with 0.3%.
That total is 50.85% and before you worry that it is too close to call – we have the support the reported 10% that individual fans hold collectively could have the defining impact on sorting our club out.
At an Emergency General Meeting not every fan who has shares will be able to attend which means it is heavily important the likes of Rangers First and Rangers Supporters Trust should make it clear to fans they can proxy votes to them.
I am cautiously optimistic, after everything we have been through. Of course, I am always wary of getting too confident of good news given all that we have been through over the last few years. However I have never felt as positive of getting my club back as I do now.
If you follow my writing, you will know how passionate I am about fan ownership and it is very heartening to hear George Taylor say he wants fan ownership to be the biggest owner in time.
I urge you to look at the Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First and join them as this could be pivotal in wrestling control and both schemes are increasing members at an impressive rate currently.
You can follow John McIntosh on Twitter @JohnMcIntosh19