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Rangers won't challenge Celtic anytime soon, admits Dave King

By Andy Newport

Dave King has warned the Rangers support his bid for power will not result in an instant fix.

The former oldco director is poised to sweep out the last elements of the current Rangers board at a general meeting at Ibrox this morning.

But he insists the club will never again splash the cash as happened during Sir David Murray's extravagant reign as club owner - a spell which was followed by the Glasgow giants going into financial meltdown.

And King revealed his belief it could take Rangers another two years before they can challenge rivals Celtic's dominance.

King said: "The Rangers fans have had a very difficult time. I think we are going to have a couple of tough years.

"For Rangers to become the second top club in Scotland should be achieved at fairly short notice. But there is a substantial gap between Rangers and Celtic at the moment.

"For us to narrow that gap - as we surely will do - it has to be done on a judicious basis. It must never get to the situation where we put Rangers in financial distress chasing something that can be managed in a far more commercial and sane basis."

King has already forced out chairman David Somers and director James Easdale, but chief executive Derek Llambias and financial director Barry Leach are clinging on.

They may not last much longer, however, with Castlemilk-born King claiming he is well over the 51 per cent threshold he needs to claim control at Ibrox and on his way to a "landslide" victory.

The prospective chairman is set to form a three-man board with Paul Murray and John Gilligan. Former Blue Knight Murray will serve as the interim chair while King proves he is fit and proper to authorities.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has an 8.92 per cent stake in Rangers but is set to see his boardroom representation wiped out with Llambias and Leach removed.

However, Ashley still holds the right to name two more directors thanks to his £10m loan.

King claims he has been blanked by the Newcastle chief but expects to have discussions with his lieutenants from Sports Direct once he has examined agreements with Ashley's retail business.

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