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Former chief Paul Murray tips Rangers to rise out of mire

By Andy Newport

Paul Murray claims Rangers are finally on the verge of ending their post-liquidation nightmare.

The former oldco director and Blue Knight is backing Dave King's bid to rout the current Ibrox board.

King has called a General Meeting and wants shareholders to vote off chairman David Somers, director James Easdale as well as Mike Ashley's placemen Derek Llambias and Barry Leach.

And if the South Africa-based businessman is successful, he wants to name himself, Murray and former Tennent's brewers managing director John Gilligan as their boardroom replacements.

King, who is set to fly into Scotland early next month, will need at least 51 per cent of the vote but along with the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - they already control around 34 per cent.

But Murray warned fans to ignore the spin from their rivals as he insisted victory is close.

He said: "In the lead up to the General Meeting the usual suspects will attempt to undermine our cause because they realise their days could be numbered.

"The truth is that for the first time in years there is a group of people capable of rebuilding and repairing our club and malicious speculation will not deflect us.

"Rangers have to re-engage with Scottish football and take our place again at the top table.

"We need to be financially stable again and accept our responsibilities to the game in general.

"Change will come and we can all emerge from a black period in this fantastic club's history."

The Rangers soap-opera has taken a number of dramatic twists in the three months since Ashley effectively grabbed control of the Ibrox outfit when he handed them a £3million loan at the end of October.

But his attempts to take security on the club's historic stadium as part of a new £10million emergency loan was the final straw for the hundreds of supporters who protested outside the ground before and after last Friday's abandoned clash with Hearts.

Droves of fans have also been signing up to fan-ownership schemes Buy Rangers - run by the Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) - and Rangers First.

A number of former players likes Richard Gough, Jorg Albertz and Claudio Reyna have done likewise.

And now Murray has joined them, saying: "I have taken out life membership of both the RST and Rangers First.

"Whilst I would like to make special mention of the RST, who have supported our cause tirelessly over the last few years.

"I fully support these two groups in their desire to help safeguard the future of our club.

"I'd urge as many of this club's fans to sign up to either one or both if possible. The fans can play a hugely significant part in forcing change through votes.

"We have seen what happens when directors with no feel, no understanding and no real concern for Rangers are in control."

Murray's statement came just hours after it was announced to the stock exchange that the club's football board chairman Sandy Easdale had increased his stake after buying up more than one million shares. The purchase means he now owns just over 5,250,000 shares - or just less than 6.5 per cent.

The McGill's bus boss previously held proxies for just over 17million shares belonging to a number of other shareholders but the club's statement confirmed he now has voting rights for just 16million shares, worth 19.6 per cent, suggesting the shares he has bought come from within the proxy group.

Belfast Telegraph


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