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Glasgow Rangers and Dave King at crossroads of a new era

By Andy Newport

Rangers' crucial shareholder vote which will finally hand Dave King the keys to Ibrox will still go ahead - despite shares in the club being suspended.

It is believed the general meeting planned for Ibrox tomorrow morning will not be affected by yesterday's developments.

Stock Exchange bosses halted equity trades in the Rangers International Football Club PLC at 4pm after its nominated adviser WH Ireland quit.

The firm pulled out just 24 hours after King announced he was heading for a "landslide" victory which would clear out the last two remaining Gers board members and set him up as the club's new chairman.

King has also already chased off chairman David Somers and director James Easdale while chief executive Derek Llambias and finance director Barry Leach will be next to go tomorrow.

Castlemilk-born King has previously stated he has held talks with potential replacement nominated advisors (NOMADs) and he now has a month to sign them up to his vision for the club or Rangers will be de-listed.

However, it is understood Cenkos, the NOMAD who helped Charles Green float the club back in 2012, are not among the contenders.

The resignation of WH Ireland comes as no surprise, though. The board announced last month that it had been "informed" that the NOMAD would quit if King grabbed power at Ibrox after noting the Johannesburg-based businessman's convictions for 41 charges relating to South African income tax laws.

Confirming the suspension of shares on the AIM market - a sub-division of the London Stock Exchange - the club said: "The company has been informed that its nominated adviser does not believe that it can satisfy the London Stock Exchange in relation to its NOMAD obligations in respect of the appropriateness of the company's securities to be admitted to AIM, and therefore the NOMAD has resigned as nominated adviser to Rangers.

"The directors are disappointed that this event has had to take place despite the considerable efforts they have made over the last few weeks and months against the backdrop of the general meeting requisition and wish also to record their appreciation to their outgoing NOMAD for all it has done for the club."

Meanwhile, caretaker boss Kenny McDowall has warned the chairman-in-waiting he better be prepared for the long haul because it could take him five years to fix Rangers.

The Johannesburg-based businessman is due to fly into Scotland today and his first task upon taking the Ibrox throne will be to appoint a new boss.

Ally McCoist has been placed on garden leave, with McDowall - who has also handed in his notice - left to pick up the pieces as interim manager.

The change at the top has done little to improve Rangers' on-field performances and they are currently a massive 24 points behind Championship leaders Hearts.

Rangers have been allowed to fall into this mess on the back of losses stretching to almost £25million over the last two years and the resulting cutbacks which have left the club without a scouting network or youth system anywhere near fit for purpose.

Now McDowall claims it could take King until the year 2020 to put things right.

He said: "The whole infrastructure's got to be looked at. It's been decimated over the past four years.

"This is a long-term project, it's not going to be fixed overnight. That's why it's so important that whoever comes in gets it right whether it be a new coach or a new manager, it's got to be the right appointment and it's got to be done properly from the ground up to give us a proper chance.

"The fans understand that it can't be fixed overnight. It will be at least five years before it's anywhere near what it was.

"The whole football side has to be looked at. The scouting department, the youth academy. The staff is nothing like it used to be. These things have to be addressed," said McDowall whose side travel to Cowdenbeath - beaten 10-0 by Hearts last weekend - on Saturday in the Championship.

Belfast Telegraph


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