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Rangers fans back Dave King in call for board to quit

By Andy Newport

Rangers' top-of-the-table clash with Hearts at a snowbound Ibrox lasted just 25 minutes before it was abandoned by referee Bobby Madden, sparking an angry reaction outside the stadium.

There were reports of windows on a supporter bus full of young Hearts fans being smashed by a brick and fighting between rival supporters.

Some Hearts fans were believed to have been kept inside the stadium by police for their own safety.

A heavy flurry of snow 90 minutes before kick-off put the game in doubt but after inspecting the Ibrox surface, the official gave it the green light to start.

However, with piles of the white stuff still coating the pitch and the players struggling to stay on their feet, Madden decided midway through the first half it was no longer safe to continue.

Rangers were desperate to win as they sought to trim back the Jambos' 13-point lead at the top of the Scottish Championship, but as usual, the main talking points before the match related to the Ibrox soap-opera and matters off the pitch rather than those on it.

Just as hundreds of supporters were gathering outside Ibrox to protest over claims the board were ready to mortgage off Ibrox and Murray Park to Mike Ashley, Dave King announced he was calling a general meeting to ask shareholders to sack all four directors.

The home fans chanted 'sack the board' as the match got under way.

King has called a general meeting to ask Rangers shareholders to rout the entire Ibrox board.

The former oldco director will call for the heads of chairman David Somers, chief executive Derek Llambias, financial director Barry Leach and director James Easdale.

In their place, he plans to nominate himself, former Blue Knight Paul Murray and John Gilligan - the one-time managing director of Glasgow brewer Tennent's - as their boardroom replacements.

King - the club's biggest single shareholder with a 16 per cent stake after buying up Laxey Partners - is now hoping he can pull together a majority coalition to force through sweeping change.

In a statement the South Africa-based millionaire said: "I confirm that a requisition for a general meeting has been hand delivered to Ibrox Stadium.

"The requisition consists of four resolutions for the removal of the incumbent board and three resolutions for the appointment to the board of myself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan.

"The resolutions do not seek to review the employment of the two executive directors presently on the board. They will merely be removed as directors.

"I would not have called for a general meeting if I was not confident that it will be supported by more than 50 per cent of the total registered shareholders.

"While many of the shareholders hold differing views as to what is right for the club, I believe that a clear majority are like-minded on one key point - the need to remove the incumbent board and to replace it with individuals who can gain the trust of fans, sponsors and the shareholder community."

The meeting must take place between three and six weeks from now.

King also wants to carry out a forensic examination of contacts signed by the club over the past three years, including the deal with kit suppliers Puma.

Belfast Telegraph


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