The Rangers board have copied a dirty tricks tactic used in the past at Newcastle United.
Ironically this is going back to before Mike Ashley, when John Hall and Freddy Shepherd controlled Newcastle.
As United’s fortunes slid, it didn’t stop Hall and Shepherd awarding themselvess and other family members generous salaries and bonuses, plus declaring share dividends despite losses, of which they were the main beneficiaries.
At the time Newcastle United had the largest number of shareholders who were also season ticket holders in the Premier League and the two main shareholders began to get more and more stick for their running of the club when it came to the AGMs.
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The pair then took the disgraceful step of moving the Newcastle United AGMs to London, simply to prevent large numbers of fan shareholders turning up and asking awkward questions.
Step forward a decade and now the under siege directors at Rangers have followed the same route.
Shareholder Dave King is leading a campaign to remove the Rangers board at a general meeting and Mike Ashley’s mates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, along with the other two PLC Directors, have arranged that general meeting in Kensington, London.
A distance of 409.2 miles from Ibrox, 6 hours 14 minutes by road if you are lucky.
Rangers AGMS are usually held at Ibrox itself but the board members found themselves given a really hard time at the latest meeting held in December.
The Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) have described the move as showing ‘utter contempt’ for the 5,000+ small shareholders.
The RST declaring;
“This can only be designed to make it much more difficult for fan shareholders to have their say at what is perhaps the most critical time in the club’s history.
“Clearly this board are afraid and are counting on the possibility that many fans will be put off by the venue but let us show them that the Rangers’ shareholder base is up for the fight.”
The Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington only holds 500 people and Rangers fan groups are determined to not let the 400+ mile journey prevent them supporting the bid to get rid of the board.
Coaches are being organised to ferry shareholders to London, while help is being given to small shareholders to fill in proxy forms.
Rangers announced the move and made a statement only hours before the 21 day deadline was due to run out in replying to the requisition of Dave King.
King has declared ‘the game is over’ for the likes of Llambias and the rest of those controlling Rangers, adding;
“I think choosing London is to ensure that fans can’t attend – they are running scared!”
The club’s own internal ‘Rangers Fans Board’ have described the decision as an ‘insult’ and also accused Derek Llambias of misleading them over the date of the meeting.
The Rangers Fans Board stated:
“We are disgusted at this decision which shows no affinity to the Rangers fan base.”