12 December 2013

The Rangers AGM: Far from a foregone conclusion

by Graham Taylor | Guest Contributor

We are only 7 days away from a defining Annual General Meeting (AGM) that will shape the course of things to come for Rangers Football Club. The result of the AGM itself will not immediately resolve any of the major issues that have dogged the club in recent times or bring unity and stability to a divided shareholding base, but it will give fans an idea of what route the club will take to address the financial shortfall that is anticipated to arise sometime in the spring.

Whilst certain outlets are making a concerted effort to enforce the view that the outcome of the AGM has been already been decided the reality is that the vote is still far too close to call. On the face of it, the incumbent Board have strengthened their position in the past few weeks with the additional appointments that were absolutely necessary for them to even stand a chance of retaining their positions at the club.

However, constantly transferring share proxies between like-minded investors is not a strengthening of position – it is simply an attempt to dissuade the average fan from using their vote because they think they can’t make a difference. Or in other words, it is simply PR.

Following the latest announcement of additional voting rights held by Sandy Easdale, conservative estimates based on the club’s larger shareholders have placed the Board’s voting position at around 46 percent, which looks to be an insurmountable position for those seeking change.

But what hasn’t been established is the position of the Nominees proposed for the Board. Due to Stock Exchange rules on investors acting ‘In Concert,’ the Nominees cannot publicly state their actual level of support, save for the 28 percent of shareholders that signed the original requisition. It is rumoured however that the Nominees hold around 40 percent support from shareholders, which makes the shares held by ordinary fans, of around 12 percent, absolutely crucial in terms of the outcome of the AGM.

Voting at the AGM

  • Bought shares through the IPO? 

You should have received your AGM pack through the post, which will contain your attendance card and voting form.

If you are attending the AGM in person then take both with you on the day and cast your vote in person. 

If you aren’t attending the AGM and wish to proxy your vote then score out ‘Chairman of the Meeting’ in the top box and insert the name of the individual that you have proxied your shares to. You may also cast your vote for the individual to take to the meeting.

It has been recommended by Capita Registrars that you post your vote to them prior to the AGM due to the diverse nature of the shareholding making it difficult to call a vote on the day, however this is not compulsory. If you do wish to do so, it must be received by them by no later than 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday 17th December.

  • Bought shares following the IPO?

Your shares are likely to be held in a nominee account through a broker. You will have to contact your broker and state that you wish to attend and/or vote at the AGM. Your broker will then proxy the vote to you to cast as you please and issue an attendance card if you have indicated a desire to attend. The same procedures for attending as above applies.

And that is pretty much all there is to it.

Whether you are for change or against certain individuals, this is the opportunity for Rangers fans and shareholders to choose the makeup of the Board for the tough decisions and major obstacles that lie ahead in the not-too-distant future. A competent Board that engages with its major stakeholders is a must and one that actively encourages additional investment from wealthy individuals is of paramount importance. The fear amongst many is those we have in place at the moment are willing to do neither. Whilst that would be of benefit to certain individuals, it would not be of benefit to Rangers Football Club.

With the strategy in place to do everything possible to dissuade the fan vote at the AGM it is important not to take every press release or media briefing at face value, especially in the coming days as the tension inevitably heightens. Regardless of what you’ll be told by certain individuals, your vote can make a difference. For the first time in living memory, the fans may well be in a position to decide the destiny of Rangers Football Club. It is an opportunity that should not be wasted.

3 comments:

  1. Might sound like a daft question but if you are attending the AGM but are sending your vote away prior to it what do you put in the proxy box, your own name?

    ReplyDelete
  2. We have 7 days to rescue our club from the vultures feeding off our club.

    every effort must be made every day, no matter how small you think it is, to cobcentrate the minds of everyone, including Laxey, Mike Ashley and the Brothers Grimm, on what they stand to lose if the wrong decision is made.

    For example, are Newcastle supporters happy that their chairman is playing God with another football club?

    Would they be happy if a Rangers owner was doing the same at St James Park? I know that as a Rangers fan I would be furious.

    So far, only the London Branch of the RSA have made a statement to comment individually on where they stand on ST renewal and endorsement of merchandise and Sports Direct products.

    There is a reason people like Ashley got involved. They want us to buy and endorse their products. With that under threat, I'm sure they will think longer and harder.

    Laxey Partners are hedge fund managers, who buy up shares in companies, and then pressure those boards to get a return. They are totally untrustworthy. While I have some reservations about one or two requisitioners, they carry more trust than Stockbridge, Easedale or that hideous excuse for a Chairman, David Somers.

    The only one I trust on the board is Graham Wallace, and he's on probation too. The others don't carry much weight, once put under scrutiny.

    Everyone will make up their own minds, but I urge everyone to remember who warned against selling to Whyte, who questioned the way Duff and Phelps dealt with administration and who has continued to ask all the relevant questions of the board during the past 18 months.

    While people don't like Paul Murray, they should at least listen to what he's been saying for the past year or so.

    And if you still don't believe him, listen to Dave King. There is a reason why he wasn't voted on the board - because they would've been found out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have 7 days to rescue our club from the vultures feeding off our club.

    every effort must be made every day, no matter how small you think it is, to cobcentrate the minds of everyone, including Laxey, Mike Ashley and the Brothers Grimm, on what they stand to lose if the wrong decision is made.

    For example, are Newcastle supporters happy that their chairman is playing God with another football club?

    Would they be happy if a Rangers owner was doing the same at St James Park? I know that as a Rangers fan I would be furious.

    So far, only the London Branch of the RSA have made a statement to comment individually on where they stand on ST renewal and endorsement of merchandise and Sports Direct products.

    There is a reason people like Ashley got involved. They want us to buy and endorse their products. With that under threat, I'm sure they will think longer and harder.

    Laxey Partners are hedge fund managers, who buy up shares in companies, and then pressure those boards to get a return. They are totally untrustworthy. While I have some reservations about one or two requisitioners, they carry more trust than Stockbridge, Easedale or that hideous excuse for a Chairman, David Somers.

    The only one I trust on the board is Graham Wallace, and he's on probation too. The others don't carry much weight, once put under scrutiny.

    Everyone will make up their own minds, but I urge everyone to remember who warned against selling to Whyte, who questioned the way Duff and Phelps dealt with administration and who has continued to ask all the relevant questions of the board during the past 18 months.

    While people don't like Paul Murray, they should at least listen to what he's been saying for the past year or so.

    And if you still don't believe him, listen to Dave King. There is a reason why he wasn't voted on the board - because they would've been found out.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it civil, lads.