09 September 2014

Chasing Sandy

by Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

We've spent no small amount of time wondering just what Sandy Easdale is getting at. All this time later and we're still woefully short of answers, other than he's one of those that really doesn't care for the CEO very much.

Whether it's denying the existence of Jack Irvine's influence only to turn up with him at shipyards, or inventing Beirut based lawyers out of whole cloth, most of the time ventures down from his post on the football board to get behind a microphone we're left with far more questions than answers.

We could start with simply wondering how has this man who does not sit on the board of RIFC plc has become the de facto spokesperson for club business? David Somers (and his cozy salary to put his name on the occasional statement) should be the man fulfilling this duty as chairman, yet at seemingly every turn we have Sandy on the television or the radio supposedly speaking in the interest of Rangers.

Then we move on to how it came to be that Sandy was left in the driver's seat for discussions with Dave King regarding the South African businessman's intent to invest in the club? Surely such negotiations would be better left to a CEO, yet Sandy and his backers have decided to remove Graham Wallace from the picture at every turn.

Of particular interest are his repeat performances on the eve of Imran Ahmad's attempts to ring fence funds: Why is Sandy so hellbent on continually providing price sensitive information to the media that he knows Ahmad's representatives will surely bring into court? How did no one who sits on the real board shut him up after the last time he pulled this trick? Do they even have the power to given that Sandy still has the backing and works at the behest of the largest groups of institutional shareholders?

Tonight, the Union of Fans released a statement asking the pertinent questions that Sandy simply does not want to answer, and that his lawyers would rather never saw the light of day:


'The Union of Fans is extremely concerned at the recent public statements of Sandy Easdale, the Chairman of the so-called ‘football board’ at Rangers. Mr Easdale has a history of making ill advised, damaging and amateurish comments in the press about Rangers and last week he was engaged in more of the same.

'In April 2014, around a week before Imran Ahmad’s second failed attempt to have club funds arrested, Mr Easdale decided to take part in a BBC interview in which he raised considerable questions over the financial position of the club. These comments could clearly be seen to weaken the club’s case against Mr Ahmad despite victory in that instance. Last week, days ahead of Mr Ahmad’s third attempt to arrest funds, Mr Easdale did the same in a press Q&A.

'We would question the timing of both of these statements. Making this type of error once might be seen as naivety or stupidity. Making it twice starts to raise other questions.

'Mr Easdale was brought into Rangers to represent the wishes of the block of shareholders previously represented by Mr Ahmad and Mr Charles Green. Mr Easdale has, in our opinion, always represented their interests ahead of those of the club and it appears he is continuing to do so.

'Mr Easdale has hitched his wagon to Green, Ahmad, Blue Pitch and Margarita and, now that their influence over the board has started to diminish slightly, he appears to be seeking to retain his position at the club via an alliance with Mike Ashley. Indeed it appears that Mr Easdale will support anyone who will allow him to retain his director privileges and the borrowed respectability of being referred to as a Rangers director, regardless of their actions towards the club.

'Mr Easdale told the Rangers fans that Jack Irvine no longer worked for him. However, we have been told by a number of people that Mr Irvine has been in regular touch with them in a way which represents Mr Easdale’s interests. Mr Easdale told the Rangers fans in December 2013 that he had investors lined up for Rangers. This did not prove to be the case. Mr Easdale now wants the Rangers fans to believe that Mike Ashley, who has been handed “onerous” merchandise deals, virtually free stadium naming rights and now the Rangers club shops by Mr Easdale’s associates, is the man to take Rangers forward. Mr Easdale actively opposes any attempt to bring huge investment into the club from people who care about it but chooses to back someone who has clear issues with dual club ownership and is only interested in Rangers as a means to make himself money.

'We would ask the PLC board, the Nomad, Daniel Stewart and the LSE to investigate Mr Easdale’s comments and their effect on a court case which could have put the club’s immediate future in doubt. We would also ask them to clarify whether Mr Charles Green or Mr Imran Ahmad hold any shares for which Mr Easdale has a proxy through Beaufort Nominees. Mr Easdale is not, in our opinion, fit to be a director of Rangers Football Club and given his failure to be appointed to the PLC board we feel he has far too much negative influence on club affairs.'


So we have to ask yet again, why is it Sandy Easdale thinks he is above being held accountable by the fans? Given the fact he feels supporters should continue pouring money into the lap of his backers surely we're due the answers to some of these very basic and very important issues.

But then Sandy's not one to find time for answering such queries, that is unless those answers seem to work toward the ends of the people whose power he continues to wield over the club from the Directors' Box seat his position on the "Football Board" provide.

EDIT: And now we get this gem: