23 October 2014
Dave King Statement re Rangers Negotiations
Over the last few weeks Paul Murray, George Letham and myself have constructively engaged the Rangers board and (at the request of the board) Sandy Easdale regarding our proposal to invest 16 million into the club as soon as is practically possible. When investing in any public company there are numerous regulatory and compliance requirements that have to be dealt with. There are also SFA compliance issues that arise when investing in a football club in Scotland.
An obvious further complication in Rangers case is the seeming lack of authority of the Rangers board to make decisions without reference to key shareholders who appear to be “the power behind the throne”.
Prior to commencing the implementation issues referred to above it is necessary to reach an in-principle agreement with the board that can then be put to shareholders. In this regard it is important to recogniser hat the so-called Easdale Block represents more than 25% of the shares in issue and could therefore block the implementation of our proposal even if recommended by the board. Likewise, a combination of other shareholders could veto our proposal. I attempted to meet with Mr Ashley on my visit but neither he, nor his colleague, Mr Bishop, acknowledged my request for a meeting. This is their right but is unfortunate given the present concerns from supporters that Mr Ashley is using his shareholder status to put pressure on the board to alienate the rights and trade mark of the club in favour of his personal interest. I will make a separate announcement and appeal to fans on this topic at the appropriate time.
Our initial proposal to the board was to invest the full £16m by way of equity at 20p per share. The board requested that we consider a debt/equity mix that would reduce dilution for existing shareholders and allow the debt component to be advanced prior to the extended time frame required for the approval of additional equity. We are amenable to this and to working with the board on the mechanics necessary to ensure that this is achieved provided that the full investment is recognised by way of board representation. We wish to appoint an equal number of members to the board and have the key say regarding the appointment of the Chairperson. We will not invest funds and let the existing board determine how these funds are spent. That has not worked well in the past.
In any transaction of this nature there are a number of interests to be consulted and considered. The board has apparently engaged constructively on our proposal while advancing its own points as to what it believes is in the best interest of the club and its shareholders. Sandy Easdale has similarly apparently engaged constructively including highlighting some concerns. I have today responded to these concerns in writing. He will now consult with his co-shareholders and hopefully revert soonest so that we can proceed to agreement and the earliest possible implementation thereof.
Unfortunately, I have to again deal with a point that I have covered previously. Despite our agreement with the board on confidentiality (that we have strictly complied with) we were faced with the inevitable combination of truth, half-truth and fallacies peddled by Mr Irvine on behalf of his employers. He states in particular that he is voicing Sandy Easdale’s directly communicated thoughts. Sandy has assured me that this is not the case regarding his recent nonsensical utterings.
On that point, I have recently had the amusement of reviewing over 100 email communications between Mr Irvine and Craig Whyte during the period that Mr Irvine was attempting to advance Mr Whyte’s business interests. My review of these emails indicates to me that he carefully identifies journalists that he believes lack journalistic integrity and ability and can therefore be fed by him for the benefit of whoever pays him. I urge fans to continue to ignore the nonsense that comes from these sources.
We have a lot of work to do over the next few months to regain the club. I would not be here without the support of the fans and neither would my co-investors. We are going to need to draw on your support again over the coming months.