CONTROVERSIAL property developer Andrew Ellis has been given a seat on the board at Rangers.
Mr Ellis has been appointed a non-executive director of Rangers Football Club plc. A statement issued to the stock market yesterday confirmed the departure of Philip Betts from the boardroom.
Both were key players in the 2010 acquisition of the financially beleaguered club alongside Craig Whyte, who is now chairman. The three men formed Rangers FC Group to buy an 85% stake at Ibrox.
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Sources close to the club said the resignation of Mr Betts was due to "personal and professional" reasons, with the asset manager now focusing on other commitments.
Mr Whyte, in a statement to the London Stock Exchange, said: "On behalf of the board I am pleased to welcome Andrew Ellis as a non- executive director of the club. Andrew is already a director of the Rangers FC Group and his previous experience in football will be a benefit to the club as we look to the future.
"I would like to thank Phil Betts for his contribution to the board and the club following the takeover last year."
Mr Ellis has links to two English football clubs. He made an unsuccessful takeover bid in 2001 for Queens Park Rangers, and later turned his attention to Northampton Town, when he fronted a £500,000 takeover bid. His intentions at Queen's Park Rangers proved unpopular, given his consortium's property-driven approach to the club's future. The consortium planned to move the Loftus Road ground in west London to a site at Heathrow, where a hotel and casino would be built, with the original stadium to be developed.
The deal never came off, and shortly afterwards he turned his attention to the then fourth-division Northampton Town, which he bought in a £500,000 deal amid rumours he wanted to move the club to Milton Keynes. His time was shortlived after he dismissed popular manager Kevan Broadhurst in 2003 and replaced him with former England international Terry Fenwick, who failed to bring the club a single win.
In 2010, Mr Ellis, 44, launched his own unsuccessful bid for Rangers through his Guernsey-based vehicle holding company, RFC Holdings.
It is believed he then joined forces with Mr Whyte and Mr Betts to launch the successful bid for Ibrox after an introduction by Merchant House Finance, an asset finance group of which Mr Betts remains a director.