DAVE KING, the South African businessman embroiled in an increasingly bitter row over the future of Rangers, has brushed off a threat of legal action by the Ibrox board, insisting he would be "happy to engage on our comparative integrity".
Mr King, who held a meeting with the board last month, is incensed at what he believes are the board's "false representations' over the publication of the club's business review.
An angry statement released by him on Friday was met with a strong riposte from the Rangers board, calling the businessman's statements "untrue" and "disgraceful". Rangers said the King statement had been referred to the club's legal advisers.
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But last night Mr King hit back in the strongest terms, accusing the board of evading issues by attacking the integrity of its opponents and asking four pointed questions that, he said, needed to be answered before fans invested money in season tickets.
The row between Mr King and the board now has the season-ticket money as its focus. The board has already warned that it needs the revenue to continue trading but Mr King has set out plans to put any such cash into an account on an "interim basis" until assurances are made over the future of the club.
There is also a wrangle over precisely what was said in the meeting between Mr King and the board over the timing of the publication of the 120-day business review conducted by club chief executive Graham, Wallace, and the launch of season-ticket renewals.
Mr King insists his understanding was "the business review would be made available prior to fans committing to season advances", adding that when he made this public immediately after his meeting the board did not challenge this assertion.
He was also dismissive of the "juicy leak" that he had told the board he "preferred not to put money into Rangers if it could be found from other source". He said he had given the same message to supporters' groups after the meeting with the board.
He said: "I am happy to engage the board on our comparative integrity. I do not regard integrity as a character attribute that comes with an on/off switch."
Mr King, who last year agreed a £43.7m settlement with the South African tax authorities after criminal charges against him were dropped, also put four questions to the Rangers board last night.
These asked if it was unfair to ask fans to buy season tickets before the business review was available, and whether it was appropriate to provide Ibrox Park and Murray Park as security against season-ticket advances.
He also asked whether in the "latter half" of December last year the board was in talks to obtain finance "that would be needed prior to the end of the current season", and if the board agreed such a deal at the same time that it was assuring fans it had sufficient cash to last until the end of the season.