DAVID Somers has bought his first stake in Rangers, six months after becoming non-executive chairman.

The accountant and pension fund manager has taken 35,000 shares in Rangers International Football Club plc at 24p a share.

The move has been seen as a public declaration of confidence in the company's financial position in the wake of past concerns that a concerted season ticket boycott would create a risk of insolvency.

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It comes a day after Lord Armstrong insisted there is no real possibility RIFC plc will be insolvent early next year as he dismissed former commercial director Imran Ahmad's bid to have £620,000 of club assets ring-fenced.

The shares, which cost Mr Somers £8400, represent just 0.05% of Rangers' operating company - a far cry from the 12.74% stake held by Rangers' biggest shareholder, Laxey Partners.

Mr Somers still holds a tiny stake compared to former chairmen Walter Smith, who has 70,000 shares, and Malcolm Murray, who has 200,000.

However, a Rangers source said he believed it was a sign that Mr Somers was "putting his money behind his belief in the company".

He added: "If the company was going down, it would be unusual for him to be putting his money in."

Donald McNaught, business recovery and insolvency director at Johnston Carmichael, said the purchase was a signal to everyone that he "believes in the company's financial position and is willing to personally commit to that, albeit the sums are relatively modest for a man in his position".

He added: "This follows on the coat-tails of the recent court case where the court was not convinced that the company was facing imminent insolvency, so perhaps he thinks he can build some momentum with this message. I doubt he is looking for a commercial return, but rather hoping it shows his commitment to the longer-term interests of the club. It will be interesting to see if anyone else follows him."

Meanwhile, Rangers have suffered an online backlash over a slogan aimed at getting supporters to sign up for season tickets.

The cover photo of the official Rangers Facebook page has been changed to feature a photo with the words: "It's Not Just Your Seat. It's Your Legacy." But some fans have posted their criticisms on the official page of the banner, with some claiming the move was "emotional blackmail".

However others backed the club's stance.

Craig Yaxley said: "Get behind the club. We are ripping our club apart.

"The board is not fit for purpose however denying OUR club the financial resources to function is truly shocking!" The club would not comment.