The move means all five members of an Ibrox committee that questioned Craig Whyte’s takeover of ownership from David Murray, delaying the buyout that eventually went through in May, no longer remain within the club’s corridors of power.
Donald McIntyre quit his director’s post last week, leaving South Africa-based Dave King, who was linked with takeover attempts on several occasions, as the sole survivor of the pre-Whyte era.
The departure of former captain Greig, 69, who was voted “the greatest-ever Ranger” in 1999, ends an association with the club stretching back more than 50 years.
A statement read: “John Greig and John McClelland can confirm they have resigned as directors of Rangers Football Club PLC. These resignations have been communicated by letter to the chairman, Craig Whyte.
“They result from John McClelland and John Greig both being of the opinion that since the change of ownership they have been excluded from participating in corporate governance at the club.
“Therefore, they have decided not to continue in their positions as non-executive directors.”
Rangers issued a statement confirming the resignations had been accepted. A source said Mr Whyte was “unaware” that Greig and Mr McClelland had any issues or problems
“This is the first this has been brought to the attention of Craig Whyte,” said the club insider. “The first we heard about it was from the media this morning when we started getting calls.”
Rangers placed a “directorate change” notice on the London Stock Exchange, where the club’s shares are traded, yesterday morning.
Gordon Dinnie, chairman of the Rangers Supporters Trust, which holds 50,000 shares in the club, said: “We regret the resignations of John Greig and John McClelland from the club board. One is a club legend, the other is one of Scotland’s most distinguished businessmen.
“We’re greatly concerned that these resignations raise issues of governance and transparency within the Rangers board.
“It’s important that the club moves quickly to appoint replacements and the chairman should be looking at candidates who have a credible Rangers background and relevant business experience.”
Rangers Supporters Assembly president Andy Kerr said it was “worrying” that Greig felt he had to leave the board.
“It does send an element of alarm that he has chosen to step aside,” he said.
“It’s sad that John Greig’s long association with the club has to come to an end in the manner where he has made the decision to resign. If things happen naturally, where someone retires or steps aside through health, fine, but taking the decision to a resign is a disappointing end for someone who’s got the status he has.
“I don’t think he would have taken the decision lightly.
“I would never for one minute believe that he was a typical person in terms of the decision-making and running of the club, but his role almost as ambass-ador, with all his history and status in the club, was an important one, nevertheless.
“I feel a little bit sorry for the new incumbents. They must be wondering when it is ever going to settle down.
“They have enough to be dealing with, without having to worry about internal strife among the directors. But it has probably never seemed comfortable right from the off in terms of the angst with the regime prior to the takeover and now.”
Greig and Mr McClelland were members of the independent board committee (IBC) set up to oversee the takeover.
It also included then chairman Alastair Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain, and finance director Mr McIntyre.
On the day Mr Whyte was confirmed as Rangers’ new owner in May, the group issued a statement saying they and Wavetower -- the company through which Mr Whyte effected his takeover -- had “differing views on the future revenue generation and cash requirements of the club”.
It added that the IBC was “concerned about a lack of clarity on how future cash requirements would be met, particularly any liability arising from the outstanding HMRC case”.
The club faces two potential tax claims, the larger of which could leave it with a bill of £49m -- £35m in tax plus £14m in interest and penalties.
Mr Johnston was removed from the board later in May, along with Paul Murray, who had launched a rival takeover deal.
Mr McIntyre, who remains an employee of the club, and Mr Bain were suspended the following day. Both have launched legal actions against Rangers. Donald Muir and Mike McGill left the board the day Mr Whyte took over.
Greig made more than 750 appearances as a Rangers player following his debut in 1961.
He joined the board on Boxing Day in 2003, having returned to the club as public relations officer in 1990, seven years after quitting as manager, a post he held for five seasons.
Mr McClelland had been on the board since 2000 and enjoyed a spell as chairman from 2002 until 2004 when Mr Murray temporarily stepped down.
The board now comprises chairman Mr Whyte along with Mr King, chief operations officer Ali Russell, director of football Gordon Smith and non-executive director Phil Betts.
Long-time love affair
EDINBURGH-BORN John Greig MBE played more than 750 competitive games for Rangers between 1961 and 1978.
Now, 69, Greig, spent his entire playing career with the club. He began as a striker, moved to midfield where he played alongside Jim Baxter, and then became a left-back.
He captained the side to victory in the 1972 European Cup-Winners’ Cup final when Rangers beat Moscow Dynamo in Barcelona and was the only player to win three trebles. He won the league and Scottish Cup on five occasions each as a player.
Greig also earned 44 Scotland caps, 15 as captain, between 1964 and 1971.
After Rangers’ treble winning season in 1977-78, manager Jock Wallace left and Greig hung up his boots to replace him. He held the post for five years and lifted the Scottish Cup twice but the club failed to win the championship during his reign.
Voted the greatest-ever Ranger, Greig’s statue now stands outside Ibrox as part of the memorial to those killed in the 1971 disaster.
Fans respected him for his loyalty to the club, his commitment on and off the pitch and his overall demeanour.
Then chairman David Murray took Greig on in 1990 as the club’s public relations face. He joined the board in 2003. He began coaching again during Dick Advocaat’s three-year term as manager.
Greig was Rangers captain for the match against Celtic on January 3, 1971, when 66 fans died in a crush on the infamous Stairway 13.
In January, as part of 40th anniversary commemorations he was given the honour of leading out the current team with his counterpart from that tragic day, Celtic’s Billy McNeill.