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Dave King attacks Rangers CEO's report on club's finances as boardroom battle intensifies

FORMER Rangers director Dave King has tonight attacked a review of the club's books as "completely superficial".

Dave King
Dave King

The South African based businessman's comments come three days after Ibrox chief executive Graham Wallace revealed almost £70million had been squandered in two years .

But Mr King - who is at odds with the board over the future of the club - dismissed the report as "flimsy" in a statement issued at 10pm tonight entitled "Comments on the Rangers Business Review."

He said it could have been "put together in a day by a relatively junior employee" and was hopeless for the club's shareholders and supporters.

He also wants a police probe to be carried out into misleading claims by Mr Wallace at the club's AGM in December. He added that such an investigation should be extended to other directors.

Mr King claimed it was "beyond doubt" that senior figures knew months ago there was not enough cash to last the season.

The Rangers review caused consternation when it was revealed that £70.7m was raised through ticket sales, commercial revenues and share-issue proceeds between May 2012 and December 2013.

But it found only £3.5m was left at the end of last year.

"It falls well short of the strategic business review that we were promised," said Mr King in a statement issued tonight.

"There is nothing to read between the lines, no sign of a coherent plan to save this club, and more importantly no hope for the supporters or shareholders," King said.

"This is a great review for Celtic fans. It is stated that the board might only raise £20m over the next three years.

"This paltry amount will guarantee that Celtic will be in a league of its own for the next few years - and possibly permanently thereafter.

"Celtic will continue to enjoy exclusive access to the Champions League windfalls and will go from financial strength to strength. The gap could become financially irreversible.

"The board still does not have a clear plan for raising capital despite knowing for some months that a financial crisis was looming."

The ex-director also reiterated calls for fans to withhold season ticket money from the club. Along with fan groups, he has encouraged supporters to place it in a trust account until they are given security over Ibrox and training ground Murray Park.

Mr King and former club captain Richard Gough have registered a new company, Ibrox 1972 Ltd, which he hopes fans groups will use to poll their season ticket money into.

Mr King's statement, in full:

I have taken time to carefully consider and reflect on this long awaited business review. This flimsy review is completely superficial and could have been put together in a day by a relatively junior employee. It falls well short of the strategic business review that we were promised. There is nothing to read between the lines, no sign of a coherent plan to save this club, and more importantly no hope for the supporters or shareholders. I find it difficult that any CEO would expect this review to be taken seriously. I would reject it if one of my CEOs presented such a summary review to me.

I offer a number of personal observations on the review;

1.

It is seriously wrong for this board to state in the review that at the time of the AGM (December 2013) the board, and the CEO in particular, believed that there was sufficient cash to last until the end of the current season. It is beyond doubt that the CEO(and other board members) was aware last December that there was insufficient cash to last until the end of the season and the board failed to respond to my previous question in that regard. The CEO is now subject to a criminal complaint on this very issue but I believe that his comments were made with the full knowledge of the board. Certainly no one came out to contradict him. We should therefore expect any criminal investigation to extend to other board members. It is telling that Charles Green had to step down when under internal investigation and yet the CEO continues with his duties as before.

2.

If cash was wasted as a result of mismanagement(presumably Charles Green etc.) then what steps are being taken to hold management accountable for this?

3.

The board has conceded that it does not plan toeffectively compete with Celtic in our first season back in the Premier League.

4.

This is a great review for Celtic fans. It is stated that the board might only raise 20 million over the next 3 years. This paltry amount will guarantee that Celtic will be in a league of its own for the next few years- and possibly permanently thereafter. Celtic will continue to enjoy exclusive access to the Champions League windfalls and will go fromfinancial strength to strength. The gap could becomefinancially irreversible.

5.

The board still does not have a clear plan for raising capital despite knowing for some months that a financial crisis was looming.

6.

It is interesting that the credit card companies agree with me that the season tickets should not be released to the club. However, it is genuinely shocking that this board has, for several months, withheld the knowledge that fans would not have access to credit card facilities when renewing season ticket purchases. The board preferred to blame "external parties" in an attempt to hide this serious non-disclosure. How can this board ask fans to ever trust them again?

7.

The board continues the blame game and takes no responsibility for the current debacle. In truth, it is this board's stubborn refusal to secure fresh equity that is the cause of the present fragile state of the club's finances. The board clearly hoped to muddle along by using the season ticket advances from fans. This review should reinforce to fans that this board cannot serve as an appropriate custodian for their season ticket money.

8.

The board has admitted that Rangers is not presently a "going concern" and yet offers no plan on how this will be dealt with in the short term. Fans could once again lose their season ticket advances if given to the club at this time. It is unconscionable that this board has done nothing to bolster the finances since the last AGM

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