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Rangers fans call for season ticket money to be withheld

RANGERS fan groups have called for fellow supporters to withdraw their season ticket money from the club and put it into a trust.

TRUST: South Africa-based tycoon Dave King has support of fans.
TRUST: South Africa-based tycoon Dave King has support of fans.

The Union of Fans called for the action until club assets, including Ibrox Stadium, are signed over to them as collateral.

The supporters also backed former director Dave King, who is believed to want to pump millions into the club in exchange for a new shareholding in Rangers International Football Club PLC.

The South African-based businessman held talks with supporters groups after arriving in Scotland and is expected to meet with PLC board representatives over the next two days to put forward his investment proposals.

The Union of Fans said a trust would be set up to hold season ticket funds, with a board of trustees and "proper legal mechanisms to hold the security".

The funds would be ploughed into the club once assurances are received, including providing supporters with a security over the stadium and the club's Murray Park training ground near Milngavie.

A Union of Fans spokesman said: "Our concern is that the club is put back on a secure footing and I think Dave King represents the best chance of that happening by a long, long way.

"Nobody wants to withhold any money from the club. Essentially, what we are saying is that if something goes wrong, given the financial position of the club, then we essentially hold the crucial assets of the club.

"This will ensure that the club's most prized assets are not at risk if another funding crisis ensues."

The League One club have denied the possibility of a second spell in administration, despite posting a £14.4million loss last year and recently reaching a £1.5m loan deal with investors Sandy Easdale and Laxey Partners.

The loan arrangement involves handing over a security over the Albion car park and Edmiston House offices near Ibrox, while Laxey were guaranteed £150,000 profit. Mr King, who has previously invested £20m in the club, spent part of this week in London for talks with shareholders over his plans for a new share issue.

After yesterday's meeting it appeared nothing had put off the 58-year-old businessman from putting forward his investment proposals.

The Union of Fans source added: "Millions are required to get the club to where it needs to be.

"Mr King is very much presenting this as him wanting to take part in this with the fans, as a collective effort and that is something we were obviously very pleased to hear. It would be fair to say that if you are going to put substantial investment in the club, if he wasn't sitting on the board himself he would want to be able to control what is happening with the money he was putting in - at least to some degree."

The insider said Mr King has a track record of investing in the club and is a well-known fan. He suggested there would not be any fears about his motivation. The source added: "I don't think there are many people who would put millions into Rangers at the moment unless they had an emotional attachment to the club."

Rangers offered no comment in response to the developments.

Meanwhile, fans are to be given 30,000 blue cards and urged to raise them in the 18th and 72nd minutes - the year the club was founded - at today's game against Dunfermline at Ibrox.

l A tribute dinner is to be held in honour of former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen, who recently revealed he has motor neurone disease (MND). Ex-Rangers players such as Andy Goram and Willie Henderson are due to speak at the event on March 29 in aid of the charity MND Scotland.

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