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Rangers fans press ahead with move to pool season ticket cash

A GROUP of Rangers fans have pushed ahead with moves to pool withheld season ticket money and insisted it will be the board's fault if the operating company falls into administration.

The Union of Fans (UoF) made the claim yesterday as it launched a website for supporters to pledge season ticket money which will be withheld until Rangers directors hand over the security to Ibrox. Ibrox 1972 Ltd has been set up by ex-Rangers player Richard Gough and former director Dave King as custodians of the security if it is granted.

The UoF is made up of the main three supporters' groups and says that fans can pledge the price of their current season-ticket renewal which will only be taken from accounts and passed to the club in the event that security is granted. If this does not happen, the group insists no money will be taken.

In reporting losses of £3.5 million in the six months to December 31, the Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) plc was warned by auditors Deloitte that a possible fans boycott could jeopardise its ability to keep trading.

Rangers chairman David Somers said the suggestion season ticket money could be diverted created a "material uncertainty which may cast doubt" over RIFC plc's ability to continue as a going concern.

But Chris Graham, of the UoF, said it would not be the fans' fault if the club went into administration as a result of the withholding of season ticket money, as the board could resolve the impasse.

"We obviously don't want to put the club into administration and I don't think we are in danger of doing that because the board has it within their power to get the money," he said.

"In an attempt to scare fans into renewing, they may want to say these people are trying to drive this company into administration, but frankly it is ridiculous.

"Nobody that is a fan of Rangers wants that. It's up to the board. If this money is required for the company to continue to trade, then they should grant the security we are asking for."

The UoF says it believes in the month since the club launched its season ticket renewal campaign for the 2014/15 season, only 2000 have parted with their cash. More than 72,000 season tickets have been sold in the past two seasons with an average attendance in 2013/14 of more than 40,000, the seventh highest in British football.

"The strong impression we get is there is a huge level of distrust of the board, and some have gone beyond the point where even the security wouldn't be enough for them to give their money over," Mr Graham added.

"There are going to be people who will renew regardless of whether they trust the board or not, and we understand that there will be people who use the season ticket trust in an attempt to get something positive out of this."

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