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Rangers fans ask King to set up trust for season ticket money as supporters issue vote of no confidence in board

The main Rangers supporters' groups have issued a vote of no confidence in the Ibrox board and backed former director Dave King's bid to lead a fan-based group to secure a major shareholding in the club.

The League One leaders this week secured loans totalling £1.5million from two major shareholders - Laxey Partners and Sandy Easdale - which led the South Africa-based businessman, who lost his £20million investment when Rangers were liquidated, to urge fans to seek several guarantees, financial and otherwise, before buying season tickets.

A statement released by the Union of Fans, on behalf of the Rangers Supporters Trust, Rangers Supporters Assembly, Rangers Supporters Association, Blue Order, Union Bears and Sons of Struth, revealed it was "deeply concerned, once again, about the direction our club is being taken in".

The statement continued: "We have no confidence in the current board and would ask Dave King to set up a trust where fans can place our season ticket money to be released to the club on agreed terms.

"We would also ask him to lobby all non-aligned shareholders and form a new shareholders group to challenge the anonymous shareholders behind Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita, then take control of the board.

"We have already had preliminary and productive discussions with respected figureheads for such a trust and we hope they will now step forward and support Dave King and the fans.

"We would like to make it clear that, like Dave King, we are not suggesting a season ticket boycott.

"Like all Rangers fans we want to support the club financially as we always have, but it has become clear that the board are using our loyalty as a tool for their own ends rather than the benefit of the club.

"If they will not listen to genuine concerns or involve those with the best interests of the club at heart then they will have to be made to listen.

"We cannot doubt the intentions of one of our own who has previously committed £20million to the club we love."

Chief executive Graham Wallace, who was appointed in November, is in the midst of a 120-day review of the club's finances and operations in a bid to cut the spending that saw Rangers post an operating loss of £14.4million last season.

But the fans questioned the process and this week's deal, which could see Laxey secure a £150,000 return on its £1million loan this year.

The statement continued: "Over halfway through Mr Wallace's 120-day review we have seen little or no progress.

"Indeed, the investment committee set up by the board has only been able to secure a loan, at an inflated interest rate of 30 per cent APR, from an existing shareholder.

"We have spoken to shareholders who were, and are, willing to provide the funds required at considerably better terms than the loan that has been taken from Laxey."

The group added: "We do not believe that taking a short-term loan, at both an inflated rate and securitised against club assets, is addressing the need for a long-term solution and urgent investment, and we have seen nothing to suggest this is part of a robust long-term plan, despite Mr Wallace's assertions."

The announcement follows a statement released by former Ibrox Director Dave King which urged fans to pool their season ticket money and withhold it from the club until their concerns about the ways it's being run are met.

In his statement, King also raised concerns about the club's ability to challenge Celtic for the league title when they eventually return to the top-flight, unless fresh funding is sought.

He reiterated his desire to invest in Rangers again, despite having lost £20m under Sir David Murray, and wants to lead a group of like-minded, high net-worth Rangers fans in a fresh share issue.

King tells Rangers fans: pool your season ticket money, don't give it to the club

Spiers on Sport: will Rangers fans call for season ticket boycott?

Full statement from the Union of Fans on Rangers FC

"Events over the past few days have left us deeply concerned, once again, about the direction our club is being taken in. We have waited patiently, as requested by Graham Wallace, to see progress as part of his 120 day review, but feel that the latest decision from the board, to line the pockets of shareholders who showed a total disregard for the wishes of fans at the recent AGM, is yet another kick in the teeth.

"Over half way through Mr Wallace's 120 day review we have seen little or no progress. Indeed, the investment committee set up by the board has only been able to secure a loan, at an inflated interest rate of 30% APR, from an existing shareholder. We have spoken to shareholders who were, and are, willing to provide the funds required at considerably better terms than the loan that has been taken from Laxey. This offer has not been progressed by the board or the NOMAD, Daniel Stewart. We would simply ask why?

"We note Mr Wallace's comments that a full process was followed but we have little or no faith that Daniel Stewart or the board have properly analysed the options available. We do not believe that taking a short term loan, at both an inflated rate and securitised against club assets, is addressing the need for a long term solution and urgent investment, and we have seen nothing to suggest this is part of a robust long term plan, despite Mr Wallace's assertions.

"We have no confidence in the current board and would ask Dave King, following his statement yesterday, to set up a trust where fans can place our season ticket money to be released to the club on agreed terms. We would also ask him to lobby all non-aligned shareholders and form a new Shareholders Group to challenge the anonymous shareholders behind Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita, then take control of the board.

"We have already had preliminary and productive discussions with respected figureheads for such a trust and we hope they will now step forward and support Dave King and the fans. Fans can indicate their support for the idea by visiting www.unionoffans.org and signing up.

"Also, before this board once again unleash their PR bulldog, Jack Irvine, whose only function appears to be to attack Rangers fans, we would like to make it clear that, like Dave King, we are not suggesting a season ticket boycott. Like all Rangers fans we want to support the club financially as we always have, but it has become clear that the board are using our loyalty as a tool for their own ends rather than the benefit of the club. If they will not listen to genuine concerns or involve those with the best interests of the club at heart then they will have to be made to listen.

"We cannot doubt the intentions of one of our own who has previously committed £20m to the club we love. Dave King has declared his willingness to raise capital and lead our fight to regain control of our club.

"We ask all our fellow supporters across the world to join us, with Dave King, in an effort to return our club to the people whose only interest in making a profit is to reinvest it in our club."

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