AN umbrella group of Rangers supporters has warned that Murray Park and Ibrox Stadium are in "grave danger", insisting it is "impossible to deal with the board in good faith".
The angry statement issued last night from the Union of Fans follows comments from the club posted on the Rangers official website at the weekend and signals what could be an irretrievable breakdown between dissenting supporters and the incumbent board.
Representatives of the Union of Fans and members of the board met last week. Graham Wallace, chief executive of Rangers, Norman Crighton, a non-executive director, and Sandy Easdale, a major shareholder and member of the football board, were present and the fans believed that they had secured a promise of a "legally binding" document over the future of Ibrox which their lawyers could peruse. They sought a similar pledge over Murray Park, the club's training complex near Milngavie.
Supporters believed that this would be discussed at a board meeting but a club statement at the weekend was unequivocal.
It read: "Whilst the board is reported to have offered legally binding undertakings during a fan group discussion in relation to Ibrox and Murray Park, this is not the case."
This ignited an explosive statement from the Union of Fans, who accused the board of deliberately trying to create confusion, that the fan statement of last Wednesday night was "100% accurate" and that there had been no further contact between the two parties despite an undertaking to hold further discussions.
The meeting followed the establishment of Ibrox 1972 with Richard Gough, the former Rangers captain, and Dave King, the South Africa-based businessman, as directors. This scheme would place season ticket money in a trust while security was sought over Rangers' assets.
However, Rangers clarified their position in the statement, saying: "The club will not grant security over Ibrox to any organisation and therefore the 'Ibrox 1972' scheme can never achieve its objectives."
The Union of Fans responded vigorously last night. A statement read: "It is clear that they [the board] have now rejected Mr Wallace's proposal to give a binding undertaking over Ibrox. It is clear that they have considered our proposal that the same undertaking be given for Murray Park and have also rejected that. The idea that this latest board proclamation should give supporters any type of additional confidence over the club's assets is therefore utterly ridiculous. In fact, it should confirm just how much danger our vital assets are in."
It added: "It is clearly impossible to deal with this board in good faith. They told us we would receive a swift response following their deliberations. We have received no response. They told us that over the past two weeks all major investors, bar one, have indicated they will participate fully and proportionately in any future rights issue. We do not believe this to be the case.
"They told us that all those major investors are supportive of their business plan. We do not believe this to be true. They told us that they have access to an instant £5m of equity funding from existing investors. We believe that, if this is true, it will be used to benefit Mr Easdale's associates."
It also added that it was "clear" Wallace had less influence in the boardroom than Sandy Easdale, who is not a member of the plc board.
Rangers, meanwhile, extended the season-ticket renewal period over the weekend.