GRAHAM WALLACE was last night challenged to provide solid evidence of the true state of Rangers' finances as the supporters collective, the Union of Fans, questioned whether he has any real influence on the running of the club.
The embattled chief executive stated at the annual gathering of the North American Rangers Supporters' Association in Toronto last week that the Ibrox outfit were "in a good place" financially, but news has emerged from meetings staged in London that Rangers are in fact looking at bridging a shortfall created by poor season-ticket sales by attempting to raise £8m from a new share issue.
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Shareholder Sandy Easdale, chairman of the "football board", and his brother James, who sits on the plc board, travelled south for negotiations on Monday. Sandy Easdale is reported to have met with representatives of the investment groups Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Funds with a board meeting having also taken place on Tuesday at the offices of Rangers' financial advisors, Daniel Stewart.
Existing shareholders such as Blue Pitch, Margarita and Laxey Partners would be given first option to buy into any proposed new issue with sources stating they are interested in providing capital.
The UoF issued a statement which contained claims that PR executive Jack Irvine, whose company Media House terminated their contract with Rangers by mutual consent in March, has been involved in delivering briefings on developments in the capital.
And they have called on Wallace, who is earning £300,000 a year and operating on a 100% bonus scheme, to detail precisely who is in charge after another 48 hours of mixed messages over the threat of fresh financial collapse at Ibrox.
"We are extremely concerned that there are now two distinctly different messages being sent out from Ibrox, which appear to be completely at odds with each other regarding our club's finances," the statement read. "They show the split in the boardroom and raise the question as to who is running Rangers.
"On the one hand, Graham Wallace has clearly stated that there is no financial crisis while, on the other hand, a former PR man for Rangers and Sandy Easdale [are] briefing that there is a cash crisis which can only be resolved by an urgent share issue.
"Mr Wallace has stated twice, both in our meeting with him and more recently at the NARSA convention, that the club is on a secure footing.
"Why, then, are board meetings taking place for an emergency share issue? Why has the club had
to take loans just to finish the season? Why have these loans not been repaid despite season-ticket sales we believe to be around 16,000 and which would surely have raised the £1.5m required to immediately repay
"We have asked for Graham Wallace to come clean about the cash situation at Rangers and we repeat that request. Mr Wallace must make a statement to clarify his position and to explain the leaks of the last few days.
The appearance is that
Mr Wallace's authority is being undermined from within.
"His long-term professional reputation for corporate responsibility is being eroded and the corporate governance of the club's various boards is, once again, a shambles.
"The bottom line is very simply the question of who is running Rangers. Is it the extremely well-paid chief executive, Graham Wallace, or Sandy Easdale, a man who, for whatever reason, is not even a member of the plc board?
"We would ask that Graham Wallace fulfils his legal and corporate responsibility to identify the source of the leak and remove them from either the plc or club board, as necessary, as a matter of urgency."
Sandy Easdale and wealthy supporter George Letham provided those £1.5m of loans to the club earlier this year. Easdale also created controversy in April when stating, just prior to Wallace unveiling the 120-day business review that mentioned the possibility of issuing over
£30m in available shares and revealed that almost £70m had been squandered since 2012,
that Rangers were unlikely to survive a second administration event.
"The message sent out by
Mr Wallace appears to be at odds with that of Sandy Easdale, who has claimed that club finances were 'fragile', and Mr Irvine, who is briefing on behalf of someone that emergency cash must be raised," stated the UoF.
"Who are the Rangers fans
to believe? Who wields the real power in the boardroom? If it is Mr Easdale, then who is he taking his instructions from given his refusal to name the people behind Blue Pitch and Margarita, whom he represents?"