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Rangers fans form working party in bid to buy club

A group of Rangers fans have agreed to form a working party as they step up efforts to buy the club on behalf of the Ibrox support.

Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) hosted a behind-closed-doors meeting with around 60 influential supporters on Friday morning.

The three-hour presentation explained how the Light Blues faithful could set up a similar scheme to the one Hearts fans are currently using to rescue their club from administration.

SDS is now set to meet again with its invited guests early next week as it looks to formalise its arrangements.

Head of SDS Paul Goodwin said: "We were happy to do the presentation today and are delighted with the reaction we got. The meeting was successful and at the end of it when we asked people to put their hand up if they wanted to hear more about more about community ownership, the response was unanimous.

"We are launching our Community Ownership week next week but we'll be taking time out of that to get together again with the Rangers fans so we can look at taking this forward."

Friday marked the second anniversary of Rangers' blackest day when they were put into administration but the off-field sagas at Ibrox have carried on relentlessly.

The club was floated on the stock market in December 2012 but the original 70p share price has tumbled to just 26.25p.

Losses of more £14.4million for the 13 months to June were then announced in October, while chief executive Graham Wallace was defeated in his attempts to impose a 15 per cent pay cut on Ally McCoist's first-team squad last month.

Rangers blogger Andy McKellar - one of the fans invited to hear the SDS presentation - believes fan ownership is the only way to protect the club from more turmoil.

The SDS blueprint is based around setting up a Community Interest Company which will then collect monthly contributions from fans, with the cash then used to buy shares..

McKellar said: "David Murray, Craig Whyte and Charles Green - those are the three names which show you fan ownership is the way forward.

"Rangers are still in financial trouble because the way these three acted and the way the people in charge now have run it. If that doesn't convince Rangers fans to take action then I don't know what will.

"The fans have had no say in all that has happened to Rangers but if we could get enough shares to take control that would allow us to protect the club in future.

"It was a positive meeting. By the end of it, everyone there was in support of taking the project forward.

"There wasn't much detail given out, more a broad explanation of what the plan is but there was lots of questions and answers about how it all works so everyone has a better idea of what it will take to get this thing started. Now the guys there can look to setting up the working party that will flesh the idea out but there is still a lot of work to do"

The SDS meeting comes just two days after the Rangers Supporters Trust announced it had extended its stake in the club to over half-a-million shares using its own scheme, BuyRangers.

Boss McCoist praised the efforts of both groups, saying: "Greater fan involvement should be encouraged, absolutely. And particularly because of the way our fans have supported us over the last 24 months.

"It's fantastic that their voice is getting stronger and it's a great thing the more they get heard."

Rangers supporters wishing to learn more about the SDS project can register at www.scottishfans.org/rangers

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