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Spiers on Sport: Dave King (forget the past) rides a wave of populism...

Since the fawning days of Sir David Murray at Rangers - and look how that ended - has anyone in Scottish football talked such a good game to the media as Dave King?

The South Africa-based Rangers fan is on the warpath in terms of gaining influence or control at Ibrox, and some faintly laudatory newspaper coverage has accompanied him. This in itself should cause some Rangers fans a note of caution.

King is using the media in a very astute way. He knows he has a strong argument on his side. It goes like this: Rangers crave new money, and he has it, in truckloads. Every time King gives an interview he cranks up the pressure on the Rangers board by flaunting his wealth.

In terms of the benighted history of Rangers, there is something a little concerning in this. This football club has a very unfortunate past - a tragic one, in fact - with swaggering self-made men who speak of cash to burn, with eulogising headlines ever available.

As much as King appears to have real substance to him, surely some Rangers fans will be saying: "Hang on…we've been here before." At best, with so much of King's plans for Rangers still either scant or unexplained, there should be a wariness in the way this media show is charging ahead, Sir David Murray style.

And all this is to say nothing of the unfortunate baggage King brings with him: a recent High Court conviction in South Africa for tax illegalities, and some highly unflattering remarks by at least one judge in terms of his character.

This need not necessarily thwart King at Rangers, but nor, in the Gadarene rush by some Ibrox fans to get his money, should it simply be ignored.

On the face of it, King abjectly fails the SFA's "fit and proper" criteria for involvement in Scottish football, as laid out in Article 10. Doubtless, this can be circumvented, but at the very least the SFA should take a robust view of his activity at Rangers.

There are also plenty positives about King - these should not be overlooked, either. First - and I think this is about the gist of it - there is his money.

In one sense it is little wonder that many Rangers fans hold to an amoral position on his King's dodgy tax affairs. The fact is, he appears to be fabulously wealthy, and his money could really transform Rangers.

Football tends not to be about lofty morality, so much as success and the winning. So these pesky questions about King's illegal behaviour in the past are being left far down the queue of concerns.

Second, King is sincere in his view that Rangers need investment now for a five-year plan. His opinion resonates with many fans, some of whom privately dread the club's arrival in the top flight beside Celtic.

Rangers supporters want their club restored to strength, prestige and superiority. They are fed up with life in the grubber. Right now King appears to be the only man - and certainly the loudest man - capable of delivering that.

Third, this current Rangers board, and principal among them the Easdale brothers, are simply not trusted. This is a disliked and disparaged Ibrox board of directors. King can see this and he can effortlessly capitalise on it.

The key question remains: can Rangers, in the club's current financial state, match King's vision for the future? It would appear that it can't.

This is a very strange case, with all sorts of unknowns still in play. Will King be true to his word, or are we heading in this drama for another vainglorious Ibrox disaster? No-one I know can answer that question with any conviction.

In the meantime, the current Rangers board, unless they can pull a supreme rabbit out of a hat, look doomed. King is offering a cash-injection at Rangers, guaranteed and underwritten by him, of up to £50 million.

Could the Easdales and their cohorts match this? I would doubt it. In which case, as with every popular uprising, you'd have the principals clinging to power while the people shriek for change. It only becomes a matter of time.

Dave King has much charm and wealth on his side. Right now, aided by a seemingly approving media, he is also drumming up a shrill populism.

There is something very familiar about all this. I'm pretty sure I've seen this movie before.

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