Yesterday, as the extent of Rangers’ financial frailties and boardroom politics were graphically exposed in these pages, the warnings of Hugh Adam, the former chairman and managing director of Rangers Development, were re-released for public consumption.

The man who brought £18m of new investment to the club through the Rangers Pools since 1971 – that equates to around £70m in today’s money – has been a consistent, if reluctant, critic of Sir David Murray’s bold business strategy. Seven years ago, Adam sounded a dire warning that raised questions over the very existence of one of Scottish football’s – and Scottish society’s – apparently indestructible institutions.

He did so while unloading 
his 59,000 shares in the club, on 
the basis that, under Murray’s methods, they were heading towards worthlessness. As Rangers’ debts mounted at the height of the excess of the Dick Advocaat era, Adam described bankruptcy as “the logical conclusion” for a team in financial free-fall.

“The banks are well-known for being a bit more tolerant of companies whose core business is a popular pursuit like football but there is a limit to how far backwards they can bend to accommodate you,” he said back then, not quite to universal approval.

His stance was ridiculed by some within Ibrox as the haverings of a bitter and doddery former director, while his decision to sell his shares and spill the beans in public was regarded as treasonable among Murray’s most fervent supporters.

Seven years on, and in spite of Murray dipping in to his funds to take a massive bite out of the club’s debts a few years ago, Adam’s predictions have gained a new-found credibility since Lloyds Banking Group began to exert significantly greater pressure on the club to recoup the current £30m overdraft.

Yesterday, from his home in Burnbank, Lanarkshire, the 
84-year-old stressed that he derived no satisfaction from this belated vindication and instead spoke with sadness at Rangers’, and Murray’s, plight. He remained adamant, though, that Rangers’ perilous position is not simply as a consequence of the depressed football climate.

“When I made those comments seven years ago I was ridiculed by some,” said Adam. “We [David Murray and he] got on fine in the beginning, but, with David, it gets to the stage that if you do not agree with him he casts you aside.

“I did not agree with the way 
he operated and I told him that. 
It doesn’t give me any satisfaction to see the situation as it is but I did raise concerns at the time and was ridiculed for raising them.”

Yesterday, the Lloyds Banking Group released a statement stressing they were not in control of the club, despite Walter Smith, the increasingly exasperated manager, stating categorically that they were. Adam believes the entrepreneurial instincts that served Murray well, both in the salad days of his steel empire and as the driving force of the Rangers revolution, ultimately became his undoing.

“David was a salesman, a super-salesman. I have enormous respect for him for the adversity he overcame but when I would express my concerns to him – as I did various times – he would nod, but I knew he wasn’t listening to me. He was entitled to ignore me but I wasn’t for sitting about like a dummy.”

Adam is keen to ensure that his updated remarks are not viewed as
a gleeful ‘I told you so’ at a vulnerable former chairman. If anything, he believes that Murray deserves to leave with a fanfare and not a whimper after 20 years in control and having financed the nine in a row era and a bold – if, in retrospect, ill-advised – assault on sustained Champions League credibility.

Rangers’ new challenge – along with the bank – is to attract a new buyer. Adam is not convinced that Dave King, the South Africa-based businessmen, is a certainty to throw his undisclosed wealth down Scottish football’s black hole.

“Even if I had the money I wouldn’t buy Rangers just now. Would you?” he asks. “If anything, I would rather buy Celtic now because they are run more prudently by good, strong people. Television revenue is not going to increase, fans are not buying into it any more and there is no prospect of England on the horizon. For guys like Abramovich at Chelsea, the television money is there, while his own commitment is relatively loose change.”

“I am 84, so it is a bit late in the day for me to come up with a business plan but what I would do is lobby the Dutch, Portuguese and Scandinavians regularly to champion the cause for an Atlantic League.”

Adam’s warnings from seven years ago now command greater credibility than that fabled competition.