The millionaire seeking to become Rangers' biggest shareholder has hit out at rumours his business is built on crime .

Bus operator Sandy Easdale, who served one year of a 27-month sentence for VAT fraud in 1997, said suggestions he was involved in gangsterism were "trash" and insisted he wanted to help put the Ibrox club back on its feet financially.

Mr Easdale, who last week bought nearly £500,000 worth of shares in Rangers to add to the £1million stake his family already has in the club, told a Sunday newspaper he had no links with organised crime.

"I have not been involved in crime for 16 years since I was jailed," he said. "If I was involved in all the things I'm rumoured to be involved in, I would be on some sort of Interpol list."

Mr Easdale, who is working with the current Ibrox board which includes his brother James, Rangers chief executive Craig Mather and finance director Brian Stockbridge, was jailed for non-payment of VAT.

But he insists his businesses, which now employ more than 1000 people, were built up legitimately.

"I don't think every fan is going to use my past against me but it is an easy weapon for some," he admitted, but he said he had nothing to hide.

And speaking about his time in prison, he admitted: "I think it changed me - I said I would never be in trouble again.

"It's better to work hard and build your own business than to languish in a jail cell. That is the best principle I learned."

Mr Easdale and his brother now own the Greenock-based firm McGill's Buses which employs around 800 people. They also have interests in scrapyards, window and taxi firms, including Inverclyde Taxis.

The Easdale brothers hope to transfer their business acumen to the football club they are both lifelong supporters of and help return it to sensible governance.

"You are not going to invest in Rangers to make money right away. I see the sense in doing it for the long term," he said.

Mr Easdale also confirmed he had an agreement to buy the bulk of the stake in the club held by Charles Green, currently the largest shareholder, and whose return as consultant has so angered many fans. Easdale said Rangers supporters should be grateful to Green and ex-Rangers director Imran Ahmad for organising the takeover of the club last year from Craig Whyte and then raising £22m on the stock market.

"I think Charles and Imran did an excellent job. They bought the club and took a risk by spending money to do so. It was a big risk - and a risk that some, including Paul Murray's Blue Knights - did not take.

"They then floated the club to bring in money to keep it going. The club is still there today thanks to their ingenuity. That fact is getting lost among all the shouting at the moment."

Green has faced renewed calls for his removal from his current consultancy role from fans angry in the wake of the news that his former partner Ahmad is now set to sue the club for £3.4m and still unhappy with the outspoken comments Green has made since his return, which included telling Rangers manager Ally McCoist that he had to win a cup this season or else there might be a problem.

Chief executive Craig Mather has since called Green's outburst "immoral and unethical" and the future of Green's £1000-a-month consultancy position is to be discussed at an Ibrox board meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

All three of the club's main supporters' groups have called on the club to end its links with the former chief executive who resigned from the board in April amidst allegations surrounding his association with disgraced former owner Craig Whyte.

Meanwhile, talk of takeover bids continue to swirl around Ibrox, with Clyde Bowers founder Jim McColl and former director Paul Murray said to be waiting on the sidelines.

Easdale, though, is confident the current regime will remain in place. He said he believed any bid by McColl and Murray would be unable to match the finances the board can raise.

"I know the level of support we have and it outweighs them by double," he said. "So they are going to get trounced - it's going to be embarrassing."