Jim McColl, the Scottish businessman who is backing the group of disgruntled Rangers shareholders who want four nominees to join the Ibrox board, has given his endorsement to the club's current chief executive, Graham Wallace.

The Clyde Blowers chairman is behind the bid to have former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray, Paul Murray, a former director of oldco Rangers - as well as allies Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson - voted on to the board at the club's AGM on December 19, and all five met with several hundred Gers fans in a Glasgow hotel on Thursday night.

The Rangers board, including three new members - Wallace, chairman David Somers and non-executive director Norman Crighton - and under-fire financial director Brian Stockbridge, whose position was described by the dissenting group on Wednesday as "completely untenable", were also invited but none of them turned up.

McColl remains sceptical of Stockbridge's credentials but believes the appointment of Wallace last week is a positive step for a club which posted losses of £14million in the 13 months to June.

"They've started to strengthen the board and I believe they've got to be given a chance," he said.

"I wasn't involved directly in discussions with Graham Wallace but we did have discussions with him before and I think he is a solid individual, a very strong financial guy and a very good chief executive.

"If there's something wrong he'll get to the bottom of it.

"I know a lot of people think that's taking a softer line but I think it's the practical way forward.

"I feel quite strongly about Brian Stockbridge because I think there's a lot of money going out and there's questions that have to be asked.

"But the start of a new board is there, and I don't think you can rubbish that board.

"I said a couple of times during the meeting that we want to work to get the whole thing stable going forward, not to be demonising people."

McColl revealed he recently visited Laxey Partners Limited who purchased more than three million shares last week making the hedge fund the largest shareholder in Rangers International Football Club plc with 11.64 per cent.

Colin Kingsnorth, founding partner at Laxey, has given his backing to the current board which might prove significant when voting takes place at the AGM.

"I knew what they were going to do but I wanted to speak to Colin Kingsnorth to see if I could convince him to maybe support (us)," said McColl.

"Colin is a switched-on guy, he knows what he's doing.

"His view was that the three new guys are reasonable and he wanted to give them a chance.

"He was quite happy to back them and give them the chance to sort it out but if it doesn't happen I'm sure they'll be back looking for change.

"I explained our reservations about Stockbridge but his view - and I share it - was that Wallace is a very strong financial guy and will get to the bottom of things."

McColl admits the meeting with the fans all but signalled the end of his involvement.

He said: "We've got the four nominees on (the AGM agenda), there's three new people on the board and much of the job is done."

Paul Murray reiterated that the group were "committed to the campaign" and insists Stockbridge's position remains untenable.

"We intend to publish the Rangers Constitution next week," he said. "We spoke about it at the meeting on Thursday night and we want to set out the values and the pledges that we as nominations would make if we joined the board.

"It would be a written commitment that we think all Rangers directors should sign.

"We thank Jim for his on-going support and his practical assistance during this process, which included last Thursday night's appearance at the fans' forum.

"The campaign is now entering the final phase and our fight to bring change to the board continues.

"We want all Rangers fans to reclaim the club for themselves, and as four fans we have clear objectives, to remove Brian Stockbridge, to urge the three new directors to prove their independence from previous regimes and to seek the election of four new directors - Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch.

"We believe that Norman Crighton and Graham Wallace possess the background and experience to help Rangers at this difficult time.

"But Brian Stockbridge must go - there's no negotiation on that. We are prepared to give the new board members a chance.

"They seem independent and credible but they can prove their independence by removing Stockbridge because there's a real mood for that to happen."