ALASTAIR JOHNSTON, the former chairman of Rangers, last night called for the current powerbase to sell their stock and give up their stranglehold on Ibrox before the club goes back into complete meltdown, writes Gary Keown.

Johnston insists prominent shareholders, both individuals and institutions, must open themselves up to taking a financial hit and allowing the likes of Dave King, the South Africa-based tycoon and former director, to gain the influence he desires.

"An issue that has astonished me in recent years is the number of people employed or retained by Rangers Football Club who have made a lot of money and been paid a lot to leave," Johnston said.

"That wastage was a function of internal deals and relationships that were consummated among those who have been involved in the swing door of power and influence at Ibrox.

"There are directors on the board who are basically representing the primary shareholders. These shareholders are not going to accept a situation where a Dave King, or anyone else, comes in and acquires influence or control without being paid off. If Dave King is for real, or if there is someone else, they shouldtake a write-off, downsize their investments and maybe take stock options in the future with the understanding they will stand down now and let someone out there put

money in.

"It has just been a horrible, horrible experience for the fans. I think they have been let down, I think they have been lied to,

I think they have been cheated.

"Statements have been made to fans that have proved to be untrue or deceitful, so you can see situations where the only way to clean it up might be administration again.

I can see why the fans are concerned about that.

"It is absolutely incomprehensible that the directors knew the naming rights for Ibrox Stadium had been given away for £1

two years ago and didn't tell the Rangers fans.

"Time is not on Rangers' side and those who have some ability to get it done should at least understand they have to make some concessions.

"Take a write-off. Take a loss.

Get out."