RANGERS have hit back at a Club 1872 statement that accused the Ibrox executive board of treating supporters with ‘contempt’ and raised serious concerns over three high-profile individuals at Ibrox. 

Managing director Stewart Robertson and James Bisgrove and David Graham, the heads of Rangers’ commercial and communications strategies respectively, have come under major criticism from the influential fan shareholders

Rangers responded to the claims in a statement, that read: “The rest of this season is arguably one of the most crucial periods in our illustrious 150 year history. 

“The Men’s First Team and Women’s Team are competing for major honours, both domestically and in Europe. 

“It is deeply regrettable that the same small rump of “supporters” remains intent on causing damage to our club. It is particularly concerning to note the timing they have chosen to launch their latest attack. 

“It is lost on nobody that those intent on creating maximum disruption are those who have either enjoyed or craved, a role within our club. 

“The collective desire of our Board, Management and players, is to have unity of purpose over the coming months. Rest assured, we will address the disruptors and their propaganda war at the end of this season. 

“For now, nothing matters but results on the field. Together, we are stronger.” 

Over the past few weeks Rangers fans have protested against the Ibrox board's decision to sign up for the controversial Sydney Super Cup.

The Gers are set to face off against Celtic in the friendly tournament that his due to take place during the Qatar World Cup.

Club 1872 – the eighth largest shareholders in RIFC plc - insist that supporters are well within their rights to question the ‘judgement’ and ‘competence’ of key employees at the club.

A statement read: “It is the opinion of the Club 1872 Board that not only are they correct to do so, but that it is crucial for the future health of the club that they do so.

“Unfortunately, the contempt shown to supporters over this issue is only the tip of the iceberg and has been ongoing, albeit less visibly to the majority of supporters, for almost two years.

“It is a source of great regret that we are having to raise these matters publicly - having always attempted to engage privately and constructively with the club - but the current custodians of Rangers Football Club have refused to speak with us privately despite repeated attempts to do so.

“The experience of Club 1872 Directors, both past and present, is that Rangers’ Executive Team, led by Stewart Robertson, James Bisgrove and David Graham, has developed an extremely unhealthy disdain for the Rangers support and that inaccurate information has regularly been disseminated through the club’s own public statements, briefings to fan media and highly selective leaks to a small group of individuals within the Rangers support.

“This conduct has not, in our opinion, been intended to advance the aims of the club, but instead to serve the interests of a handful of members of the Plc Board and Executive team and to protect them from healthy scrutiny and justified criticism.”

Club 1872 also claim the reaction from Rangers was ‘hostile’ when they attempted to represent supporters and raise concerns - in areas such as ticketing, safe standing and disabled access – with executives over a period of several months.

The organisation have highlighted their misgivings regarding Rangers’ commercial deals, the MyGers membership scheme and the champions’ relations with supporters and the media.

The statement continued: “We have today written to Rangers' Vice Chairman, John Bennett, Plc Board members Barry Scott, Alastair Johnston and Julian Wolhardt and major shareholders Stuart Gibson, George Letham and George Taylor, asking them to enter into dialogue with us as a matter of urgency so that we can present the information we have gathered on the issues raised above.

“The financial contribution that these individuals have made to the club is considerable and to be commended and we hope they will work with us to improve the way the club is being run.

“We have also extended an offer to a number of fan media outlets to meet them and outline the information in our possession which shows the way in which they have been manipulated by Rangers’ Executives.

“Rangers supporters did not go through the events of 2012 to find ourselves back in a situation where individuals at the club put their own interests ahead of Rangers. April is a huge month for the club and the ongoing behaviour of the Rangers hierarchy and their refusal to engage properly with supporters is threatening to distract from important matters on the pitch.

“As supporters, we unconditionally support the team, the players and the club but the days of blindly following the club’s custodians when they are not, in our opinion, acting in Rangers’ best interests are long gone.

“We sincerely hope that the required changes can be made sooner rather than later, that the club’s hierarchy can reconnect with supporters and we can move forward together. In the meantime, we would urge supporters to continue to critically examine all information released by Rangers’ Executives or their proxies.”