Rangers board 'open' to ex-accountant chief Frank Blin joining

The club also rejected called for the removal of Craig Mather and two other directors.

Rangers Ibrox Park gate quality image June 25 2012
© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

The Rangers board has announced it has an "open mind" about ex-PricewaterhouseCoopers chief Frank Blin joining, but has rejected calls for the removal of three directors.

Institutional shareholders in Rangers International Football Club plc, backed by businessman Jim McColl, have lodged a notice for the requisition of the general meeting in an attempt to implement boardroom changes.

The opposition group want Craig Mather removed as chief executive of the club, as well as finance director Brian Stockbridge and fellow director Bryan Smart removed from their roles.

Their notice calling for the general meeting also aims to have former Rangers director Paul Murray and former executive chairman of accountants PwC Mr Blin to be appointed to the board.

On Wednesday, Rangers announced to the London Stock Exchange that it was open to appointing Mr Blin but felt the other proposals are "not in the best of interest of the company and shareholders as a whole".

The Rangers statement read: "Further to the announcement of 2 August 2013, the board is holding discussions with representatives of the requisitioners with the aim of avoiding the need for a general meeting, at this time, and the associated unnecessary cost and disruption to the company.

"The board's aim remains finding a solution to achieve stability and unity amongst all stakeholders for the benefit of the club. The board is actively seeking a new chairman and the directors will also consider other additions to the board in order to ensure board efficacy at all times.

"As such, the directors have an open mind about the proposed resolution from the requisitioners to appoint Frank Blin but believe that the other proposed resolutions are not in the best of interest of the company and shareholders as a whole."

The move is also supported by former Rangers chairman and small shareholder Malcolm Murray, who faced a general meeting requisition from members of Charles Green’s Sevco consortium who were calling for him to be removed from his post. He eventually stood down as chairman to be replaced by Walter Smith, before Mr Murray also left his director post at Ibrox.

On Wednesday, Rangers also announced former commercial director Imran Ahman "no longer has a notifiable interest in the company's issued share capital".

Under the terms of the share flotation prospectus published last year, a shareholder with a "notifiable interest" owns a stake of 3% or more. Mr Ahmad did own a 3.37% stake in Rangers International, but it has not been established how much of that he has sold.

As a "key employee" of Rangers, Mr Ahmad was subject to a lock-in agreement preventing him from selling his shares at in any point in the 12 months after the company’s admission to the Alternative Investment Market. However, this is "subject to certain limited exceptions", according to the Rangers International share issue prospectus, although it is not yet known how Mr Ahmad was allowed to circumvent the lock-in agreement.

Small investor Sandy Easdale claimed to have purchased over one million of Mr Ahmad’s shares last week, while his brother and fellow McGill’s Buses owner James owns a 0.55% stake in Rangers International.

Hedge fund Laxey Partners has become one of the largest single shareholders in Rangers International with a 6.53% stake, while it revealed this week it would vote for the removal of directors should a general meeting go ahead. This came after the Rangers Supporters Assembly, Association and Trust call on all fan investors – who own around 11.4% of the company – to vote in favour the general meeting proposals.

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