Scottish Daily Mail

Revolution ahead at Ibrox

King wins Ibrox power struggle in emphatic fashion He then vows to uncover truth behind the turmoil

- By MARK WILSON

DAVE KING last night vowed to uncover the truth behind years of turmoil at Rangers after sweeping to power in emphatic fashion.

Around 85 per cent of shareholde­rs who voted at yesterday’s general meeting backed King’s push f or change, electing him as a director alongside allies Paul Murray and John Gilligan — and kicking out Mike Ashley associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach.

Building for the future has already begun with the further appointmen­t of Douglas Park — one of the Three Bears consortium — to the new Ibrox board.

King, however, believes long-suffering Rangers fans also deserve to know what has gone on inside their club since the descent i nto administra­tion followed by liquidatio­n in 2012. And the South Africa- based businessma­n has vowed to pursue evidence of wrongdoing as he seeks to bring closure to this bitterly turbulent period.

Asked if he felt the fans had been the

victims of the saga, King replied: ‘A thousand per cent. If we look at it and feel that anyone has either behaved in a manner that was criminally liable or civilly liable, then we’re giving a commitment in the interest of transparen­cy to deal with that. ‘It’s not about having a witch hunt but it’s important for the fans that we find out what actually went on. There are allegation­s going back to the Charles Green days about money and kickbacks and we really have to look at that. ‘It’s a little bit like South Africa with the Truth and Reconcilia­tion Commission, which came out after 1994 (the end of apartheid). ‘It was a good thing for people to air things and finally put it behind them. The fans need a bit of truth and reconcilia­tion to get some understand­ing of what has happened. ‘We’ve given a commitment that will be taken very seriously about transparen­cy and accountabi­lity. If there is anything untoward, we must make sure there is accountabi­lity for that. ‘The other side is if, in terms of our investigat­ion, it transpires funds left the club inappropri­ately and there is a possibilit­y of recovering them, then it is in the club’s interests to recover them as quickly as possible.’ Former chief executive Graham Wallace spoke of ‘onerous’ contracts in last year’s business review, so does King fear what the new board might uncover now they have full access? ‘I’m not scared of it because it can only provide opportunit­ies,’ insisted King, who is delaying becoming chairman until deemed ‘fit and proper’ by the financial authoritie­s and the SFA. ‘If there is potential for recovery, that can only be a good thing. Instinctiv­ely, I don’t expect to find it in an impossible mess.’ The terms of the merchandis­ing deals agreed with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct will come under close inspection. A £10million loan agreed in January gave Sports Direct a 75-per-cent stake in the Rangers Retail subsidiary as well as security over a variety of assets. ‘I’ve heard from one person who has seen some of the contracts and I regard as being fairly reliable,’ said King. ‘He has told me we won’t find anything untoward when we look at the Ashley contracts. ‘He said the best we’ll find is someone who is commercial­ly aggressive and has outnegotia­ted the people who were on the board. If that’s the case, then good luck to him. ‘Others have said it’s not that simple and we’ll find that, through the use of individual­s and peer pressure on the board, it wasn’t a simple outnegotia­tion but bias and, if that’s the case, then we’d have to look at that very carefully. ‘One of the reasons fans aren’t spending on the kit is because they think a disproport­ionate amount is going to Ashley. So it’s in his interests — and he knows, as we sit here today, what we’re going to find when we get there.’

 ??  ?? Victorious: Gilligan, King and Murray yesterday
Victorious: Gilligan, King and Murray yesterday

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