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Friday, 06 December 2013 13:30

Open Letter From Chairman

AS a listed company, the members of the Rangers Board have to be very careful and professional in the way in which we communicate information.

This is clearly not the case for the requisitioners, who can make all sorts of wild and spurious allegations.

My concern is that these unprofessional, wild allegations are being used just like bogey men were used when I was a child. But in this case, they are being used to frighten our supporters and shareholders. So, within the bounds of what I can say, I would like to put some of these bogey men to rest.

Firstly, I read wild accusations that I may not be independent. This is usually accompanied by a list of names from the club’s past. Let me say categorically, that until I joined the Board a mere 4 weeks ago yesterday, I had never heard of Charles Green, Imran Ahmad, Craig Whyte, or any of the other characters in Rangers’ history. To my knowledge, I have never met them, nor had business dealings with them. Nor would I recognise them if I passed them on a street.

When I was approached to join the Board, the Company had only two directors and the immediate priority was to preserve the AIM Listing. Surely it is naïve to think that there is any way the Nominated Adviser could have allowed anyone not totally independent to take on this position at that time?

I have now read over two years of board minutes and they make very depressing reading in terms of the scale of their lack of professionalism and worse. The minutes make it clear, in my mind, that the boards of recent years have been totally unfit to run this club.

The mystery to me is why people should now be considering that members of these boards, which presided over the problems we face today, should be considered for re-election. Although I have learned one lesson, which is that if you shout long enough and loud enough in the media, you may be able to reinvent yourself.

Recent inaccurate and, in fact, completely untrue allegations have included a new bogey man about Jack Irvine's contract. I have looked at this and can say that he has a normal contract, with no bonuses attached and the figures quoted by Mr Scott Murdoch are utter nonsense. Let me also say that Graham Wallace and I are beginning a complete review of every contract that is in place. You can imagine that this is going to take weeks and then more time where contracts need to be changed. I have been on board four weeks yesterday and Graham less than that, but we have already begun this critical process.

One area, where we are conscious that we need to focus, is in improving our communication and engagement with all Rangers supporters. We have already commenced work to identify what is required to fully engage with our fan base and we will be bringing forward some significant proposals in the near future. The Board is fully behind improving the communication and engagement with the fans.

Another bogey man relates to the club's finances. We have said publicly a number of times that any talk of the club going into administration is completely untrue. Yes, we will need to make decisions to improve cash flows and strengthen the business, but these will be the right decisions at the right time.

Another new bogey man thrown about by the Gang of Four is the suggestion that we might be thinking of selling Ibrox.  We are not thinking about this. Where do the requisitioners get these ideas from? I promise you we have no intention of a sale.

Brian Stockbridge suffers most from the lies thrown around by the people in the process of reinventing themselves. Even the requisitoners must understand that finance directors are members of boards and their actions are largely dictated by the board.

Reading the minutes of the last two years or more, I see that Mr Murray was involved at board level for long periods covering contract and financial negotiations. It is not that Finance Directors make mistakes, rather that boards make mistakes, or worse.

Without Brian, the club would, in my opinion, have been de-listed months ago and ironically the club should owe him a debt of gratitude for holding things together. Going forward, his new CEO, Graham Wallace, needs time to evaluate the whole structure within the business and the people within it. This will be true for Brian as for everyone else.

For the good of the club, for the good of the supporters and for the good of the shareholders, I sincerely hope that the shareholders will get behind the existing board and vote for us.

In addition, I encourage shareholders to vote against the four requisitioners. Firstly, because some of them were members or chairman of boards which failed this club in the past. Secondly, we need a Board selected from the best available people. Not just from fanatics who put their own personal interest ahead of the greater good of the club.

If these people were to join the board they would be taking up positions which should be held in future by the best, professional people with Rangers true best interests at heart and not having their involvement driven by their own personal self interest.

Best regards,

David Somers

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