Rangers launches 'independent examination' into Charles Green claims

Charles Green and Andrew Dixon, 13/4/13.
Charles Green (right): Rangers to launch independent investigation.SNS

Rangers will launch an "independent examination" into allegations surrounding Charles Green's management of the club.

The probe, which was announced by directors on Saturday afternoon, will also cover claims in relation to the Ibrox side's commercial director Imran Ahmad.

The board held a meeting with Mr Green ahead of the team's home clash against Clyde on Saturday, following recent claims about the chief executive's alleged involvement with former owner Craig Whyte and his use of language towards a colleague. During the talks, Mr Green apologised to the board for any offence caused by his description of Mr Ahmad as "my Paki friend" in an interview.

Following their discussions, the board said in a statement: "The board has announced today it is to commission an independent examination and report in view of recent allegations in the media concerning the chief executive, Charles Green, the commercial director, Imran Ahmad, and their management of the club.

"The decision to commission the examination was taken unanimously by those in attendance at today’s meeting including non-executive and executive directors.

"The independent report will be commissioned and completed as speedily as possible and presented directly to the non-executive directors of the company."

Mr Green will not play any role in the probe but directors stressed they had not formed any prejudgements in relation to the claims.

The statement continued: "The chief executive will not be involved in the conduct of the examination. The board wishes to make clear that is not prejudging any of the issues involved and that the object of this exercise is to clarify the situation to the satisfaction of shareholders, supporters, staff and board members.

"Instructions recently given to lawyers in England and Scotland with a view to taking legal action to challenge these recent allegations will form part of the independent examination."

Mr Green apologised "unreservedly" to the board for language he had used to describe colleague Mr Ahmad, saying his use of the word "Paki" indicated "poor judgement" and did not reflect his own attitude towards prejudice, which he said he "would not countenance" at the club.

The board recounted: "Also at today’s meeting, the chief executive of the club apologised unreservedly to board members and the wider Rangers support for any offence caused by remarks he made in an interview last week regarding Imran Ahmad.

"Mr Green told the Board that in trying to make a point in the interview that, as chief executive, he would not countenance any form of prejudice towards employees or players at the Club, he had exercised poor judgement in the words he chose. He apologised."

Directors accepted that Mr Green "did not act in a racist manner" but reiterated the club's standards with regard to conduct.

They added: "The board accepted the explanation that there had been no intention to cause offence and accepted the chief executive’s apology. The board is satisfied that the chief executive did not act in a racist manner but reminded him of the importance of all office bearers at Rangers upholding the standards expected by the club.

"Mr Green will deal with the pending SFA charge on this matter on a personal basis. The board wishes to re-iterate Rangers is a club which is opposed to all forms of prejudice and has a long-established policy of working extensively in the community through a variety of programmes and initiatives to tackle issues such as racism and sectarianism.”

On Friday, the Rangers Supporters Trust issued a statement calling for "the future of chief executive Charles Green to be decided by the board of the club".

It came after allegations around Mr Green's alleged involvement with the club's former owner Craig Whyte.

STV News reported on Friday that documents appeared to show Mr Green's signature verifying the appointments of Mr Whyte and his associate Aidan Earley as directors of Sevco 5088 Limited. These papers appeared to contradict a statement made by Mr Green in an interview this week. When asked what part did Mr Whyte and Mr Earley have in Sevco 5088, he said: "Neither of them had a role in Sevco 5088."

Rangers cast doubt on the validity of the documents in a statement.

STV previously revealed that Mr Green agreed to receive a £25,000 payment from Mr Whyte’s business partner during the early stages of his buyout of the club. The transaction was made from Aidan Earley to Mr Green’s personal bank account, as the Sevco consortium moved into poll position in the bidding process. STV obtained evidence that appeared to suggest the £25,000 was sent to Mr Green’s account on May 11, 2012.

In an interview with STV News, Mr Green stated the cheque, which was to be used to pay legal fees for Field Fisher Waterhouse, bounced and he ended up paying the lawyers himself.

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