Former Rangers chairman Dave King has agreed the sale of his stake in the Ibrox club to supporters group Club 1872.
The sale, which will be completed within three years, will make the fans organisation the largest single shareholder in the club.
King announced last November he was stepping down from his position as chairman, and was formally replaced by Douglas Park in March. However, the 20.68% of the Rangers shares he still holds is greater than any other shareholder.
He has now entered into agreement to sell the entire stake within three years, with the group having the opportunity to secure a lower price of 20p per share if it completes the purchase within 12 months.
He said: “During regime change and throughout my chairmanship I have advocated for increased supporter influence at the shareholder level and I provided opportunities for Club 1872 to participate in every share issue that was undertaken.
“I did this partly to express my appreciation to those supporters and supporter groups who actively assisted me in securing regime change and partly to ensure that all supporters (whether shareholders or not) retain an influential voice in directing the affairs of their club.
“It is my sincere hope that “Never Again” will supporters become as disconnected and disempowered as they were at the time of my re-engagement with the club over six years ago.
“After completion of my service as chairman I took time to consider how I can create a final legacy by giving supporters – including future generations – substantial shareholder influence for the first time in the almost 150 years history of our Club. The time to launch a “Never Again” campaign is now.
“I made it repeatedly clear that I reinvested in the club somewhat reluctantly and only because without my support it was proving impossible for local Scottish supporters to martial sufficient financial resources to save Rangers from the impending doom that was unavoidable at that time. In addition I committed to investing further and doing whatever else it took (e.g. getting rid of Sports Direct/Mike Ashley) to see Rangers competing for Scottish titles and in Europe. That is firmly the case now.”
Club 1872 director Laura Fawkes said: “This is a huge moment for both Club 1872 and the Rangers support. We are very grateful to Dave King for his faith in Club 1872 and the Club 1872 Board and for his ongoing commitment to ensuring that the ownership structure of Rangers remains a very healthy mix of wealthy individuals and the wider supporter base.
“As Club 1872 Directors, we are very proud to present this opportunity to the Rangers support. We now need over 20,000 Rangers supporters to take up the baton, join Club 1872 and ensure that the events of 2012 can never happen again.
“It would be a seminal moment for both Rangers Football Club and the supporters if we could achieve the position of being the largest shareholder in Rangers in time for the 150th anniversary of the club in 2022.
“The rebuilding of the club, largely overseen by the Rangers Board under Dave King’s chairmanship, has been remarkable – from the position in 2012 to once again challenging for domestic titles and in European competition.
“Club 1872 can continue to assist with that process whilst ensuring that the wellbeing of the club remains at the centre of decision making in the longer term.”
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