Rangers’ Dave King says some shareholders have links to crime

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Valeman Dave King, millionaire chairman of Rangers FC.

By Bill Heaney

Rangers logoRangers chairman, Valeman Dave King, has told a court he suspects some shareholders in the club have links to organised crime.

BBC Scotland is reporting from the Court of Session in Edinburgh that the South Africa-based businessman is claiming he is now “100% committed” to making an offer for the remainder of the club’s shareholding.

He was ordered to do so after being found to have worked with others when taking control of the club, which was founded by the McNeill brothers from Garelochhead, in 2015.

But King said he could not make an offer to four shareholders because of their links to criminal activity. He said that a Rangers board meeting last Monday concluded that the four could not transfer their stakes, adding of one that the were “engaged in criminal activities in the USA”.

King has been in dispute with the Takeover Panel, who applied to have the South African businessman held in contempt of court for refusing to comply.

The Ibrox chairman had argued he should be allowed to ring-fence funding for the offer in South Africa but told the court, in front of Lady Wolfe, that after exhausting all options, he will now agree to transfer funds to the UK.

The Takeover Panel want financial guarantees of around £19m to be held by a third party.

As part of his evidence King, who is said to have been looking at houses with a view to moving to Dumbarton, also listed key Rangers shareholders who, he says, have told him they will not take up the offer.

One of the investors mentioned was former chairman of the football board Sandy Easdale. Mr Easdale has since told the BBC he has given no such undertaking.

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