The Independent Sub-Committee of the Board of Rangers Football Club plc wish to clarify certain media comment and speculation relating to its position with respect to the proposed transaction amongst the Murray Group, Craig Whyte and the Lloyds Banking Group.
We have fiduciary duties to look after the interests of all the stakeholders in the Club. In particular, we have legal responsibilities to ensure that the proposed transaction serves the best interests of the 26,400 minority shareholders, many of whom are season ticket holders.
For some time the Board has had major concerns about its engagement in the process. After nearly six months of negotiation, we have only very recently had the opportunity to meet Craig Whyte and his team. Moreover, it is only in the last few days that we have started to receive the draft agreements outlining the transaction, although we are still awaiting a detailed working capital statement demonstrating that there is sufficient funding in place to meet the pressing needs of the Club.
Based on the documents we have only been able to review within the last week, we are disappointed that they ultimately did not reflect the investment in the Club that we were led to believe for the last few months would be a commitment in the purchase agreement. Given the requirement to repay the bank in full under the proposed transaction, there appears to be only a relatively modest amount of money available that would positively impact the Club's operations, especially as it relates to an urgent requirement to replenish and upgrade the playing squad. Whilst the proposed transaction has addressed the interests of Lloyds Bank, the Murray Group and Craig Whyte, our perspective is solely directed towards the future of Rangers Football Club.
To this end the Board has had an approach from one of its directors who wishes the Board to consider an alternative funding option. This would involve a fresh issue of new capital to raise £25m to be invested directly into the Club. The Board believes that it has a responsibility to examine this proposal whilst continuing its review of the Craig Whyte transaction. After six months of limited engagement in the process, the Board believes that is not in the best interests of its stakeholders for it to be pressed into an unrealistic timescale.
On Monday, I had a lengthy conversation with Craig Whyte explaining the dilemma that the Board now faces. It was a constructive and healthy dialogue, and whilst he expressed his frustration, he understood our position. We agreed to remain in touch in terms of working towards a resolution that is in the best interests of all parties involved as we receive more information relating to his financial commitment to Rangers Football Club.
Alastair J. Johnston
Chairman of the Independent Sub-Committee
Board of Rangers Football Club