The structure of the deal gives Club 1872 three years to complete the purchase – with the opportunity to purchase the entire shareholding prior to December 2021 for a price of 20p per share which is below Dave’s cost. Club 1872 will aim to create over 20,000 legacy members of the organisation, each of whom will retain a lifetime vote on the shares held in RIFC.
It has also been agreed with the RIFC Board that both Club 1872 and Dave King will have the right to participate in any impending share issue of RIFC. This means that, should Rangers require it, they will continue to be supported by Club 1872 contributors’ donations to Club 1872 for the term of the agreement and that the combined shareholding need not be diluted as long as Club 1872 has funds available to participate.
Dave King 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 6 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.
As I look forward I must recognise that my family is based in South Africa and I cannot be certain as to what approach they would take to owning shares in the Club when I can no longer influence this. After considering the possible options I concluded that the only meaningful way I could deliver enduring supporter influence in my absence would be to allow supporters – via Club 1872 – to increase their influence at shareholder level by acquiring my shares over a period of time that is considered to be achievable by Club 1872.
I do not intend to profit from my efforts over the last 6 years to save our Club, even though the Club is now substantially more valuable partly through my efforts. I am happy that supporters get this increased value as without them we would not have achieved the full recovery that was completed with the recent fund raise.
I have agreed therefore to transfer my shares to Club 1872 at my historical cash cost of acquisition (which includes professional fees) and to allow Club 1872 a period of three years to build up the supporter backing that will be necessary to achieve this. My all-in cost is 23.7p per share and I am willing to put a pricing structure in place that accommodates 20p as the initial price to be consistent with the present share issue and, at Club 1872’s request, I have included an option for Club 1872 to buy all of the shares at 20p which would result in a loss to me. In my view the shares are presently worth in excess of 50p if properly valued.
I have coined the term “Never Again” as I truly believe that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make supporters – in perpetuity- the number one shareholder in the Club. Fortunately, the present Board supported me in my vision to see an increased shareholder influence for our fans but we cannot be sure of the fondness for this by future directors. The time to achieve this is therefore now.
Through my engagement with Club 1872 and its present board members (who are all dedicated volunteers) I have developed great trust in the individuals and the organisation. I have personally witnessed the strong benefit to the Club of having a collective voice for supporters at the shareholder level. It has been beneficial to have in Club 1872 a supporter group that is willing to challenge the Club when it feels necessary to do so and is also willing to support the Board when key resolutions that protect the Club need to be passed. Club 1872 did that extremely well during my period as Chairman to the extent that I have absolute confidence that Club 1872 is the right vehicle for me to work with to advance supporter shareholder ownership – both now and in the future.
I would urge Rangers supporters to join Club 1872 today and ensure that the events of 2012 can “Never Again” be repeated.”
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.
We fully understand the financial pressures that supporters are under in the current economic climate, and the huge contribution they have already made to Rangers this season through season ticket sales and merchandise. But, if they can dig deep one more time and join Club 1872 today as legacy members, then over the next couple of years we can together ensure that the club will remain in safe hands for generations to come.”