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SBD Global/April 25, 2013/Franchises

Former CEO Charles Green Makes Deal To Sell Rangers Stake; Mather Appointed Interim CEO

Ex-Owner Charles Green will sell his stake in Rangers, as Craig Mather is named CEO.
Former Scottish Third Division Rangers CEO Charles Green "is believed to have told the Rangers board he intends to sell his stake in the Ibrox club to Greenock-based businessmen James and Sandy Easdale in the wake of his resignation" as CEO, according to Stephen Halliday of the SCOTSMAN. The Easdale brothers, whose investment company Arranglen Ltd. controls Scotland’s largest independent bus operator McGill's, "already own around six per cent of Rangers." Green "remains the largest single shareholder" with an 8.7% stake. Under Stock Exchange rules, he "cannot sell his shares until December, but it is understood he has agreed a deal in principle with James Easdale" (SCOTSMAN, 4/23).

GOING GREEN:
In Glasgow, Ferguson & Jackson reported Green "is poised to walk away from Rangers with almost" £3M ($4.6M) after agreeing to sell his shares. Green "bought five million shares in Rangers at 1p each last October." At today’s value of 57.5p, his 5 million shares in the club would be worth £2.9M ($4.45M) -- giving him a startling £2.86M ($4.36M) return on his 10 months at Ibrox. Club sources said that Non-Exec Dir Ian Hart, who has until now been a staunch supporter of Green, "has concerns about doing further business with the Easdales." Hart is said to be "ready to switch his support to the boardroom faction," which is spearheaded by former Manager Walter Smith and Chair Malcolm Murray. There is also a growing concern about the club’s position with the Scottish FA, which has "reacted angrily to revelations linking" Green with disgraced former Owner Craig Whyte (DAILY RECORD, 4/24).

MATHER INTERIM CEO: The BBC wrote Craig Mather has been appointed as interim CEO of Rangers and given a place on the board. Mather bought 10% of the club in July "with a remit to assist in youth development, while that initial outlay since diluted to a 3.1% shareholding." Murray said "Craig's appointment will allow the company and the club to keep moving forward. Craig has invested £1M ($1.5M) of his own money in the club and is committed to playing an active part in delivering future success for Rangers" (BBC, 4/24). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported Mather is determined to dispel any doubts fans may have about his appointment, as he revealed that "he wants the position on a permanent basis." He said, "Rangers fans have been outstanding in their support for the club during the most difficult of times, and I know they don't know me and may have some doubts. I hope to dispel all of those if that is the case. I know there have been rumors about who is supposed to be connected with whom, but I prefer to distance myself from all of that" (DAILY RECORD, 4/24).

PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY: In Glasgow, Richard Wilson reported "the situation around Rangers remains a fog of uncertainty." There "is a split on the board," essentially based on those who supported Green and Commercial Dir Imran Ahmad "and those who wanted them removed." The appointment of Mather as interim CEO "also split the board, since some considered him a Green ally." Yet putting him in place "is less disruptive than bringing in an outsider for a short period" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 4/24).
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