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TMCNet:  AGM draws a line in sand as board look to turn tide [Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland)]

[December 21, 2013]

AGM draws a line in sand as board look to turn tide [Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland)]

(Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE shareholders have spoken and now it is time for the Rangers board to back up their words with action.

I wasn't surprised at the outcome of the AGM vote on Thursday. With the proxy votes that were in place, the board were always going to win it.

What this process has shown, though, is that there are a lot of fans who are worried about the club and wanted change.

The board stood up to the criticism and boos they recieved; some got a less than a welcome reception from the stands, but I think they might actually have been expecting a lot worse.

They have got through it and what they have to do now is get on with the job in hand.

I think the positive to come out of it is the chief executive, Graham Wallace. He spoke very well and I think the fans would have been pleased to hear what he had to say. Ally McCoist did well, too, and the fans were right behind him.

Paul Murray and the requisitioners did well to bring everything to our attention and the board are aware what they have to do now. A lot of promises have been made and they have to be kept.

What has to happen now is that Rangers have to go forward. All this sniping and everything else has to stop. The board know what they have to do.

The chief executive is there, the chairman is there, the board for the future is in place. They have got to get on with it and get the trust of all the Rangers fans.

That is the most important thing; there can't be any more disharmony between the boardroom and the stands.

The board have got a job to do and I think they should be allowed to get on with it. Too much has been said in the last few months. The votes are in and there is nothing that can be done now.

If the majority of the investors have confidence in the board that is there, then that has to be accepted. I know a lot of people might not be happy with that. But I think the board have got to be left to do their job because they are the custodians of Rangers Football Club now.

There are some good people who can take the club forward. From now on, people have to leave them to it and hopefully some fresh investment comes in as well.

While all this was going on, who was going to put money into the club? Nobody was going to put their cash on the table while everything was still up in the air. Now it has been resolved, hopefully people will be more willing to come forward.

Dave King has already said he will work with whoever is in charge and will back them with money and that is a good start for the board, they already have someone there who wants to invest. Let's hope there are others that want to come in and help the club.

It is only by doing the right things for Rangers that the fans will have faith in the board again.

Trust can't be taken for granted, it has to be earned.

I certainly think Brian Stockbridge leaving the club would help get the fans back on side. When you get a finance director taking a bonus for Rangers winning the fourth tier, that is unacceptable, especially when the manager and the players didn't take anything.

That would have got up the fans' noses and it is only recently he has said he will pay his bonus back. It shouldn't have been taken in the first place.

You also have the incident where he filmed Malcolm Murray while he was chairman and it ended up on the internet. Behaviour like that won't be tolerated by the fans and they have given him a really hard time recently.

I do think if the board are looking to appease the fans, Stockbridge leaving would help. There would be a lot of people who would be happy for that to happen. It was interesting that, of all five board members, he got the lowest vote percentage at the AGM.

After the reception he got on Thursday, he knows exactly how the fans feel about him. He is still there, though.

And, as Paul Murray said, his position is untenable and the supporters feel the same way.

It would appease the fans if he were to go, that's for sure. The board have said that they will go to the fans and listen; well, they are telling them what they want.

They want Stockbridge out. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the directors cope with that.

I think what Paul has done is open a lot of people's eyes as to what has been going on at Rangers. He and the requisitioners - Malcolm Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson - have had some success in recent months.

They haven't got on to the board, but they have brought issues to everyone's attention and the board now is different from the one which was in place when they launched their bid to become directors.

The spotlight is on the board now. There were questions that weren't answered on Thursday and that has to change; everything has to be out in the open.

But I think the chief executive, David Somers, the chairman, and Norman Crighton, have to be given a chance. They don't have anything to do with Charles Green or Craig Whyte.

I think it has been a useful exercise, although I know Paul, Malcolm, Alex and Scott will be disappointed that they didn't get on the board.

They had a good effort. But when you have most of the institutional investors voting for the board, they had no chance in the end. They are all fans who just want the best for the club and they wanted to help.

The board know they have to get it right now. There has to be trust and transparency, and I think that will happen in the coming weeks and months as Rangers look to move forward once again, on and off the field.

(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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