Rangers: Charles Green has no influence, says Sandy Easdale

By Alasdair LamontSenior football reporter, BBC Scotland
Interview - Rangers football board chairman Sandy Easdale

Sandy Easdale, the new chairman of Rangers' football board, says former chief executive Charles Green and his associates have no influence on decision-making at Ibrox.

The businessman was speaking six days before the club's annual meeting.

Easdale, who says he is utterly confident the current board has sufficient support to remain in place.

And he has urged fans to get behind the current regime.

thousands of fans held up red cards supplied by supporters' group the Sons of Struth at Ibrox during the League One victory over Ayr United.

that followed the departure of Green, who led the summer 2012 purchase of Rangers.

"I can categorically say that we are not making any decisions on behalf of anybody outside Rangers," Easdale told BBC Scotland in response to claims from those challenging for boardroom places that Green continues to wield influence at Ibrox.

"Anybody who knows me knows I'm not anyone's puppet. Green knows that. He's left, has no influential power. Neither he nor (former commercial director) Imran Ahmad plays any part in decision-making."

A successful court action in October by a group of shareholders forced the postponement of the AGM and a vote on their potential appointments.

Former chairman Malcolm Murray, former director Paul Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson are seeking to win places on the board.

However, Rangers have since appointed Graham Wallace as chief executive and David Somers as chairman of the PLC board, on which they have been joined by Norman Crighton.

"Yes, we've been slow out of the blocks," conceded Easdale. "But we had a board to put together and we have put together a good board.

"There will be dialogue with the fans. Not to buy season tickets because of things you don't like could be a fatal blow to Rangers."

Bus tycoon Easdale was speaking the day after Wallace told Sky Sports News he would have no problem working with any of the four "requisitioners" seeking election.

However, the disgruntled shareholders' main complaints have been aimed at finance director Brian Stockbridge and Easdale's brother, James, on the PLC board.

"We are not saying that the whole board has to be ousted," said Paul Murray.

"We want the best board to take the club forward. I think the most important thing after the last two-and-a-half years is trust and transparency."

But Easdale wants Stockbridge to stay on and said previous boards should take the blame for any financial wastage, adding that "the gravy train at Ibrox has stopped".

"I don't take a salary from the club," he explained. "I'm entitled to one, but I don't need any money from the club.

"We invested in Rangers predominantly because we are supporters and we thought it would be a bit of fun. We wanted to be part of taking Rangers forward again.

"When Charles Green left, we saw there was a vacuum and we thought we could bring value to the club. I'm here to bring Rangers out of this dark place."

Easdale's personal shareholding in Rangers is just under 5%, but he has established voting rights of 26%, including those held by Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings.

"People trust me with their shares, people trust me to vote the proper way," he said.

"All this conspiracy talk of Blue Pitch/Margarita being linked to (former owner) Craig Whyte is categorically not true. I can vouch for these people. I speak to them regularly. They are wealthy individuals who invested in Rangers pre-IPO (share offer).

"Malcolm Murray knows fine well who they are, so all the conspiracies should stop. The person in charge of those shares is me."