Dave King: New chairman expects to invest "more than £20m"

Rangers chairman Dave King
Dave King took control of Rangers in March

Dave King expects to invest "more than £20m" of his own money in Rangers after reiterating that £30m is required for the club to compete at the top level.

King, who will take over as chairman on Friday, has supplied £1.5m for working capital "in recent days".

"It is really going to depend on meeting the objectives of the club," said King of his personal funding.

"I've already lost £20m [through prior investments in Rangers]. I'm expecting to invest more than that."

The 60-year-old businessman was giving his first media conference since he was cleared by the Scottish FA to become a director.

And he said a £5m loan from shareholder Mike Ashley was unlikely to be paid back soon, adding that he hopes to renegotiate the relationship with Ashley's Sports Direct.

The Newcastle United owner's company controls Rangers' retail operation and the businessman this month demanded the club hold a general meeting to pay back the loan given to the club in January.

"I regard that resolution to be a non-event," said King.

"It is a lot of nonsense. The shareholders cannot tell the board how to behave. The board would be under no obligation to take their advice."

A group of shareholders led by King took control of Rangers at an extraordinary general meeting in March.

It led to Derek Llambias, a former Newcastle managing director, and former Sports Direct executive Barry Leach being deposed as chief executive and finance director, respectively.

King said Rangers were "grateful" to Ashley for his loan, which helped keep the club afloat, but hoped that the Englishman would eventually disappear as an influence at Ibrox.

The South Africa-based businessman insisted that Rangers' relationship with Ashley "is not great but not terrible".

"You can't walk away from a commercial relationship unless you have an alternative, but we wish to renegotiate that relationship," said King.

Paul Murray (left) will be replaced by Dave King as Rangers chairman on Friday
Paul Murray (left) will be replaced by Dave King as Rangers chairman on Friday

King insisted that it is only now that he has been confirmed as a director that he could start to make the changes he believes are needed at Ibrox.

He said "substantial funds" would have to be invested in club in short to medium term, again expressing the view that £30m in investment would be required if Rangers were to compete with champions Celtic if they win promotion to the top-flight.

Rangers are presently involved in a series of play-offs in the hope of reaching the Premiership.

Explaining the recent £1.5m investment, interim chairman Paul Murray said the money had come from "the same people", giving the misleading impression that shareholders Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor had supplied the funds rather than King.

A similar amount was given in the form of a loan by the Park group in March.

Murray then stressed that the loan from Ashley was the only debt due and that Rangers were otherwise solvent.

He added that the appointment of King as chairman meant the club could now start the process of relisting itself on a the ISDH stock exchange and launching a share issue to raise funds.