CLUB 1872 completed its first purchase of shares from former Ibrox chairman Dave King and settled on a flexible model of funding that would enable them to directly invest in Rangers.
Last month, the fans’ group revealed that they had agreed a £ 13 million deal to acquire King’s big stake in RIFC plc as they are aiming to cross Ibrox’s 25 percent shareholding threshold.
That would give Gers fans a big say on how their club is run and give them a veto on key board decisions – for decades to come, securing and protecting Rangers.
Last month, alongside King, Club 1872 launched its “legacy campaign” targeting up to 20,000 members to collect the funds to enable King to give up his shares over a three-year contract.
Some fans were cynical about the plans and wanted the funds to be invested in Rangers instead. The 1872 club has reached an arrangement with King that will allow them to take part in any potential share issues that the board intends to initiate to collect fresh cash at Ibrox.
At last month’s annual general meeting, Vice-Chairman John Bennett indicated that Rangers require additional external contributions from shareholders as they look to step as rapidly as possible towards a point of self-sufficiency.
“A Club 1872 statement read, “Club 1872 is pleased to announce our first acquisition of shares under the newly announced Dave King agreement. This initial purchase of 1,250,000 shares takes the ownership of Club 1872 to 5.12 percent – again ensuring a crucial 5 percent stake.
“The agreement with Dave King represents a hugely important strategic opportunity for Club 1872 over the next three to four years – it is likely to be the only major source of shares available to the organization after the early part of this calendar year, as RIFC moves into the sustainability phase announced by John Bennett at the RIFC AGM,” he said.
As decided last year, it was therefore imperative that Club 1872 get this deal off the ground and make a good start to our three-year drive to recruit members to the Legacy. We are pleased to report that in the few weeks before the Christmas break our campaign was successful, we were able to sign up nearly 1500 new members of the Legacy.
We fully recognize that the announcement at the RIFC AGM – that the RIFC Board plans to continue RIFC shareholder support in 2021 – posed concerns about where funds from Club 1872 could go. From the beginning of the campaign, we were clear that our arrangement with Dave King was flexible enough to accommodate this if RIFC needed funds. In fact, prior to the Annn, the RIFC Board was contacted.
Over the holidays, we talked to Dave King and are pleased to report that we have agreed with him that all funds raised in the first six months of 2021, both from legacies and daily gifts, will be made available to RIFC if they pursue a share issue under the terms stated at the AGM by John Bennett. To fix such a stock issue, we have also retained funds from our 2020 membership dues.
If the RIFC share issue goes ahead, Dave King has decided that he will add six months to our existing arrangement, which ensures that after the RIFC share issue window ends, we will maintain the right to purchase shares from him for 20p for a full calendar year.
If the share issue does not take place for any cause, Club 1872 may, as agreed, use the funds to purchase shares from him.’ In this respect, we thank Dave for his versatility and for once again putting Rangers’ financial well-being first.
Our determination to help RIFC directly has never changed, despite some misleading statements in the press before Christmas, and has always been a publicly stated part of our ongoing strategy to increase the shareholding of Club 1872.
To prevent uncertainty, this means that if RIFC goes forward, as John Bennett announced at the recent RIFC AGM, all of the share money earned by our members in the first half of 2021 will go ahead.