IT is 12 months since Dave King brought his Rangers reign to an end and stepped down as chairman. Now, his investment will be an emotional one only as he prepares to sell his Ibrox shareholding.

The arrangement King has reached with Club 1872 is momentous for the Rangers support and it will make the fan organisation by far the largest single shareholder in RIFC plc. Crucially, it takes them over the threshold of 25 per cent plus one share, a situation that should ensure no one person ever owns Rangers again and that the events that lead to the most tumultuous years in the club’s history can never be repeated.

The structure of the deal gives Club 1872 three years to complete the purchase - with the opportunity to buy the entire shareholding prior to December 2021 for a price of 20p per share.

King’s involvement with his boyhood heroes has always been a labour of love and a sense of duty. Here, he explains why he has now given his fellow fans the ultimate opportunity at Ibrox.

Q: Was it always in your mind, once you stood down as chairman, to sell your shares to the fans?

DK: I don’t know if I was that clear at the time of standing down as chairman that this is what I would do. But having been away I have given a lot of consideration to what would be the future of my shareholding.

One of my concerns was what would happen if I was not around, it’s not as if my family are ardent Rangers fans.

Thinking through that I realised one of the things I could still do is share it back to the supporters while I still maintain influence over my holding. I am particularly mindful of the supporters, the part they played and especially the Club1872.

I don’t think we would have got regime change and be where we are now without them. At every single AGM I have made it quite clear I would like to see increased supporter influence at the boardroom level.

This is my way of ensuring that my shares are now in a safe pair of hands and we don’t have a situation in the future where my family might sell them to the highest bidder, someone who had a different interest in the club going forward.

Q: Why have you decided to sell your shares and not gift them back to supporters?

DK: It’s an asset, I have invested the money in the club and I am happy not to make a return. But I don’t think gifting them is appropriate. I have put in a lot of time, money and effort and it’s not unreasonable that I at least cover my costs.

My family may well have done it in the future, I am trying to exert a level of influence while I’ve still got it to try and work with Club1872. It gives them the right time frame to marshal their own resources and I certainly won’t make a profit on the shares.

Q: What do you feel this can do in terms of bringing the club forward and make it a powerful financial force again?

DK: To me, there are two aspects to this. I mention the term ‘Never again’. One of the ways we make sure we don’t end up in a situation where the supporters feel as disconnected and disempowered as they were is to deliver a shareholding to Club 1872.

It will make sure Club 1872 had a large enough representation to protect its own interests. Secondly, despite the ongoing level of support it can garner from supporters, Club 1872 is in the best position to continue to raise and provide new funds to the club on an ongoing basis.

In 10, 20, 30 years’ time there is no reason why a properly motivated and populated support base should not be an ongoing contributor to the funding of the club.

Q: This leaves you with a loss of about £2million, is that correct? Are you able to put a figure on how much you have invested in Rangers overall?

DK: I haven’t actually done the calculations, but I would guess it’s a loss of around £2.3 million. I’ve invested over £40 million in the club in total through the years but with the second investment (in 2015), I was clear from day one - and in my farewell speech at the last AGM - that I reluctantly got involved again.

But it was very clear at the time that the local Scottish contingent of business people were not able to put together sufficient resources to take control of the club and restore it to where we wanted it to be.

So I very reluctantly got involved but from my perspective it gives me satisfaction to have been associated with the club through the difficult times we have had and see it competing for Scottish titles and competing in Europe again.

Having worked with Club 1872, I feel I have an opportunity now to deliver a level of influence to supporters going forward. If I take a small financial knock of a couple of million pounds, I’m happy that’s just a further contribution to the restoration of the club.

I’m really hoping the supporters do get together and understand this is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start to take ownership and be the biggest influencer in the club going forward.

Q: This would take Club 1872 over 25 per cent. How significant is that?

DK: I’m hoping that the present board and any future board works with Club 1872 to maintain the shareholding at above 25 per cent. It does give them what you call negative control in terms of that ‘never again’. The only reason that shouldn’t happen, of course, is if Club 1872 doesn’t have any funds from time to time to follow a rights issue.

That really is in the hands of the supporters that once they get above 25 per cent they stay there because it does give that negative control. If from time to time they drop below that for whatever reason, at least they would still be the single biggest individual shareholder. It really is a chance for the supporters to make of this opportunity what they will, going forward for themselves and future generations.

Q: Could Club 1872 chair the club and can it finance the club’s ambitions or would it still need outside investment?

DK: I can’t really speak for the board at the present time although I have a good understanding of where the club is. The club is well-funded and it is in a position I believe where if I look at the level of value of the player pool I think for the first time in probably ten years we actually have a squad where there is genuine transfer value.

Player trading is going to have to be part of the business model going forward. I think the club is in a position to run itself, being reasonably cash neutral as long as it performs reasonably well on the field.

Having said that, we all know there will be time when the club needs funds and I do think Club 1872 will have opportunities going forward, if it has access to funds, to become an increasingly significant shareholder.

In an ideal position I would like to see Club 1872 being the controlling shareholder above 50 per cent. At least negative control is a good place to start.

Q: Have you had feedback from Douglas Park and rest of board or are you comfortable they’ll be supportive in the way you want?

DK: I’m fairly comfortable. It’s not something I’ve discussed. Since I’ve left the board I’ve had virtually no contact with the board whatsoever. I think quite rightly.

I think it’s fair to say the only person I’ve spoken to is Alastair Johnston. He is a friend of mine and we talk about golf and other bits and pieces.

I think the board recognises, quite rightly, that I’m no longer on the board. I’m the same as any other shareholder in the sense I shouldn’t get access to inside information.

My relationship with the board in terms of contacts since I stepped down has been fairly remote. Having said that, I know the individuals. I did chair that board for a long time so I know they are going to be sympathetic, I think, to what I’m trying to do and sympathetic to working with Club 1872.

Everyone recognises that without the supporters we wouldn’t be where we are today. I had an impact because I put some money into it, but it wasn’t just about people with money.

If it wasn’t for the supporter boycotts I called for, if it wasn’t for the supporters buying season tickets in their numbers and being very patient with the retail activities, we wouldn’t be here.

This is a great combination and a great recognition to the supporters for what they have done. And I repeat: being in a position never again to be as disconnected and disempowered as we found ourselves six or seven years ago.