DAVE KING has filled every position from supporter to saviour at Rangers. Now the former chairman is going back to the beginning.

Over the coming years, King will relinquish his Ibrox stake and cut his financial – but not his emotional – ties with his boyhood club as his power is handed to his fellow fans.

A deal has been agreed that will see Club 1872 purchase King’s shareholding in RIFC plc and become the largest individual stakeholder at Ibrox.

Here, Herald and Times Sport looks at the key questions around the arrangement and what it means for all parties ahead of a huge power shift behind the scenes at Rangers.


As it stands, King, through New Oasis Asset Limited, is the largest shareholder in Rangers. He owns more than 66 million shares, which equates to 20.37 per cent of the capital of RIFC plc.

That stake has given King huge leverage over recent years and his influence has grown considerably since he made the first moves to regain power during the boardroom coup five years ago.

The time, King feels, is now right for him to sell off his shareholding and he has chosen Club 1872 as the preferred buyer for a stake that gives the fan organisation real clout at Ibrox.

The target of reaching 25 per cent, plus one share, has been an ambition for Club 1872 since its formation and that goal will now be realised as they surpass a key milestone.

King said: “During regime change and throughout my Chairmanship I have advocated for increased supporter influence at the shareholder level and I provided opportunities for Club 1872 to participate in every share issue that was undertaken.

“I did this partly to express my appreciation to those supporters and supporter groups who actively assisted me in securing regime change and partly to ensure that all supporters (whether shareholders or not) retain an influential voice in directing the affairs of their Club.

“It is my sincere hope that “Never Again” will supporters become as disconnected and disempowered as they were at the time of my re-engagement with the Club over six years ago.”


The arrangement with Club 1872 gives the supporter organisation – currently the sixth largest shareholders in Rangers – up to three years to pay King for the shares that he owns.

If the transaction is completed in the next 12 months, King will recoup 20p for every share and the total cost to Club 1872 will be more than £13million.

The South Africa-based businessman has been the major driving force behind Rangers’ recovery over the last six years but the improved financial situation at Ibrox has lessened the requirement for external investment and Club 1872 now have a chance to cement their place as a key figure behind the scenes.

King said: “I do not intend to profit from my efforts over the last six years to save our Club, even though the Club is now substantially more valuable partly through my efforts. I am happy that supporters get this increased value as without them we would not have achieved the full recovery that was completed with the recent fund raise.

“I have agreed therefore to transfer my shares to Club 1872 at my historical cash cost of acquisition (which includes professional fees) and to allow Club 1872 a period of three years to build up the supporter backing that will be necessary to achieve this.

“My all-in cost is 23.7p per share and I am willing to put a pricing structure in place that accommodates 20p as the initial price to be consistent with the present share issue and, at Club 1872’s request, I have included an option for Club 1872 to buy all of the shares at 20p which would result in a loss to me. In my view the shares are presently worth in excess of 50p if properly valued.”


Club 1872 will launch a membership drive seeking to bring supporters on board and it is estimated that their current numbers will need to treble to ensure the required funds can be raised.

At present, supporters can donate at various levels per month and decide what portion of their payment goes towards share purchases or projects that Club 1872 get involved in.

Club 1872 will look to create more than 20,000 legacy members of the organisation, each of whom will retain a lifetime vote on the shares held in RIFC plc. The Club 1872 operates on a one member, one vote basis.

Director Laura Fawkes said: “We fully understand the financial pressures that supporters are under in the current economic climate, and the huge contribution they have already made to Rangers this season through season ticket sales and merchandise.

“But, if they can dig deep one more time and join Club 1872 today as legacy members, then over the next couple of years we can together ensure that the club will remain in safe hands for generations to come."


This is a major moment for the organisation and for Rangers supporters as they are given the chance to protect their club for generations to come and have proper influence for the first time.

The 25 per cent plus one share threshold allows Club 1872 to veto proposals at boardroom level and will ensure that no one individual can ever control Rangers again.

That has been King’s ambition since his decision to get involved in the attempts to oust the reviled former regime that picked up the pieces in the aftermath of the financial chaos caused by Craig Whyte.

This deal protects Rangers from that situation reoccurring and contributions from supporters can also be used to participate in further fund-raising rounds if required.

A statement from Club 1872 read: “It has also been agreed with the RIFC Board that both Club 1872 and Dave King will have the right to participate in any impending share issue of RIFC.

“This means that, should Rangers require it, they will continue to be supported by Club 1872 contributors’ donations to Club 1872 for the term of the agreement and that the combined shareholding need not be diluted as long as Club 1872 has funds available to participate.”


There have been various attempts at increased fan influence over the years and this is the closest that the Ibrox crowd have ever been, and probably will ever be, to realising the ambition of having a meaningful shareholding and say in their club.

The share sale from King to Club 1872 will not immediately alter how Rangers do business on a day-to-day basis and supporters will not have an individual say in areas such as football operations or commercial decisions.

This is fan representation rather than fan ownership and Club 1872 will have a greater platform to voice the concerns and feelings of their membership and fellow supporters.

King has long been an advocate of having a fan on the board and he has expressed his hope that Club 1872 could eventually control more than 50 per cent of the shares in Rangers.

There are no guarantees that the new increased shareholding will lead to a Club 1872 representative on the Ibrox board but members have previously voted in favour of such a move and it will be a key discussion between both parties in the coming months.

King said: “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.”