Rangers confirm David Somers as acting chairman ahead of chief executive appointment

Somers has a built a career in fund management and will oversee the appointment of a new chief executive after Walter Smith left three months ago

Rangers have appointed fund manager David Somers as their acting chairman.

The club announced to the London Stock Exchange that the 65-year-old would oversee the appointment of a chief executive, a role which has been vacant since Craig Mather left.

The club also announced that their annual general meeting would be held on December 19.

Rangers have been without a chairman since Walter Smith stepped down three months ago while Mather left on October 16, days after a group of dissenting shareholders succeeded in a Court of Session bid to force the postponement of the AGM.

The club's statement to the stock exchange read: "The board of Rangers announces that it has appointed David Somers as an independent non-executive director and acting chairman.

"Mr Somers is an honours economic studies graduate and a qualified accountant (Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

"He spent all his career in fund management and in addition has considerable experience in matters of corporate governance."

A spate of board departures amid an acrimonious power struggle left just two directors on the Rangers PLC board, Brian Stockbridge and James Easdale, before the announcement regarding Somers on Thursday morning. Easdale's brother and business partner, Sandy, is also on the football club board and holds a significant shareholding and proxy voting rights.

Former oldco Rangers director Paul Murray led the court action to postpone the AGM in order that shareholders could consider his bid to be elected to the board along with allies Scott Murdoch, Alex Wilson and Smith's predecessor as chairman, Malcolm Murray.

Rangers are legally bound to hold their AGM before the end of the year and the delay until the week before Christmas could see the current directors bid to fill the board with their allies, although they will all be subject to re-election on December 19.

Another former oldco Rangers director, Dave King, last week admitted failure in his bid to secure a compromise deal between the competing factions.

The club's statement added: "Mr Somers will oversee the current process of appointing a high calibre chief executive officer and further independent non-executive director(s) to form a unified board and provide stability for Rangers. "In order to allow time for the process outlined above to be progressed, the company will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday 19 December."

The statement continued: "Mr Somers will, in accordance with Rangers' Articles of Association, be subject to re-appointment by an ordinary resolution of the shareholders at the AGM."

The statement gave further details of Somers' business background, stating his current directorships on insurance group ACE Europe Life; Europe Arab Bank; a Fujitsu pension plan and TCF Investment Managers.

The statement added: "Mr Somers is not currently beneficially interested in the issued share capital of the company."

PA

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