Ibrox exodus in the wake of Whyte takeover worries fans

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Rangers fans’ groups have expressed concerns over the running of the club following the departure of John Greig and John McClelland from the board.

Former Ibrox captain and manager Greig and ex-chairman McClelland yesterday resigned as non-executive directors after feeling they had been excluded from the corporate governance of the club under the ownership of Craig Whyte.

Eight board members have now left since Whyte took over in May, with only South Africa-based Dave King remaining from the Sir David Murray era.

The board now comprises chairman Whyte along with King, chief operations officer Ali Russell, director of football Gordon Smith and non-executive director Phil Betts.

Although Smith is a former player, supporters are concerned about the impact of the loss of Rangers icon Greig, who was voted the club’s greatest ever player and is immortalised in a statue outside Ibrox.

The acting chairman of the Rangers Supporters Trust, Gordon Dinnie, said: “We regret the resignation of John Greig and John McClelland from the club board. We’re greatly concerned that these resignations raise issues of governance and transparency within the Rangers board.

News of Greig’s departure also came as a blow to John Macmillan, secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association. “It’s pretty sad the way this has come about, and for them having to leave the way they have been forced into it, or appear to have been forced into it, is pretty disappointing,” he said.

“It’s just unfortunate their careers, particularly John Greig’s, have ended in this manner. Fans will be very disappointed over this.”

Macmillan added: “John may not have had a great influence in the overall decision-making at the club, and maybe didn’t have over the years, but there is no doubt he had some sort of say and he was always a link to the supporters. I had a lot of dealings with John Greig over a long number of years, as player, manager and director. It’s sad that link is broken.

“You could go to John and he would listen to you. I’m not saying he would necessarily solve the problem for you but he would always try his best to do what he felt was right for the supporters and the club. He wasn’t just a director, he was a supporter too, and these things are important.”