Football/Soccer

Rangers chairman Dave King told to stop making excuses and make an offer to buy out rest of club's shareholders

Andy Newport

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Rangers chairman Dave King has been told to stop making excuses and comply with an order to make an offer to buy out the rest of the club's shareholders.

Lord Bannatyne issued the warning at a hearing at into the Ibrox chief's long-running dispute with the takeover panel at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Friday morning.

King could yet face possible contempt of court proceedings after failing to comply with an order to make an £10.75million offer to the remainder of Rangers' shareholders.

The South Africa-based businessman was ruled to have "acted in concert" with other investors when he led a boardroom coup in March 2015, a decision which triggered the takeover panel's order.

King has so far failed to lodge a compliant bid, claiming he needs time to set up a UK bank account so he can move funds from a family trust based in South Africa.

However, Lord Bannatyne warned he is tired of the Castlemilk-born tycoon's excuses.

During a brief hearing, he told the court: "The Takeover Panel has no interest in how he goes about it - it's just so long as he does it.

"The only question is compliance, not how or where he gets the money from.

"Which trust provides the money or how that money is brought to the UK is of complete disinterest to both the court and the panel."

Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC, acting on behalf of the Ibrox chairman, responded: "This observation will be conveyed to Mr King."

King admitted earlier this week that he expected his courtroom battle with the panel to run on.

In a statement posted on the Rangers website, he said: "At the Takeover Panel's request, cash of approximately £11million was ring-fenced in a lawyer's trust account to fund the offer.

"After agreeing to the public announcement of the offer by the South Africa company, the TP changed its mind and asked that the funds be placed in an account in the UK.

"I agreed to this but explained to the TP that I have no account in the UK and would need time to open one and to get exchange control approval to transfer funds out of South Africa.

"The TP refused the necessary extension of time and instituted contempt of court proceedings against me for not complying with the original ruling to make a personal offer.

"That strange decision has now caused further unnecessary delay, with no end in sight. Fortunately, it does not affect the operations of the football club."

The judge set the date of a new hearing for August 16 if King does not comply with the order.

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