Former Newcastle chief Derek Llambias removed from Rangers board

ALLIES ... Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias.
ALLIES ... Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias.

THE Rangers board’s last stand may have lasted just 13 minutes after shareholders gathered at Ibrox to back Dave King’s coronation.

Chief executive Derek Llambias, an ally of shareholder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, and finance director Barry Leach both failed to show up for the general meeting called to remove them.

Around 800 shareholders squeezed into the corner between the Govan and Broomloan Road stands ahead of the vote and applauded King as he arrived for the meeting five minutes before its 11am kick-off.

The former oldco director claimed earlier this week he was heading for a “landslide” victory but he will have to wait until later on Friday for final confirmation as the votes are sent off to Stock Exchange bosses for ratification.

Unlike December’s rowdy AGM, there was no tent and only a small table covered in a blue sheet for the directors to sit at.

Five chairs were laid out but, when it became apparent Llambias and Leach were not coming, three were removed and it fell to club secretary Matt Wood to open proceedings, before Andrew Dickson, the club’s head of football administration, was elected chairman of the meeting.

King was flanked by Paul Murray and John Gilligan, the men who he hopes will join him on the board, and James Blair of fans group Rangers First.

There were also cheers for former boss Ally McCoist – put on garden leave by former Newcastle managing director Llambias three months ago – as he arrived to vote.

The angry shouts which marred the AGM were replaced by polite applause as the votes got under way, while one fan shouted “long live the King.”

After just 13 minutes, Dickson brought the meeting to a conclusion. King is expected to address the media later on Friday afternoon.

Sandy Easdale – who controls a block of shares and proxies worth 20.32 per cent of the club – abstained for this morning’s vote, meaning King’s victory is now inevitable.

UPDATE: Dave King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan have been voted onto the Rangers board, with the shareholders voting overwhelmingly to remove existing board members Derek Llambias and Barry Leach.