McColl backing Rangers bid?

Posted on 29 Mar 2010 by The Manufacturer

The multi-millionaire informally known as ‘Mr Manufacturing’ in Scotland is reportedly the financial backer of a group of Rangers fans that want to buy the Glasgow football club and own it on a membership scheme.

Jim McColl – the richest man in Scotland, according to reports, with around an £800m fortune – is CEO and owner of Clyde Blowers and Clyde Pumps. He began investing in the former in the early 1990s and through a series of acquisitions has built its turnover up from £4m per year to around £1bn. In 2007 he bought Weir Pumps – the engineering company in which he took his apprenticeship – and formed a new incorporated firm, Clyde Pumps.

Newspapers are now suggesting that Mr McColl has agreed to underwrite a scheme by the Rangers Supporters Trust who want to buy the club and have it owned collectively by the fans on a membership basis. Fees to own a stake of the Ibrox- based blue half of Glasgow could be as little as £600 as a one-off fee and £15 monthly. McColl is reported to have held discussions with the Trust through solicitors and is prepared to back the initial £30m takeover of the club from its current owner Sir David Murray.

David Edgar, spokesperson for the Rangers Supporters Trust, said: “We would have a board elected by members and everything a major company needs – a proper chief executive, a financial director, experts in their field.

“We would merely look to be involved in major decisions regarding investment – and we would be able to vote in elections for the board.”

He refused to confirm or deny Mr McColl’s involvement, who was himself unavailable for comment.

Click here for an interview by The Manufacturer with Jim McColl from May 2008.