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.