Johnston defends decision to abstain

06 July 2012 07:47

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston claims his abstention from the Rangers newco vote reflected the opinion of the club's fans and shareholders.

Johnston was the only one of the 11 Clydesdale Bank Premier League club representatives who did not vote against Sevco's bid to assume Rangers' SPL share on Wednesday. The Killie Trust criticised Johnston and said an open meeting in conjunction with the supporters' association resulted in a unanimous decision to oppose the application.

Johnston said in a statement: "The result of the consultation process (36% of all shareholders and all season ticket holders aged 18 or over in favour of 'no' to newco) was far removed from the mood of the supporters' meeting but of course involved almost 2,500 shareholders and adult season ticket holders, as opposed to the 150 or thereby at the meeting."

He added: "I elected to abstain in order to reflect the result of the consultation process and in recognition of a number of other factors, not least of which was section 172 of the Companies Act concerning my fiduciary duty as a director to act in the long-term interests of Kilmarnock Football Club Limited and to ensure its success as a business.

"I also believe that the plan to parachute Rangers 'Newco' into SFL1 is highly controversial and wished to register my concern about the timing of the SPL vote and the resultant pressure now placed on the SFL clubs to accommodate 'Newco' in SFL1 when they vote on the issue on July 13.

"If the SPL can't function in its present form without four Old Firm derbies, then the SPL should have come up with a solution rather than passing the buck to the SFL."

Johnston urged fans to put the debate behind them but the Killie Trust said Johnston had risked the long-term interests of the club amid fears that fans from other clubs may boycott Rugby Park.

A statement read: "It was important that we, as a club, were seen to be taking a moral stance as opposed to acting in self interest, and it is felt that we have been misrepresented by our majority shareholder and sole board member in this case.

"His refusal to vote was clearly not in the best long-term interests of the club as it cast a shadow of doubt over our own integrity in this sorry affair."

Source: PA

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