THE future of the current ownership of Rangers will be decided in the next 30 days. In that period, unless he appeals the decision – and not a single legal expert last night was prepared to say he should – chairman Dave King has been ordered by the Court of Session to make an offer to the club’s shareholders to buy their stock at 20p per share.

Lord Bannatyne decided to ignore King’s protests that he personally doesn’t have the money – theoretically, it could cost him £11m – and accept the Takeover Panel’s evidence that King has control of two trusts which do have the cash.

The most damning piece of evidence as highlighted by Lord Bannatyne was that King’s ally George Letham had warned the South African-based Glaswegian businessman that buying more shares would trigger the Takeover Panel’s rules that he would have to offer to buy all the shares. The judge basically concluded that King knew what he was doing and must now make that share offer.

Another matter highlighted by the judge was that King said he did not even have the money up front to pay those who would organise the share offer – and Rangers are still without an official Nominated Adviser (Nomad) who could do that. That is a real problem.

King has proven a controversial figure since he took over the club more than two years ago. On the one hand he has played brilliantly to the Ibrox gallery, portraying himself as a fan who understands their desire to see their club back at the top of Scottish football and succeeding in Europe.

King has undoubtedly put some – emphasis on “some” – of his millions into Rangers, as have his allies on the board with soft loans that can be converted into shares. Yet the chairman is also a divisive figure because the vast sums he promised have been slow to appear and have been wasted on two under-achieving managers and a host of players who simply have not cut it in the Scottish Premiership.

King could say that it’s not his fault that Rangers have not been supreme on the pitch, but supporters do not see it that way – they want success and believe they are entitled to it because they have invested their hard-earned cash in the club.

That’s why there are growing doubts about King’s chairmanship among fans. The appointment of stand-in Graeme Murty as manager until the end of the season had supporters in uproar with many on social media saying it was a deflection tactic.

The betting is that Dave King will either pull another rabbit out of the hat, possibly from investors abroad, or try to delay the share offer. That could land him in contempt of court, for which he would be extradited from South Africa – the courts there have pummelled him before – and perhaps even land in jail. He has to ask himself if continuing with Rangers is worth the candle, or should he now bow out and let others have a go.