Mike Ashley has demanded a meeting of Rangers shareholders and also made moves to reclaim the £5m that the club loaned form Sports Direct.
The Newcastle United owner is entitled to call the special meeting because he owns over 5% of the shares in Rangers
The Daily Record were provided with a copy of a letter personally signed by Ashley which is dated 29 April 2015 and to which Rangers have 28 days to respond, which gives them two weeks (27 May) as from today.
In the letter, Mike Ashley has demanded answers from the Rangers Directors as to the circumstances surrounding the club’s delisting from the AIM Stock Exchange.
In addition, he also has proposed resolutions which if voted through would mean the £5m loan would have to be repaid within 10 days of that resolution being passed.
The repayment of the loan would mean Ashley would no longer have security over the Rangers badges and crests, as well as on the club’s training ground and other property.
The repayment wouldn’t end Mike Ashley’s involvement in the club as he would still own just under 9% of the shares and retain control through Sports Direct of 49% of the retail side of Rangers, with a drop of 26% due to the loan repayment.
The aggressive move is being seen as Ashley putting the new regime on the spot and making them play their cards.
The Daily Record report that Mike Ashley hasn’t been impressed that there’s been no reply to his letter after two weeks and they report a ‘source close to Ashley’ saying:
“This is a message to Dave King and his associates to put up or shut up. The board and the fans own more than half of the Rangers shares, so they have the power to vote this through – if they have the money.
“All they have to do is find the £5 million that he gave them in January and he will release security on the various brands, Murray Park, the car park and Edmiston House.
“It’s a very simple situation. If they really want to change the relationship with Sport Direct they will vote for a change.
“If they, in fact, are happy for Sports Direct to have security over the club’s assets they will vote down what Mike Ashley is proposing.”
In response, A Rangers spokesman confirmed receipt of the letter and are considering their options:
“The board have received the request and are considering it with our advisers.”