Interesting to see Rangers taking the fight to Mike Ashley and Sports Direct.
Despite the gagging order imposed by the courts on Rangers revealing details of contracts with Ashley and Sports Direct, the Glasgow club’s Chairman Dave King has made a statement outlining the issues they are facing.
King says that the Newcastle owner and Sports Direct are attempting to tie up Rangers in ever more expensive legal battles, in the hope of pushing through their agenda.
Via the Rangers official website, Chairman Dave King has put out the following:
‘DAVE KING has released the following statement:
Supporters have requested an update on the Club’s relationship with Sports Direct which is one of the key issues that I promised to deal with prior to, and after, being elected to the board of Rangers International Football Club.
It is widely known that Sports Direct applied to court for an injunction to prevent myself and my fellow directors from disclosing certain details of the agreements between the Club and the Sports Direct group, including the existence or detail of any meetings between the parties.
The gagging order prevents me from disclosing the details of our contractual relationship it does not prevent me from updating supporters on the status of the general relationship with Sports Direct.
Sports Direct continues to litigate with the Club in an attempt to enforce its wishes and demands. This seems based on the simple logic that Sports Direct can outspend the Club in legal fees and thereby deal with the Club as it pleases. I assure supporters that the Club will not be cowed by this threat and the recent lack of communication (as a result of the gagging order) belies the level of robustness with which the Club’s interest has been and will be protected.
Furthermore, I have sent letters to Sports Direct in my capacity as a director of Rangers Retail Limited taking them to task for poor business practices and corporate governance failures. The Club believed that it was entering into a joint venture with a large public company that would behave as a partner should and would conduct its business affairs in an appropriate fashion.
In my 40 years of business, I cannot recollect having dealt with a public company that is run more like a wholly owned family business and appears unconcerned with other stakeholders – partners or otherwise. It remains my intention to ensure that Sports Direct is legally and financially held accountable for its failures.’
With Mike Ashley owning Newcastle United lock stock and barrel, there are no other shareholder able to ask awkward questions, whilst even the NUFC Fans Forum sees the club choosing which fans they allow to be on it, rather than supporters voting for their own representatives.
This summer saw Mike Ashley belatedly realise what a mess he’s made of the club, primarily due to not having sufficient investment in the squad.
More ambitious signings were made in that last window but the question is whether this is too little too late, with decent signings such as Mitrovic and Wijnaldum being let down by many of the sub-standard players Newcastle have been left with due to Ashley’s poor management of the club.
Good luck to Rangers in their fight with Mike Ashley, if only Newcastle fans had similar tools to use against the owner, rather than only the ultimate call of stopping yourself from going to the matches.