At Friday morning’s Rangers AGM, Chairman Dave King has revealed that in the early hours of today, the board made the decision to repay Mike Ashley and Sports Direct the £5m loan that hangs over the Glasgow club.
Dave King said that it took only an hour to raise the £5m after he phoned Rangers Directors/Investors George Letham, Douglas Park, George Taylor and John Bennett and secured the cash needed to repay Ashley and Sports Direct.
King made clear though that Mike Ashley and SD would need to release their hold on various securities at Rangers before the cash was paid over.
“They (Sports Direct) will have to give up their securities to get their money back.
“The Rangers board is very actively challenging a lot of the litigation which is in front of the court at the moment.”
Talking about the decimation of revenue from Rangers merchandise and kit sales due to Mike Ashley’s involvement, Dave King said that ‘It wasn’t too long ago we were number one in the UK’ when it came to merchandising.
This is also the case at Newcastle United, where back in the day Newcastle were also one of the top revenue earners from replica kit etc, Adidas working together with the club to generate tremendous amounts of cash.
Ironic that now a retail tycoon like Mike Ashley owns one club and is involved in the other and he has been by far the biggest reason for the collapse of this revenue stream at both Newcastle United and Rangers.
Talking about moving on (and a future without Mike Ashley’s stranglehold on the club), Dave King added:
“Rangers is now irreversibly on the way back and we want and must have promotion this season. We will continue to improve and strengthen the team and it is the board’s intention to supply the manager with the necessary resources.”
“I would like to thank every one of you for steadfastly refusing to give up. Rangers will emerge stronger than ever.”
One amusing aside saw one Rangers shareholder ask this question about Mike Ashley’s finances:
“If Newcastle get relegated will Mike Ashley have to sell his shares in Rangers?”