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Fans call in financial regulators to examine Mike Ashley role at Newcastle and Rangers

7 years ago

Fans have called for the financial regulators to examine Mike Ashley’s role at both Newcastle and Rangers.

The Rangers Supporters Trust have challenged Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United whilst at the same time now appearing to dictate what happens at Rangers as well.

As well as a complaint that the board have failed to treat all shareholders equally, the Trust has also asked the authorities to probe the lack of disclosure by the Rangers board when it comes to commercial income.

This obviously an area where Newcastle fans also have concerns when it comes to the shockingly low level of commercial revenue, as well as lack of clarity in terms of merchandising income in particular.

The Rangers Supporters Trust letter;

“We write as a shareholder to express our deep concern over the stewardship of Rangers International Football Club plc.

“And ask that you carry out an investigation into the current and previous board of directors to determine if their actions favour one particular related party, namely Mr Mike Ashley and his company, Sports Direct.

“Mr Ashley owns a controlling interest in another football club, Newcastle United FC, and ownership of more than one football club is not permitted by football authorities.

(Under the terms agreed with the Scottish Football Association, Mike Ashley was initially permitted to be involved with Rangers if his shareholding did not exceed 10%, and that he did not exert any influence at board level.)

“We believe in placing two of his representatives on the board of RIFC, Mr Ashley is clearly influencing operations which may violate his agreement with the SFA.

“This could put the football club at risk of sanctions.

“Indeed, we understand that the SFA has written to Rangers and Mr Ashley for clarification.

“Potential sanctions from the governing body could range from financial penalties to suspension of membership.

“We believe this is an unacceptable risk to the business, particularly when an alternative offer of short term funding was available.

“This risk appears to have been taken in order to further the interests of one related party.”

“The Rangers Supporters’ Trust represents over 2000 members with a group shareholding in RIFC.

“And we believe our interests, as well as those of thousands of other shareholders, may be being overlooked in favour of one particular shareholder/related party.”

Derek Llambias has already been appointed to the Rangers board as an Ashley nominee, with another due to follow shortly.


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