Rangers have sacked both Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, leaving the way now open for the pair potentially to slip into Tyneside and run Newcastle United on Mike Ashley’s behalf.
The Rangers Interim Chairman Paul Murray confirmed at a press conference that both Leach and Llambias had had their contracts terminated, after being effectively on gardening leave since being removed from the board.
“What I can say today is we’ve terminated the contracts of Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, they have now left the company as of this week.
“I can’t go into that (the investigation into the past running of Rangers) as it is a confidential situation, but suffice to say we have terminated their contracts.”
With both Derek Llambias and Barry Leach having 12 months notice periods in their contracts, Murray was asked if they’d been paid compensation, but either couldn’t or wouldn’t divulge any further information and simply restated ‘We have terminated their contracts’.
Meanwhile, the incoming Dave King said that he doesn’t expect the club to pay back the Mike Ashley/Sports Direct £5m loan in the near future but says he isn’t concerned about it.
Expanding on that, King says that they need to get the Sports Direct relationship on a better business footing but isn’t concerned about it and says he expects Mike Ashley to eventually have no ties with Rangers.
“The Ashley loan situation is something we’re looking at but it’s really part of a bigger and broader relationship. I would agree our relationship with Sports Direct and Mike Ashley is not great and it has to be dealt with.
“The Mike Ashley situation is very different from some of the other history of the club. You have got a man who is a businessman. He has been very, very aggressive and he has managed to put in place a deal which is very favourable to him, but it is our job to see that the club’s interests are protected. But it’s a commercial relationship. It’s really just business.
“I think ultimately he (Mike Ashley) will be out of the picture but right now he has put money into the club and the club should be grateful for that because without the £5m loan, the club would be in some difficulties.”
With former NUFC Chief Executive Derek Llambias and one-time Sports Direct Finance Director Barry Leach now officially available for new employment, it raises the real possibility of the pair ending up at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle United’s Finance Direct John Irving has quit the club and Managing Director Lee Charnley is widely reported to be under immense pressure from Mike Ashley due to the disaster of the second half of the season.
With Newcastle fans hoping for a brave new world, whether the team avoid relegation or not on Sunday, the spectre of Ashley exerting even more of a vice-like grip on the club through Llambias and Leach, isn’t the most pleasant of thoughts on this Friday morning.