Rangers shift in power on cards after Mike Ashley challenged by ‘fit and proper’ rival
A massive shift in the power struggle at Rangers is on the cards after events over the course of the last 48 hours.
The main mover behind forcing Mike Ashley’s allies off the Rangers board, Dave King, flew into Glasgow last night after being officially deemed a ‘fit and proper’ person to be involved in a Scottish football club by the SFA.
Only a week to go before the deadline passes when Rangers must react to Mike Ashley’s demand for an emergency general meeting. A meeting where Ashley has proposed a paying back of the £5m loan to Sports Direct within ten days.
However, Dave King says that he is not ‘…even remotely concerned’ about that debt to Sports Direct or the proposed meeting, saying that it was always part of the plan to get that debt paid off but it’s just a question of whether it is the ‘appropriate’ thing to do right now.
Paying back the money to SD/Ashley would cut a lot of ties between the club and the Newcastle owner, with control of the crests/badges passing back to Rangers and Sports Direct’s share of the retail profits dropping back to 75% to 49%.
It would also take away any right Mike Ashley had to nominate two people on the Rangers board, which would appear to end any chance of Barry Leach or Derek Llambias making a return from their gardening leave, or whatever else it is they are up to at the minute.
“One of the things I said at the previous meeting when I was here six or eight weeks ago was that my ongoing investment depended upon me getting through the ‘Fit and Proper’ (person test)
“Now that it has been cleared, I’m in a position to proceed and I would expect that to happen quite quickly.
“I always made it clear that, if I had no long-term future with the club, my investment was linked to that. I wouldn’t have walked away but the situation would have changed.
“We would have had to look at how we would do it and I was very clear my ongoing investment requires an ongoing involvement.”
“It was always part of the plan, but it just a question of whether it is an appropriate thing to do. It is certainly not something I am even remotely concerned about.
“It has been a great pity that I have not been involved in what has been going on over the last couple of months and I think we are all delighted we can all get our feet under the table and start to make progress.
“With my situation, I had given an undertaking to the SFA that I wouldn’t act as a shadow director, so we have been very precise.
“It is going to take me a couple of days to find out what has happened and, then, we are going to sit down and start planning for the future: get budgets in place and proper funding plans in place. We are going to carry out what we have promised to do for the fans.
“The Scottish FA’s process has, understandably, been a long one given their recent negative experience with some of the previous board members, who were tasked with being custodians of the club.
“However, I will elaborate in the coming days because there should be no distractions ahead of Wednesday night’s match at Ibrox. Together, we can help drive the team forward.”
Recent reports had claimed that Mike Ashley was looking to challenge the SFA ruling on dual ownership/influence at Rangers and Newcastle United. If Dave King follows up his confident sounding words with action, then any concerns of substantial dual interest/influence will recede, along seemingly with any remaining hopes United fans had, that Ashley might sell Newcastle to concentrate on running/ruining Rangers.
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