Mike Ashley and his minions failed to attend an emergency general meeting that he forced to happen at Rangers, around 2,000 turned up to the shareholders meeting at Ibrox, with from the board of directors: James Blair, John Gilligan and Paul Murray.
Yesterday had seen last minute legal action by Mike Ashley, with an interim injunction pushed through, which prohibited the board at today’s meeting from revealing any of the contract details between Rangers and Mike Ashley’s retail empire. Recently it had entered the public domain that there was a seven year notice period if Rangers ever wanted to end their merchandising deal with Ashley’s Sports Direct.
The fact that Rangers earn so little from the current arrangements with Ashley’s empire, deals struck before the current board took power, telling everybody just how bad the terms must be from the club’s perspective.
Plus the very fact that Mike Ashley is fighting so hard for the truth not to be revealed, rubber stamping for most people just how bad the contracts are and that if the truth were known, it would undoubtedly portray Mike Ashley and those previously in power at Ibrox in such a bad light.
Director Paul Murray revealed that Rangers had explicitly asked Mike Ashley or his representatives to attend this morning’s meeting that he had forced to happen, though Murray revealed that Ashley and his minions had not even given the club the courtesy of a reply.
“The meeting was called despite the unnecessary and needless costs. We asked MASH (Mike Ashley Shareholdings, which includes the ownership of Newcastle United) to send a representative to the meeting but have received no response. We are surprised that MASH does not see fit to explain itself.”
Murray and his fellow directors were bombarded with questions about the nature of the contracts between the club and Mike Ashley but they had to remain unanswered due to that interim injunction.
Paul Murray also informed the shareholders that he and the other directors had been visited at their homes on Thursday night by sheriff officers, who served them copies of the injunction from the Court of Session.
One supporter/shareholder asked:
“What is to stop that barmpot from down the road calling general meetings every three months when he doesn’t even have the decency to turn up.”
Director James Blair replied that if the calls for meetings by Mike Ashley are deemed frivolous, then they can be opposed. Blair suggesting that one was fair, two would be ‘OK’ but in his view, three would be ‘going too far’.
The results of the vote, as to whether the club should agree to Mike Ashley’s demand to instantly repay the £5m loan to Sports Direct, will be revealed via the official Rangers website on Monday morning.
Considering all the free benefits that the rest of Mike Ashley’s empire gets from Newcastle United. We would all love to know exactly what the nature of Newcastle United’s contracts with Sports Direct are, especially what the club would be landed with if Ashley ever agreed to sell NUFC.
The irony of course is that Mike Ashley now controls the merchandising for two clubs who at one time were constantly in the top handful of clubs in the UK when it came to sales of replica kit and associated products.
Yet because of Ashley’s treatment of the two clubs and their fans, the sales are pathetically low both sides of the border, with many fans refusing to give the NUFC owner a penny more than they have to.
Recent days also saw the launch of an embargo campaign from the Ashley Out (of Newcastle United) campaign, which as well as a call to not buy from club sponsors, also asked fans not to buy club merchandise. A campaign that I would urge all Newcastle fans to give their backing to.