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Rangers fans statement: Pledge to work with Newcastle fans against ‘malign influence’ of Mike Ashley

3 years ago
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Rangers fans continue to fight their battle with Mike Ashley.

The Sports Direct supremo still has his claws stuck firmly into the Glasgow club, although it is now all to do with merchandising contracts agreed before the current owners took control.

Those original deals still holding Rangers back, as the club desperately tries to shake of the ‘malign influence’ of the leech.

The second biggest shareholder in Rangers is Club 1872, who collectively own 10.7% of the shares.

With the courts unable/unwilling to find a way for the club to shake off Mike Ashley, the Rangers fans at Club 1872 have released a statement on Monday, reaffirming their commitment to do everything they can to help remove Ashley from having such a negative impact on their club.

Within the statement they also ‘express our sympathy with Newcastle fans who find their own club suffering under Mr Ashley’s ownership.’

They also reveal that they have been in talks with Newcastle fan groups ‘to discuss ways in which we can work together to challenge Mr Ashley and Sports Direct in what we believe is a matter of shared interest.’

It is quite horrific how Mike Ashley can have such a negative impact on so many people’s lives and yet the authorities are unable/unwilling to do anything to properly challenge him, especially when football clubs such as Newcastle United and Rangers are such important parts of their communities.

Club 1872 Statement on Sports Direct Litigation – 29 July 2019:

‘Club 1872 was, in common with all Rangers supporters, concerned to see reports of the outcome of the latest court case involving the club and Sports Direct. Clearly it is not a positive situation to be on the wrong end of such decisions and of particular concern were tabloid headlines regarding the possibility of Rangers having to pay “millions” in damages following the latest ruling.

It is always our wish to be able to communicate in detail with supporters but on this topic we must be mindful of the club’s position which is restricted by confidentiality provisions, court decisions and the ongoing nature of these proceedings. This means that they simply cannot discuss this issue in detail with Club 1872 or indeed anyone else.

We have asked Rangers to give Club 1872 and the supporters what reassurance they can and they have reiterated their statement on the club website. It is the club’s position that the judgement is not as reported and that the damages cap of £1m has not been removed. As supporters will see from the release of the new away kit, there is no restriction on supporters buying this season’s kit and the purchase of those kits continues to benefit the club.

This is a complex and far reaching legal dispute and there are a number of aspects of it still be to decided by the court. We feel the same frustration as all supporters when there are setbacks in that fight but the goal remains the same.

We would remind supporters that Mike Ashley and Sports Direct were and remain a malign influence on Rangers Football Club. Club 1872 purchased a large portion of Mr Ashley’s shares in 2017, partly to remove one aspect of that toxic influence. We look forward to the day when he and Sports Direct no longer have any dealings with our club.

We are fully supportive of the Rangers board’s efforts to stand up to Mr Ashley’s attempt to bully the club into submission. Mr Ashley’s approach on this matter continues to make no commercial sense – given the position of the vast majority of the Rangers support towards Sports Direct – and appears to be purely vindictive. We would urge individual supporters who are frustrated with these ongoing court battles to consider what action they can take to remove support for any and all parts of Mr Ashley’s business empire, and encourage others to do the same.

We would also take this opportunity to express our sympathy with Newcastle fans who find their own club suffering under Mr Ashley’s ownership.

We have made approaches to a number of their supporters’ groups to discuss ways in which we can work together to challenge Mr Ashley and Sports Direct in what we believe is a matter of shared interest.

We appreciate that supporters want more detail and more reassurance regarding this ongoing fight with Mr Ashley and we are sorry not to be in a position to provide it, but we remain up for the fight and hope that supporters will continue to show the same determination which saw Mr Ashley and his lieutenants kicked out of our club in 2015.’

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