Former Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias, is set to become the new chief executive of Rangers after the resignation of Graham Wallace was announced on Monday morning.
It is expected that Ashley, who demanded to place two men on the Ibrox board in return for a £2 million emergency loan, will hand Llambias the £300,000 a year chief executive role and appoint Stephen Mucklow to replace finance director Philip Nash, who quit on Friday.
Llambias is no stranger to Ibrox as in 2013, he travelled up from the north-east to talk to Rangers fans alongside then chief executive Charles Green, about the stadium naming rights of Ibrox.
It was later announced that Green had sold the stadium naming rights for a mere £1.
Llambias had been linked with the Rangers chief executive position back in October 2013, but rejected the chance to take charge after making up with Ashley following his departure from St.James Park after the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football in June of same year.
The London born businessman, who is a British-Gibraltarian citizen, was responsible for negotiating the signings of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa for Alan Pardew’s side. As well as the controversial sponsorship deal with payday lenders Wonga.
Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan, is certainly no fan of Ashley or Llambias, speaking back in 2010, the English football legend commented: “You will never get stability when you have Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias running the club. Mike Ashley doesn’t know anything about football. That’s the first thing. The second thing is Llambias knows even less than him so you have two people running the football club who know nothing.
“You need to get people in who know what they’re doing and you trust with the job but they don’t even do that – that’s why it’s a shambles.
“Having worked with these people then I can tell you that you can’t work with them because you can’t trust them. They tell you one thing and mean another. I had a phone call for about an hour trying to buy a player. After I went off the phone they had a conference call together and said: ‘Right, we don’t want to offer £2m. We’ll offer £1m and they’ll reject it.’”
The North East side, along with other English Premier League clubs, were criticised for not paying any corporation tax in 2010-11. At that time Newcastle made profits of £32.6 million, boosted by the sale of striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool for around £35 million, but failed to pay any corporation tax for two years – having carried forward tax losses.
Meanwhile, Ally McCoist’s position as manager is under threat with Ashley stepping up his control of the Ibrox club, with the Newcastle owner no stranger to sacking a fans favourite, as he did so with Kevin Keegan at United. Club board chairman Sandy Easdale is set for talks with the Rangers legend and McCoist will talk to the media early this afternoon.