Just days after Rangers announced they will be charging their fans a fiver for the Premiership play-off home games, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has struck where it hurts the most, demanding his money back from the Ibrox club.
The businessman, who owns 9% through his MASH Holdings company, has called for a general meeting to force Rangers to pay back a £5m loan he gave to the club earlier this year.
Ashley provided the £5m loan to the Ibrox club for emergency working capital, and in returned gained security over the club’s trademarks, Edmiston House, Albion Car Park and Murray Park.
But with his men on the board – Derek Llambias and Barry Leach – being voted off in March’s EGM, Ashley has now made his move demanding his money back.
With majority shareholder Dave King nowhere to be seen as the Scottish FA continue to look into his fit and proper person status, the Ibrox club are still short of investment with an emergency loan of £1.5 million from the Three Bears helping them out at the end of March to pay for working capital.
As yet none of the new board have invested capital in the Ibrox club and Ashley’s sabre rattling is now set to force them to dig deep before the Scottish FA rules on King’s status.
If the current board can stump up the £5 million, then it would mean the trademarks as well as Murray Park, Albion Car Park and Edmiston House would return to Rangers hands. As well seeing a return of 26% interest in Rangers Retail Limited – which Ashley currently has a stranglehold on.
According to STV Sport, Mike Ashley asked several questions of the club’s board which are to be addressed at the general meeting.
He has asked:
- Ashley has called for clarity on the club’s delisting from the Alternative Investment Market and the subsequent failure to date for the company’s shares to be listed on an alternative exchange.
- Ashley also wants shareholders to be given full details on a £1.5m loan given by Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor in March.
Rangers have been given a deadline of May 20th to call a general meeting, which then must be held within 28 days for the board announcing the meeting.