The legal battle between Dave King and Sports Direct owned by Mike Ashley took a twist on Friday morning when it was declared that Rangers have still not paid Sports Direct the £5 million loan back despite claiming to have done so the day before.
Dave King’s legal team told Justice Peter Smith at the High Court in London on Thursday, that the £5 million loan had been repaid to Mike Ashley in full. But on Friday, it was revealed by David Quest QC legal counsel for Mike Ashley/Sports Direct, that this was not true.
He told Justice Peter Smith: “That is not correct. The £5million has not been repaid.”
The South African-based businessman had told shareholders and assembled media at the recent AGM at the end of November, that: “It took me one hour this morning to raise the £5m from major shareholders. We will advise Sports Direct we will be repaying that loan.
“We made the decision with the board last night. Douglas Park, George Letham, George Taylor, Paul Murray and John Bennett (gave a) commitment for the £5million and we will be advising Sports Direct today we will be repaying that loan.
“That was exciting to show the level of commitment everyone has got for the club. We’ll make the money available immediately and then it’s a question of the legal transfer. There’s obviously securities and so we pay the money and they release the securities, that’s the legal process. The main thing is that we say to them the money is there, it’s in the bank and just for the lawyers to sort out.
“I think what we have done, and the manager said that, is that we’ve put in the money where it’s required. There wasn’t an expectation to put in the £5m because it wasn’t in the plan but when I went to the investors and said we’ve changed our mind, everybody stumped up that quickly.
“It does show what we’ve said is that when money is required we’ll put it in. I think that’s what we’ve done.”
It was also noted by Sportsdirect’s QC that an email from Rangers that they had not collected the £5 million in full yet – despite King’s previous claims – and were still waiting to collect ‘another £500,000’.