written by – John McIntosh
The past week or so at Ibrox has been very turbulent – even more so than our battered fans have been used to in recent times. So much has happened from Dave King and his consortium of Rangers men combined £16 million offer of investment being tabled and now seemingly rejected to Mike Ashley having a £2 million loan offer accepted with rumours of blackmail to force the deal through.
Let’s not forget Brian Kennedy coming out of nowhere to look to beat Ashley with a £3 million loan offer with the same attachments as Ashley, except Kennedy only wanted one board member for his offer while the board accepted a £2 million loan from Ashley with the attachment of two board members – talk about acting in the best interests of the club… oh wait, they are simply protecting their shareholding blocks.
So Ashley has in effect bullied his way into power with Rangers. He has already syphoned large amounts of income from Rangers into his own pocket or for the benefit of Sports Direct via the retail deal as he currently does with Newcastle. Can anyone tell me why this is good for any club, nevermind a club losing vast amounts every month on top of a limited income.
If you look at the commercial income of clubs in the premiership from 2007 to now, only one club has reduced its commercial income & that club is obviously Newcastle United.
Billionaire, Champions League, & exposure are just some of the buzz words being used to describe Ashley’s rise in power at Govan and his potential motives for investing…I mean loaning.
I also want to smash the “Mike Ashley needs Rangers in the Champions League” myth, UEFA simply don’t allow sponsorship on advertising boards in their matches which kind of puts a dampener on people who think Ashley wants a strong Rangers in the Champions League to maximise exposure for Sports Direct.
Further to this they don’t allow stadiums to be sponsored for example UEFA class Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium as “Arsenal Stadium” – so if he chose to invoke the naming rights I fail to see where his exposure comes from.
As for increased merchandise sales in event of Champions League journeys, if he treats us like he does Newcastle fans then we are only going to become even more disillusioned. Fans wanted transparency after admin but with him in charge we have no hope of this.
The onerous retail deal, along with the disgusting £1 naming rights stadium deal, with his own board members in alongside other puppets gives Ashley a lot of power & this is very bad news for Rangers fans.
If good Rangers men want this club they will however need to change their amateur tactics.
If you were to ask me if I wanted Mike Ashley or Dave King to gain control, I would snap your hand off for King but this doesn’t mean I think he is blameless. Naïve, unprepared, stubborn are the words I’d use to describe King and his tactics in trying to resume control of our famous club.
For example, he will have known that due to an AGM resolution last year for no outsiders to invest via any new share issues he knew that not buying a small percentage of shares meant that he had to seek approval of 75% of shareholders whilst the Easdale proxy via hedge funds and Greenco had 26% voting powers making this approval nearly impossible.
Hargreave Hale were quite open in their dissatisfaction and were looking to sell their shareholding block, however Dave King never tried to attain these shares as he has stuck stubbornly to his view of just investing via share issue so the club gets the money. Mike Ashley took these shares – amateur by King.
The problem is that we are dealing with spivs who will cling on desperately for control in order to keep milking us like a cash cow. So for King to not buy even a small amount of shares to get around this resolution is simply nonsensical.
What does the future hold? If Ashley gets his way he will drip feed us short term loans for disgusting deals such as our trademark that he tried and failed with before. If he gains our trademark it would cost us money to produce a new kit. Have a think about that for a minute.
What can the fans do? I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall but get involved in Rangers First and BuyRangers…through the Supporters Trust we need to galvanise and with the right amount of members this is not a pipe dream.