SFA seeks clarity over Mike Ashley’s Rangers plans

Clarification: The SFA has written to Mike Ashley and Rangers. Picture: Getty
Clarification: The SFA has written to Mike Ashley and Rangers. Picture: Getty
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THE Scottish Football Association has contacted Rangers and Mike Ashley, seeking clarification about the Newcastle United owner’s plans for the Ibrox club.

Ashley, who already owns around 9 per cent of Rangers, has provided the club with a £2 million loan, in exchange for him having two representatives on the board.

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The Sports Direct supremo has already signed an undertaking with the SFA agreeing that he will not acquire more than 10 per cent of the club’s shares, or have influence in the boardroom.

Ashley’s deal, which was struck last Saturday, includes an option to provide Rangers with further loans, and stipulates that he could underwrite any future share issue.

But if he did underwrite a share issue, his stake in Rangers International Football Club plc - currently at 8.92 per cent - could rise above the 10 per cent threshold if other investors weren’t convinced to commit their money to the share offer.

The BBC are reporting that the SFA could look to examine whether Ashley having two representatives on the Rangers board would contravene their agreement.

Although Newcastle compete in the English Premier League, which has no rules on dual ownership, a problem could arise if the Magpies were relegated - as the Football League does.

UEFA would also prevent Rangers and Newcastle from competing in the same European competition if they shared an owner.

Ashley has control of sales of Rangers shirts and the club’s retail division until 2019, through his company Rangers Retail, set up following a deal struck with ex-Ibrox chief Charles Green.

He also owns the naming rights for Ibrox Stadium and has previously attempted to acquire the rights to the Rangers trademark.

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