RANGERS investor Mike Ashley acquired the naming rights to Ibrox two years ago, and retains the right to rebrand the stadium ‘at the drop of a hat’.
In a frank interview with the Daily Record, Rangers director Sandy Easdale revealed that former chief executive Charles Green made a deal with the Newcastle United owner in 2012.
Easdale told Record Sport: “Let’s clear this up. Charles Green had already done a deal with Mike [Ashley] on that. Sports Direct haven’t taken it up as yet. Mike Ashley could call it the Sport Direct Arena tomorrow.”
And the Record are reporting that Green spent as much as £250,000 on legal costs in an attempt to cancel the contract.
Easdale did not reveal the price of Ashley’s deal, adding that it was ‘confidential.’
However, the McGills Buses chief is eyeing Ashley as a key player in the club’s bid for financial stability, and has invited the Sports Direct boss to underwrite the proposed £4 million share issue.
Ashley is unable to buy any new shares in the club under SFA rules forbidding him from owning more than 10 per cent of any Scottish club.
BT struck a sponsorship deal earlier this year that saw the national rugby stadium renamed BT Murrayfield, with Scottish rugby in line to net £20 million.
And with Rangers needing to raise £4 million in funding, Easdale ruled out selling Ibrox but crucially would not make a similar commitment to the club’s training centre at Murray Park, admitting that the club may be pushed into considering raising money against such assets.