RANGERS shareholder Mike Ashley has the club “cornered”, according a former Newcastle chairman who Ashley deposed nearly eight years ago.
Freddy Shepherd suggested that Ashley, who owns Newcastle United, was positioning himself as Rangers’ bank by making loans available to the club.
Though Ashley is limited to a 10 per cent shareholding by league rules, he has becomes a powerful figure at Ibrox, and is thought to be orchestrating key decisions at boardroom level.
And Shepherd, who Ashley removed as Magpies chairman in 2007, declared that Ashley effectively controlled Rangers.
“Mike is a very clever guy,” said Shepherd. “Look at the way he’s cornered Rangers. He’s made himself the Bank of Rangers, what he’s done is take 10 per cent of the club but he can’t get anymore.
“So to get round that he’s become their bank by lending them money. He’s very clever. Banks control football clubs, it’s as simple as that.
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“Mike Ashley is a businessman first and that’s the bottom line. He won’t lose money if he can help it.
“Fair play to him at Rangers, he’s put his money where his mouth is and he gave then it when they neded it.
“They were desperate for cash, I know that. Mike isn’t a villain, he seized the opportunity at Newcastle at the time when Sir John Hall wanted to sell his shares.
“Ashley stood up and bought them, it was as simple as that. He’s a businessman.”
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