MIKE Ashley has filed documents notifying land register bosses that he plans to take out security on Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium.
The Newcastle owner has also handed over documents to the Registers of Scotland informing it he will do the same with the club’s Murray Park training ground.
It indicates the billionaire tycoon plans to add his Sports Direct firm to the title deeds of both properties, which also suggests he is about to step in to offer the cash-strapped outfit an emergency loan.
The Rangers board has already admitted it will need to raise funds quickly if it is to survive January.
The papers lodged with the RoS - called an advance notice - protect the deed and means anyone else looking to issue the board a loan would not be able to take Ibrox or Murray Park as security.
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The document is valid for 35 days, meaning Ashley has until February 17 to strike a rescue deal.
The move also suggests Ashley is not yet ready to give up his grip on power.
While the board this week rejected US financier Robert Sarver’s £20million takeover bid, Ashley still faces competition from the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Taylor and George Letham - and oldco director Dave King for control of Rangers.
They bought up two chunks of shares which combined equate to around 34 per cent of the club and are determined to push for boardroom change.
But Ashley now looks to be in the box seat.
He owns 8.92 per cent of the Light Blues but strengthened his position after handing over a £3million emergency loan late last year.
He has already placed right-hand men Derek Llambias and Barry Leach onto the board as chief executive and financial director and continues to run the club’s retail division at rates highly beneficial to him.
But having already been charged with breaching “duel ownership” rules by the Scottish Football Association, his latest Ibrox involvement could yet spark further investigations by Hampden chiefs.
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