MIKE Ashley has been fined £7,500 by the Scottish FA after being found guilty of breaking their regulations on dual interest in football clubs with his involvement in Rangers, writes Stephen Halliday.
The punishment barely amounts to even a slap on the wrists for the Newcastle United owner whose personal fortune of £3.3 billion saw him named by Forbes as the 306th richest man in the world.
Ashley, as expected, did not personally attend the SFA Judicial Panel hearing into his case which was held at Hampden on Monday night. The 50-year-old Sports Direct tycoon was represented by members of his legal team.
He was found to have breached SFA disciplinary rule 19 which states: “Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or (c) have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club.”
Ashley has a stake of just under nine per cent in Rangers and was refused permission by the SFA to increase it to almost 30 per cent in December. On a separate charge of “not acting in the best interests of Scottish football”, Ashely was found not proven. Rangers will face a separate hearing at Hampden on 16 March when they face three charges. In addition to the two Ashley faced, the Ibrox club have also been charged with failing to “behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith”.
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