Charles Green claims Mike Ashley will earn Rangers £10m a year
CHARLES Green has claimed Rangers will make up to £10 million a year from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s proposed investment in the Ibrox club.
According to Rangers chief executive Green, Ashley is one of three “billionaires” interested in taking a stake in the new company running the club who will start their bid to climb back to the summit of Scottish football today with their opening Irn-Bru Third Division fixture at Peterhead.
Ashley will have no personal involvement at Rangers but is in advanced talks to secure a shareholding of just under ten per cent through a deal which would see his Sports Direct firm take over the club’s replica kit merchandising operation.
“I don’t think Mike needs to throw (money into the club) and that’s not the model that I think is sustainable for any football club and not Rangers,” Green told Sky Sports News.
“What Mike will do, subject to all the agreements going through, is bring the might of Sports Direct and that in itself, in my mind, will bring £5-10million a year from merchandise in revenues back into the club.
“That is far, far more worthwhile than Mike individually signing a cheque because that’s not the right way to run football clubs. It’s about sustainability, it’s about continuing revenues, it’s about brand awareness and it’s about developing the brand and doing it worldwide.”
Since purchasing the assets and business of Rangers for £5.5million through his Sevco consortium after the club was consigned to liquidation, Green has repeatedly insisted no individual will own more than ten per cent during his tenure. The former Sheffield United chief executive would not identify the two other potential investors he says could join Ashley in taking a stake.
“Talks are ongoing at the minute so it would be premature to name them,” added Green. “If these plans work out, we will have three billionaires who will be shareholders at Rangers.”
Season ticket sales at Ibrox passed through the 25,000 mark yesterday in the wake of manager Ally McCoist’s public backing of Green earlier in the week. After the strain and uncertainty of recent months, McCoist was in noticeably more ebullient form at his pre-match media conference yesterday. He welcomed the prospect of Ashley’s investment, albeit while greeting news of Green’s negotiations with multiple billionaires with trademark humour.
“Was this in Viz?,” responded McCoist. “Has he? Well, I’m looking forward to meeting them. Three billionaire backers? Brilliant! I don’t know a lot about that one, I must admit. But if that’s the case, bring them on and we’ll have a party!
“Of course I am happy about reports that Mike Ashley could become involved. The one thing you can say right away about Mike Ashley is he looks a very astute and clever businessman.
“You could argue there’s maybe not too many of them involved in football but he certainly ticks the box there. If he can bring his expertise and some of his wealth with him to support us and push the club forward, I’m absolutely delighted with that.”
McCoist is eager to maintain the rebuilding of his squad before Rangers’ 12-month signing embargo kicks in on 1 September. American winger Alejandro Bedoya left the club yesterday to join Swedish champions Helsinborgs and McCoist admits he is bracing himself for potential further departures of senior players such as Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian.
“There’s still a chance we might lose one or two more,” he said. “You could hazard a guess and say they are hedging their bets at the moment. I obviously thanked all of those players for coming back to the club, which was great, but also asked them to move on as soon as possible if that’s what they intend to do.
“I don’t want them to move on, I’d rather they all stayed, but they are well within their rights to move on and it would help our case if they did it sooner rather than later. There is a possibility of receiving fees for Edu and Goian if they go, but I’m not sure that’s the case with Bocanegra.
“We have managed to bring good players in already and I would hope we can sign a good few more. It’s important to remember that we have got to get a squad together for the next 18 months to two years, so we need bodies in.”
McCoist confirmed that Rangers had pulled out of a move for former Celtic and Hearts striker Craig Beattie who was in signing talks with St Johnstone yesterday.
“That one is dead in the water,” said McCoist. “I spoke to Craig yesterday and he’s obviously got one or two other offers which he’s going to take up. He came in and trained with us.
“He was brilliant, he’s a great lad who I have known from Scotland days and contrary to what has been said elsewhere, it certainly wasn’t a financial thing. He wasn’t being greedy, but we have just decided to look elsewhere and we wish him all the best.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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