English football league rules explicitly state that an individual in a position of power at a club cannot have any interests in another, regardless of whether such a club plays in England, Scotland or anywhere in the outside world.
These rules are much stricter than guidelines currently in place for English Premier League sides, and could see newly relegated Newcastle United booted out of the football league if Ashley is found in breach of such rules.
Ashley owns 8.92 per cent of Rangers’ shares and controls the club’s retail department through contracts signed with the previous Ibrox regime. While the ownership percentage Ashley holds is allowed under the rules, Rangers will argue the commercial deals gives the Newcastle chief dual interests.
Rangers have been fighting to rid themselves of these deals with a sizeable percentage of income made from official club merchandise going to Sports Direct.