Rangers talks ongoing with Mike Ashley appointees

Former Newcastle Utd Managing Director Derek Llambias in the stand at Ibrox. Picture: SNS
Former Newcastle Utd Managing Director Derek Llambias in the stand at Ibrox. Picture: SNS
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TALKS continued at Ibrox yesterday as two of Mike Ashley’s associates get to grips with the financial situation of Rangers.

Rangers plc chairman David Somers claims he invited Derek Llambias and Barry Leach to work for the club as consultants, days after the board accepted Newcastle United owner Ashley’s £2 million loan offer.

Former Newcastle managing director Llambias and Leach, head of brands at Ashley’s Sports Direct firm, were at Ibrox again yesterday.

Somers declined to give any details about how long Llambias will work for the club, telling reporters: “He’s a consultant. I’m sure everything will turn out for the best.

“I’ve invited him and Barry Leach in as consultants just to help us out. It’s good to get investment into the club.”

Rangers have so far not replaced chief executive Graham Wallace and director Philip Nash, who both quit Ibrox in the past week.

Any attempt to place Llambias and Leach on the board could fall foul of Ashley’s agreement with the Scottish Football Association, which was designed to limit his influence at Ibrox while he remains in control of Newcastle. Ashley signed the agreement, which restricts him to a share of no more than 10 per cent, in 2012.

Meanwhile, Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen’s condition is improving after he suffered a head injury in his team’s League Cup quarter-final victory over St Johnstone on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old hit his head on a post while saving Brian Graham’s second-half header and looks set to miss the William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Dumbarton on Saturday.

Manager Ally McCoist told the club’s official website: “Steve’s as well as we could have hoped for. The scan showed positive results and I saw him last night.

“He clearly had a big swelling on the left-hand side of his head which thankfully has gone down a little bit today. He’s a serious doubt for Saturday.”

Lee Robinson came on for Simonsen and was not seriously troubled as Lewis Macleod’s late header sent Rangers through, although an ill-judged foray from his box almost allowed Michael O’Halloran in.

The former Queen of the South and Raith Rovers goalkeeper recently returned to the club, eight years after making the sole appearance of his first spell at Ibrox.

McCoist said: “Lee will come in if he misses out and he did fine last night. I thought he’d left his gloves in the dug-out at first right enough when he came running out of his goal!

“I’m talking with my tongue in cheek when I say that, of course, and he did very, very well. I’m delighted for him.

“He’s a confident lad and more importantly, he’s a very good goalkeeper. We’ve got faith in him to do a job for us and we’re happy with him.

“We wouldn’t have signed him if that wasn’t the case and looking back now, that’s maybe turned out not to be the worst decision we’ve made this season.

“I did go on record as saying it’s a vital – if not the most important – position on the park and with the injury to Cammy [Bell], we felt we had to get cover.

“Lee has certainly given us that and it looks as though bringing him in was a good call because the injury to Steve could lead to him playing on Saturday.”


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