Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner has bought an additional 4.26M shares from Rangers International Football Club PLC, and that has more than doubled his stake in the Scottish club, and he becomes the second biggest stakeholder in the club, behind Isle of Man-based Laxey Partners.
Mike Ashley – enjoying watching Newcastle at Southampton
Ashley owns Newcastle United outright, and there have been suggestions that the Billionaire may be wanting to buy Rangers and maybe even sell Newcastle – that would delight Newcastle fans – but the opposite is true of Rangers fans.
The new shares gives him a total of 8.92% of the Rangers operating company, but that is still less than the 10% limit agreed with the Scottish FA.
Ashley refused to participate in the open share offer recently, which was aimed at raising £3.6M for the club, but instead paid out 20 pence a share through London-based investment company Hale Hargreaves.
If he had bought into the share offer that money would have gone straight to the Scottish club, so fans’ groups are upset at Ashley for strengthening his hold on Rangers without really helping the cub’s finances much at all.
There is fresh speculation that Ashley may be thinking of buying Rangers, but he would need to sell Newcastle United to so that, but a couple of weeks ago Newcastle issued a statement saying he was keeping Newcastle until at least the end of next season, which is May of 2016.
The £2.7M Rangers raised from their open share offer will only take the club through the end of this year, and there is still a chance they could ho bankrupt – go into another administration – which would be disastrous for the famous Scottish club.
So while Ashley is increasing his share of ownership at Rangers, his path has meant it had not helped to build the coffers to keep Rangers above water financially.
The Newcastle owner was unavailable for comment – but that’s hardly surprising because the last time he issued any statement directly to the Newcastle fans – his customers – was back in 2008 when he said he would try to sell the club.
Mike Ashley never says much at all, so you never know what he’s really thinking.
He was unsuccessful in selling Newcastle back in 2008, and 2009 after we were relegated, and since that time Newcastle United’s image in the football world has continued to decline, and we are now struggling at the bottom of the Premier League.
We often wonder why Mike Ashley thinks he should own a football club – he’s been so unsuccessful at (trying to) run Newcastle United over the last seven years.
You can follow us on our three social media sites below: