It’s hardly surprising that Rangers’ fans are upset at the antics of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, as he tries to get his hands on some of the assets of the Rangers football club, or is even maneuvering to eventually buy the famous Scottish powerhouse.
Mike Ashley – what’s his end game at Rangers?
Mike Ashley now owns close to 9% of Rangers, and that’s still less than the 10% allowed by the Scottish FA.
And only yesterday, Ashley’s investment company MASH called for an extraordinary general meeting to be held to remove Graham Wallace, the CEO, and Finance Director Philip Nash from the Board.
Those two blocked his attempt to get such assets as the club badge (crest) in return for a £10M loan which he offered back on Sept 12th.
Now the Union of Fans, the umbrella group for disenchanted supporters, has called upon the SFA to intervene.
This is statement the Union of Fans have issued:
“The move by Mike Ashley to grab power in the Rangers boardroom is extremely concerning.” “The SFA’s special dispensation, which allowed Mr Ashley to purchase up to 10 per cent of the club, was clearly designed to mirror UEFA rules on dual ownership.”
“These rules do not allow anyone to exert a ‘decisive influence’ over the decision-making of two clubs.” “There can be no more obvious attempt to exert ‘decisive influence’ over another club than to try to remove its executive directors.”
“Charles Green and the previous board, as placement for shareholders currently represented by Sandy Easdale, have already allowed Mr Ashley to plunder the club for onerous merchandise contracts and virtually free stadium naming rights. He also has full control of the club stores.”
“We firmly believe that it is Mr Ashley’s intention to now attempt to grab ownership of the club’s trademark rights including our name and badge. We believe he is deliberately attempting to hamper the efforts of others to invest in the club so that he can provide a loan on terms which will allow him to demand these trademark rights.”
“The SFA has a duty to Rangers to rigorously enforce both its own and UEFA rules on dual ownership. We believe Mr Ashley’s EGM call is a breach of those rules and we have written to the SFA calling on them to take appropriate action.”
That’s a good statement by the fans organization.
It is not known exactly what the end game for Mike Ashley is in his pursuit of Rangers – since he is not allowed to own two clubs that compete together.
Whether he can somehow legally get around that limitation is a good question, and that is what is very worrying to Rangers fans.
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