It seems that Mike Ashley is in a battle to get control of Rangers FC from Rangers board member Dave King, and a couple of former players don’t understand why Rangers fans are objecting to Mike Ashley coming in with his money and saving Rangers FC.
Mike Ashley – Newcastle United owner
Maybe they should study what Mike Ashley has done at Newcastle in seven years, and understand the significant frustration of Newcastle fans with Ashley, because he is not ambitious enough for Newcastle United and he basically runs the club as a bank – where money is (much) more important than the team.
This is what former captain Richard Gough has said today:
“Does it have to be that way?” “Is there no way these two businessmen can work together for the benefit or Rangers?”
“The Newcastle owner appears to have watertight retail contracts at Ibrox and is obviously out to make money.” “It’s in everyone’s best interests that Rangers are back in the Champions League as soon as possible.”
“I’m positive about that.” “He has a plan and will invest the cash if he gets the chance.” “Charles Green’s Rangers legacy has been handing over these lucrative contracts to Ashley.”
“The Englishman is not going anywhere and by calling for an emergency general meeting and trying to remove Graham Wallace, he’s clearly out to make his presence felt.”
And former Celtic player Davie Provan, who is now a pundit, also thinks that Mike Ashley would be able to help Rangers big time:
“Am I missing something with Mike Ashley?” “He wiped Newcastle’s debt out, handed them £130M interest free and backed Alan Pardew beyond reason.”
“Yet the billionaire’s money isn’t welcome at Ibrox?” “Sure, Ashley can see there’s money to be made from Rangers merchandising, but rich men usually want some bang for their buck.”
“At Man City, Sheikh Mansour bought the club and renamed the stadium just to promote Etihad Airlines.” “Try finding a City fan complaining.”
It’s not true that Mike Ashley wiped the debt out at Newcastle, since we owed about £130M and were paying interest to banks for that money – so the change is that we now owe Mike Ashley £130M – he hasn’t forgiven that debt and it’s still a loan Newcastle have with the owner.
Mike isn’t pushing for the loan to be paid off, and it’s true it’s a cheaper loan because he makes no interest on it, but in return he advertises Sports Direct all over St. James’ Park, and pays nothing to Newcastle United for that world-wide advertising.
And there’s just no way you can compare Sheikh Mansour with Mike Ashley.
Mansour, like Chelsea owner Abramovich before him, poured lots of his own money into the club – close to a billion pounds since August, 2008, and bought almost a whole team in his first year in charge, and City’s goal is to be the best club in Europe.
Mike Ashley is nothing like that, and after two years of ownership we were relegated to the second division, and basically Ashley uses Newcastle and St. James’ Park as a world-wide advertising vehicle for Sports Direct.
If you want to see what we mean by that, tune into any Premier League game at St. Jame’s Park, and the only thing you see are adverts all over the place for Sports Direct.
Ashley’s ambitions seem to be to keep Newcastle in the Premier League, so it can act as a world-wide advertising vehicle for his company – but we have no chance of competing for the top six in England these days, and we could be struggling against relegation (again) this season.
It’s true that Mike Ashley would see that Rangers would not go bankrupt again, but then he would need to own Rangers, and there are problems with owning two clubs who may compete with each other.
And there’s just no way Mike Ashley will sell Newcastle, with the next three year deal for the TV rights to the Premier League being estimated at over £4B – which means that more than half the clubs in the Premier League will earn over £100M each May.
Newcastle got £79.5M last May for finishing 10th in the PL last season on the current deal, and that money is estimated to go up by about one third for the next TV deal, which will kick in during the summer of 2016.
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