Ashley Increases Rangers Loan – Gives Up Naming Rights

There’s news that Mike Ashley has increased his initial £2M emergency loan to Rangers by a further £1M, to help the club through their financial commitments until the end of this year.

lee charnley and mike ashley

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley at Newcastle

The Rangers Board has accepted the additional loan amount, which was officially given by MASH Holdings – his own investment company.

Rangers are now suffering with poor attendances at Ibrox, and that has made the financial situation even worse.

The Board has also just announced that Sports Direct have given up their naming rights to the famous Ibrox Stadium, which they bought for £1 a few months ago.

A statement today on Rangers FC investment website read as follows:

“The Board of Rangers announces that MASH Holdings Limited (“MASH”) has agreed to increase the £2M credit facility (the “Facility”) announced on 27 October with The Rangers Football Club Limited (“RFCL”).

“MASH shall make available the additional sum of £1M for drawdown by the Company on November 26, 2014. All other terms remain the same.”

“During the Autumn, the Club has suffered from lower than expected match attendance which has exacerbated the financial condition of the business.”

“The Directors have begun a cost cutting exercise, but further working capital in addition to the Facility will be needed before the end of the year.”

This is what Rangers FC have said about the naming rights:

“The Board of Rangers is pleased to announce that Rangers Football Club Limited has entered into a partnership marketing agreement with Retail Limited (“Sports Direct”) in which Sports Direct has given up its naming rights to the Ibrox Stadium.”

“The agreement consolidates existing marketing arrangements between the parties and results in a more normalized retail joint venture marketing arrangement in which Sports Direct will continue to have certain advertising rights.”

David Somers is the current Executive Chairman, and he had this to say about the developments:

“This agreement has been concluded to demonstrate the importance both parties place on our relationship. The Rangers Board welcomes this visible demonstration of the Sports Direct support and long term commitment to Rangers.”

Rangers are getting into more financial and commercial deals with Mike Ashley and his company Sports Direct, and there;s a reference there from Somers to a long term commitment and that’s what scares some Rangers fans.

And yesterday Rangers shareholders wrote to the stock exchange and asked for an investigation into Mike Ashley’s involvement with the Scottish club.

The former Managing Director at Newcastle United, Derek Llambias, has been appointed recently as a Non-Executive Director at the club, and the Newcastle owner has tightened his grip on the Scottish powerhouse, and now essentially controls the Scottish club.

The question people are asking is what is Mike Ashley’s end game is with Rangers, because since owns Newcastle United, he has been limited to owning no more than 10% of Rangers by the Scottish FA.

He owns just less than 10% now, but has recently maneuvered his way into controlling the Scottish club.

But exactly what his aims are longer term for the club, when he currently owns Newcastle outright, are not clear at this point.

Mike Ashley started Sports Direct way back in 1982, with his first store opening in Maidenhead, followed by others in and around the London area.

And from those small beginnings Sports Direct is now the UK’s largest sporting retailer, and now operates over 500 stores worldwide.

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9 comments so far

  • gazza85

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #1

    Following on from previous thread r.e Europa League.

    The competition is winnable and although it, itself, may not be too financially rewarding it does offer the winners a place in the Champions League as of this season… if that’s not worth pursuing then I don’t know what is especially when we can realistically hit the knockout stages with only fielding kids/squad players.

  • Average_Contents

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #2


    Surely with the appointment of owl heed onto the board(with another to come) owning the retail arm and loans secured against 2 structures, fatty has a decisive influence over the rangers boardroom? Over a barrel so to speak.

    The agreement he struck with the Scottish FA stipulated that his ownership should not exceed 10% or have undue influence on the board or the day to day running of the club even by proxy.

    Clearly by having the option of two appointments on the board one of which has been filled by his very good friend Llambias (who no doubt will say Ashley who?) this has been ignored.

    Amazing what people can get away with nowadays isn’t it!

  • Average_Contents

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #3


    Spot on mate.

    Finally the incentive is their for clubs to look upon the europa as something of value.

    The only problem is, fatty will still be reticent to qualify as no doubt he’s aware what happened last time with our threadbare squad, spend is a must if we want to kick on in the league and europa. I just can’t see him doing it.

    Shame as it seems our only genuine chance of getting anywhere near the champions league.

  • davetoon

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Why cant Sports Direct sign a damn commercial marketing agreement with us instead of just taking advantage

  • Slank

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #5

    I find it very odd that Glasgow Rangers, the biggest club in Scotland alongside Celtic with a huge fan base worldwide, needs £1 million which seems such a paltry amount in the greater football financial scheme of things when some EPL players earn the same amount each month.

    Have Rangers fallen that low that they have to publically knowledge that they have accepted £1 million ?

  • jimmysmith

    Nov 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #6

    I think if we did qualify for Europe, that Ashley of course would not want a repeat of the last debacle where we made it to the later stages and nearly got relegated. Even so, we could have won that competition there and then with a little more luck. So if we qualified again, you would expect we’d be better prepared. Also, we do have a deeper squad already. You could pick two competitive 11’s out of a fully fit squad, without playing Gouffran, Williamson or Anita for example. And finally, the last time we were in it, they were on record as saying it had come too early, while now we are that much more financially stable, so there would quite conceivably actually be a kitty to strengthen already in place without Ashley having too fork out his own.

    One final thing, and this pure speculation, Ashley by this time, might feel a genuine sense of obligation to the club and fans to actually have a go, if it were a more affordable pursuit, in his eyes.

  • lesh

    Nov 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #7

    Good to read that the loan officially given to Rangers by MASH Holdings comes from a company which takes Newcastle United profits!

    We’re indirectly keeping Rangers afloat!

  • scout

    Nov 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #8

    Always liked Rangers maybe we could loan them a few players.

  • ToonMatt

    Nov 12, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #9

    The sooner this parasite goes the better!


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