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 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 SportsDirect.com 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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