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Scottish FA Steps In – Asks Ashley What’s Going On At Rangers

It was a weekend that Mike Ashley essentially took control of Rangers FC, as well as watching Newcastle United beat Tottenham 2-1 in London,  and the questions are now starting to be asked about what this means two years down the road,  if and when Rangers get back into the Champions League.

mike ashley hull cisse scored

Mike Ashley – asked to clarify his position

The rules at the moment are that two clubs cannot compete if they are owned by the same person – although the rules are not really clear at all.

The news coming through is that BBC Scotland are reporting the Scottish FA have already written to Rangers FC and the Newcastle owner seeking clarification on what exactly is going on at Rangers.

That’s a good question.

Former Newcastle Managing Director Derek LLambias is in Glasgow today, and is expected to be installed as the next CEO of the club – as Ashley essentially takes over control, after he was successful in getting the current CEO and Finance Director dismissed as part of his loan deal to the club

Mike owns less than 9% of Rangers and is not the biggest shareholder, but because of the terms of his £2M interest free loan to Rangers, he effectively has control of the club.

But how he can do this while owning Newcastle United is a good question, and it seems the Scottish FA want to know exactly what Ashley’s intentions are.

So do Newcastle and Rangers fans.

It seems the Newcastle owner is trying to take advantage of the murky rules about a person owning two football clubs in Europe.

Maybe his goal is to have Newcastle United as the world-wide advertising vehicle for his Sports Direct company via the very popular Premier League, which is shown around the world live.

And at the same time have Rangers FC as the advertising vehicle in Europe, when they compete in the popular Champions League.

That shouldn’t be allowed.

Mike has seized control of some of Rangers assets while the club is struggling to get back to the Scottish Premier League, and are short of money if they are to avoid another bankruptcy.

Going into administration would be disastrous for the famous Glasgow football club, so at the very least Ashley is taking advantage of Rangers’ plight at the moment.

What do you think?

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44 comments so far

  • Keith in France

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #1

    Stock Exchange rules state that the CEO postion must be open to more than one candidate and that the board must approve the suitability of that candidate.
    I guess with MA’s powerhold on Rangers it would be a surprise if Derek LLambias didn’t get the job.

  • lesh

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #2

    Read a Scottish Daily Record piece on the situation and nearly choked on my coffee at this particular paragraph:

    ‘When asked if Rangers fans should trust Mike Ashley, Llambias said: “Yes. Mike has a proven track record.”‘

    Oh yes, he’s got a proven track record all right!

    Best of luck Rangers, you’ll need it.

    But, Ed’s hypothosis that Ashley may wish to use us to promote SD in the UK and Rangers to do it in Europe, begs the question – wouldn’t it be cheaper to use one club for both?

    But no, Ashley doesn’t do risk anymore and thus wouldn’t want to risk Euro participation at the cost of relegation.

  • lesh

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #3

    Keith in France

    Oh you cynic.

    Interviews for the CEO position will be held as part of a totally objective, thorough and transparent procedure – then Llambias’ll be offered the job!

    Ashley intends to continue his management by [being seen to be] doing things by the book!

  • Graeme

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #4

    I would trust them both, about as far as I could throw them.

  • davetoon

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #5

    We all know what ‘interest free loan’ is code for.

    As much free advertising as you can stick in the ground!

  • chenz7

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #6

    he cant use rangers to advertse in the champs league (should rangers ever get back in) as you can only use c/l sponsors for advertising.

  • Novocastrian66

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #7

    Ashley would not be able to advertise his products within the ground, in the Champions League, according to UEFA rules. Only Champions League official sponsors products / brands can be displayed.
    The ground name is a different matter. He could change the name of Ibrox to skirt around that rule, however the name of the stadium is not beamed across the world throughout the game.

  • beermonkey

    Oct 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #8

    while I have a passing interest in what goes on at rangers I don’t really care
    I cant see it having any baring on us, as I cant see him selling us not only are we a great adverting board for his shops we know make money

    if we had an owner who looked at more than what he can get the relationship between the 2 clubs could be beneficial, whatever his reasons for buying them it will never benefit us

  • beermonkey

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #9


    you can say it a million times most don’t seem to be able to take it in

  • DubaiMicky

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #10

    “Mike has seized control of some of Rangers assets while the club is struggling to get back to the Scottish Premier League, and are short of money if they are to avoid another bankruptcy.”
    Isn’t that what business is all about, by low sell high? I’m no fan of Ashley but I can see his reasoning with Rangers.
    Chances of both of us being in the same competition in the next few years is virtually nil.

  • jimmysmith

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11

    “Scottish FA Steps In – Asks Ashley What’s Going On At Rangers”- as if there was some chance of getting a straight answer. Watch the Scottish FA rewrite the regulations regarding ownership, too little too late.

  • optimistic prime

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #12


    I’ve been thinking same thing, except the ground naming rights I can’t see any advantage for Ashley due to advertising rights in European comps.

    There’ll be something we’ve missed as he won’t be doing this for Rangers or NUFC bennifit.

    He’ll just ban the Scottish FA from Ibrox so he doesn’t have to answer their questions 😉

  • stuart no9

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #13

    you cant advertise SD during CL games but what CL does bring in is cash.
    Newcastle cant give him CL, they could, but he dosntb want to, the cost would be to great. Rangers cant give him the adverising luxury he has here, offset one against the other, he has a club (nufc) capable of financing some of the biggest stars on the planet to play for ?? yep, Rangers , he could turn rangers into onemof the biigest clubs in the world- at our cost. He hasnt bought Rangers to do exactly the same as what he is doing here., my guess is , he plans to make them big- win the CL,scoop the rewards winning the CL brings , but i think the most important thing to him is not the money it brings in – hes got plenty of that, but the affect it will have on SD , when the owner of a CL winning side also owns SD . That will have a massive, massive,impact on turning SD into a major world wide brand, bigger than any other sports brand will ever hope to acheive , and i believe this is just the start for SD. I really think Ashley wants to turn SD into a supplier of sports equipment just like addidas or puma , Nike. i think thats his goal . And whats stopping him from doing it ?

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #14

    He simply can’t own rangers as we could theoretically compete in the same euro comp (through league placing or cup win gaining entry). No matter how slim the chance they will be in the same comp there is still a chance.

    For example, he could own us both in 3rd divisions of a league but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t ever be in Europe as 3/4/5 years of investment could see us both in Europe and then you couldn’t force him to sell…so that’s why preventative measures are in place no matter how unlikely the two clubs will meet.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #15

    SD hasn’t benefited that much from advertising at St James’ it’s more the fact their was a global recession, people wanted cheap and he proved his competitors out of the market.

    Sure the free advertising does help, especially to promote world wide without huge advertising bills. But it’s not the only reason SD has kicked on so much.

    I just don’t get rangers, they need to operate at a loss to attract the quality they would need to be regulars in champions league group stages. Why would Ashley do this? Makes no sense…unless as he can’t own them it won’t be his loss, he’ll just get some benefits.

  • mag92

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Ashley now theoretically owns two of the biggest clubs in the far North, so something has to give and my money is on him selling up when Rangers are back in the Scottish premier league 2016.

  • optimistic prime

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #17


    Please no 🙁

    Hadn’t thought of that scenario

  • Blofal

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #18

    So it looks like Cisse, Riviere and Tiote won’t be fit for City. I would rest our players for Liverpool. Problem is we can’t rest our CB’s because we don’t have any!!

    So given that I would play

    Raylor – Colo – Saylor – Haidara
    ———- Abeid – Anita –
    –Obertan – Cabella – Aarons (if fit)
    ————Armstrong (Or Ferreyra)

    We are going to lose anyway. And we need to rest our first team because Liverpool are Vulnrable.

  • hibbit

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #19

    wor mike loves a bargain and thats what rangers are he cant and wont loose

  • stuart no9

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #20

    transfer —- why dosnt Ashley want us to win a cup ?? coz it could get us into europe. Why dosnt he want us no higher than 10th in league?? for fear of getting into europe. Ashley hasnt just decided now he wants to buy rangers , this has been part of an ongoing plan for years. Rangers has been part of the process for getting SD where he wants them to be . You say SD havnt beneffited that much from advertising ?? 7 years free advertising WORLD WIDE is something all companies , all industries would die for- the impact NUFC has had on SD is phenomenal..

  • cyprus

    Oct 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #21

    I’m guessing you weren’t involved with the business end over at IBM 🙂 How can he be using NUFC to promote SD, when all he gets is grief from the former? Has anyone you ever met outside of the UK associated NUFC with SD? They don’t do they 😉
    So, what is this guy up to then? Not sure but: First off, he must realise that PL clubs themselves are becoming gold dust these days, what with those gargantuan TV contracts. How much are NUFC worth these days?
    4 to 500?
    I personally don’t care what he’s up to up there, he’ll probably get around the rules, as he doesn’t actually own them. Long may he make more money, so that he can (if it pays him and he feels inclined) pump in more money in my team. I understand the passion to get rid, as he could and should be putting in more, but I don’t see any billionaires, apart maybe from Glazer-types in the USA, who understand teams as burger stands, i.e. franchises 🙂

  • cyprus

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #22

    “In the first half we were not good, but we managed to fix a couple of details at half-time, and we changed the game completely in the second half.”

    Perez quotes. Cheeky to be referring to Ober and Anita as a couple of details 😉

  • expatmag

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #23

    I can see him splashing Sports Direct logo across the shirts whilst not having to pay for the privledge. Rangers colours are the same as SD, arent they?

    Also expect him to rename Ibrox.

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #24

    Mr Tubbs certainly has showed his skill/ruthlesssness in “smashing” any opposition that stands in his way. Saw LLambias on the telly last night saying he was one of many candidates for the top job – yeh right – whilst under company law -they may have to have a choice of who is the boss – looks a dead cert who is going to b at the helm.
    Mr Tubbs -I’m positive he is not associated with football clubs because of his love of a team it is financial motives every time – whereas for most fans the love of their club would come first.
    In the business world Mr Tubbs can certainly twang the oppositions arses -well and truly.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #25


    Not saying they haven’t benefited, just don’t think it’s the main reason for their growth. Of course some advertising is good, but it would have been cheaper to buy advertising than buy a club.

    What I’m trying to say is that even if we don’t try for Europe he still can’t own two clubs/have strong influence in two clubs where their is even the smallest chance they could meet.

    Therefore unless he sells us he can’t own more than 10% in rangers and he is already being investigated about his loan to them which had conditions attached.

    So for me it’s great if he gets interested in rangers as might leave us, just personally think Newcastle gets him more publicity than rangers ever will.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #26

    Also on a side note

    5 years ago today Southampton were 22nd in league 1, with a Mr Pardew in charge. He left and they are now 2nd in the premier league.

  • Obertoe

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #27

    @ transfer sage: its possible to own multiple football clubs. Ie roland duchatelet. He owns standard de liege, charlton, alcorcon and a german team.
    Chances two of these teams are in the europa league are slim. But Standard is in the el every season and what if charlton win a cup?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #28

    SD will be on the front of Rangers shirts should they reach the CL. Simples !

  • Mag52

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #29

    With an investment of a fraction of the cost, Ashley could make Rangers into the Chelsea or Man.City of the Scottish premiership.
    Playing regularly in Europe, they will attract top players and the Rangers fans will have the privilege of seeing the likes of Messi, Bale and Ronaldo on a regular basis.
    This sort of exposure can only have a beneficial effect on his SD business.
    In the meantime we will have to put up with his penny pinching and developing good young talent for his Scottish team.
    There’s no reason why he would sell us as he’s getting so much revenue just so long as we remain in the premiership.
    The only blot on his horizon could be if the top Scottish teams ever resurrected the plan to join our premiership. Otherwise, plain sailing all the way to the bank for big Mike, as I see it.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m not sure about that, the level of advertising he gets with us would surely be about 10M a year, the money he is making from player sales, shirts, catering TV must be running into the millions now, all this ‘he’s not taking money out of the club, look at the accounts” do you think his accountants are the same standard as our coaches.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #31

    What you smokin’

  • optimistic prime

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #32
  • MacToon

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #33

    “I would like to address a question to Mr Ashley, please. I wonder if he could explain the benefits to Sports Direct in its relationship with Newcastle United and Rangers.”

    Ashley’s reply “Other than to say than it has been beneficial to Sports Direct and therefore its shareholders, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment.”

  • Belfast

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #34

    When asked if Rangers fans should trust Mike Ashley, Llambias said: “Yes. Mike has a proven track record.”


  • Belfast

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #35

    A proven track record of being an untrustworthy kernt

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #36

    See Owl Heed now appointed as consultant as opposed to CEO.More trickery by Tubbs.

  • Novocastrian66

    Oct 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #37

    I think Ashley wants the Rangers brand. He can splash their badge all over his cheap tat and sell it by the thousands, if not millions.
    There is no gaurantee Rangers would get in the Champions League proper. They may not get promoted to the SPL. He is after their name. He’ll still make a fortune no matter what league they are in.

  • optimistic prime

    Oct 28, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #38

    In the article I posted earlier Lambias claimed NUFC bought Demba Ba with money from renaming SJP the SD arena.

    At least their lies are transparent unfortunately it seems no one noticed them in the meeting.

  • Slank

    Oct 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #39

    There would be no conflict of interest if Ramgers and Newcastle ended up in the same European cup competition as Ashley does not own Glasgow Rangers unlike Newcastle.

  • mindshaft

    Oct 28, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #40

    Bizarre how Pards now things that after winning two games and playing poorly he is now in line for manager of the month again!!!

    I thought Colback was a decent player for the mackems but he’s looked almost useless under Pardew. who seems to think Colback is a deep lying defensive mid who should be breaking up play and hoofing it, he looks desperately out of place where Pards has asked him to play and is ultimately ruining his own career by doing so.

    For the mackems Colback played much further forward and often played the type of pass we saw on Sunday for the Ameobi goal – by playing him and tiote deep the gap between our forward and midfield is way too wide and opposing teams have a lot of space in front of our defensive line with which to use the ball and attack us.
    No f’in wonder our goal difference is so bad if we are relying on players out of position and the opposing teams inabiolity to get a shot on target ( as per Spuds on Saturday).
    Unfortunately none of this will sink in with Pardew and any player complaining about his style of football is ultimately relegated to the under 21 squad and deemed unprofessional ( HBA).

    We’ll probably stay up but mid table (lower?) is basically Pards and the boards ambition and he therefore will see no reason to change a style that is keeping the cash cow coming home


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