Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's 'profit' motive led to boardroom coup at Rangers

Mike Ashley felt that he could “run Rangers at a profit”, according to Dave King.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 6:00 am
Mike Ashley.

King has been speaking about Ashley’s involvement in the Scottish Premiership club after Steven Gerrard's side won the Scottish Premiership title for the first time in a decad

The former Rangers chairman led a successful boardroom coup to oust the Newcastle United owner in 2015 after a face-to-face meeting with the billionaire in London.

“I don’t think Rangers would ever have folded completely in the sense the supporter base is so large,” said King.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“My view just prior to becoming involved with the club, when I looked at the Easdale/Ashley axis, was that under their business model Rangers were never going to compete for honours again.

“I had a conversation with Ashley in London, and his view was that he could run Rangers at a profit. He could have done that – of course he could. If you have 50,000 fans willing to buy season tickets, then it was feasible.

“If you spend less than you earn, and you have a loyal customer base, then he could have made a profit, but Rangers would never have competed. Rangers at that stage were so far behind Celtic that it required major investment to play catch-up.

“My concern was that if we hadn’t found a way to unlock regime change, and bring in investors who had the same target of winning leagues and not making money, then I felt Rangers would become a senior junior club in Scotland. It would have become a one-team league.”

The PA news agency has contacted Ashley for comment.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor