Rangers board to snub Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s demand

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

Dave King’s Rangers board have urged shareholders to boot out Newcastle United chairman Mike Ashley’s demand for his £5m loan to be repaid.

The Ibrox outfit will hold a general meeting - the third in six months - on June 12 after Ashley called for shareholders to decide whether the club should repay the funds loaned to them by the Newcastle owner’s Sports Direct firm.

The latest exchange in an increasingly bitter war between the two sides also saw the billionaire tycoon - through Sports Direct’s parent company MASH Ltd - demanded answers on the club’s de-listing from the AIM Stock Exchange as well as the terms of a separate £1.5m loan issued by director Douglas Park and wealthy fans George Letham and George Taylor.

But now in a document outlining the board’s recommendations to stakeholders, the Gers directors claim they can ignore Ashley’s manoeuvrings - even if his resolution is passed.

The Rangers International Football Club PLC board statement says: “The Company has taken advice from Senior Queen’s Counsel on the terms of this Resolution and been advised that it would not, in any way, oblige the Directors legally.”

Ashley handed the previous Ibrox board the £5m loan back in January but used the opportunity to take security over club assets like Murray Park and its famous trademarks. He has also seized a 75 per cent share of the club’s retail income.

The Londoner is now mulling over an offer to address the GM a week on Friday,