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  1. I never thought he really wanted to sell Newcastle? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11295462/Mike-Ashley-could-control-Rangers-and-Newcastle-United-within-weeks.html
  2. Some may have seen the article below, which is about the only real one out there on the topic since the Yahoos defeat in Zagreb: DR Along with this you get the typical IRA-machine gun salute ... ... and pleasing ACAB songs. As we know, it was not their fault. Back in Dundee it was the security running amok, the stewards did the same in Jamboland. The seats at Fir Park were simply not solid enough for a bit of enthusiasm and in Amsterdam it was the outright naughty Dutch Police. We'll see who will be blamed in Croatia. Now, did you get any big fuzz about this - as opposed to us when someone sung TBB in Eindhoven or the like? Have a look at "NewsNow Yahoo" and it is deep silent complete up to today ... NewsNow now NewsNow Page 2 NewsNow Page 3 (starting post game) (... do note that - as time goes on - these news will go back to page 4, 5 and so on)
  3. UoF Statement on Ally McCoist "We note the board’s announcement of Alistair McCoist’s resignation and the disclosure of Ally’s severance entitlement in their statement to the LSE this morning. Ally has made the correct decision to resign. Things have not gone well this season on the park, and off it he has seen the club decimated by the incompetents in the boardroom. They are ripping the heart and soul out of our club, laying off long serving, low paid staff to save a relative pittance and leave the club on the brink of hardly being able to operate. Rangers is a family and that family is being torn apart by this board. All this while Mr Llambias, Mr Somers and the other members of the board enjoy their salaries, expenses and freebies in hospitality despite contributing nothing. Mr Somers publicly defended the payoff to Brian Stockbridge and even, bizarrely, his performance. Mr Easdale publicly defended the payoffs to Charles Green and Imran Ahmad. Mr Easdale even made public statements which we believe assisted Imran Ahmad to secure a settlement he did not deserve. Despite this, they are now attempting to throw a club legend under a bus without even having discussed the terms of his severance with him. They were happy to line the pockets of people who have decimated Rangers but it would appear Ally McCoist, who as a player and employee has contributed more than they could ever dream of, is not worthy of even the courtesy of confidentiality in severance discussions. In our opinion, the salary given to Ally by Charles Green was too high. It was agreed pre administration when Rangers were a Champions League team but it should have been amended to a more realistic level. This is in common with the inflated salaries that Mr Green gave to all senior staff members including himself. Ally worked for nothing during administration to try and assist the club. He was alone in voluntarily reducing his salary last year when the true extent of the financial mismanagement by the board became apparent. We believe he did the right thing by reducing that salary by around 50%. In fact, his gesture should have meant that the lower paid employees at the club would be safe from the kind of cuts we have seen Derek Llambias implement in the past few weeks. We hope Ally will do the right thing and come to a solution that is beneficial to both him and club. By the club we mean the club and not this board or those who control them. We will not accept this board’s toxic spin and ham-fisted attempts to blacken the name of a club legend. We hope Ally can go with our best wishes and will remain Super Ally long after the names of the charlatans in this boardroom are mercifully forgotten."
  4. PSG v Chelsea Man City v Barca Juve v Dortmund Schalke v R Madrid Shakhtar v Bayern Arsenal v Monaco Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid Basle v Porto Not a bad draw. Only 2 ties (Real and Bayern) that look totally one-sided.
  5. The emergence of Mike Ashley as the key shareholder in Rangers has raised many questions on what his exact intentions are. Some are of the opinion that billionaire Ashley will invest millions into Rangers which sees us dominate Scottish Football and participate in the Champions League. The conflicting aspect of Ashley investing in Rangers is the fact he has complete control of the income generated by the sale of club merchandise and the £1 stadium naming rights, although denied in certain quarters as scaremongering, was only just revoked after pressure to comply with possible fiduciary duties. Why invest millions when he’s taking money out of the business?........... http://www.therst.co.uk/mike-ashley-what-are-his-intentions/
  6. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/299-an-open-letter-to-ally-mccoist Also available in the print edition of the Scottish Daily Mail (5/12/2014)
  7. ...in yet another dramatic day for the club. Sports Direct owner seems certain to strengthen his grip on Rangers as club lurch from one crisis to another...on and off the field. By Roddy Forsyth If an hour passes without some new development in the Rangers story — the most lurid saga to emerge from any British football club, ever — it counts as a quiet day. Scarcely had Telegraph Sport spread the overnight news that disgraced former owner, Craig Whyte, had been detained after being on the run in Mexico than we revealed that Uefa will not permit Rangers and Newcastle United to play together in Europe next season or for as long as Mike Ashley is in a position of power in both boardrooms. Of Ashley’s position and ambitions, more later. Neither the Champions League nor Europa League is foremost in Rangers fans’ minds. Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Hearts not only saw Ally McCoist’s players trail by nine points in the chase for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, but it also emphasised the contrast in form with their main divisional rivals. Hearts’ total of 38 points from their opening 14 games is their best start to a league campaign. Hibs, meanwhile, have run up five successive away league victories for the first time since September 1980. To say McCoist is under pressure is to say what? Unless he walks away — that loaded phrase in the context of Ibrox — there is not sufficient cash to pay him off. As matters stand, the club will have to rely on another bailout from Ashley just to keep them going beyond New Year. There is increasing talk around the Scottish game that Rangers are heading into administration again. Some discount the notion on the grounds that the consequent automatic points deduction would condemn Rangers to a fourth successive season of lower league football which, they believe, would run contrary to Ashley’s aim of increasing club merchandise sales though his Sports Direct retail chain. Related Articles A more arcane theory has it that Ashley would accept administration as a short-term hit because it would shake out other contracts and allow him, as a major creditor, to bid for the club on the cheap. There is a third, more plausible option. Ashley’s lawyers are engaged in a low-key, but crucial positional battle with the Scottish Football Association. Ashley’s people want to find a way for him to increase his shareholding at Ibrox and Telegraph readers will remember that the idea of him taking his stake up to almost 27 per cent was floated in September. The SFA signed a binding agreement with Ashley, anchored in their Articles of Association, designed to keep him at 10 per cent or below. However, as money repeatedly runs out at Ibrox, Ashley either gets to increase his grip through security on the assets, with the SFA watching impotently, or he holds back, knowing that Scottish football’s governing body could be put in the invidious position of taking the blame for another insolvency event. And all of this is played out against a background of dawn swoops by police in southern England, as they arrest the former Rangers company secretary and three managing directors of Duff & Phelps, the company that oversaw Rangers’ administration in 2012. How tempting it is to conjure the fantasy that a posse of gun-toting Federales bore down on Whyte at the Mexican airport, to be greeted with a demand to show their ID, only for them to yell the immortal misquote from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: “We don’t need no’ stinking badges!” Remember Ashley’s condition for advancing the soft loan that was rebuffed by the Rangers plc board in September? The club crest and trademark? Somebody does need the badges – and it looks unlikely that anybody can or will stop him now. Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed Telegraph Sport's disclosure last month that the club would post losses of over £8 million in the accounts for the year to June 30, 2014. The figure given when the accounts were posted on the club’s website was £8.3 million. David Somers, the Rangers chairman, commented "…challenges still remain and despite additional financing having been secured over the year, further funding is necessary to ensure the club's ability to move forward successfully to achieve the goals we all seek and expect of Rangers Football Club. "To this end the board will be seeking shareholder approval at the forthcoming AGM to issue additional shares to ensure maximum flexibility for the company to raise equity finance and provide the financial capability required to develop the club in the longer term.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11259511/Mike-Ashleys-Rangers-swoop-overshadows-Craig-Whyte-dawn-raids-in-yet-another-dramatic-day-for-the-club.html
  8. Union Bears As you will know, the group took the very difficult decision back in May not to renew our season tickets due to the selfish, malicious and borderline illegal actions of our club’s current and previous incumbents. This was a decision echoed by nearly 15000 season ticket holders and the crowds at Ibrox so far this season have reflected the feeling of many Rangers supporters. We watched with hope and expectation as Dave King submitted his £16 million offer of funding in exchange for a majority stake in the club. We then watched with resignation but not shock as Mike Ashley and his friends within the Board room blocked this move and instead pushed through Ashley’s £2 million emergency loan secured against Rangers assets and on the premise of complete Board control. Like all other supporters, we wanted a clean break from people like Charles Green and his murky investors, but it is clear this isn't going to happen. It therefore brings us to a crossroads, as a group and as individuals. Mike Ashley has his grip firmly on the throat of our beloved club and nothing and nobody will make him remove it, as has been demonstrated in his time in charge of Newcastle Utd. It has thrown up a pertinent question which must be answered by not only us but every Rangers fan. Do we maintain our boycott for potentially years in the hope that someone saves us? Or do we elect to support the team on the park and explore other ways of enforcing change at Rangers? After much discussion we have elected to follow the latter path. As of 03/01/2015 we will be returning to the stands on a permanent basis. This is not a gesture of support for those now in charge of our club, nor is it an admission of defeat. It is simply a change of tactic. As a passionate group of supporters whose best attributes lie in what we achieve in and around the stadium on a matchday, we feel hamstrung by our absence and therefore the group needs to go back to being present within Ibrox. We have tried to boycott, to fall in line with other fan groups who have done their level best to encourage change within the club. But in reality all that has taken place over these past few months is a strengthening of Mike Ashley, Sandy and James Easdale, David Somers and many others’ positions within Rangers. It’s the sorry truth. We would like to make it clear that we will not be attending the League Cup semi final as a group, and feel it would be wrong to take tickets ahead of fans who have been attending games on a weekly basis. As we won't be attending as a group, it will make it impossible for us to pull off a display. We would therefore ask all Rangers fans to do their bit by making our end as colourful as possible, with flags, banners, streamers and anything else they can. We will however be planning more displays between now and the end of the season, and look forward to bringing some noise and colour back to Ibrox. Although we return to Ibrox on a permanent basis we won’t be doing so as supporters of the regime. Yes our money will be going towards their bonuses and onerous contracts in the short term, but the Union Bears will throw our weight behind another path towards long term change and that is fan ownership, and more specifically Rangers First. Rangers First is a Community Interest Company which was established at the beginning of this year with very simple goals; to gather together the financial clout of the Rangers support, purchase shares in the club and ultimately put it back in the hands of those who matter. Rangers First already owns over 500’000 shares in RIFC (roughly 0.6%) without any real offline publicising. As a group we hope to support them in the ways that we do best as they move forward towards greater awareness and support for fan representation and ownership. Of course we urge all those who stood with us in BF1 over the years to ask themselves the same question we did and decide what the future holds for you with regards to match attendance. But we will not try and influence your decision in any way. It’s an individual’s choice to make. What we do urge every singly Rangers supporter to do is visit http://www.rangersfirst.org, learn about the initiative and sign up. Put the money you used to spend on Rangers merchandise and funding Ashley's empire of zero hour contracts into something worthwhile. The strength of our support should not be measured or remembered by how many of us turn up at Ibrox or elect to stay away in protest, but rather by the lengths we will go to right the wrongs of those before us and stand shoulder to shoulder with one common goal; delivering the Rangers we all deserve. We owe it our children and grandchildren. If you would like to join the group in BF1 for the second half of the season then please send the following details to transfers@unionbears.co.uk or as a message to the Union Bears Facebook page: Full Name: Address: Date Of Birth: Contact Number (Mobile & Landline): Rangers Number: Do you have a season ticket already? (Yes/No): Union Bears
  9. Newcastle and Rangers will not be able to play in Europe together next season because Uefa have confirmed Newcastle United and Rangers will not be allowed to play in Europe together, even if they qualify for different competitions, because of Mike Ashley’s involvement in the running of both clubs. Ashley’s seizure of power at Ibrox means Newcastle may never play in Europe again while he remains the club’s owner, a depressing prospect for supporters who believe the team should be challenging for European qualification every year. Although Ashley responded to a story by Telegraph Sport back in September, that revealed he wanted to take control of Rangers, with a statement denying he intended to sell Newcastle, the billionaire has got himself into a tricky situation by expanding his football interests north of the border. Ashley insisted he will not sell Newcastle for “any price” until the end of next season, which is also, unless they win the Scottish Cup this season, the earliest Rangers can qualify for Europe again. Given Ashley has repeatedly failed to find a buyer for Newcastle, though, it is far from certain he will be able to sever ties at St James’ Park. It is understood Ashley misjudged Uefa’s strict rules ensuring the integrity of their competitions. Although he only holds around nine per cent of Rangers shares, he has appointed his own people, including former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias, to the Rangers board in return for financial assistance. Uefa have told Telegraph Sport that means Ashley has enough power in the Rangers boardroom to ensure they cannot be allowed to play in Europe at the same time as Newcastle. Should one team qualify for the Champions League, the other would be prevented from playing in the Europa League as they could meet in the knockout phase of the competition. If both teams qualify for the same competition, the one with the higher Uefa co-efficient ranking would be allowed to enter at the expense of the other. As things stand, Newcastle are ranked 65 and Rangers are down at 101. In the short term, it is Rangers who will suffer as they have the lower ranking. In the long term, Rangers have a far greater chance of playing in the Champions League than Newcastle, which would mean the Magpies would not be allowed to compete in the Europa League, even if they won a domestic cup competition or finished fifth or sixth in the Premier League. Newcastle are currently fifth in the Premier League following six successive victories by Alan Pardew’s side and a top-six finish would secure them a place in the Europa League for next season. It could be the last time they play in Europe until Ashley finds a buyer. Given Ashley’s interest in Rangers was largely sparked by the possibility he could, with a relatively small investment, gain access to the Champions League and increase the European exposure for his Sports Direct Retail chain, it means Newcastle face an uncertain future. The billionaire has already been widely accused of paralysing Newcastle with his lack of ambition. Most supporters believe he is only interested in keeping the club in the Premier League in order to access the television money it brings, rather than challenge for silverware. The idea that Newcastle will also be denied access to European competitions once Rangers have regained their former status in Scotland will incense many on Tyneside. Both Rangers and Newcastle responded with a “no comment” when asked by Telegraph Sport for a reaction to Uefa’s stance. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/foo...ke-Ashley.html
  10. Oh dear!, another humping in Europe:laugh: But the c*nts still get through:swear:
  11. NEIL Lennon has revealed how sectarian “chaos and madness” left him exhausted and influenced his decision to quit Celtic. The former Parkhead boss said he was worn down by a *series of high-profile off-field incidents during his 11 years as player and manager at the *Glasgow club. During his time in Scotland, he was attacked by a Hearts fan at a game at Tynecastle and assaulted while out in the West End of Glasgow. Lennon, 43, was also sent bullets in the post and suffered a number of death threats. He stood down in the summer and has taken up a new role as manager of English Championship side Bolton Wanderers. In an interview, he said: “I don’t want to paint a bad picture because it’s fantastic up there from a football point of view. But it does wear you down in the end. “Maybe it was the chaos and the madness catching up with me, but I just felt desperately tired. When I was younger, I was able to have the energy and courage to get through it. “When I was getting bullets through the post and all that, I had good people of intelligence in the background who were looking after me. But in the end I was exhausted emotionally. “It all caught up with me. I needed a change of scenery. Did it change me as a person? Not really, no. “Did it have an effect on me? I think at times it did. Now I’m out of it, do I miss the intensity? Sometimes, yes. We live off that. “But I am loving what I am doing now. I can concentrate on the management and the football rather than the other stuff.” Lennon replaced Tony Mowbray at Parkhead in 2010 and as well as leading the club to three successive Scottish Premiership successes, he has also helped Celtic claim two Scottish Cup wins and masterminded their run to the last 16 of last season’s Champions League. In his new role at Bolton, he has won four of his first six games and admits it’s a “whole new challenge” for him. The former midfielder accepts he was “no angel” at Celtic but insisted he didn’t deserve the vitriol and has told of his anger that people in Scotland refuse to accept the abuse he was getting was sectarian in nature. He said: “At times I didn’t do myself any favours. But did I get a fair crack of the whip? No. “Some of what was said about the difficulties I had was irresponsible. I found it personal. People wouldn’t come out and say my treatment was sectarian. “They said I brought it on myself. They hid behind that *because they didn’t want to admit it. But it was sectarian in the stadiums. “People say, ‘He brings it on himself… he is an aggressive manager’. But so are some other managers. So are some players. I was high-profile, I came for a lot of money as a player. For me, my job was being part of Martin O’Neill’s team and to break the Rangers monopoly. We did that. “Nobody else had to go through situations and circumstances like I have been through. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it. You would hope that all the nonsense that *happened to me would serve as a watershed. “The anticipation and the *rivalry in Glasgow will probably never tire. There is part of me that misses it but a bigger part of me that doesn’t.” http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/neil-lennon-sectarian-abuse-triggered-celtic-exit-1-3611120
  12. A minute's applause will precede Scotland's friendly against England on Tuesday in tribute to the Scotland fan who died following their victory over the Republic of Ireland on Friday. Nathan McSeveney, 20, died when he fell in a Celtic Park stairwell. Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: "We have all been extremely saddened. "It is fitting that Scotland supporters have an opportunity to pay tribute to one of their own at Celtic Park." The tribute was announced after consultation with McSeveney's family, from Cumnock in Ayrshire.
  13. Gribz

    Ally's CV

    A super legend as a player but why is he allowed to still be manager....1 or 2 results could be swept under the carpet but the following shows he isn't the man. Peterhead 2-2 Rangers Berwick 1-1 Rangers Annan 0-0 Rangers Stirling 1-0 Rangers Rangers 1-1 Elgin Rangers 1-1 Montrose Stirling 1-1 Rangers Rangers 1-2 Annan Rangers 0-0 Stirling Montrose 0-0 Rangers Rangers 1-2 Peterhead Rangers 1-1 Stranraer Rangers 3-3 Stenhousemuir Raith 1-0 Rangers (cup final) Forfar 2-1 Rangers Rangers 1-1 Albion Rangers 1-3 Dundee Utd Brora Rangers 1-1 Rangers Ventura Fusion County (no laughing at the back please) 3-1 Rangers Rangers 1-2 Hearts Alloa 1-1 Rangers Rangers 1-3 Hibs Rangers 1-1 Alloa
  14. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/rangers-investors-sandy-james-easdale-4597710
  15. Ally McCoist will be given a £10 million January transfer budget, courtesy of controversial Mike Ashley. Ashley has all but confirmed he will front the funds, with an Ibrox source telling us the board have been told to "use the funds effectively to push the team through to a cup final and back to the Premier League." The source said the decision was highly influenced by Ashley's close friend & Ibrox adviser Derek Llambias, who believes committing these funds to the club will not only strengthen the team, but strengthen Ashley's position with Rangers supporters.
  16. Algeria and Fujairah captain would love to finish his career at Ibrox. Fujairah: Algeria and Fujairah captain Madjid Bougherra says he dreams of playing one more game for former club Glasgow Rangers before he retires. The 32-year-old defender is currently languishing in the lower half of the UAE’s Arabian Gulf League with Fujairah, having joined from Qatar’s Al Lekhwiya in the summer. But he says he dreams of returning to Scotland’s Rangers, with whom he won five titles in four years before they sold him in 2011, when the club went into liquidation. Rangers were forced to re-enter Scottish football in the fourth division, but they have since secured back-to-back promotions and are currently first in the second tier with a return to the top flight seemingly imminent. “I was really upset when they went down because they didn’t deserve it,” the former fans’ favourite told Gulf News. “But I’m really not afraid for them now. “They have beautiful fans who will follow them everywhere. I’m confident they will get back in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) and be back in the Uefa Champions League very soon.” Of his dream of signing off his career at Ibrox, Bougherra, who played for Rangers between 2008 and 2011, winning three league titles and the Scottish Cup and League Cup, added: “To finish my career there would be unbelievable. “Rangers is a huge part of my career, this club gave me the opportunity to play at the highest level and enabled me to show my talent to the world. “My target is to finish my career there, just one more game would be enough for me, but if I can help them with my experience for a season, or even half a season, and finish my career at Ibrox, it would be a dream. We will see if it’s possible, from today I am still in good touch with them.” http://gulfnews.com/sport/football/madjid-bougherra-eyes-last-hurrah-with-glasgow-rangers-1.1409573?
  17. Seven members of the Green Brigade group of Celtic fans are to stand trial next month charged with singing a pro-IRA song. They are alleged to have behaved in a way that "is likely or would be likely to incite public disorder" by singing the Roll of Honour at Celtic Park. Paul Duke (38), Ross Gallagher (30), Christopher Bateman (29) David Gallacher (23), Sean Cowden (22), Kieran Duffy (19) and Greg Robertson (29) are charged with the offence. Duke and Gallagher, both of East Kilbride, Bateman, of Irvine, Gallacher, of Glasgow, Cowden, of Rutherglen and Duffy, of Coatbridge, are accused of singing the song at the Champions League qualifier match at a Celtic against Elfsborg match on July 31, 2013. Gallagher, Bateman and Robertson, also of Glasgow, are accused of singing the song at a league match against Ross County on August 3 last year. Robertson faces the same allegation along with Gallacher in connection with match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on August 24 last year. The case against all seven - who plead not guilty - today called for a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court. They were ordered to return for trial, which is set to start next month. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/u/seven-green-brigade-members-face-trial-over-pro-ira-song.1414595076
  18. Some words on recent events from yours truly via TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/330-the-fog-on-the-clyde
  19. THE WAR is over. The retailer has won. This morning Graham Wallace will be fired from his position as Rangers chief 
executive and this crisis-ravaged club will belong lock, stock and smoking barrel to Mike Ashley. Quite what Ashley has planned for it is still a matter of conjecture but the ruthless manner in which he went about last week’s power grab certainly suggests he wants it badly and also sees a way to make a killing by rolling his tanks into Glasgow. He now has security over two 
of the club’s major assets, the 
Albion car park and Edmiston House, and when his placemen arrive in the boardroom this week he’ll have grabbed this club firmly 
by the throat. As with everything Rangers, Ashley’s arrival on the scene will be spun in a variety of ways. The dark arts were evidenced 
over the weekend when it was leaked that, without his intervention, this basketcase would have gone bust within 48 hours. There were even muffled whispers from the shadowy sidelines Ashley had in fact ‘saved the club’ but the very notion the Newcastle United chairman had ridden to Rangers rescue in some sort of philanthropic or heroic act is completely absurd. In many ways, what actually went on amid increasingly frantic 
discussions on Thursday and Friday was a throwback to May 2011 when Sir David Murray invited Craig Whyte to trigger this omnishambles and set in action the catastrophic chain of events that has now led to Ashley’s increased involvement. That deal was a great bit of 
business for Whyte and for Lloyds Bank in particular – the £18million they recouped from the sale remains the outstanding trade of the last three and a half chaotic years – but it was a spectacularly awful one for the Ibrox club. Similarly, by taking control of Rangers for the price of a £2m loan, every penny of which will be paid back, Ashley has pulled off a serious coup in more ways than one. This is why he is known as the biggest beast in the jungle but even the Newcastle owner must be laughing up the sleeve of his safari suit at the way in which he managed to pull this one off. It was typically bold and eye poppingly aggressive and it included issuing the remnants of the Rangers board with threats of legal action both collectively and individually, should they turn him down in favour of a £3m loan from Brian Kennedy. Each of these directors was warned of potentially devastating repercussions should Ashley not get his way and as a result Rangers is his now to do with as he wishes. And all for less than the cost of a Sports Direct poly bag. It was an extraordinary stunt and it’s no wonder Sale Sharks owner Kennedy left Glasgow on Saturday still unsure as to how on earth the dysfunctional Rangers board – a collection of directors who have run the business into the ground – could allow it to happen in spite of his impassioned pleas. The farce began with the rejection of Dave King’s £16m bailout offer by the mysterious bloc of shareholders whose 26 per cent voting rights are represented by Sandy Easdale. On Thursday CEO Wallace, who knew his £300,000-a-year neck was now well and truly on the line, reached out to Kennedy and pleaded with him to make a counter offer. Kennedy worked through the night with his legal team to come up with his £3m offer, dependent only on him being allowed to place one man on the current board. He flew to Glasgow at lunchtime on Friday in the hope of getting the deal done. Kennedy was wasting his jet fuel. Not one of these directors was even at Ibrox on the day it was determined Ashley should be handed the keys. The fact all these discussions were held via conference call, underlines how little feel for the club these men have. Wallace headed for a beach in Greece despite being urged by at least two key protagonists to 
postpone his holiday for 24 hours. Finance director Philip Nash went one better by resigning and washing his hands of the entire Ashley v Kennedy showdown. That Nash threw in the towel is an indication he suspected the game was up and that another director, Laxey’s lackey Norman Crighton, had jumped camps at the last minute. Crighton had voiced his concern at Ashley’s move and had even said the Cockney must be stopped ‘at all costs’ but he performed a 180-degree turn at the last minute to leave Kennedy’s proposal in tatters. Chairman David Somers is another who may have cause to be persecuted by his own conscience. At least Nash had the principle to resign from his £1,000-a-day post. While Wallace was clinging on for dear life for his pay-off, Nash wanted no part of it and this included telling Ashley’s people he was unwilling to work for their man in the event he was successful. Having previously called for the removal of Nash and Walllace, Ashley had a change of heart. It’s understood he wanted Nash on board after crediting him with making £5m worth of cuts since February. One of those cuts was to a contract worth in excess of £100,000-a-year to Ashley’s own PR firm Keith Bishop Associates. This agreement was done as part of the £1 stadium naming rights deal Ashley agreed with Charles Green and which was signed off by Imran Ahmad – who then sued Rangers for £300,000 in bonuses for all of his good work. Deals like these are precisely why Rangers should brace itself for the full impact of Ashley’s arrival. He already pockets 49 per cent of all income from merchandise sales but may think this arrangement can be tweaked and improved in his favour. With two of his men on the board, a compliant chairman and confirmed allies in James Easdale and Crighton, he can do pretty much as he pleases. The only comfort in any of this for the Rangers supporters is to be found in the depth of Ashley’s pockets. He will not allow this club to go under, that much is certain. But from here on in Rangers will be run his way and for his benefit. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/keith-jackson-mike-ashleys-rangers-4515761
  20. By Chris McLaughlin & Richard Wilson BBC Scotland Rangers were 48 hours from going into administration until a £2m loan was agreed with Mike Ashley, according to one senior Ibrox source. Prospective administrators had been contacted by the Ibrox club. Newcastle owner Ashley put forward a financial package, which includes the option of a new share issue, on Friday and it was agreed on Saturday morning. And, as part of the agreement, chief executive Graham Wallace will follow director Philip Nash in stepping down. The arrangement could be finalised early next week. English businessman Ashley, who owns 8.29% of the Glasgow club's shares, had called for the removal of Nash and Wallace as part of his offer. Under Scottish FA agreement Ashley is not allowed boardroom influence or a shareholding of more than 10%. But his possible underwriting of a share issue could take his stake above that threshold if there is not enough buy-in from other investors. An alternative option could be further loans. The SFA plan to write Rangers next week seeking clarification on the loan agreement with Ashley. Rangers need a financial injection to cover wages beyond November and Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy became a surprise latecomer in the battle for control with a funding package offer of his own. In response to the news that Ashley's offer had been accepted by the board, Kennedy said he was "disappointed for Rangers" but would not be commenting further. Former director Dave King had also offered fresh funding to Rangers but could not agree a deal following talks with key shareholder Sandy Easdale and the board. Before returning to his South African business base on Thursday, King issued a statement saying that his group's offer remained on the table and that he was hopeful it would be accepted. Ashley, who already has control of Rangers' shirt sales and retail division and owns the naming rights for Ibrox Stadium, refused to back King's proposal. Sandy Easdale, who controls a 26% block of shares, also declined to agree to King's proposals. While Ashley is demanding two representatives on the board, King also wanted to choose its chairman. Nash, the former Arsenal and Liverpool executive, had been employed as a financial consultant by Rangers before joining the board in July. Wallace, currently on a family holiday in Greece, and Nash had been supportive of the bid by King's group, which includes fellow Scottish businessmen George Letham and Paul Murray. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29761396
  21. Mike Ashley moves into pole position to take control at Ibrox as Dave King bid fails http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-power-battle-mike-ashley-4499365
  22. Mike Ashley has been energised by the battle for Ibrox in a way that he never has by challenge of making Newcastle United competitive. On Saturday afternoon Newcastle United have their eighth crack at winning a Premier League match this season. If they swing and miss, it will be their longest winless run in the Premier League era: worse than the ill-starred 2008/9 relegation season and more desperate than the year that brought Sir Bobby Robson to Tyneside. Throw into the mix an undercooked team light on experience of a relegation battle and there can be little doubt that this is a time for minds to be focused. Even at this early stage survival appears the priority, but that cannot be taken for granted. And where is Mike Ashley? The owner’s scrutiny is not trained on the lame duck manager who is only ever one defeat away from losing further ground with a sceptical support but instead it is in a messy, protracted and potentially long-running takeover of Rangers. The Newcastle owner blew his own cover on Ibrox weeks, months or even a year or so ago. By dodging the share issue and banning a journalist who had speculated on his intentions towards Rangers, he tried the owner’s equivalent of an Ali shuffle – but the knockout punch has not yet been delivered. Rangers is going to be a slow burner for Ashley. Unlike Newcastle – where he found an owner willing to make a quick sale – there are messy and protracted battles to be fought at Ibrox with groups who are not going to relinquish their grip on a potential goldmine anytime soon. The motivation for investing in a fallen club that needs plenty of work is the promise of a potential route into the Champions League. Ashley’s mistakes have made that path impossible for Newcastle for a generation or so, but Rangers’ size and the impoverished standard of the competition give him a chance north of the border. And the Champions League gives him even greater profile than the Premier League in a sportswear market that he fancies a crack at: Europe. There are obstacles to be vaulted, of course: not least rules that state he cannot own majority stakes in clubs in both Scotland and England. But that is a hurdle to be clambered over when the time comes: the important thing is to elbow out the other prospectors sifting through the wreckage at Ibrox. Rangers is time-consuming for Ashley. It has caused him to take his eye off the ball at Newcastle and the consequences of that could yet be catastrophic for a club that appears rudderless, leaderless and entirely without hope at the moment. Ashley gutted Newcastle of people who would answer back to him. Managing director Lee Charnley owes his career to Ashley, and is hardly likely to stand up to him. We all know that Pardew will acquiesce if required. That is the way the owner wanted it – him dipping in and out of Newcastle when it suited him. Ever since Rangers became a serious interest for him, the dynamic has changed. Ashley may be more visible at Newcastle – naming himself as chairman over the course of this year – but he has not been as involved as he was before. A source I spoke to said his greatest hope was that people would run it for him, keeping it ticking along for a while. He simply doesn’t have time for Newcastle anymore. There is a shiny new toy north of the border and the fight for control at Ibrox has energised him much more than the battle to make Newcastle United competitive has. And what is unfolding north of the border is very, very messy indeed. For those still in any doubt, it is worth taking a quick journey through the coverage of Ashley’s actions north of the border. Festering worry about his intentions has given way to outright disgust at the way he has operated in the last couple of months. Just like he has with Tesco and Debenhams, Ashley has struck at a moment of weakness. That is savvy strategy from a sharp businessman, but it doesn’t mean that Rangers fans should be happy about what is happening. Not that many are, despite claims from a couple of Old Firm icons this week that Ashley might be the man to return the club to its perch. The Daily Record’s Michael Gannon wrote a withering editorial two weeks ago challenging that belief: capturing the scorched earth policy of Ashley and his unquestioning acolytes perfectly. Warning that sometimes the devil you know can be worse than the devil you don’t, he wrote: “He is simply out to bag a quick buck at Rangers.” It is a familiar theme when the subject of Ashley and the Ibrox club are brought up: money is the reason he is hanging around. Not necessarily money that will be made directly off the club’s success but more the reflected perks of owning an institution that can reasonably challenge for the Champions League in a couple of seasons with pretty minimal investment. Gannon summed up his latest power play in a couple of damning sentences. “He could have sunk in money at last month’s share issue and it would have gone to the club,” he wrote. “Instead he waited and bought out Hargreave Hale. It strengthened his position and rubbed the board’s face in it after they refused to cave in to strict demands in return for a loan.” It is Ashley to a tee. Stubborn, obstinate and looking entirely after number one. The worry is that Newcastle United’s Premier League status will become collateral in the battle for Newcastle United. http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-become-collateral-damage-7943767
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