Ashley fait accompli


Tuesday’s Telegraph suggested Mike Ashley is about to increase his shareholding in newco to 29.9% via a share issue, in contravention of his agreement with the SFA on multiple ownership.  This morning the club informed the stock market the Ashely’s appointee, Derek Llambias, is now chief executive.

The key passage in the Telegraph article is:

“There is no certainty of anything like unanimous approval, but many in the higher reaches of the Scottish game acknowledge that a revived Rangers, capable of resuming the Old Firm rivalry and renewing the club’s presence in Europe would make Scotland more attractive to broadcasters and league sponsors, with general benefits.”

This has almost certainly come from the same kind of club source which in another lifetime were assuring journalists that HMRC would agree to a CVA; I know for sure the SFA are far from ready to rubber-stamp an Ashley land grab.

There are a few points which, despite blanket coverage of this issue, are not getting a proper hearing:

At current trading levels, Ashley is earning around £4m p.a. from newco as their retail ‘partner’.  He is also their exclusive wholesaler, so the club is worth even more to him, let’s say £5m p.a. in total.

Anyone who tells you his financial pay-off is through having newco wear his branding on a European stage is either wholly compliant in an attempt to mislead newco fans, or is simply regurgitating information handed to them by PR agents, without the wherewithal to digest the information correctly.

He’s making £5m per year and he therefore has an interest in ensuring the club continues in its current condition.

The second issue is around the legality of multiple-ownership.  It is not against Uefa rules (you can simply comply by one club not competing) but does breach rules in Scotland and England.  I recommend not getting too hung-up on this point.  In the event he was asked to disinvest from one of his clubs, Ashley could with pull a Blue Pitch Holdings/Margarita stroke.

For all you know about those two newco investors, I could own them.  It’s a paper exercise for Ashley to move his ownership beyond the reaches of oversight, and there is nothing in the rules to prevent this.

The question for the SFA, and eventually the FA, is what level of Ashley’s influence, not ownership, they are comfortable with.  There are no guidelines on this point.

A further consideration is that whoever briefed the Telegraph at the start of the week is likely to have painted a scenario that without Ashley’s next bung, newco is likely to go the way of oldco.  This is far from certain.

If all newco need to survive another season is circa £8m it’s not a figure beyond the realms of possibility for some of the blowhards who have been trying to disrupt Ashley’s strategy in recent months.

My hunch is that the SFA and newco’s fans will be presented with a fait accomply – it’s Ashley or bust.  What is certain is that the club will be vastly more inhibited by Ashley milking it dry than with a unifying figure.  He has the makings of a memorable Ibrox owner, a true heir to Sir David Murray.

Still time to order Caesar & the Assassin, the 2015 CQN Annual, with or without bundle, or anything else from the vast array of Celtic books and DVDs in time for Christmas post, but you don’t have long……

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Magners ticket competition yesterday – and who donated to Mary’s Meals. The answer to the question, who do we play on 27 December, is Ross County, which proved to be trickier than I thought. Draw will be made this afternoon and winner informed thereafter.

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  1. Jobo



    The word ‘legend’ is overused. To the point of being trite. So too is ‘awesome’ and ‘amazeballs’.



    So let me tell you this………

  2. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Hamiltontim. So was last night a kind of punishment in your opinion for Griffiths?If that is what it was I will always support the manager.However,the problem is the majority of us did not see what you seen so we are left confused over why the player is not getting game time.H.H.

  3. Ooft, argy bargy time on here. Good evening jobo. Time to cut out of here. Not that anyone noticed. :-))



    Night Night Timland.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  4. TAM



    I am fine just opened a wee bottle of vino,hope you are doing well and all set for Christmas.



    are you going to the game Sunday.wee party afterwards…




  5. lennon's passion on

    hun skelper



    19:20 on 19 December, 2014



    C’mon mate our first pick starting 11 are not world beaters. Your saying there not a CH out there better than efe. Every player is at threat if a better player is signed.


    Take for instance we unearth another Wanyama is he in our first 11. I’m not putting any names forward as that what our scouting system are paid for.


    Hail Hail

  6. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    can you do me a favour?


    Get a hold of tbm….he needs a good night oot….

  7. Sips



    Missed you today pal. Big pint of lemsip with your name on it sitting on the bar. Missed the chance to buy you a pint of champers and stick it on oldtim’s BV account.



    BV was busy but there was an empty space, a space needing a sipsini shaped Fenian lounge lizard to fill it!!!



    Take care.



    Aff oot. Dinner with mrs jamesgang in a licensed premises. Bliss x 2!



    HH jamesgang

  8. tonydonnelly67



    19:27 on 19 December, 2014



    Jist looked at the can there, it Magners.






    Tony the last 3 days have been the worst of my life, seriously.



    But the missus pointed out that you’d spelt Magners wrong and then corrected it with the post above!!!!



    You’ve genuinely made me burst out laughing :-))



    Ps I’m not slagging you I promise it was a grateful relief. Thank you and have a wonderful festive period.

  9. I heard a certain Man., United player didn’t like Fergie.


    Fergie said ,so what he is an arse but a good player.Good guys and bad guys make a team ,he plays at the weekend..



  10. Celtic should be able to play with 2 strikers without too much trouble I’d think, as long as their clued-up enough – discipline and team shape wise. Do we need a flat back 4?


    I don’t think so. Ah mean, who are the wingers that we’ll be facing? I think that the best way to go is the MO’N way 3-5-2 although, when we’re on the back foot I’d be more cynical than MO’N was and, get the bus parked – fluck the Celtic way. Playing the Celtic way is ok if – you have Celtic players. We dont. James Forrest(if fit) is what I’d call a Celtic class player.


    Having said that…JF falls into the ‘get rid of’ category for me, purely in terms of his inability to stay fit, Lustig is another one. Ye see….an always injured player is exactly that – always injured.


    RD says he’ll be looking for quality over quantity? Hmmmmm? Well, we’ll see.


    LG before Stokes – every day of the week for me. Maybe RD is being a cutie and keeping Stokes in the team in the hope that some dafty will buy him?


    If sumdy does buy Stokes…I’d use the money recieved to, pay-off all the injured players and no hopers and put a stop to them being a drain on resources.


    What happened to Stephen Moyokolo(sp)?


    Thought he looked alright v’s Liverpool, btw…there’s no harm in trying to pick up a bargain but, that shouldn’t be the premise in terms of recruitment.


    Play LG as the floating striker behind JG – LG must play through the middle or, floating not as a winger. The SMSM hate LG so, if I was RD…LG would be the 1st name on the team sheet and would accompany the manager at his media stuff.


    Anyway…3-5-2 is the way to go – reverting to the bus being parked when on the back foot.


    Alll of the above is – imho


    Hugh Keevins – Your a Legend mate – Hail Hail – Keep it lit pal.


    Off oot, bye.

  11. lennon's passion on




    19:18 on 19 December, 2014



    No problem.Young stupid laddie won’t be the first or last in football.

  12. Surely if you think about it what difference other than maybe scoring would playing two strikers make considering the amount of chances we make when only playing one.Do you think we would still make the same amount of chances by withdrawing a midfielder.

  13. Butzy.


    Not going.


    Working O.T.


    I’m not complaining usually don’t get any OT so have to take it, double time, believe it or not, they want me in on Sat 27th and Sund 28th. Said I will do it. So quiet boxing day this year.


    As ever Paddy will be there, thinking he runs the bus. Lol. Have to say I had a chuckle too when you gave H.T. advice. Magic.

  14. sips



    Ankle a lot better, still pretty swollen, but there was no way I would have made the game last Sunday. Next week is defo on, weather permitting, I will be in my seat. When I say, weather permitting, I mean any risk of heavy snow in the area I reside, it’s a no no. I do need to get home. :-))) Hope you can make it, looking forward to our meet. KTF.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  15. Aff oot my gorgeous fellow members of Timdom. Into the urban jungle that is dunblane.



    Be careful. It’s not the Jungle oot there. And if you can’t be careful be Fenian.



    HH jamesgang

  16. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    he is on a farm and acgr told the blog that ols sips was gay..



    your shafted….

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