Cost of trying to manipulate Ashley clear


This morning’s stock market announcement that Rangers International received a £5m emergency loan from our pal Mike Ashley, with terms agreed (pending diligence) on a further £5m available if needed, will see the club through the next week.

£3m of that £5m will go straight back to Ashley, to repay the loans he issued the club last year, leaving £2m, which will cover this week’s wages, with little left over (last year’s average monthly expenses was £2.75m).

The club can sell players this week, but as that is unlikely to generate significant funds, it looks like additional funding will be needed before next month’s wages – and significantly – before the proposed EGM.

In return for what is little more than an additional three week’s money, Ashley gets a floating charge over ALL the club’s assets.  Despite how many headlines portray this story, that includes Ibrox Stadium.

Issuing a floating charge over assets is a normal piece of business for a football club, but this is not a normal football club.  Floating charges are usually issued to banks, not predatory retailers, and they are seldom issued when the club is weeks away from running out of money.

A fixed charge has been granted over Murray Park, Edmiston House, Albion Car Park and, crucially, the club’s trademarks.  In the event of a default, all these assets become the property of Sports Direct.

For reasons which are hard to fathom, Ibrox became some totem not to be tampered with, allowing Ashley to grab hold of enormous assets with relatively little concern.  Should they default, consider this:

You want to sell tickets with ‘your’ crest or badge, pay me.  You want to sell programmes, own a web site, do a shirt deal with someone else in the future, display the crest on the stadium wall, pay me.

The fact that Ibrox is subject to a floating, not fixed, charge, means that in theory the board could grant someone else a fixed charge over that asset, if they act before the floating charge becomes actionable.  However, with Ashley now able to load the board with another two appointments, that possibility is not credible.  If you have the floating charge, and you have the board, you don’t need a fixed charge.

There are other kicks to the nether regions.  The club has given Sports Direct another 26% of Rangers Retail, bringing their total holding to 76%, for the duration of the initial loan.  This is not hugely significant, but it could be in lieu of fees and interest, which are not being charged.

More interestingly for a club completing short-term funding requirements, they have agreed to pass their shirt sponsorship proceeds to Rangers Retail from 2017, until all these borrowings are repaid.  With all the other rights Ashley is likely to assume in the coming months, this seems unnecessary.  He has the board, has inserted the conditions he wants in these loans and has the fixed and floating charges required to do pretty much anything.  Apart from rubbing people’s faces in the faeces, this additional ‘benefit’ appears superfluous.

What’s the takeaway message in all of this?

Despite the press briefings which were slavishly reported as news earlier this month, Ashley is not about to roll over, no matter how ample his frame.  He doesn’t care about anything you care about.  He cannot be bribed, blackmailed or coerced.  He will react badly to people trying to manipulate him.  Very badly.

He has control of the boardroom and Rangers International will need him before he needs it, and before any EGM is held.  This is his new baseline, the next round of ‘assistance’ will tighten his grip on the all-important income streams.

It’s an impossible situation for the fans.  Learn to live with the guy you’ve failed to box into a corner, while he exacts compensation for the trouble he’s been put to, or continue to resent him.

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  1. Paul67



    MA seems to be spending a lot of timer, effort and resources down Iborcs way, it’s curious this, there doesn’t seem to be a much more to scavenge out of that new club. I wonder why he bothers other than he likes to win his battles?



  2. Starting to understand why a lot of Sunderland fans are fond of Ashley! The corporate money lender is warming to me a little. Not quite ready to open a Sports Direct account but lets see how it pans out


    bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    12:44 on 27 January, 2015





    I genuinely believe that Ashley is quite simply bored.



    When you look at his corporate manoeuvres over the last few years,they don’t really display much rhyme nor reason.



    Having shafted the stock market with his IPO for SD-where the Bears tried to shaft him,ironically-and won,he has consolidated to the extent that he is sufficiently loaded to take punts for the hell of it.



    I think winning-no matter the opposition-is what drives him. That alone,if true,should have the huns running for the hills and frothing at the mouth.



    Here’s a tale of what happens when you invite Mr Ashley into your nice big hoose.




  4. Paul67 – “should they default”?



    Now wouldn’t that be an unfortunate turn of events….

  5. BMCUW



    ‘Escape from Sobibor’ is one of the first films I remember watching growing up… it had a real effect on me as a child and is probably the reason for a lot of my views and values today



    Great film




  6. Paul67 – “should they default”?



    “when they default”, there you are, all correct now por cierto





    From previous…



    Me too,mate. I knew bits and bobs,we all did. Too young for The World at War,that film was the one that shocked me out of complacency.

  8. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I never ever thought I would see someone called Mick and a tim at that would own the Ibrokes club the Worlds a strange place. H.H.

  9. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Ashley seems to be a horrible man – Attila the Hun?



    Really nice though that he has shown King up to be an egotistical tosser and a loser.They kind of all deserve each other, living unhappily ever after…

  10. A bad news day for newclub rangers, then.



    I believe Rikki Fulton supported Rangers, and I think the Rev IM Jolly is going to be shown to be the role model for all Newclub supporters!



    Can you imagine bloody knees song being sung in an IM Jolly style?

  11. “You want to sell tickets with ‘your’ crest or badge, pay me. You want to sell programmes, own a web site, do a shirt deal with someone else in the future, display the crest on the stadium wall, pay me.”



    Your paragraph above reminded me of the scene from Goodfellas, quoted below (with a few modifications to get past the moderators)



    “Now the guy’s got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what. Business bad? F*** you, pay me.


    Oh, you had a fire? F*** you, pay me.


    Place got hit by lightning, huh? F*** you, pay me.”




  12. Vmhan, I think, with Mike, it’s become personal.



    RogueLeader, yes. Yes, it would.



    Por Cierto, you may well be correct.



    Dharma Bam, did Ricky Fulton not manage Rangers once?



    Panda Hands, aye, very similar rhythmic device.

  13. quantum




    12:39 on 27 January, 2015






    10:20 on


    27 January, 2015


    Just looked at BBC website and see the sevcovians are further emboiled with a load shark. And there’s that word “quantum” again! Oh, the laughs we’ve had over the past few years…! :-))))







    And your point is?




    No offence intended mate! Seems to be a favourite sevcovian word in this saga. Paul Murray was very fond of it a while back. Actually, didn’t someone post (on another site) just a list of words, phrases etc. that basically told the tale of their tirals and tribulations over the past could of years? Was really funny…

  14. If it was any other club I would feel sympathy, quite possibly huge sympathy.



    But as they are 2 clubs like no other (soon to be a third?) for all the wrong reasons I feel hell skelp in into them.






    HH jamesgang

  15. mike in toronto on

    was on RM … some of them are finally coming around to the realization that, even if the EGM succeeded in getting MA out, he now owns them body and soul …



    their only hope seems to be squeak into the SPL, then win it next year, make it into the CL, earn gazillions of dollars, and repeat for a few seasons …. then they will be okay. Of course, because of their current fiscal situation (where most of the money goes not to the team, but to outsiders like MA), they will have to do this with players they find at the local Poundsaver.



    The in-fighting is just starting as they are slowing realizing what has happened, and that there are only two realistic outcomes…..



    they survive barely, limping along with only Ibrox (although that will likely have to be sold eventually), a third division club paying third division wages to third division players because all of their money goes to pay MA to rent their training ground, their stadium and even the shirts on their backs…



    or, if they dont want to play along (and pay all their money to MA for the privilege), he will just call the loans (which they will not be able to pay back) and fold the whole thing up.



    They are starting to realize the trouble they are in, and are getting increasingly angrier.



    Have to say, I am bit concerned of this weekend. If we go a few goals up, things could get very ugly.

  16. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    12:49 on 27 January, 2015






    From previous…



    Me too,mate. I knew bits and bobs,we all did. Too young for The World at War,that film was the one that shocked me out of complacency.




    Shown on BBC 1973/4 to young….?



    I remember watching that series about 1983 ish…. gave me a real interest in all similar documentaries and history.


    Truly fantastic series….



    Onwards to Sunday..



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  17. “Police Scotland have visited Celtic‘s training ground today to tell their players to keep their goal celebrations to a minimum in Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Rangers, according to sources.



    It will be the first time the sides have met since they clashed in the Scottish top flight three years ago.



    Tempers have continued to flare between the teams despite Rangers’ off-field issues and the team’s demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football.



    It’s believed the police are worried that there could be violence in Sunday’s League Cup semi-final at Hampden – and they hope both teams can help keep a lid on tempers.



    It has been alleged that officers did visit Lennoxtown this afternoon to speak with Ronny Deila’s men ahead of the clash.



    Celtic are big favourites to make it through to the League Cup final given their position at the top of the Premiership and Rangers’ troubles in the Championship.”






    How dare they!



    In fact, this has got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be the ultimate slap in the face if after every Celtic goal the fans merely clap. No cheering, or jumping for joy etc?




  18. The Battered Bunnet on




    What can you do with 75% of the voting rights that you couldn’t do with 49%, or even 51%?



    This is no trifle. This is a shrewd play.



    Simply increase the equity in the business via special resolution, and dilute the value of RIFC’s holding to nothing – let’s face it, they can’t pony up to match.



    The 26% transferred today is returned when the loan is repaid, by which time it represents considerably less of the equity than it does today.



    Ashley can take RRL for a burton, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.



    I’d say in all of this, that’s the most significant aspect.

  19. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I give it 12 months and M.A.WILL own Murray Park and there is a good chance he will also own Ibrokes the reason. I say that is I can see no way the Rangers will be able to pay the loans back.M.A. already has 4 of his people on the board this virtualy gives him control of the club.H.H.

  20. Pandahands



    Had the same “goodfellas” flashback you had reading the article :)



    Escape from Sobibor one my favourite films from childhood, have both the DVD and the book that led to the film



    Livibhoy – would love to help re Barcelona but I was pretty much drunk for the 3 days I was there! Have fun, having 2 weeks in Torredembarra in a house by the beach in August for my wife’s 40th – cannot wait :)



    Still laughing at the deal Mike Ashley has done this morning. Easy to see why the guy is a billionaire on paper. Not sure I’d like to play chess with him, would probably end up having my house co=owned by Sports Direct!





    73/74 I was only interested in fitba and Tom and Jerry on the telly.



    Tbh,not much changed. My telly is hardly ever on,once since Christmas.



    And I missed the Tom and Jerry cartoon I switched it on for!

  22. So Mike Ashley eventually controls all the assets and the profitable revenue streams.


    So eventually sometime this year presumably the monies runs out and their no longer any reason for MA to lend them any more money since he has everything. So what happens then?


    Presumably administration followed by liquidation with Sports Direct controlling all the assets , the image rights and the merchandising. MA will not want to run the footballing side since that won’t be profitable. How can any new entity like the 3 Bears run any sort of football club without losing a fortune? But if there is no football club how does MA continue to make money?


    Confused, watch the next of Soap.

  23. Could MA plough millions into Sevco and make them a force to be reckoned with, could that be his plan….?



    Just saying….



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  24. The Johnatron @ 12:58



    “Police Scotland have visited Celtic‘s training ground today to tell their players to keep their goal celebrations to a minimum in Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Rangers, according to sources.”



    No mention of the plods visiting Murray Park, then … ?



    Ach well, I suppose there would be no point: Sevco ain’t going to score anyway …




  25. oneofthe70percent on

    We all know until very recently the fuzz did not employ catholics or even let their officers marry one,so telling a clubs players not to celebrate which has no basis in law should be looked at by the highest court in the land or europe,and people still want this awful litte province to gain independence ffs

  26. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve;- Auschwitz Liberation day :- never forget.



    I have read many books on the holocaust and a couple of years ago fulfilled a long held ambition and visited Auschwitz I will never forget it.


    For a definitive book n the subject, The Holocaust by Martin (now Sir Martin I believe Gilbert.


    For the best dramatic interpretation of life in Auschwitz this :-


    The Grey Zone


    Warning, this will move you.





    Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangent.

  27. scottishleaf



    Enjoy the game Sunday and enjoy your hols.


    I was blitzed the whole time I was there for the UEFA cup match when we papped them out. Those Livi Emerald Bhoys have a lot to answer to!




  28. mike in toronto on

    quantum …. this is a more extreme version of what he did at NUFC. There, and MA hopes here, the fans hate him, but cant shake their connection to the team. So, they keep spending money, the team plods along (for NUFC the lower half of BPL, while for Sevco, it will be the lower tiers of the SFL)… and MA sits back, laughing while the cash rolls in.



    Otherwise, they are rolled up forever.

  29. I hate to say it but in the long term Ashley might be better for them than their “own Rangers folk”.


    For as long as he runs the show he will expect them to live within their means. Both Rangers failed as hey didn’t live within their means. Much as I would love the new club to go into admin they might not have to.



    Onerous contracts weren’t just limited to business deals. Players wages are too high. Miller, Boyd and other high earners will be out of contract in the summer. If they limp along to the summer they might start to run their business like other cubs.



    They could bring in players they can afford. This won’t please the Hun hoards but the alternative of not supporting Sports Direct means further cuts. Damned if they, damned if they don’t.

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