Playing poker with a billionaire


Assuming Dave King has more than 50% of the shareholding in newco Rangers, what does Mike Ashley do knowing he will not be in charge of the club after an EGM in March?

Take the defeat on one of his chins, let King’s lawyers loose on the merchandising and other deals he’s paid for and put the whole thing down to experience?

Well, possibly, but he has other options.

Ashley has yet to loan the club the money required to pay this month’s wages.  He could simply not transfer the cash, but in this event he will expect King to step in.

King with his accomplices, and others, have recently offered to loan the club money, albeit with strings attached.  If King truly has the enough votes in the bag to secure a majority, it’s likely they will loan the club enough cash to get beyond the EMG, without conditions attached.  The directors would have no option but to accept this cash, pay the bills and cede control in due course.  Ashley is owed £3m, repayable in April, for loans made late last year, so King et al will need to find cash to cover that in their ‘warchest’.

This is likely to be close to King’s narrative.  He will not have called the EGM unless the cash is available to get the club over the line this season.  I’m not prepared to countenance the possibility that he’s called it certain in the knowledge he will fall short.

I’ve always thought some kind of Grand Coalition, between Ashley and a collection of local legitimate businessmen would be the most effective forward plan, but Ashley has been so maligned by PR ‘close to King’ that this doesn’t seem to happening.  Ashley will either have to take his chance of retaining merchandising, stadium advertising and future shirt sponsorship rights, or make his play now.

It’s worth noting that the reign of the Easdales, and chairman Somers, will end in the event King gains control; they are a busted flush unless they can manoeuver Ashley into an unassailable position.

So will Ashley pack his trunk and run away to join another circus?  Don’t bet on it.  Between now and the morning of the EGM, instead of loaning an already highly-levereged club, he could buy and leaseback its properties.  This would give him enough leverage to look after his medium-term commercial interests, and exercise complete control in the long-term.

None of this even needs to happen under the current board.  He can loan the club the £10m as expected, with covenants which are, to say the least, difficult to achieve.  The cost of failure to meet one of these covenants would allow the Ashley to call-in his securities (the stadium).

Ashley can afford to lose all the cash he’s invested already, and all the his newco-related commercial contracts, but he cannot and will not lose his reputation as an uncompromising operator.  Last week I said ‘Never play poker with a billionaire’.  Whether you are a shopping centre owner, a sports goods giant, or an aspiring football club owner.  These idiots should know thier opponent.

Tickets are now on sale for CQN11, our St Patrick’s Day dinner event on Friday 13 March at the Kerrydale Suite, Celtic Park. We’re hoping to raise money for Mary’s Meals to build a kitchen at Chibwata Primary School for their 909 pupils. As well as the dinner there will be singers and dancing, it’ll be a great night.

Email me if you want tickets reserved, celticquicknews@gmail.com , or you can book tickets or tables directly at the bottom of this page.

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  1. Saint Stivs


    14:45 on


    18 January, 2015





    i think we need a list of still to be made statements

  2. thomthethim for Oscar OK



    14:33 on 18 January, 2015



    If the cream of the refereeing brotherhood are heading for Dallas’ Winter Sun Whistle Tour, how far down the list will the SFA trawl to find someone with suitable experience to handle such a high risk game?



    It may be in everyone’s interest to kick this game down the road a bit, until the fever outbreak in Govan subsides and till the light night’s come in…….or L2.




    The Dallas Winter Sun Whistle Tour was this week, they were back on Friday/Saturday I think, the Semi Final game is on when there’s a UEFA get together

  3. Folks, haven’t read back so apologies if posted already.



    Following Hamiltons marvellous reception for wee Jay yesterday I have dropped a wee email to them today expressing appreciation for all their efforts. So refreshing.



    If anyone else wants to do so their email address is office@acciesfc.co.uk



    Hail! Hail!

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Surely you’re not calling a guy who “invested” £20m into David Murray’s Rangers an idiot!???

  5. jamesgang



    14:53 on 18 January, 2015


    speyside lhad



    14:35 on 18 January, 2015


    anyone else love to see Sammi back for the 2nd half of the season (or longer).?






    Yeah. Cowiebhoy. Never shuts up about.



    Sammi, Sammi, where’s ma Sammi. Got to the point the doc just gives him the auld ‘dry yer eyes’ treatment.



    ;_ -)



    HH jamesgang

  6. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    See mcgregor’s still useless ….hehe

  7. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    gordon_j backing neil lennon



    14:56 on 18 January, 2015


    It’s all going to be very messy for a long time yet … shame that




    Real shame ……. You reap what you sow in this life …HH

  8. SOAL



    You’re the Bobby Lennox of podiums. Quietly racking up for hunners of scores with a modest nonchalance.



    I can’t belive I used 2 of the words in that sentence about you!



    HH jamesgang

  9. Think Sammi might turn up at Bolton





    Last blog


    I think there is still opportunity for a statement from the Celtic support, minutes silence with back to the pitch, a silent huddle, black arm bands a 3 minute boo during the kick off, first and second half.


    There’s options, everybody knows we have plenty of young over exuberant and highly strung individuals that follow the team, difference being most of ours grow up and mature enough to be embarrassed about what they were like at that age.


    So if we agree and can accept there will be people going, irrespective of our concerns, how best to find out if they at least acknowledge other tims concerns.

  10. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    14:54 on 18 January, 2015




    Surely you’re not calling a guy who “invested” £20m into David Murray’s Rangers an idiot!???




    If Paul’s not, I certainly am ……hahahahahahaha





    Well,he disnae seem to be an unqualified genius,that’s for sure.



    Although it has been alleged that King did not lose as much as the headlines suggest,merely a percentage. As a fee for,erm,summat or other…

  12. Just had a nice lunch in the hotel in Lanzarote and don’t you just know it but Just can’t get enough comes on the piped ‘ musak’. Thought the guy with a deid team’s tap on was going to choke on his sauerkraut! Happy days indeed, all we need here is for the sun to stay out instead of keeping disappearing. Oh well, back to reality tomorrow, and to see the Celtic on Wednesday evening hopefully to go top of the league.


    H H





    I usually only mail companies to complain about their product,but I was more than happy to congratulate Accies for yesterday.





    Most huns I know can’t even ‘beat’ to hear Simply the Best anymore.



    It smacks of parody to them. Shame,innit?

  15. rt,


    Murray – allowed to cherry pick from the desolation he created, why wouldn’t they think they can get away with it ?

  16. RobertTressell


    15:14 on


    18 January, 2015






    I asked Darryl Broadfoot (the SFA communications Director) about King and the “fit and proper person” thing………He advises me the “fit and proper person” thing is a myth, there is no such thing.

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