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. Kickinthenakas so sorry to hear of the passing of your mum thoughts are with you & prayers will be said tonight

  2. Tricoloured Ribbon on




    18:11 on 18 January, 2015






    Tell me about it. Hope you are well kiddo? :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.





    I’ll be all right in an hour’s time when I’m lowering a pint bottle of cool Magners…;-)

  3. Tri



    Lol. Enjoy. I’ve a doc’s appointment in the mo. So my intake is restricted tonight. :-((( Get it doon yer gullet young yin. Hahaha.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  4. For the first time in the last 5 yrs, approx, the coal in my bunker was frozen together. Had to lift, after battering it, out bit by bit. Wit a friggin asshole that wiz. Go on now, have yer fun at slagging my lifestyle. Hahahaha.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  5. Bittersweet day….joy for wee jay, and sadness for kickinthenakas.


    Im sure kickinthenakas knows we all feel for him.


    Keep strong bud.




  6. Was in my mams for 40mins today and in that time she told me I needed a haircut, a shave ,a change of footwear and told me off for not been over in two days,



    Least she never mentioned my talking to strange mhen on that thing(laptop) and even phoning strange mhen fae Swindon :)))))))



    Till tomorrow all

  7. Leftie



    There are, indeed, strange men in Swindon. But, back them to support you when yer in trouble. I know I do, and bet you do. KTF buddy.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  8. Lennybhoy



    17:19 on 18 January, 2015






    I have some sad news to bring you this evening, Kickinthenakas ‘s Mum passed away this afternoon at 14:35.



    Please remember her and the Family in your Prayers.



    May God Bless her Soul.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!





    Sorry to hear that. May she rest in peace.

  9. To everyone who’s going to the game on 1 February, or who’s worried about it … this is our chance to drain the swamp once and for all.



    “At the heart of every “Scottish football needs a strong Rangers” discussion is the idea that the rivalry between the DeadCo and Celtic was healthy for the game, when every person who’s ever been to one of the matches or, more importantly, been in Glasgow for the aftermath knows, in fact, that it was exactly the opposite. It’s the fixture that gave life to this awful “two heads of the same coin” crap, the fixture that gives the lunatics a totem pole to dance around, the fixture that was last played in 2012, and is never to return.”




  10. jamesgang



    You’re so easily led astray. Lol. Hope you’re not snowed in, like us. :-(((



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  11. What is the Stars on



    Condolences on your loss.




    Hope you are ok, did you take offence last night when I told you to go to bed and slagged you about the Waltons. It was meant as light hearted banter, apologies if you were offended

  12. Weefra


    on the positive side brass is about £2 per kilo so if you see a couple of monkeys in the bunker cash in

  13. The absolute contrast between the zombie fish riot at the circus of horrors on Friday, and the humanity of the Celtic fans and Hamilton Accies fans for wee jay….shows whats important.


    The reaction to wee jay from the Celtic players in his team talk before the game, is a joy to behold(link on news now Celtic).


    Proud of all of you bhoys….best supporters in the world…..love you all.




  14. Weefra



    All clear here today. Stunning. Zero degrees now. The mountains to the North look like perfect Christmas cakes!



    On the sleeper to London tonight. Boo. Hiss!



    HH jamesgang

  15. jamesgang,



    Looking forward to it, two dafties at the same table, I don’t think Acgr can make it, pity, that would have been three of us.

  16. Wits



    Nae worries kiddo, you coudnae insult me if you tried. I actually thought it was funny. Yes, we are all well here as I hope you and your family are. Stay safe all of you. The coldest night of the year is forcast for tonight. Am I a saddo or what. Take care all. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  17. gene



    Put me down for, 300. They are all b@@ ls up here. Lol. Cheers bud. KTF.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  18. bournesouprecipe



    17:13 on 18 January, 2015



    £20m pension shortfall for Sir Minty’s workers.



    Scandalous CSC


    A true scandal, I’m sure Murray’s personal wealth has increased in the last couple of years.

  19. jamesgang



    Wit a bummer. You no available for the game on Wed? Nae you and nae dena, the fekkin stadium will be empty. I will attend, weather dependant. I do need to get home, and the forcast is poor. Fingers crossed. KTF.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  20. 67Heaven


    Seem fair enough. Isn’t it just a cheaper version of how the Minty family dealt with the closing down of his (yeah, right) MIH ’empire’?

  21. bada


    What murray meant to sat was “for every £5 Celtic spend we will spend £10 of taxpayers money”

  22. Tim Malone – not our wee sceptred isle – our wee stinking Scotland. It is the ‘close brethren’ in Scotlsnd who have always, and will always, strive to keep our minority underfoot.



    A wee stinking country thst allowed the triumphalist Scottish establishment club and major businesses to practice a discriminatory and sectarian regime for over ONE HUNDRED YEARS.



    Qualifications meant – “what school did you go to”



    This abomination did not happen in England and Wales.

  23. i’d take Sammi back for the 2nd half of the season. Anyone have any idea how long Forest is out for this time?


    Thought Mattews played well yesterday glad to hear he is fully fit at last he is a class player.

  24. bada



    And then some. This guy has screwed the financial system to it’s limit, and got away with it because of the ole pals act. Shocking. They should all be imprisoned, and they would be in any other civilised country. Unfortunately, we live in …………. Do I need to go on. Sickening.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  25. thezombieslayer on

    Alfie the fud this is a lovely stunning country with many many wonderfull people get out more and meet them ya clown instead of wallowing in self pity and hatred or better still turn off your pc and get a life

  26. thezombieslayer



    Nae arguement from me on that one buddy. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  27. lennon's passion on

    Last season



    Commons scored 32


    Griffiths scored 31


    Scepovic scored 23


    Stokes scored 20



    Last season fit Guidetti scored 20



    Yesterday Griffiths looked out of place playing the lone striker. Wish RD would change this system.