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. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Kickinthenakas – God rest your dear Mum.



    Sincere condolences from Beal Feirste.







    Condolonces to you and yours on the passing of your mum.



    I know what you are going through.



    Stay strong.

  3. 16 roads – Celtic über alles…



    J , got your mobie from bmcuwp,hope you don’t mind mhate ?


    Will give you a call in next few weeks re Beal Feirste.



    HH vp

  4. Bada,



    Thatcher introduced the pockling of pensions, any surplus accrued in a pension scheme was laid open for the companies to rifle.



    I was on one day strikes and on a six month overtime ban in the early eighties due to that bill being passed.



    Eventually the management succumbed but not until I/we lost a lot of money.



    I’m unsure if the same rules apply, as I lost heart in the politics of the country at the time…ie loadsadosh..mine and probably most on here.

  5. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    No problem whatsoever VP.



    Can’t wait to see yous all again mo chara, we are going to have a brilliant dayoot.




  6. Kickinthenakas



    So sorry to hear of your loss mate. May perpetual light shine upon her.

  7. Estorilbhoy



    Sent an email to Hamilton Accies earlier thanks for putting up their address they deserve huge credit for their actions yesterday.

  8. sipsini


    i worked for a major european company who took over a uk company which had a pension surplus allowing the company to take a pensions contribution holiday. A few years later the pension scheme was in deficit.

  9. Weefra



    Back from London late Monday night but then a swift trip to NI on wed so not back till the game’s already started. Not happy!



    Will try to get Hutchbhoy and his lad to use our tickets.



    HH jamesgang

  10. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Could Kayal be on his way back to Israel as part of the deal to bring in the winger from Maccabi ? H.H.

  11. Zombie Slayer – LOL – certainly don’t any advice or pearls of wisdom from you – suggest you go back to your computer games.



    Enlightening that you not challenge the salient points made – but go for the throat with wild remarks!

  12. weet weet weet(GBWO) on




    Really sorry for your loss



    Prayers said for your maw




  13. For all the talk of VVD, Commons etc., what’s the situation with Craig Gordon ?



    I imagine, he’s not on a big salary because of his injury problems.



    Strangely enough, as I won’t see 50 again, we’ve had 3 of the best keepers in Celtic history – Boruc and FF as well. You could add David Marshall to that list if he was still at CP.



    I didn’t see Ronnie that much but CG looks the best I’ve seen as a Celtic no. 1 .

  14. coolmore mafia on

    I’m sure when Catholic convert Mike Ashley was at mass today he will be contemplating how best to assist Cromwell FC.

  15. Sipsini



    I’m sure there’ll plenty a high ‘daftie quotient’ on the night. ACGR would just have tipped it over the edge into an abyss of mentol-ness!!!



    HH jamesgang

  16. Alfie Noakes



    I don’t know if you realise, but the shenanigans of the Huns, were exposed by posters on this very blog.


    Tell us something we don’t know.

  17. Petethebeat,



    He’s on a 2 year deal. Something we don’t offer 31 year old allegedly ;)



    Aye we’ve had some good goalies in the last 10 or so years.

  18. Alfie



    Now I’m no gynaecologist but I think zombie slayer hit the groin rather than throat.



    Just saying like….



    But forgive him. He’s probably just one of these ill – educated, benefit -hoovering Aye voter types.



    HH jamesgang.

  19. lennon’s passion


    19:15 on 18 January, 2015


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




    The season before last Leigh Griffiths scored 40+ goals for Hibs playing as the lone striker.

  20. Kickinthenakas.


    Sorry to hear the sad news about your


    mother big man. May she rest in peace.

  21. Coolmore



    Now I know that you are at the kidding here about MA but it is a question that genuinely puzzles me


    Here is a guy who is a real billionaire not a Daily Retard one!


    He would put in place guys who would know what they were doing – i.e. not jobs for the boys!


    He would get a decent manager and a realistic budget -which would still be the second biggest in the land


    Over a few years they could be making a challenge based on merit and no doubt the odd honest mistake!


    But no – they want a convicted fraudster like King instead!



    The only two things that come to my mind is that MA is either a Tim or not a mason!




  22. joe filippis haircut



    19:31 on 18 January, 2015


    Could Kayal be on his way back to Israel as part of the deal to bring in the winger from Maccabi ? H.H.



    That’s what I was thinking when I read RD confirm our interest in Ben Haim. His current club are the ones who are linked with Kayal but can’t afford to buy him. Martin Bain is their CEO so I’m sure Peter will be on the blower to his old pal.

  23. gene,



    It was rife in the early eighties, if you had the money, buy the company shut it down and walk away with the pension surplus that would outway the initial investment…quids in.



    Sadly, a lot of people lost their jobs due to it.



    There is new loopholes being used just now in a similar method, I’m not up to speed with it anymore.



    The one I have a bee in my bonnet about is….zero hours, to me that is the modern name for slavery, they ring (mobile) the bell and you better be there or your financially whipped.



    Best I get off my soapbox…:)

  24. jamesgang



    Bummer for you. Not sure I’ll make it. I need to ensure I can make it home. If the forecast is iffy, I’ll give it a miss. CFC should remember these comments when re-arranging fixtures. Money talks. :-(( KTF ya big superhero so ye ur. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  25. sunny calmachie on

    Was enjoying lurking there,


    Then the attention seeker, of all attention seekers starts posting again,


    I’m away to play kick the can…

  26. Gary,



    I’m not sure LG scored that much in 2 seasons with hibs but I agree that he can play the lone striker.



    Stuffy game yesterday at times, funny pitch and not much supply yesterday didn’t help him much v

  27. geordie munro



    19:48 on 18 January, 2015



    Yer right, it was 28 goals in his second season with them.

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