Ashley v King – seconds out, round one

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Dave King has been linked with
investment/takeover of Rangers since the Dead Sea
was only mildly ill. Indeed, his name has been synonymous with the Club as a
potential suitor ever since he joined Sir David Murray’s Rangers as a non-exec
director 14 years ago. An alleged £20M investment remains King’s major selling
point, something curiously unconfirmed by Murray
and rumoured to have been little more than a loan, repaid back to the tune of
£18M.
That said, he had nevertheless
long been mooted as the man who would take the Club from Murray when the Mint decided it was time to
move on. However, the tax case King found himself embroiled in at his home
country of South Africa
undermined any hope he had of seizing control. When administration in 2012
spelled the end of the Rangers company, King found himself on the outside
looking in and has been heavily linked, with no end product, to a takeover.
No end product, that is, until
the past few days. A reported £16M package is on the table, with King siding up
with Paul Murray and George Letham to offer a financial bail out for the
troubled Club, and the three have confirmed the offer has been made to Graham
Wallace and David Somers.
The underlying plots behind this
turn of events is tantalisingly curious.
First off Mike Ashley gained
Hargeave Hale’s shareholding, raising his own to around 9% of the company. This
allowed him the power to force an EGM, with a view to forcing out Wallace, Nash
and Somers. The English businessman is the most important and influential individual
at Rangers now, with my previous entries discussing his Ibrox moves and what
they mean. Consequently, Wallace, Nash and Somers are sitting ducks – it is
true Ashley would be unlikely to win the EGM vote, but as the term going around
says: “his tanks are on the lawn”.
Secondly, the Easdales are said
to be very much on the side of Ashley, and are rumoured to be at bitter
loggerheads with Wallace in particular.
And this subsequently mean the
three Rangers suits need an ally – whoever that may be. My information is the
Easdales have been pre-occupied with the loss of their mother recently and have
not had their eye on the Rangers ball. As a result, they are vulnerable to,
dare I say it, a mild coup, and that is precisely what Wallace, Nash and Somers
are endeavouring with their unlikely alliance with King despite their past
attacks on each other.
Despite King’s malevolent actions
of the past with the Trust, a truly scandalous plan, one where he told Rangers
fans to withhold cash from the Club, he is now, curiously, willing to throw
together a £16M package in concert with his two colleagues in exchange for
shares. Beyond the hypocrisy of this, the timing appears quite deliberate.
My own personal view is while it
has taken King almost three years to actually put his hand in his pocket,
(albeit I have further unverified claims that the £16M is actually from Letham
alone) his apparently doing so finally shows intent. Wherever the cash comes
from, the fact is there is now the green stuff on the table.
This does make the power struggle
even more intense. On one side Wallace, Nash, Somers, King, Letham and Murray,
on the other Easdale, Easdale, and Ashley. One has more numbers but the other
has more power.
If the boardroom and Club was not
divided enough already, it is now an absolute tug of war right down the middle.
Some see it as a good thing, that
King will now seize the Club, money in tow, and the fans and the team can
finally move on.
But Mike Ashley is not one to be
beaten – you do not become a multibillionaire by being beaten – rich powerful
men tend to get what they want.
Thus, this latest twist in the
Rangers tale is just a new plotline, and not the ending.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The "alleged" 20 million investment in Rangers is in reality an undisputable fact wether you like it or not. King did threaten to sue David Murray for the 20 million just before liquidation on the basis that Murray had not fully disclosed the clubs financial situation at the time of the investment but it has never been suggested by any reliable source that this was a loan. King also stated at that time that he would put every penny back into Rangers.
    King also stated months ago that he was willing to make further substantial investments in the club but only if it would go to the club and would not be distributed amongst the leaches past and present involved in our club who you continue to voice support for.
    Your use of "unverified claims", "rumoured reports" and accusations of "hypocrisy" against King once again shows you are incapable of objectively assessing the situation at Rangers.
    Forget your hatred of Dave King and look at the facts for once.

    • King is an admitted tax fraud. Why would anyone want him near our club? The only FA that would allow this guy near one of their football clubs is our group of tossers here in Scotland who don't have the balls to stand up and be counted in this situation. Ashley has steadied Newcastle, and for a fraction of what he spends there he could have us back in Europe.

    • Errr. ….didn't Sandy Easdale serve gaol time for VAT fraud? Isn't one of the Easdales new pals Rafat Rizvi who is wanted by Interpol?!
      Dave King may have a chequered past but anyone who thinks that the Easdales or people like Rizvi have the interests of Rangers at heart more than King does really need their head examining!!

    • Well, "chequered" is a nice way to put it. The only way Dave avoided a long jail term was by paying out a hell of a lot of money. And who are you to say the Easdales don't have the interests of Rangers at heart? They've put their money where their mouths are while Dave put in nothing. Even worse, he advised fans not to renew season tickets which proved enormously damaging to the club. Of course. I wouldn't stop supporting Rangers if King took over, but his methods, along with those of the fan's groups, leave a lot to be desired and certainly haven't always been in Rangers' best interests.

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