The board of Rangers football club and shareholder Mike Ashley have drawn the ire of football fans over a potential £10m loan to the struggling Scottish club.
Hundreds of Rangers fans gathered at the Ibrox Stadium last night to protest against the offer made my the Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner who wants the ground and its Murray Park training ground as security on it.
Crowds voiced their anger at the Rangers board who have previously insisted the Stadium would never be used on a loan, with one fan holding a banner that read “Give us back our Rangers FC. No more asset striping. Sack the board. Ashley f*** off”.
After Ashley offered to stump up the much-needed cash earlier this week the Rangers board lodged advance notices of security against the stadium on behalf of Ashley’s Sports Direct. This means no one else can be granted securities on the properties for 35 days.
The board said it’s considering “various proposals to secure the financial future of the club”, but pressure is mounting as the club’s current capital will only carry it to the end of January.
A counter loan offer of £5m was made by the Three Bears consortium also asking for security against Murray Park and two seats on the board, according to the BBC, while an offer by American businessman and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver of £20m for a controlling stake in the club was rejected by the board.
The Rangers board accepted an additional £1m from Ashley in November secured against two of the club’s other properties surrounding the stadium, Edmiston House and Albion car park. The club previously received £1m credit from hedge fund Laxey Partners in February and £500,000 from club director Sandy Easdale, both also secured against the properties.
In the latest twist to the ongoing saga, shareholder Dave King who owns 15 per cent of the club, yesterday called for a general meeting to remove all four directors from the Rangers board.