Mike Ashley loans Rangers £10m which will be used to pay back loans from... Mike Ashley

Joe Hall
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Ashley's loan has been secured against the Murray Park training ground. (Source: Getty)

Rangers have agreed to take a £10m loan from Mike Ashley, which has been secured against the club's Murray Park training ground and registered trademarks.

Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, will take control of 26 per cent of the club's retail business as a result. The founder of Sports Direct has a 8.9 per cent stake in the football club but has been thwarted in attempts to increase his holdings by the Scottish stock exchange.

The loan is to be split into two tranches, with the first £5m being made available for the club's urgent capital needs. Before the loan, Rangers had stated they needed an emergency cash injection in order to cover costs to the end of January.

The loan comes specifically from Ashley's SportsDirect.com, but will also be used to pay back the previous £3m loans made by Ashley's Mash Holdings.

Ashley had originally wanted securities on the club's Ibrox stadium as well as Murray Park, yet this sparked massive fan protest against any such move. Ibrox currently remains free from any security, and the club said it had been "specifically excluded" from the deal.

Sports Direct will return the 26 per cent stake upon repayment of the loans.

Rangers said in a statement:

The company's financial condition has been perilous for a number of months, exacerbated by lower than expected match attendances. The directors have implemented a cost-cutting programme with which they have made significant progress.

There is however an immediate need for a substantial injection of capital, and the directors have considered a number of options. The terms negotiated with Sports Direct (which are reversible in the respect of the facility) represent the optimum combination of quantum and duration of funding, allowing the company time to arrange permanent capital which can be used for strengthening the playing squad.

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