Mike Ashley may only have an 8.96 per cent stake in Rangers, yet it appears his influence on the club extends all the way down to what happens on the pitch.
On Monday, five players arrived at Ibrox on loan from Newcastle United, the Premier League club owned by Ashley.
Rangers boss Kenny McDowall admitted to journalists today that he knew nothing of their arrivals and has been instructed to pick each player in every game if fit.
In a press conference, McDowall was asked whether he had to play the five players in each game. He responded:
Yes. They're obviously good players. They've played with Newcastle. I'll carry on and do what I'm told to do.I was told at the offset that players would be coming in that wouldn't be responsibility. So I'll carry on regardless. The boys have come up to play and they will play. That's just how it is.
McDowall announced his intention to resign last month and is now working a 12-month notice period.
Ashley's influence at Rangers has steadily grown even after the Scottish FA thwarted his attempts to triple his shareholdings last year.
As well as having close ties to chief executive Derek Llambias and chairman Sandy Easdale, Ashley has loaned the club upwards of £10m, helping it to stay in business but also receiving securities against the Murray Park training ground and a majority stake in its retail business in return.