ASHLEY TAKES GERS TO COURT; Sports Direct chief ramps up his war with King in London legal move today EXCLUSIVE IBROX STUNNER IT'S WAR ASHLEY TAKES ON King in London Gers in court.
MIKE ASHLEY will drag Rangers into a courtroom in London this morning as he ramps up his war against Dave King.
Ashley's Sports Direct firm have lodged papers at the High Court Chancery Division and will have their case heard at 10.30am by Mrs Justice Asplin - 24 hours ahead of a showdown with the Rangers Turn to Page 51
From Back Page board at an explosive general meeting tomorrow. Details of the exact nature of the legal action were being kept secret last night but it is understood this latest move is NOT an attempt to force the club into repaying a PS5million crisis loan which was agreed with Sports Direct by the previous regime. Ashley - who has a nine per cent stake in the club as well as a 75 per cent stake in Rangers Retail - wants his cash back immediately and has demanded shareholders vote on forcing the board to pay. Record Sport revealed in May that Ashley had turned his guns on the new regime by instructing his company MASH Holdings to call for the GM. But King responded with an aggressive move of his own by threatening to use the meeting to expose the truth behind Ashley's iron-fisted grip on the club's retail wing and confidential details of the onerous commercial contracts handed out by former Rangers chief executive Charles Green. Now billionaire Ashley has heightened tensions further with this latest legal move. Meanwhile, Rangers fans have called for a full boycott of Ashley's business interests and accused him of running their club into the ground. Ashley's demand for the immediate repayment of the PS5m he loaned the club in January has been met with anger by the Rangers Supporters Trust. Fellow fan group Rangers First say many of their members now refuse to wear the replica shirt because they believe it has come to symbolise Ashley's greed. The RST and Rangers First, both significant shareholders in the club, are voting with King at tomorrow's general meeting but even in the unlikely event of Ashley's resolution holding sway the current board are not legally obliged to pay him back. An RST spokesman said: "Unless Ashley renegotiates the contracts he holds with Rangers, on terms vastly more profitable to the club, Rangers fans should not purchase official merchandise. "We also suggest they boycott all brands and companies Ashley is involved with." Rangers Fi rst director Ricki Neill added: "Rangers were once the second biggest seller of replica shirts in Britain with around 500,000 sold. That is now down to 50,000 and many fans no longer feel they can wear the Rangers top as it's not financially supporting our club." Ashley issued a statement yesterday through MASH Holdings warning Rangers he is not operating a finance company. His statement said: "Sports Direct is not a bank, it is a supportive business partner and it entered into a PS10m loan facility with RFC on the basis of providing much-needed financial support. "But it was always drawn on the basis of being a short-term loan that RFC would be incentivised to repay and restore its shareholding in Rangers Retail back to what it had been." King declined to comment but the RST denied suggestions Ashley has been good for the club.
Many fans don't wear the strip as it's not financially supporting our club Rangers FIRST SPOKESMAN
ALWAYS FIRST We've led way on Ibrox power duel, last month revealing Ashley's demand for his PS5m back and details of his iron grip on retail deal
READY FOR A FIGHT Ashley is battling Gers in court and at powderkeg general meeting
The loan RangeR Ashley and King, left, are at loggerheads ahead of vote
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jun 11, 2015|
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