Dave King: Rangers ready to repay Mike Ashley’s £ 5million Sports Direct loan
RANGERS chairman Dave King has confirmed that Ibrox’s board will repay the £ 5million loan to Sports Direct.
The Head of Light Blues told shareholders at RIFC Plc’s AGM this morning that the directors chose to return the money to Mike Ashley at a board meeting last night.
Ashley agreed to lend money to the former Ranger regime earlier this year and has launched a series of legal steps in recent weeks.
Read more: Live coverage of the Rangers AGM
King said it took “an hour” to get the pledge of funds from investors George Letham, Douglas Park, George Taylor and John Bennett. Ashley, whose Sports Direct company controls the flow of Rangers’ merchandise, will now be reimbursed for the money she is owed.
King told approximately 1,000 shareholders at the Clyde Auditorium: “At the board meeting that we concluded in the early hours of last night, the board made the decision to reconsider our position. previous concerning the Sports Direct loan.
“I previously thought the loan was something the club was entitled to and should not be repaid. But with the current situation with Sports Direct, a decision was made last night that we would strive to repay the loan as long as we could raise the funds to do that.
“I am delighted that once again, with the commitment of investors to this club, it only took me an hour to make phone calls and myself, Douglas Park, George Letham, George Taylor, Paul Murray and John Bennett (given a) pledge for the £ 5million and we will notify Sports Direct today that we will repay this loan. ”
Referring to Sports Direct’s situation, King insisted that the board would succeed in securing more “mutually beneficial” partnerships in the future.
He said the “Doom and Gloom” in Ibrox and Murray Park had disappeared and “positive progress” had been made in the park.
King reaffirmed his goal of ‘£ 30million’ to help Mark Warburton’s side progress at the park, but admitted much would depend on Warburton’s strategy. The President said he was pleased with the value of signings so far and added that promotion to the Premiership was “essential for positive cash flow going forward”.
General manager Stewart Robertson has confirmed that player salaries currently represent “around 40 percent” of sales.
King also used his speech at the Annual General Meeting to call Charles Green’s legal claim “absurd,” after former President Green failed in his attempt to recover Rangers’ legal fees from the Court of Justice. session.
Mr Green was forced to resign as general manager of Rangers in April 2013 when allegations of business ties with former owner Craig Whyte emerged, although he has denied any wrongdoing.
He had also been fined £ 2,500 by the Scottish FA for making racist comments in a newspaper interview about his colleague, former Rangers trade manager Imran Ahmad. Green left the club four months later after his contract was terminated as a paid consultant to the club.
Mr Green and several others, including former club owner Craig Whyte, appeared in Glasgow Sheriff’s Court earlier this month on charges in connection with the Sevco takeover.