Rangers have found themselves in the odd position recently where certain people in the media have been championing Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for a return to Ibrox once he completes the ongoing sale of the St. James’ Park side.
Bizarrely, TalkSport host and renowned Celtic fan Alan Brazil has been at the forefront of the de-facto Ashley campaign, writing in the Sunday Post that the Sports Direct billionaire has “firm” interest in an Ibrox takeover.
Brazil may be in receipt of inside-information from the Ashley camp suggesting a move could be in the offing but, for those of us on the outside, there seems to be no basis in reality for Brazil’s claims.
Billionaire Ashley’s previous involvement with the Gers was fairly big news and it surely won’t have escaped Brazil’s attention that the retail magnate sold his near-10% shareholding in the Ibrox club within the last 12 months.
It also, presumably, didn’t slip past Brazil that the club finally ended several years of legal squabbling with Ashley’s Sports Direct chain over the Gers’ retail rights with the club paying £3million to end the much-discussed agreement several years early.
Even ignoring all of that, it doesn’t take a long memory to recall Ashley’s previous involvement with Rangers at board level as he had sidekick Derek Llambias parachuted into the Ibrox boardroom and loaned the Glasgow club cash and players.
Of the six players Rangers got on a six-month loan from Ashley’s Newcastle – Haris Vuckic, Gael Birgirimama, Remi Streete, Shane Ferguson and Kevin Mbabu – only Vuckic made any impact and Birgirimama, Streete and Mbabu made a combined total of one appearance.
And who can forget the time Ashley negotiated a deal so that he gained the naming rights to Ibrox for £1?
Or when all of the club’s intellectual property was transferred to Sports Direct as security for a loan with the retail giant in line to receive the proceeds from Rangers’ shirt sponsorship with online bookmaker 32Red if certain conditions weren’t met?
What’s worse is, this is all stuff that is out in the public domain.
There’s likely much, much more that has never seen the light of day and probably ever will.
Brazil could be right and Ashley could have “firm” interest in revisiting his investment in Rangers but one thing is for certain; it’s not for any footballing or altruistic reasons.
In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton has made a very bold claim about this Tuesday decision from the Gers.