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Rangers fans demand beleaguered board steer clear of further investment from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

THE Union of Fans are concerned Ashley's influence could prevent participation in future UEFA competitions - and also fear Ibrox could be re-branded with his Sports Direct logos,

Owen Humphreys/PA Wire JS42688847.jpg Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

RANGERS supporters have demanded the beleaguered board steer clear of further investment from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

The Union of Fans claim Ashley has been approached to underwrite the club’s forthcoming £4million share issue in a bid to prop up its ailing balance sheet.

However, they are concerned his influence could thwart participation in future UEFA competitions – and are also worried that Ibrox could be re-branded with Ashley’s Sports Direct logos.

The Light Blues legions are seeking assurances from the SFA that if Ashley does increase his holding, Rangers will not be subject to sanctions from Hampden chiefs around the issue of cross ownership.

Ashley currently owns around 8.9 per cent of Rangers but the SFA are declining to comment at this stage on the implications if he increases his stake further.

Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham said: “It has come to our attention the board are considering a move which could see Mike Ashley underwrite the £4m share issue.

“We’d question the wisdom of approaching someone who, despite his wealth, cannot significantly invest without removing himself from his ownership position at Newcastle.

“If the SFA give dispensation to Mr Ashley to up his stake will it be irreversible and without possible future sanctions? Will the board get an unequivocal assurance that the SFA will not use this issue as a stick to beat the club with further down the line?

“We are also concerned that, under UEFA regulations on dual ownership, Mr Ashley cannot have a ‘decisive influence over decision making’ at Rangers without it leading to the possibility of us not being able to compete in European competition.

SNS Group chris-graham.jpg Rangers Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham

“He could find himself holding around 20 per cent of the shares in our club, having control of all club merchandise and being the largest single shareholder if he underwrites this issue. We would ask the board to publicly confirm they will have full written clearance for Mr Ashley from both UEFA and the SFA.”

Ashley was one of the original investors in the IPO overseen by former chief executive Charles Green and only five other interests currently own a bigger shareholding.

A deal to rebrand Ibrox as the Sports Direct Arena was mooted last year but came to nothing, although the club has a close merchandise relationship with the company.

Graham added: “Mr Ashley’s initial purchase of shares appears to have been linked to his merchandise deal.

“We hope any possible assistance given to the board by Mr Ashley at this time will not see him clinch another favourable deal, perhaps to rename Ibrox at a knockdown price.

“Can the board confirm renaming Ibrox will not be part of any underwriting deal and that we will not be seeing garish Sports Direct signage defacing our iconic main stand?”

The Rangers board have been forced to seek emergency funding after season-ticket sales plummeted in light of concerns over the men running the club.

But Graham said: “The club needs urgent, substantial investment – not a short-term fix which will be lucky to see us past Christmas.

“Even if they are successful in raising the £4m, almost half the money will immediately have to be used to repay overdue loans.

“The board indicated to us they could raise this money at the push of a button. Sandy Easdale also stated, pre AGM, that investors were lined up. Clearly, neither statement has turned out to be true.”

Rangers last night declined to comment.

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There's a shortfall financially and Ashley is willing to put his money in. I don't see what's so bad about this.

I don't either but its pretty obvious what their problem with it is; they've done their absolute best to manufacture this moment in the hope the board would be forced to go cap in hand to King, they're not best pleased there's another option available.

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Right this is becoming a monumental Fuck up from this fangroup.

Let's see they've chased away Bill Miller, Bill NG, CG, and now they want to chase away one of the Biggest Investors in the UK.

All through Scaremongering and stories about not being allowed to Play in Europe and big signs on Ibrox.

We really really need to gag this group now as they are just making a mockery of our Club as well as trying to derail every Investment Plan.

Honestly it's pathetic and the Club need to put a gagging order on this lot.

If our Club go into Administration again it will be the direct consequences of scare story upon scare story from them.

Grow a Pair Rangers and gag these cnuts now.

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Right this is becoming a monumental Fuck up from this fangroup.

Let's see they've chased away Bill Miller, Bill NG, CG, and now they want to chase away one of the Biggest Investors in the UK.

All through Scaremongering and stories about not being allowed to Play in Europe and big signs on Ibrox.

We really really need to gag this group now as they are just making a mockery of our Club as well as trying to derail every Investment Plan.

Honestly it's pathetic and the Club need to put a gagging order on this lot.

If our Club go into Administration again it will be the direct consequences of scare story upon scare story from them.

Grow a Pair Rangers and gag these cnuts now.

How?

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Statement gets released at 10pm on a Sunday night .... Rhecord run it first press..? Coincidence? Board can't react (if they'd even rise to this shite) until its on the table of that rhags dwindling readership. It's quite simply designed that way.

Its pathetic, but no more that I've come to expect from this lot.

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How?

So your happy with all of this shit then?

We have a shitty manager we cant get rid off due to a lack of cash.

We need to remove him asap or this Club will never progress.

This Fangroup have chased numerous Investors away and at Mike Ashley Is the only Legitimate Businessman who pays his Taxes and is willing to put Cash into the Club.

But no that's not good enough for this lot is it?

They are obviously playing politics with our Club.

They should be gagged as they are damaging our Club on a Daily Basis.

That's how.

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I am thinking of forming a breakaway group of fans(don't know if it's been done before) and I was wondering how many fans I need to make it legit ,also how do I elect a spokesperson and is there a dress code. Also can I apply for a grant from Glasgow City Council and will they sell me a bit of land cheaply to build my gang hut on.

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I cant wait for these cunts to fuck off and make their own new club FC Rangers of Glasgow or whatever and leave us, who actually support the Rangers, in peace. Theyre not Rangers fans, theyre no better than tims.

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I cant wait for these cunts to fuck off and make their own new club FC Rangers of Glasgow or whatever and leave us, who actually support the Rangers, in peace. Theyre not Rangers fans, theyre no better than tims.

Worse than tims. The bhead rattlers have less direct influence over our club and are never quoted in relation to possible buyers/investors.

How about a card display 'UoF == GTF'.

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