English Premiership

Ashley fined for dual interests

2015-03-04 08:45
 Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United's owne
Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United's owner Mike Ashley. (AFP)

London - Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has been fined $11 500 for breaching dual interest regulations by investing in Rangers, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) announced on Tuesday.

Ashley was charged with breaking rules that prevent parties from exerting an influence over more than one club after acquiring an 8.92 percent stake in Rangers last year.

The British businessman was hit with the fine following an SFA disciplinary tribunal on Monday, but a second charge that he had not acted "in the best interests of association football" was found to be "not proved".

Rangers are due to appear before a hearing on March 16 to answer three charges over the matter.

The SFA had previously blocked an attempt by Ashley to raise his stake in Rangers to 29.9 percent.

Ashley has made loans to the financially crippled club, holds commercial contracts related to their retail division and has two business associates, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, on the Rangers board.

However, former Rangers director Dave King has claimed he is on the brink of taking control at Ibrox after calling a general meeting in a bid to overthrow the club's board.

Chairman David Somers and director James Easdale have already resigned, but King said that chief executive Llambias and finance director Leach were "stubbornly" refusing to budge ahead of a shareholder vote at an extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

"All of the Rangers directors that are subject to my requisition have now accepted that my resolutions have been successful and there is now no need for the general meeting to proceed," King said in a statement.

"Mr Llambias put it best by advising me that I had achieved a 'landslide' victory. I wish to thank all shareholders, and particularly the fans, for this resounding success. The future now looks more recognisable for all Rangers stakeholders.

"James Easdale and David Somers did the right thing by resigning, however the two appointees of Mr Ashley have stubbornly refused to resign and are using their current position to withhold implementation of the resolutions for personal gain."

King was a director of the 'old' Rangers, who were relegated to the Scottish fourth tier in 2012 after the club went into liquidation.

The 54-time Scottish champions have since secured consecutive promotions, but are currently 24 points behind leaders Hearts in the second-tier Championship, albeit with three games in hand.


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