King vows to hold Sports Direct to account for ‘failures’ at Rangers
DAVE KING, the Rangers chairman, has vowed to ensure Sports Direct are “legally and financially held accountable for its failures” after lambasting the Mike Ashley-controlled company. King has hit out at the way Sports Direct have acted in recent months after Ashley was successful in his bid to silence the Rangers board earlier this summer.
A High Court injunction prevents King or his fellow directors from disclosing details about the contractual arrangements in place between Rangers and the sportswear firm. But the South Africa-based businessman has once again criticised the practices and tactics of Ashley, who in June snubbed the Extraordinary General Meeting he had called in a bid to force the Light Blues board to repay the £5m loan he agreed with the former Rangers regime in January.
Ashley has an 8.92 per cent shareholding in Rangers International Football Club plc and control over a number of key assets, including Murray Park and Rangers’ registered trademarks. But in March, his allies Derek Llambias and Barry Leach were voted off the Ibrox board as King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan swept to power. Supporters continue to boycott Sports Direct outlets and official club merchandise in protest at the way Ashley has conducted business with Rangers.
“Sports Direct continues to litigate with the Club in an attempt to enforce its wishes and demands,” King said. “This seems based on the simple logic that Sports Direct can outspend the Club in legal fees and thereby deal with the Club as it pleases. I assure supporters that the Club will not be cowed by this threat and the recent lack of communication [as a result of the gagging order] belies the level of robustness with which the Club’s interest has been and will be protected.
“Furthermore, I have sent letters to Sports Direct in my capacity as a director of Rangers Retail Limited taking them to task for poor business practices and corporate governance failures. The Club believed that it was entering into a joint venture with a large public company that would behave as a partner should.
“In my 40 years of business I cannot recollect having dealt with a public company that is run more like a whollyowned family business and appears unconcerned with other stakeholders – partners or otherwise. It remains my intention to ensure that Sports Direct is legally and financially held accountable for its failures.”
KING: Has hit out at Mike Ashley