Mike Ashley hands Rangers new £1m lifeline

The billionaire has already provided the fallen giant with a £2m loan

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The Independent Online

Crisis-hit Rangers Football Club today got a further lifeline from retail billionaire Mike Ashley.

Having warned that it needs more cash because of lower-than-expected attendances this season, the fallen giant is set to get an extra £1 million from the Sports Direct founder, who provided it with a £2 million loan last month. 

Ashley has tightened his grip on Rangers over the past few weeks by appointing Derek Llambias, the former Newcastle United managing director, and Sports Direct executive Barry Leach to its board. 

However, because he owns  Newcastle, he is forbidden from increasing his current 8.92 per cent holding in Rangers above 9 per cent.

Rangers said it had also entered into a new marketing arrangement with Ashley’s Sports Direct, which sees the latter give up its naming rights to Rangers’ Ibrox stadium.

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David Somers, executive chairman, said: “This agreement has been concluded to demonstrate the importance both parties place on our relationship. The Rangers board welcomes this visible demonstration of the Sports Direct support and long-term commitment to Rangers.”