Rangers’ boardroom troubles exacerbated by McCoist divorce

Scottish FA issue notice of complaint against shareholder Mike Ashley and the club

  Ally McCoist has resigned as Rangers manager and has entered a 12-month notice period, the club have announced to the Stock Exchange.   Photograph: PA Wire.

Ally McCoist has resigned as Rangers manager and has entered a 12-month notice period, the club have announced to the Stock Exchange. Photograph: PA Wire.

 

The first formal challenge to the dual involvement of Mike Ashley at Newcastle United and Rangers has arrived from the Scottish FA, which has issued a notice of complaint against the businessman and the Scottish Championship club.

A hearing has been set for January 27th.

Ashley is essentially alleged to be influencing the management of Rangers when not permitted.

Rangers have been accused by the association of breaching three rules, and Ashley two. Officially, Ashley is just an 8.92 per cent shareholder at Ibrox but he has a stranglehold over Rangers’ commercial rights, recently loaned the club a much-needed £3m (€3.8m) and was behind the appointment of Derek Llambias as a non-executive director and Barry Leach as a consultant.

Llambias, the former chief executive of Newcastle, is now understood to be playing a key role in day-to-day Rangers affairs.

Ashley had a previous agreement with the Scottish FA that he would not own more than 10 per cent of Rangers but other rules exist in respect of what control he may or may not have over clubs on both sides of the border.

The Scottish FA admitted in October it was seeking further information from Ashley about his Rangers role. On Monday, confirmation arrived that it was unhappy with what had – or had not – been in reply.

Included in the rules allegedly breached by both Rangers and Ashley is that which prevents someone holding involvement at a member club who “may at the same time either directly or indirectly: (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or (c) have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club.”

It is also alleged that Rangers have not acted towards the Scottish FA and other member clubs “with the utmost good faith” and that Ashley has not “acted in the best interests of association football.”

Ashley is yet to say anything in public at all about his intentions at Rangers but his involvement has angered a significant section of the club’s support. Rangers’ last accounts highlighted an £8.3m (€10.4) loss and the need to raise that figure within the next 12 months, leaving their board’s attraction to Ashley’s business wealth perfectly obvious.

News of the Scottish FA move arrived at the end of a day upon which Ally McCoist’s resignation as Rangers’ manager was confirmed. McCoist has served notice of his intention to leave the club, which would routinely run for 12 months as per the terms of his rolling contract.

This will not, however, be a happy divorce. The Rangers board issued a statement to the stock exchange which revealed McCoist’s salary – which had been subject to a voluntary cut – has been restored to £750,000 per year (€943,500) on account of his notice terms.

Rangers cannot afford a lump sum to let McCoist leave now, with the 52-year-old’s disenchantment with those in charge of the club sufficient to let him make life as difficult as possible for those in the boardroom. Talks between Rangers’ directors and McCoist are planned for sometime this week.

Guardian Service

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