Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's 'profit' motive led to boardroom coup at Rangers

Mike Ashley felt that he could “run Rangers at a profit”, according to Dave King.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:00 pm
Mike Ashley.

King has been speaking about Ashley’s involvement in the Scottish Premiership club after Steven Gerrard's side won the Scottish Premiership title for the first time in a decad

The former Rangers chairman led a successful boardroom coup to oust the Newcastle United owner in 2015 after a face-to-face meeting with the billionaire in London.

“I don’t think Rangers would ever have folded completely in the sense the supporter base is so large,” said King.

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“My view just prior to becoming involved with the club, when I looked at the Easdale/Ashley axis, was that under their business model Rangers were never going to compete for honours again.

“I had a conversation with Ashley in London, and his view was that he could run Rangers at a profit. He could have done that – of course he could. If you have 50,000 fans willing to buy season tickets, then it was feasible.

“If you spend less than you earn, and you have a loyal customer base, then he could have made a profit, but Rangers would never have competed. Rangers at that stage were so far behind Celtic that it required major investment to play catch-up.

“My concern was that if we hadn’t found a way to unlock regime change, and bring in investors who had the same target of winning leagues and not making money, then I felt Rangers would become a senior junior club in Scotland. It would have become a one-team league.”

The PA news agency has contacted Ashley for comment.