Comment on The Case for a New SFA. by RayCharlez.
I am usually wrong but for a bit of pre-trial mischief making, wouldn’t it be interesting if Brian Stockbridge is listed as a witness today?
It’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.
Two wrongs and a right
From Herald http://bit.ly/1TYSsrM
SPORTS Direct owner Mike Ashley’s grip over key Rangers assets has been released, it has been revealed.
Securities held by the billionaire Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner over property including the Murray Park training ground, Edmiston House and Albion car park have been released in the last few days, according to Registers of Scotland documents. (StateAid nut was right)
However the Intellectual Property Office said it was unaware of any active moves or applications being made to release Sports Direct’s hold on the club’s valuable trademarks and badges.
An IPO spokesman said: “The owner of the UK-specific trademarks of Rangers are still owned SportsDirect.com Retail Ltd. There is no information that this is likely to change at present.”
The development comes over a week after Rangers announced it had taken out a £6.5 million loan from associates of club chairman Dave King – most of which would be used to pay off a £5 million emergency loan to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct – which gave the company security over vital club assets.
Newcastle owner Ashley, who has a near 9% share in Rangers, gave the Scottish Championship club the money to help them remain solvent.
Registers of Scotland confirmed that application to discharge the securities over the assets was made by representatives of Sports Direct.
On Christmas Eve Rangers said that repayment of the loan was made that would see security over the Murray Park training base, the Albion car park, Edmiston House and their registered trademarks returned to their control.
As Sports Direct never confirmed receipt of Rangers money, the securities release is the first sign that Mr Ashley has accepted full reimbursement of the loan.
Confusion over the whether the loan was being paid off began a month ago, when a continuing bitter legal dispute between Mr Ashley and Mr King took a new twist with a courtroom denial that the Ibrox club had actually repaid a £5m loan to the billionaire businessman.
The legal team acting for King had told a High Court hearing in London that the loan had been repaid to Ashley in full.
However, on the second day of a legal dispute hearing, David Quest QC, acting for Ashley, told a judge that was not the case. Mr Quest said the claim had come as a surprise and been investigated.
He said that they were still in the process of collecting the funds in order to make the repayment and were still waiting to collect another £500,000.
The Rangers International Football Club plc board had previously said it was not in the club’s interests to repay the loan.
Speaking at the club’s AGM in November Mr King explained the decision to go back on a previous pledge not to return the money to Sports Direct, which was not repayable on demand and had no fixed repayment date.
A host of Rangers and club-related trademarks and logos including the famous RFC Scroll crest and the Ready logo were held by Mr Ashley and Sports Direct as security against the £5 million loan, taken by the club at the start of last year.
Ashley also had the right to appoint two directors to the board for the duration of the loan facility, tightening the Newcastle owner’s grip on the club.
In May, last year, Ashley called for an extraordinary meeting to pay back his £5m, even though it is understood the sum was payable on demand. The motion failed to receive the necessary backing from shareholders.
Through his Sports Direct empire, Ashley controls Rangers’ retail and merchandise streams and King and his fellow directors have been keen to renegotiate the deals to secure more favourable terms for Rangers.
The Newcastle United owner has launched a series of legal moves against the board in recent months while supporters continue to boycott official shops and Sports Direct outlets in protest at his controversial relationship with the club.
The Herald understands that any repayment will not have an effect on Mike Ashley’s control over the Rangers Retail joint-venture.
In January, last year, Sports Direct were given a further 26 percent of shares in Rangers Retail to add to the 49 percent which was already owned by the English businessman. It was a condition of the £5 million emergency loan to the club.
Even if the loan is paid off and Sports Direct did not have control of the shares, Mr Ashley would still have control of the company which runs the club’s entire retail and merchandise operation, including the club’s Rangers Megastore.
That is because only Sports Direct has A shares in the operation and even with 49 per cent of Rangers Retail, they are twice as valuable when it comes to voting. That’s because each A share receives two votes instead of just one on “Financial Matters”.
In November it emerged Mr Ashley, who is also Newcastle United owner, joined the Rangers Retail board with club chairman Dave King.
The billionaire Sports Direct chief had already been the ultimate controlling party of the division but after his appointment, his people outnumbered King’s by three to two.
The Rangers Retail board remains made up of four directors, Mr King and Rangers International Football Club plc director Paul Murray alongside Ashley, Sports Direct International chief executive David Forsey. Sports Direct’s head of legal Cameron Olsen is both company secretary of Rangers Retail and SDI.
The Rangers Retail registered office also remains at Sports Direct International HQ in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
Mr King has previously admitted that the speed in which the Sports Direct loan would be paid off would be down to the company.
Can anyone explain on what basis Ashley is able to hold on to the IP assets for now?
Two wrongs and a right
Bit confused here.
According to the Rangers statement given to the Evening Times no money has yet been arrested.
This appears to contradict other reports, unless I am confusing events.
A spokesman for Rangers said: “The hearing which is a preliminary step in the court proceedings is to determine whether the pursuer can seek to arrest funds due to Rangers by 3rd parties. No such funds have to Rangers’ knowledge actually been arrested. Friday’s decision will determine whether the pursuer will still have the right to arrest on the dependence of the legal proceedings or whether whether this right should be removed.”
Nothing is ever simple with Sevco/Rangers
Two wrongs and a right
trial sub judice court illegal guilty money laundering
Hopefully this goes into moderation.
I note my last comment was, rightly, put in moderation.
RayCharlez 2nd January 2016 at 12:34 am
While it is potentially defamatory to the three people involved I would argue that previous sanctions and actions taken against them make them ‘fair play’ in that they no longer have a public reputation for honesty.
I’m not a lawyer and totally understand if you err on side of caution.
If you don’t and decide to publish the comment, could you please fix one of the links I provided as it is incorrect.
It should be http://www.icij.org/offshore
All the Best and a Happy New Year
Two wrongs and a right
We know King stashed cash in Bermuda.
Is it not possible that he has other funds syphoned away that are now being drawn down?
Perhaps he has off-the-radar cash that he is willing to funnel into Ibrox.
Given the bizarre swings and roundabouts that have been a feature of the soap opera story in Govan I would not be too quick to discount this theory.
LNS – A Summary
I think it is worth re-reading this article from when Ashley called for the EGM which asked shareholders to vote to repay the £5m.
“Another asked whether it would be better to repay the £5m loan and thus free up the securities granted against it. Gilligan replied that was “not in the best interests of the business” and added: “We’re asking for the trust of shareholders on this.”
Surely the Ibrox board took extensive legal advice well before the EGM on the terms of the loan and potential punitive charges?
How could they suddenly find themselves in default six moths later without knowing this was a possibility that was “not in the best interests of the business” given there are now, apparently, accumulating punitive charges?
The volte-face makes no sense to me.
I can’t believe RIFC was so badly advised on the terms of the loan that they would suddenly capitulate without even taking it to court.
Perhaps aspects of the loan have been discussed in the present case but the details have not been aired due to reporting restrictions?
As it is, I get the feeling there is an important variable in action that we are all missing.