Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is set to come to the aid of Scottish Championship side Glasgow Rangers.
The former Scottish Premier League champions have been struggling with financial problems ever since the original club was liquidated in 2012. It will now accept a £10 Million loan from Mr Ashley's retail company to stay in business.
The transaction includes £5 million to be made available immediately as working capital while further funds will be used to pay back a £2 million loan sanctioned by the Newcastle United owner on October 27th.
Mr Ashley currently holds a 8.92 per cent share in Rangers but has previously failed in his attempt to increase his stake to just under 30 per cent. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has blocked these advances and there has been accusations of a conflict in interests due to Mr Ashley's ownership of Newcastle.
Under the terms of this new loan, the Sports Direct owner will receive security over Rangers' Murray Park training ground, registered trademarks and other properties. However, the Gers' home stadium Ibrox has not been included in the agreement. The Scottish Championship side will hand Mr Ashley a further 26 per cent in shares in Rangers Retail Limited, of which he already owns 49 per cent.
A statement from Rangers said: "The terms negotiated with Sports Direct represent the optimum combination of quantum and duration of funding, allowing the company time to arrange permanent capital which can be used for strengthening the playing squad."
The future of Rangers has been a major talking point in Scottish football in recent months. The club has already rejected two takeover bids from American Robert Sarver, whose first bid was deemed to be "undervaluing" the club. Mr Sarver returned with a £20 million approach but this was also rejected with Rangers not confident that the move would be approved by its shareholders.
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