News coming from Scotland today that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is set to buy a stake in struggling Scottish club Glasgow Rangers.
The Herald is reporting that Mike Ashley is in talks with Rangers chief Charles Green about buying a 10% stake in the Scottish third division club.
Successful businessman Ashley is never one to miss out on a good deal, and with the financial difficulties that the former SPL side have faced, the Newcastle supremo will be able to get his stake in the Scottish club at a much lower value than 12 months ago.
The Herald is quoting a source from Rangers who has said: “Talks are at an advanced stage and the deal should be signed in the next few days.”
Of course, as well as owning Newcastle United, Mike Ashley has a controlling stake in sports retail group Sports Direct, and it is this that is driving Ashley’s interest in Rangers.
Reportedly, when Rangers fell into liquidation, rival JJB’s deal to exclusively sell their football shirts for a decade will have lapsed.
Ashley is looking to take advantage of this and sell Rangers’ replica kit through his Sports Direct stores and build on the profit his business is making.
A source close to Ashley told The Herald: “Mike has a great business. He certainly knows what he is doing on the merchandising, on the logistics front, that is for sure. Mike will want to get JJB out of the way and pick up the merchandise. It gets him a seat at the table.”
So what does this mean for Newcastle? The answer is, not very much. Don’t expect Rangers to become a feeder club for the Magpies anytime soon, but if Mike Ashley can increase his assets then he might just have some more money to invest in Newcastle further down the line.
As for the short-term, this small financial outlay shouldn’t prevent him from investing in Newcastle’s playing staff this summer.