Glasgow & West Scotland

Mike Ashley to pay SFA and Dave King costs after failed court challenge

Mike Ashley Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mike Ashley dropped his case against the SFA over its decision on Rangers chairman Dave King

Mike Ashley will have to pay the legal costs of Rangers chairman Dave King and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) after abandoning a legal challenge.

The Sports Direct owner had sought to challenge the SFA's decision to class Mr King as a "fit and proper person" before he became chairman of the club.

He dropped the action in April after he received information about how the SFA came to their decision in May 2015.

Judge Lord Bannatyne has now ruled Mr Ashley is liable for all legal costs.

The case was brought by MASH Holdings Limited. The company is the ownership mechanism in which Mr Ashley holds his Rangers shares.

Tax convictions

Mr Ashley believed that the SFA should not have allowed Mr King to participate in the day-to-day running of Rangers because of his tax convictions in South Africa.

Mr King admitted to 41 breaches of the South African Income Tax Act and agreed to pay a £43.7m settlement in 2013 following a legal battle there.

The legal challenge by Mr Ashley was dropped, however, after the businessman's legal team received information about Mr King's finances which the SFA used in their deliberations before passing him "fit and proper".

Mr Ashley's legal team argued that he should not have need to pay the SFA's costs, as is the usual legal convention for the side which loses a civil case.

They said that the businessman would not have gone to court if he had been given the information at an earlier stage.

In a written judgement, Lord Bannatyne ruled: "On the primary issue argued before me regarding the awarding of expenses, I am clearly of the view that the petitioners' argument should be rejected.

"I am persuaded that there is no proper basis for not following the normal rule that expenses should follow success.

"Where a party seeks on the morning of a first hearing to have the action dismissed then that party in my opinion must be held to have been unsuccessful."

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