Rangers: SFA dual interest hearing delayed

Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley owns slightly less than 9% of Rangers and has loaned the the club £3m

A disciplinary hearing into a possible breach of Scottish FA rules by Rangers and Mike Ashley has been delayed.

A judicial panel was due to sit on Tuesday to consider the Newcastle United owner's influence at Ibrox.

Instead, a conference call discussion will take place involving lawyers from all parties to discuss procedure and a time-scale for a decisive hearing.

It is understood that Ashley's lawyers have been granted more time to prepare their case.

Rangers and Ashley received notices of complaint alleging they have violated dual ownership rules and failed to "act in the best interests" of football.

The SFA's Article 13 states that no individual can hold stakes in two clubs without prior written permission from the board.

Ashley received that consent when he bought his initial shareholding but he also signed up to an agreement not to own more than 10% and not to exercise undue influence on the boardroom.

Ashley owns 8.29% of Rangers and failed with a bid to increase that holding to 29.9% - the SFA rejecting his request.

However, he has supplied the Championship club with a loan of £3m, with two of his long-time allies Derek Llambias and Barry Leach joining the board.

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