Rangers & Mike Ashley accused of ownership breach by Scottish FA

Mike Ashley
Ashley owns 8.29% of Rangers

Rangers and Mike Ashley have been accused of breaching several Scottish FA rules relating to the Newcastle United owner's stake in the Ibrox club.

Ashley owns 8.29% of Rangers and has an agreement with the SFA that he will not increase that to above 10%.

However, in October, Ashley's £2m loan to the Scottish Championship club allowed him to appoint two directors.

The SFA wrote to Rangers and Ashley seeking clarification and will now hold a disciplinary hearing on 27 January.

Both the club and Ashley have been issued with notices of complaint alleging they have violated Scottish FA rules on dual ownership of clubs and failed to "act in the best interests" of football.

Rangers have further been accused of not acting "with the utmost good faith" towards the Scottish FA and its member clubs.

Newcastle have declined to comment, but the Premier League in England has no rules outlawing dual ownership.

However, the Football League does have specific rules banning interests in more than one football club - so if Newcastle were relegated, Ashley's stake in Rangers would then become an issue in England.

In September, Newcastle released a statement on behalf of Ashley, which said he "remains committed"external-link to the club until at least the end of the 2015-16 season.

Former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias was named a non-executive director at Ibrox after Ashley's initial loan.

Then, later in November, it was confirmed the Newcastle owner had provided Rangers with a further £1m.

Ashley, who owns Sports Direct, has control of Rangers' shirt sales and retail division for the next five years.

Earlier on Monday, Rangers confirmed that manager Ally McCoist has resigned and is serving a 12-month notice period.