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Rangers chief Dave King fights to cut club's ties with Mike Ashley

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers chairman Dave King will to continue fight Sports Direct in the courts after revealing the club had served notice to end their retail partnership.

The announcement comes a day after Mike Ashley's sportswear firm dropped a breach-of-confidentiality claim against Rangers, which a judge had branded "ridiculous".

King was earlier cleared of contempt of court following an allegation by the Newcastle owner, whose legal fight has now been taken to the Scottish FA in a Court of Session dispute over his punishment for breaching rules over dual influence.

It previously emerged that Rangers were locked into a seven-year contract with Sports Direct, so a long legal battle looks set to continue.

The club recently raised £5m through shareholders to pay off a loan from Sports Direct, whose owner Ashley holds a nine per cent stake in Rangers and had several allies on the board before King and others swept to power 11 months ago.

King said: "A further unanticipated investment was made to pay off the Sports Direct loan and to recover all security held by Sports Direct.

"That has now been completed and the club has formally given notice to end the relationship with Sports Direct."

Sports Direct were ordered to pay estimated legal costs of £400,000 following its failed action at the High Court in London.

King said: "For the first time a board of this club has stood up to the threats of Sports Direct and has achieved resounding success in court proceedings including the recovery of legal costs.

"Sports Direct's motives were severely exposed when a High Court judge ruled that Sports Direct abused court processes in its attempt to bully the club and me."

Belfast Telegraph


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