Rangers fans protest against board at Ibrox Stadium

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About 600 Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox before and after the abandoned Championship game against Hearts in a protest against shareholder Mike Ashley, who wants the stadium as security for a US$15m (£10m) loan.

Rangers require emergency funding, with the club unable to pay January’s wages. Police Scotland say officers dealt with a disturbance outside the ground but there were no details of arrests. The protest came after news that Newcastle United and Sports Direct owner Ashley had offered a US$15m (£10m) loan, but wanted Ibrox Stadium and the Murray Park training ground as security for it.

Rangers had previously said they would never allow Ibrox to be used as security against a loan. Ashley owns 8.92% of the shares but his attempt to increase that stake to almost 30% was rejected by the Scottish Football Association.

The consortium comprising Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, which owns 20% of Rangers, has said it will increase its offer of US$7.5m (£5m) in funding to avoid the board opting for Ashley’s cash.

“Rangers fans, including ourselves, do not want Ibrox given over as security to anyone,” said a spokesman for the consortium, which wants two board positions in exchange for the cash. “There is absolutely no need when there are people ready and committed to offer more-than-adequate funding, while at the same time protecting the stadium.”

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