Newcastle boss' Sports Direct HQ visited by police

Newcastle boss' Sports Direct HQ visited by police

Police have searched Mike Ashley's Sports Direct headquarters in Derbyshire as part of their ongoing investigation relating to Rangers.

The Newcastle United owner has close to a 9% stake in the Ibrox club, and Sports Direct has control of their retail operations.

"We can confirm that officers carried out a search of a property in Derbyshire," Police Scotland said.

"As this is part of a live inquiry, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

A statement from the sportswear firm read: "The premises of Sports Direct at Shirebrook were visited by Police Scotland conducting an investigation relating to Glasgow Rangers FC and various persons previously employed by and or associated with Rangers.

"The police investigation is not directed at Sports Direct or at any of its directors or employees. The police were seeking documentation which might assist the investigation.

"Sports Direct has co-operated fully and will continue to co-operate in the provision of information that the police request."

Sports Direct's merchandising deal with Rangers began in 2012 and Ashley also acquired the naming rights to Ibrox Stadium.

His influence grew with a series of loans and the placing of former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias and Sports Direct executive Barry Leach on the board.

They were both voted off as a new regime swept to power in March.

Ashley's involvement began after Charles Green's consortium took control at Ibrox in June 2012, after which the Glasgow club re-emerged in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

Previous owner Craig Whyte was arrested with four others last year in the ongoing police investigation into his acquisition of the club from Sir David Murray in May 2011.

The club went into administration in February the following year.

Whyte was released on bail on November 28 after appearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court charged with fraud.

More in this Section

Breen and Nagle still to finalise plans for 2020Breen and Nagle still to finalise plans for 2020

Ronan O'Gara: Munster lack killer nous to turn three into sevenRonan O'Gara: Munster lack killer nous to turn three into seven

Brendan O'Brien: Finding balance between ‘Faz’ and ‘Boss’Brendan O'Brien: Finding balance between ‘Faz’ and ‘Boss’

Reece James signs new five-and-a-half-year deal with ChelseaReece James signs new five-and-a-half-year deal with Chelsea


Lifestyle

Do you want to be a self-sufficient gardener? Think chickens, solar power and foraging, says Hannah StephensonWant to make an urban garden more eco-friendly? Think chickens, solar power and foraging

Good nutrition right can make a vital difference on the pitch. Clodagh Finn talks to performance nutritionist Emma Tester who is responsible for crafting bespoke diet plans for Munster playersGame on: Performance nutrition delivers results on the pitch for Munster Rugby

Good news! Teenagers are drinking and smoking less! But before we get too comfortable, they’re exercising less too.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Teens aren't looking after themselves because they don’t feel looked after

Five days after arriving in Colombia, Fiona Barry and Keith Ward met a rescue pup called Gracie, who gave them paws for thought, says Paula Burns.Puppy love: Irish couple on dream trip campaign to save Colombian pups

More From The Irish Examiner