Former Rangers chairman Dave King has opened up on breaking the “vice-like grip” on the club Mike Ashley and the Easdales had, fearing it would leave Scotland as a “one team country.”
Ashley and his puppets on the Ibrox board were doing their level best to wring every last penny they could from the Light Blues for “personal interest” and King confesses he was “bemused” by the inability of various parties to oust them from Ibrox.
King and the Three Bears would eventually take control of the club six years ago before stepping down last year and announcing his intention to sell his shares to Club 1872.
“I was really watching the situation from afar,” King said [Gallant Few podcast].
“The club was in very dire circumstances. We were struggling at Championship level, never mind challenging for the Premiership title. We were actually struggling to get out of the Championship.
“Mike Ashley and the Easdale axis had this sort of vice-like grip on the club and its finances to the extent that it was absolutely clear if there wasn’t some kind of intervention Rangers would never be a competing club in Scotland again.
“I viewed it as being extremely dire – to the point that Scotland would become a one team country. Celtic could have lifted 20 titles in a row, 30 titles in a row, never mind 10.
“There was just no prospect of any other club challenging them because they didn’t have the resources.
“Rangers was the only club because of their inherent level of support, but the club was being strangled because of the Ashleys and the Easdales, for personal interest.
“I was watching this and I was continually surprised or bemused by the inability of the various consortiums that were put together within Scotland, by supporters groups. They were well-intended in terms of taking control of the club, but they lacked the financial muscle needed.
“The key was trying to get a backer in there who had some money behind him.
“It really just got the point where the situation was so desperate I thought: ‘Our club could actually be gone’.
“It got to a point where I thought: ‘No, I really have to do something about this’.”
Two Rangers players are on the brink of a Europa League suspension against Antwerp on Thursday night