Former Rangers shareholders and Ibrox pariahs the Easdale brothers have pulled out of a deal to buy English Championship Derby County.
Sandy and James Easdale confirmed their interest in the cash-strapped club only last week but have since pulled out due to the “unworkable timelines” involved in the deal.
Easdale brothers withdraw their interest in #dcfc:
“We feel the timelines set out were unworkable for us to fairly value the club with so many issues to cover.”
They are now actively looking at other clubs up for sale.
— Rob Dorsett (@RobDorsettSky) November 9, 2021
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett also confirmed that the duo were actively on the hunt to purchase another club.
This is similar to the comments of Sun journalist Alan Nixon who claims that Derby administrators are pushing hard to get a “winner” amid those parties interested in a buyout.
Nixon claims that it leaves American businessman Chris Kirchner as the frontrunner to take over at the cash-strapped club.
Derby County. Easdale brothers pulling out of race. Can’t proceed because admins pushing quickly to get a ‘winner’ … that leaves Chris Kirchner as only one in currently. Easdales looking for other clubs in England.
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) November 9, 2021
Reports had suggested the Easdales were being supported by potential investment from a Far-East-based Malaysian consortium [Herald].
Easdale brothers ousted by Dave King-led Rangers regime in 2015
Owners of McGill’s Buses, the Easdale brothers became substantial shareholders in Rangers in 2013 and were heavily linked to the involvement of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley at Ibrox.
As this Business Insider report claims, “Mike Ashley installed a range of right-hand men to the board of Rangers… in order to secure his grip over the football club.”
This mainly concerned British football club ownership rules which prevented Ashley from owning 30% of the club outright with the Sports Direct owner seeking to circumnavigate these rules through a series of loans to the Ibrox side.
James Easdale was ousted from the board in 2015 – alongside Ashley confidants Derek Llambias and Derek Leach and ex-Ibrox chairman David Somers – during the period of the Dave King and Three Bears led takeover which implemented the new Ibrox regime and built the foundations of the club’s recent success.
Legacy issues aplenty remained from that era at Ibrox – most obviously in the club’s retail operations – with the Dave King-led consortium even repaying a £5m loan to Ashley later in 2015.
The Easdale brothers sold the last of their Rangers shares to Dave King as part of a court-ordered share offer in 2019 [Herald].
Rangers fans will be experiencing some déjà vu amid the Easdale brother links to Derby, especially considering Ashley himself was linked to Derby County only last month.