Rangers fans know all-too-well the story as now former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley reportedly considers a move for Derby County.
The Rams are in a financial mess as their over-compensation in attempting to get to the Premier League comes back to haunt them and the club enters administration.
With it comes a points deduction and an unsure future but according to the Mirror High St billionaire Ashley could step in at Pride Park.
This, according to that newspaper at least, is with the intention of giving his Sports Direct brand a public platform with Ashley’s experience at Newcastle United leaving him undeterred in football.
As Rangers fans everywhere groan “here we go again” it’ll cast them back to the days of the Gers’ own financial issues in 2012 and the investment from Ashley into the club.
The Newcastle owner owned almost 9% of Rangers at one stage and negotiated woefully inadequate retail deals – from a Rangers POV – which infamously delivered 7p to the £1 to the club.
The billionaire was even interested in securing the Ibrox club’s trademarking rights and Ashley also agreed to provide up to £10m in loans back in 2015.
What followed Mike Ashley’s involvement was years of kit boycotts, the Sports Direct brand being plastered all over Ibrox and – who could forget – the Newcastle Five.
Not to mention the years of legal battles between this regime and the last to secure the club’s retail rights with ex-chairman Dave King locked in something of a personal battle with the controversial retail magnate.
Rangers fans can empathise with Derby County situation
This severely hampered Rangers’ ability to develop as a club and fans were consistently let down by being unable to in good conscience buy retail stock and Ibrox merchandise.
Following the signing of the Castore deal – itself subject to much Mike Ashley conjecture which the retailer has repeatedly denied – this signalled the end of these retail contracts.
For Rangers fans looking on at Derby County – who are staring down the barrel of a gun – they will empathise with Rams fans just eager to see their club survive.
But they need only look at the disastrous consequence of dealing with Ashley and the long-term implications this could hold for their team.
There’s a reason why Newcastle United fans took to the streets in celebration last week and it speaks volumes that a Saudi regime is more welcomed at St James’ Park than Ashley is.
Whilst plenty of Derby fans might take Ashley’s involvement to rescue their EFL status, Rangers fans are well aware that any support will likely come at a cost.
Speaking of the Newcastle United takeover, here’s why one Rangers partner will be rubbing their hands regarding the £305m deal.