Despite having the keys to St James’ Park jangling next to the one for his Bentley, the influence of the nation’s favourite chairman Mike Ashley seems to reach all the way to Rangers.
The Newcastle owner also has a stake in the stricken Glaswegian giant and, although he’s restricted to just ten per cent on account of his Magpies ties (which prevents him from squeezing into a replica shirt and jumping on the terraces, apparently), but it would seem he curries more weight than his investment indicates.
Ashley has reportedly launched a bid to have chief executive Graham Wallace and director Phillip Nash exiled from the Rangers board.
This hasn’t sat well with the current decision makers at Ibrox, who have vowed to fight the pair’s corner, but their support may well prove futile, with Ashley in control of the naming rights to the club’s stadium, as well as being in charge of their retail division through his company Sports Direct.
While these reports may be painting a rather nefarious portrait of the discount sports good vendor, being ruled under Ashley’s porky fist isn’t all bad, just ask Newcastle.
This summer he forked out £37.9m on new players and in 2011/12 he oversaw the club’s miraculous fifth-place finish in the Premier League.
His shrewdness in the transfer market would be incredibly helpful for a club in the financial disarray Rangers find themselves too.
World-class lock picker Yohan Cabaye was signed for around £4.5m, before selling him two-and-a-half years later for more than four times the amount.
Furthermore, the unwavering patience he has with managers should endear him to the Gers faithful.
Favourite son of the terraces, Ally McCoist, was frequently coming under pressure from the previous regime, despite achieving successive promotions from the lowest rungs on the Scottish football league ladder.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has displayed no such levels of competence in recent seasons, yet it appears that Ashley has no intention to sack him.