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Newcastle owner and Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley doubles his stake in Rangers

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has doubled his stake in Rangers to almost nine per cent, the Glasgow club have confirmed.

Ashley had previously stated that was not interested in buying any more shares in the club, after more shares were offered to investors.

But MASH Holdings Ltd, which is in Ashley's name, has been named as the purchaser of more than four million shares, which were sold by investment management firm Hargreave Hale earlier this week.

Advancements on the London Stock Exchange show that Ashley transferred his existing shareholding to MASH Holdings, which he owns in its entirety, to give him a total stake of 8.92 per cent.

Under rules implemented  by the Scottish FA, Ashley will not be able to take his stake in the club to higher than 10%, a compromise that was reached when Ashley first bought a stake in the club. 

The FA doesn't allow a single party to hold stakes in more than one club, but the agreement was reached despite Ashley's ownership of Premier League side Newcastle.

Speculation has grown over the past few weeks that Ashley is looking to sell Newcastle, due to fan protests and a poor start to the Premier League.

But he has since claimed that he will not consider selling the club until at least the end of next season, meaning his stake in Rangers, for now at least, will not be going beyond 10%.

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