Ibrox board 'will not be bullied'
King defies Ashley in bid to secure Rangers cash
A special resolution was proposed at the AGM to offer shares to investors without needing to involve all existing shareholders, a move designed to dilute the influence of Mr Ashley.
The club will find out next week if the resolution – which needs 75% support – is approved. Mr Ashley and former directors James and Sandy Easdale have are opposing the plan.
Mr King told shareholders: “The last year has seen continuing attempts by Mike Ashley/Sports Direct to bully the company’s directors by suing them in a personal capacity.
“The present board comprises supporters who signed up for this challenge and who are not intimidated in the slightest by such bullies.
“Our plans would be advanced greatly if we were not being hampered by Sports Direct who continue to work to an agenda designed to help only themselves.
“As long as this board in place, no company or business will ever again be allowed to abuse or take advantage of our club.”
Earlier this year Mr Ashley’s Sports Direct attempted to have Mr King jailed over an alleged breach of confidentiality.
A senior judge at the High Court in London branded the move as “designed to intimidate” and the sportswear firm later dropped the case.
Mr King yesterday stated the club had other options to get further investment if the special resolution was not passed.
In terms of the club’s competitiveness and the need to bring in more money, he said: “We are further behind Celtic than I would have expected at this stage.
“Celtic have the bigger budget and are able to bring in better quality players but I expected us to be more competitive.
“Maybe that was the artificial euphoria of the semi-final last season. Maybe we thought we were closer than we are and that gap does exist and it is more apparent this season.
“So it just shows what we have to do to be truly competitive with Celtic. Securing European football is critical. If you look at the gap, we will always be the number two club, if that was our ambition, because our resources are way beyond Aberdeen and Hearts.
“Our ambition is to be the top club but you cannot do that without being in Europe, not only from a team competition point of view but also the revenue streams. “The budget you have available if you are playing in Europe is completely different than if you are only playing in domestic competitions.”