Sevco’s case against Mike Ashley is set to go another round at least, after the Ibrox club motioned to have the Sports Direct’s magnate injunction lifted. That issue will now have to go to a hearing at a date to be determined, with this matter set to drag on and on.
The injunction applies to the Elite deal, and since it was put in place Sevco has actually tried numerous scams to work around it and in certain matters ignored it completely. They have a cheek making this request and I’m quite sure Ashley’s lawyers pointed out how ridiculous it was.
King’s planned departure from the Sevco board was an opportunity for them to halt this whole thing, go to Ashley on bended knees and cut a deal.
Yet King has told the gibbering hordes that he won’t go until he “wins” this.
Like with everything King has ever been involved with in the courts, there is no “winning” here and no-one realistically expects him to except the Sevco fans, and let’s face it they believe every word out of the “glib and shameless” liars mouth.
King’s entire history with litigation, both here and in South Africa, has been a record of defeat followed by delay followed by defeat followed by delay followed by defeat … and on and on. What you notice about it all is the complete absence of winning, unless you include his ability to push a reckoning a little further back each time.
Whether it’s his battles with tax authorities, the Takeover Panel or Ashley, the pattern repeats itself over and over again. Eventually he’ll run out of road and he knows it … in the meantime, he’ll drag it out as long as he can, spinning it every which way.
This saga has been ongoing since the day he took the reins at Ibrox. One of his first acts was to tear up a legally binding contract with Sports Direct, which led to Ashley’s initial court proceedings. King eventually caved, but only when the threat of jail for contempt was hanging over him. He lied to the media about the settlement he and Ashley reached … a settlement he was to break, leading to the current crisis. He has lost two major court battles on this already.
The strategy itself isn’t even particularly original.
King and Sevco are not doing anything that dozens of unscrupulous businesses don’t do every single day in the courts when they want to get out of meeting responsibilities or paying bills. This is low-order gutter behaviour, and it’s common because it works as those who bring actions oftentimes don’t have the funds or the patience to see things through to the finish. King has always believed Ashley would get tired of this, but we’re talking about a billionaire here with unlimited resources and all the time in the world.
He also despises King and recognises him for the fly-by-night chancer and second-rater that he is. King is a jumped up accountant who worked out how to play stocks games; Ashley built a billion-pound business from the ground up.
He’s the real deal, and knows King isn’t in his league.
He is not going to fold up his tent and quit here, not without getting satisfaction and restitution both. Restitution might be the easy part; all someone at Ibrox has to do is write him a cheque. Satisfaction is what King and the Ibrox board should be worried about. They turfed him out of the boardroom, they have collectively blackened his name and they continue to drag this out when they know they are in the wrong and should get back around the table.
I doubt Ashley has any interest in negotiating now. Why should he?
He has this club and its board by the short ones and all Sevco is doing is buying time, at great expense because of the lawyers and legal fees. When this wraps up they will probably end up stuck with all his costs as well, so there’s no danger of this even making a dent in his petty cash box.
But it will make a big hole in the Ibrox operation when this goes to the wire.
At some point they are going to have to write that big cheque, and the only way I can see that they get out of it is if they sit and give Ashley an even sweeter deal than the one he has, one which he will publicly rub their faces in and dare their supporters to respond with boycotts and backlash knowing that it will damage their own club and make no difference at all to him.
They’ve lost this. The writing is on the wall in letters ten feet high. But rather than admit that, accept it and pay the cost, they want to fight a rear-guard action to keep their own fans sweet and give King the aura of the warrior prepared to outlast the enemy.
What fools they are.
This is who we’re up against, by the way, and shame on our board if we lose when this mob is so dysfunctional in their decision making.