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Three billionaires keen on Gers

Mike Ashley could become one of three billionaire investors in Rangers, the newco's chief executive, Charles Green, has revealed.

Reports suggest Newcastle owner Ashley is one of the potential investors interested in buying a stake in the club, who kick off life in the Scottish Third Division on Saturday.

Asked by Sky Sports News whether the Sports Direct magnate would invest, Green replied: "Hopefully, yes." However, he declined to give any details of the other two potential investors.

He explained that "talks are ongoing at the minute, so it would be premature to name them" and stressed that he would not expect Ashley to put huge sums of money into the Ibrox club.

"I don't think Mike needs to throw [money at the club] - that's not the model that I think is sustainable for any football club and not Rangers,'' he said. "What Mike will do, subject to all the agreements going through, is bring the might of Sports Direct - and that in itself, in my mind, will bring £5-10 million a year from merchandising revenues back into the club.

"That is far, far more worthwhile than Mike individually signing a cheque, because that's not the right way to run football clubs. It's about sustainability, it's about continuing revenues, it's about brand awareness. It's about developing the brand and doing it worldwide.''

Rangers manager Ally McCoist welcomed Ashley's possible involvement at Ibrox and said: "The one thing about Mike Ashley you would say right away is that he looks a very astute and clever businessman.

"You could argue there's not too many of them involved in football, but he certainly ticks the box."

McCoist added that if Ashley could "bring his expertise and some of his wealth with him to support and push the club forward, I'm absolutely delighted with that".

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