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22 January 2016, 11:01
Rangers chairman Dave King has been cleared by the High Court of committing contempt of court over his dealings with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
In the latest chapter of a bitter dispute that has embroiled the Ibrox club, Mr Justice Peter Smith ruled on Friday that the attempt to have Mr King found guilty of contempt for breaching a gagging order should never have been brought and was an abuse of process.
Mr Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, has already failed in his bid to persuade the judge that Mr King should be jailed over the issue.
The hearing continues.
Mr Ashley and his sportswear company had claimed Mr King was in contempt because he gave a media interview revealing the existence of a meeting and discussions related to contracts between Sports Direct and Rangers.
Mr King stated that he had no recollection of whether or not he said the words complained of in a Sky Sports interview.
Lawyers for Mr Ashley argued the court was entitled to draw inferences against Mr King to the criminal standard required for an individual to be jailed for contempt.
The King-Ashley clash has turned into a legal game of two halves: A further hearing is pending over Mr Ashley's claims that Mr King has breached a confidential agreement.
The London legal battles, estimated to have cost some £400,000 so far, are the latest development in a conflict which started when Mr King took over running Rangers and centres on the commercial arrangements between the club and Sports Direct and its subsidiaries.