DAVE KING reckons Rangers have emerged from the 'jaws of death' by breaking free of Mike Ashley's influence at Ibrox.

The former Rangers chairman was involved in a lengthy and costly litigation battle with Sports Direct and their billionaire owner regarding the club's retail and merchandise operations following his boardroom coup in March 2015.

King stepped down from his position earlier this year and will now sell his major shareholding to supporter organisation Club 1872.

The war with Ashley was the key legacy issue that King inherited five years ago and it is only now that Rangers can look forward after a new long-term multi-million pound retail deal was struck with Castore earlier this season.

"Sports Direct was critical in the sense that the jaws of death that Mike Ashley had around the club were firmly locked through various legal relationships," King told the Four Lads Had a Dream Podcast.

"If we were unable to unlock that, then the club could not have made the progress it has made over the last couple of years.

"The dealing with Mike Ashley and Sports Direct was absolutely vital to getting to the position that we have reached today.

"I think from Mike Ashley’s point of view as well, the extent to which a businessman of that immense wealth and capability invested in Rangers and got involved in this indicates just how important it was to him as well. It was a fight that he wanted to win.

"The absurdity of him trying to put me in jail over Christmas for Contempt of Court for looking after Rangers’ interests indicates the depths and levels of, quite frankly, disgusting behaviour that Sports Direct went to to try and retain their grip on Rangers.

"It is absolutely vital that we have been able to release that completely, definitely and absolutely."