AS they were celebrating a major legal victory over former chief executive Charles Green, it emerged yesterday that the Rangers board could be facing defeat either at the club’s Annual General Meeting later today or some time in the next three weeks in the civil court.

Green had taken Rangers to the Court of Session in Edinburgh demanding the club pay his legal fees – the Yorkshireman and others are facing criminal charges at a trial next year relating to the 2012 takeover of the club which was then in administration.

Lawyers for Green argued a clause in his contract meant Rangers had to pay Green’s “reasonable professional costs and expenses” – a sum possibly running into six figures depending on the length and complexity of the trial.

Judge Lord Doherty spelled the clause out in a summary of his judgement in favour of Rangers.

It stated: “The company will pay any reasonable professional (including, without limitation, legal and accounting) costs and expenses properly incurred by the employee after the date of this agreement which arise from having to defend, or appear in, any administrative, regulatory, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings by a third party as a result of his having been chief executive of The Rangers Football Club or the company.”

The judge concluded: “On a proper construction of the clause those criminal proceedings do not fall within its ambit.”

Lord Doherty issued a written opinion to Rangers and Green but added that the opinion should not be made public until after the criminal proceedings against Green and his co-accused have been concluded.

Green does have the right to appeal against the decision, but there was no indication of that yesterday.

Meanwhile Sports Direct billionaire and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has made it clear today’s AGM will not end his battle against chairman Dave King even if crucial votes go against him.

Later this morning at the SECC, the AGM of the club will vote on two resolutions aimed at consolidating the board members’ grip on Rangers International Football Club plc by converting their loans into shares and issuing new shares, diluting Ashley’s holding.

A third resolution, No 11, that would effectively have banned Ashley from having a say in Rangers’ affairs – despite being the third-largest shareholder – was withdrawn after a court action by Ashley and his company MASH Holdings.

The National has learned that even if the remaining two resolutions are voted through – and one is not certain to pass as it requires a 75 per cent majority – Ashley will go to court if the board acts on them, and legal sources say he is “confident of winning.”