Newcastle United's owner Mike Ashley watches ahead of their English Premier League soccer match
Ashley owns Newcastle United and retail giant Sports DirectReuters

The headquarters of retailer Sports Direct have been raided by police as part of an investigation into the takeover of Rangers.

Sports Direct's owner Mike Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, holds a 9% stake in the football club and controls its retail operations.

Police are investigating Rangers' former owners Craig Whyte and Charles Green with officers travelling from Scotland to the Sports Direct offices in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.

Whyte, who bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1, was arrested last year relating to his 2011 takeover of the club. In 2012, Rangers fell into administration over non-payment of around £14m in tax while Whyte was at the helm.

Although police inquiries do not involve Sports Direct, the firm said in a statement: "The premises of Sports Direct at Shirebrook were visited by Police Scotland conducting an investigation relating to Glasgow Rangers FC and various persons previously employed by and or associated with Rangers.

"The police investigation is not directed at Sports Direct or at any of its directors or employees. The police were seeking documentation which might assist the investigation."

Ashley's ownership of Newcastle has come under scrutiny recently as its fans have ramped up a campaign to force the billionaire to sell the club.