Mike Ashley
Newcastle fans are demanding answers over Ashley's dealings with Rangers. Reuters

Newcastle United supporters have demanded a full explanation regarding Mike Ashley's intentions at Rangers after the Toon owner raised his investment in the Scottish giants to £3m.

The 54-time Scottish Premier League champions confirmed that Ashley had loaned the club an additional £1m to offset reduced attendances for home games at Ibrox this season, following a £2m loan earlier in the year which reduced the threat of administration.

Rangers also confirmed the club would require further investment before the end of 2014, such was the shortfall in the sale of match tickets after a 32% drop in average gate figures from the last campaign.

Ashley currently owns 9% of Rangers, permitted despite breaching Scottish Football Association rules due to an agreement with the governing body that his stake will not be increased while still owner of Newcastle.

The 50-year-old's minority stake means he falls short of breaking Premier League regulations regarding owning multiple clubs, however, should both Rangers and Newcastle qualify for the same Uefa competition in the near future European football's authorities could step in.

During seven years as Newcastle owner Ashley's popularity has plummeted due to what is perceived as a lack of investment in the playing squad while his other primary business interest – retailer Sports Direct – flourishes.

Though Ashley has committed to remaining as Newcastle owner until at least the end of the 2015/16 campaign uncertainty surrounds his dealings with Rangers and the club's supporters trust want answers over his plans.

"There is some concern that he is taking money out of Newcastle and putting it into Rangers," trust director Peter Fanning told IBTimes UK.

"It's difficult from the Newcastle point of view what impact his role with Rangers will actually have. I've found it difficult to understand what the implications might be for Newcastle.

"A lot of fans understood that you cannot have an owner of two football clubs covered by the same organisation, and that would be Uefa. We're entitled to know the rules and what would be the case if the two teams met.

"Newcastle fans are probably interested in what that means and football fans are entitled to have it explained whether you can influence more than one football club at a time."

Fanning also admits five successive wins, including a run to the League Cup quarter-final after victory over holders Manchester City – a string of results which have handed manager Alan Pardew a stay of execution at St James' Park – have dampened the scrutiny over Ashley's latest move.

Consistent lack of investment, particularly in the transfer window, has led to several full-scale and angry protests from supporters during Ashley's tenure as Magpies owner.

But NUST say they will not question Ashley's level of investment at Rangers until the amounts he loans the club begin to match what is expected of him in the north east.

"It doesn't worry me that he's put that £1m into Rangers because I don't see that as money as he could be putting into Newcastle, what we want is hundreds of millions of investment in the football team," he added.

"I don't think the size of what he is putting into rangers is particularly important. I don't understand what his strategy with Rangers is. Clearly he has a plan, he intends to achieve something at Rangers which at the moment is costing him very little."