Interesting news from north of the border regarding Rangers and Sports Direct & Mike Ashley.
The endless process goes on, as the Glasgow club attempts to free itself from the shackles imposed by a previous Ashley-friendly regime, which enabled the NUFC owner and his retail empire to get very advantageous deals with Rangers.
The Scottish club have just lost a court battle because they reached agreement with another company regarding club merchandise, without having given Sports Direct and Mike Ashley the opportunity to match that deal, something they are obliged to do due to previous onerous deals.
The judge ordering Rangers to pay the legal fees of both sides, an amount in excess of £400,000.
However, on the bigger picture, Rangers Chairman Dave King has said that the club are fully committed to going after Sports Direct to court for ‘outstanding payments’ on previous sales.
King believes that large amounts of money are ‘due and are long standing’ from the time that Rangers have been tied to Sports Direct.
He says that ‘The club has still not, despite repeated requests, received a proper accounting for the retail activities or payments due under it.’
In the past it was reported that Rangers were believed to be receiving only 7p in the pound for revenue generated by sales of official club merchandise.
This led to boycotts of buying official club merchandise as Rangers fans tried to prevent Mike Ashley raking in the cash from what they believed were deals ridiculously weighted in Sports Direct’s favour.
Newcastle fans will be watching with interest as they continue their ongoing protests against Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United.
This Saturday sees the latest protests set to take place before and after the Watford home match.
A two month programme of planned protests was recently announced by The Magpie Group, with the centre-piece being a call for fans to support a one-off boycott of the Sky Sports televised home game against Wolves on Sunday 9 December.
“In terms of profits from Sports Direct’s sale of Rangers kit under the prior agreement, the club has still not, despite repeated requests, received a proper accounting for the retail activities or payments due under it.
“That certainly does not provide me with any comfort in dealing with Sports Direct as a partner.
“It is solely because of Sports Direct’s refusal or inability to act as expected of a normal commercial partner that Rangers now has no choice but to litigate to secure payments that are due and are long outstanding.
“My advice to Sports Direct is that whatever short-term success it might enjoy through its courtroom maneuverings will not affect my resolve, nor that of RIFC’s other investors to ensure the best deal for the club and its supporters.
“We continue to show the resolve we have demonstrated over the last three years in resisting all attempts by Mike Ashley and Sports Direct to take further advantage of our club.
“As in previous litigation, Sports Direct’s urgent court injunctions will always be complied with – but will not be the final word.”