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Ibrox clubs agrees deal

Rangers and Sports Direct settle retail dispute

IbroxRangers and Sports Direct have agreed to settle their legal dispute and have launched a new retail offering which they hope will end the fans’ boycott of club merchandise.

It brings an end to a long-running and acrimonious battle between Rangers chairman Dave King and Sports Direct’s majority shareholder Mike Ashley, below, which has been played out in the courts.

Under the old scheme Rangers earned just 7p in the pound and suffered a further loss of revenue from fans refusing to buy merchandise in protest.

The Ibrox club described the new arrangements as representing “a fresh start” that will see Rangers kit and products sold through its website and throughout Sports Direct’s stores.

It said: “The negotiations between the parties have been protracted and have not been smooth.”

Both parties thanked Puma for its “assistance and patience” during a period that has been difficult for the company as official kit supplier to the club.

Rangers also expressed its thanks to Sports Direct “for its willingness to restructure the arrangements between the parties”.

The club said it recognises that Sports Direct entered into legal agreements with the previous board at a time in the club’s history when the future was very uncertain.

“SD’s willingness to restructure the relationship reflects confidence in the way the club is now being managed,” it said.

Mike Ashley Sky vid“For obvious reasons it is not the practice for the details of commercial arrangements to be made public.  However, in view of the publicity surrounding the previous agreements and the resultant boycott by supporters of kit purchases we consider it appropriate to give supporters some insight into the new arrangements.

“The new arrangements represent a fresh start for the Rangers Megastore, the relaunch of the Rangers Webstore and the sale of Rangers kit and products throughout SD’s stores.”

The cub said the financial arrangements between the parties are transformed.  It will now receive by far the majority of net profits from the retail operations at the Megastore and Webstore together with an equal share of all net profits from sales through Sports Direct. Rangers will also obtain a priority dividend on the winding up of Rangers Retail Ltd.

“Supporters now have certainty that any money they spend on Rangers products will be hugely beneficial for the club.

“SD will benefit from the increased sales and from the opportunity of demonstrating the part its retail skills can play in building and commercialising the Rangers brand which was always SD’s intention.

“Both parties are delighted to achieve a successful resolution to the issues that have previously marred the relationship between them and bring an end to the protracted and costly litigation.

“TRFC and SD hope that the new arrangements will be long standing but there is no longer a fixed commitment on that front. We will rely on our combined commercial performance and drive to cement the relationship going forward.

“Rangers has traditionally been one of the best performing brands in British football and the Club believes the new arrangements can restore it to that position, providing funds to invest in the team and facilities at Ibrox and Auchenhowie.”

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