Kit contract torn up
Judge kills Rangers’ Hummel deal and orders initial payment to Ashley
Hummel kit deal is dead, says judge (pic: SNS Group)
Rangers players will not be allowed to wear Hummel kit next season after a judge ordered the club to compensate Mike Ashley’s retail chain Sports Direct over their ongoing merchandising wrangle.
Lionel Persey QC has imposed an injunction preventing the Ibrox club from wearing or selling the strips from season 2020/21. Rangers must also make an interim payment of £444,846.60 in legal fees, which could rise substantially ahead of a deadline on 16 August. Both parties will return to court to reach a settlement.
The ruling follows a victory in the court by SDI Retail Services, a division of Sports Direct, which alleged that Rangers was in breach of contract over the sale of replica kit.
Judge Persey ruled that the retailer, majority owned by former Rangers shareholder Mr Ashley, should have been given the chance to match a shirt deal struck with Elite/Hummel, thought to be worth £10 million.
Rangers terminated the merchandise agreement with Sports Direct last year without giving the retailer an opportunity to make a competing offer.
The club has now been told not to agree sale dates for any replica kits, sell any merchandise or create a Hummel branded area within the Rangers Megastore at Ibrox and they have been ordered not to propose or agree any kit designs with Hummel for next season.
The court ruling states: “During the future football season 2020/2021, Rangers shall not permit the Rangers FC teams to wear any Official Rangers Technical Products designed by, supplied by, gifted by or manufactured by Elite or Hummel, or bearing the Hummel brand.”
The club have been warned they will be held in contempt of court, fined or have its assets seized if they do not comply with the order.
A statement issued on the club’s website said: “Rangers was disappointed by the terms of the recent court Judgment but respects the decision of the court and will meet any financial award made by the court.”