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Sponsorship row

Court backs Park’s right to be heard in Cinch row

Ibrox

Rangers have refused to display Cinch brandingg (pic: SNS Group)

Rangers chairman Douglas Park has won a court battle against the SPFL which will allow his firm to take part in court proceedings around a dispute with league sponsor Cinch.

The Ibrox club has declined to display the online car dealer’s branding since the SPFL agreed an £8 million deal with the company in the summer.

Rangers players have not worn any Cinch logos on their jerseys while the club has not promoted the sponsor at Ibrox stadium.

Rangers’ decision revolves around a conflict of interest between Cinch and Mr Park’s own used car business. The club argues that it has a legal right to take this route which accords with the SPFL’s own rules.

Rangers insist that the club made clear to the SPFL prior to it signing of the deal that it would not promote Cinch at the stadium.

Mr Park has now obtained a court ruling that ensures Park’s of Hamilton will be part of any proceedings.

A spokesman for Park’s said: “The three judge appeal court agreed with Park’s, Rangers and the original judge that the SFA and SPFL’s failure to include Park’s in the arbitration process went against the SFA’s own rules.

“The ruling from Scotland’s highest court confirms that the SFA and SPFL must not proceed with an arbitration process without including Park’s of Hamilton.”

Cinch-SPFL-sponsorship

Cinch signed a sponsorship deal in the summer

Park’s said it was surprised “from the outset” that both the SFA and SPFL argued against this petition.

“We were even more surprised that the SFA chose to appeal the first decision despite stating at the original hearing that they would include Park’s in the arbitration process if the company were successful at that stage.

“Park’s is proud of its association with the SFA and Scottish football, which dates back over 50 years, so it is with great regret that we were once again forced to take this action to protect ourselves.

“This was a situation entirely of the SFA and SPFL’s own making and we hope that the SFA will now follow through with their stated commitment and include Park’s in the arbitration.

“As we made clear at today’s hearing, we believe that all parties with an interest should now be included in the arbitration process.”

Last month, judge Lord Braid heard advocate Lord Keen of Elie QC – who has been representing the SPFL – say that bosses at Rangers Football Club Ltd spoke to chiefs at cinch about renaming the club’s stadium earlier this year.

The lawyer told the Court of Session that the organisations explored the possibility of calling the club’s home ‘the cinch Ibrox stadium.’ The club denied the claim.

Following the hearing, a statement from Rangers read: “Cinch approached Rangers to discuss commercial opportunities in early 2021.

“Rangers provided information on what opportunities might become available. This is common practice for our commercial team.

“At no point did cinch offer any terms to Rangers. Contrary to the SPFL’s claims, no ‘negotiations’ took place.”



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