Rangers could face legal fight after Aussie U-turn
Rangers could face legal action after withdrawing from the controversial Sydney Super Cup, the Ibrox club blaming organisers for a breach of contract.
The Scottish champions were due to meet Celtic in Australia in November in the first ever meeting of the two clubs outside of Glasgow.
However, the historic fixture is now off, Rangers confirming their change of heart just days before a crucial Old Firm league clash at Ibrox on Sunday.
The decision to participate in what had been labelled as Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s homecoming tour to Australia, sparked a wave of protests among the Rangers fans, despite commercial chief James Bisgrove saying the trip would be worth in excess of £3m to the club.
In a statement which Rangers will hope will appease supporters ahead of the potentially pivotal clash against Premiership leaders Celtic this weekend, the Ibrox club pointed the finger at the tournament organisers.
“Rangers can confirm the club will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022. After it became clear the tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments to Rangers, we have, with immediate effect, terminated the club’s agreement with the organisers,” the club said.
The four-team tournament sanctioned by New South Wales Government was also scheduled to involve Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC.
Promoters TEG Sport and Left Field Live hit back at Rangers’ claims of a contract breach, saying: “The Rangers board committed to these matches following extensive negotiations over eight months. Seemingly in response to negative fan reaction, they have pulled out of their contracted commitment.
“We have worked closely with all stakeholders to bring this exciting event to Sydney and we refute any suggestions that we were unwilling to fulfil our commitments to Rangers. We have acted in good faith and have put the event on sale with a great response from fans here.
“In changing their minds, the Rangers board has let down many fans in Australia and the Asian region. We will now consult with our stakeholders before determining our response.”
Former chairman Dave King weighed into the furore surrounding the trip, claiming that if Rangers pulled out, he would offer up to £3m to cover any financial losses as a result of the U-turn.
The Glasgow giants had agreed to take part in the tournament during a break in the Scottish Premiership due to the World Cup in Qatar.
Rangers will now look at pursuing other commercial opportunities during the pause in domestic action next season.
Celtic are looking to extend their lead at the top of the table over their arch rivals to six points with a victory on Sunday, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst knowing a win for his side will leave everything still to play for as the title race draws to a conclusion.