BREAKING: Rangers announce new retail deal

Rangers have today announced that the existing retail deal with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has been torn up in favour a new, shorter deal on considerably better terms. Under the previous agreement, put in place by Charles Green and his cronies, Rangers would have been tied in for at least another five years to a deal that effectively made the club no money at all from retail operations.

The renegotiated terms represent a huge victory for Dave King and the Rangers board, after a bitter dispute which even involved Ashley attempting to have the Rangers Chairman jailed. Fans have been boycotting the club’s retailing operations for the past two seasons but it seems a combination of bad publicity, fan pressure and the refusal of King to back down has seen Sports Direct come to the table.

Key Points:

  • Rangers Retail Dissolved - the joint operation between Rangers and Sports Direct has been dissolved. This means that Rangers should now have clear visibility of the funds due to them from sales rather than relying on dividends paid at the discretion of Sports Direct.
  • Rangers regain control of their own megastore and online sales - this mean fans can once again purchase kit and other merchandise through the Ibrox megastore and Rangers website. It also seems clear from the official statement that this is by far the preferred option in terms of the return to the club.
  • Rangers give go ahead to fans - Rangers have been able to give supporters official confirmation that they now view the deal as being beneficial. This is likely to give fans the confidence to once again purchase kits despite the continued involvement of Sports Direct. Up until now the club had been obviously reluctant to promote official merchandise in any way.

In a prepared statement Rangers said: 

"The Rangers Football Club Limited (TRFC) and Sports Direct (SD) are pleased to announce that they have terminated all prior agreements between them and entered into a new commercial arrangement on terms substantially different from the terminated agreements. As part of the new arrangements, the Rangers Retail Limited (RRL) joint venture between TRFC and SD has ended and, going forward, TRFC will deal directly with SD."

"The financial arrangements between the parties are transformed.  TRFC 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 SD."

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

Fans can now look forward a Puma kit for the coming season which they can purchase in the knowledge that the proceeds will actually help Rangers instead of simply filling the tills of Sports Direct. Retail has historically been a big earner for the club and the renewal of this income stream comes at a good time with the club pushing to improve the squad and challenge for the title and in Europe.

Rangers Statement in full:

"The Rangers Football Club Limited (TRFC) and Sports Direct (SD) are pleased to announce that they have terminated all prior agreements between them and entered into a new commercial arrangement on terms substantially different from the terminated agreements. As part of the new arrangements, the Rangers Retail Limited (RRL) joint venture between TRFC and SD has ended and, going forward, TRFC will deal directly with SD.

The negotiations between the parties have been protracted and have not been smooth. In that regard, TRFC and SD thank PUMA for its assistance and patience during a period that has been difficult for them as official kit supplier to the Club.

TRFC has also expressed its thanks to SD for its willingness to restructure the arrangements between the parties. TRFC recognises that SD entered into legal agreements with a prior 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.

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 financial arrangements between the parties are transformed. TRFC 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 SD. TRFC will also obtain a priority dividend on the winding up of RRL.

The new deal will deliver real value for TRFC and SD. 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."