Mike Ashley told to abandon Rangers retail deal

Mike Ashley has control over the Rangers retail operation. Picture: Getty
Mike Ashley has control over the Rangers retail operation. Picture: Getty
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DAVE King has urged Mike Ashley to do his bit to help return Rangers to the top of Scottish football if he wants to cash in on the Ibrox club.

Rangers chairman King believes that the club desperately need the supporters back on side, and has targeted a revamped retail deal as one way of appeasing angry fans.

If we can’t get the supporters back to out-spending Celtic then Rangers will be the second biggest club in Scotland

Dave King

A number of Gers support are boycotting official Rangers merchandise due to Ashley’s grip on the club’s retail arm.

But King told the Daily Express: “In terms of the retail operations, the agreement is not working for the club and in my view it can’t be working for Sports Direct either.

“The fans are of the mind that the current arrangement doesn’t support the club and are concerned that by buying Rangers memorabilia they are supporting Sports Direct more than Rangers.”

King also claimed that Rangers fans outspend the rivals, including Celtic, adding: “If we can’t get the supporters back to out-spending Celtic then Rangers will be the second biggest club in Scotland.

“Rangers fans still support their club even in tough times. They might have doubts but they still do it.”

Ashley was handed the keys to the club’s retail operation by Charles Green, who struck a deal with the Newcastle chief in 2012, allowing Ashley control over the club’s replica kit and official merchandise sales.

Prior to that, Sir David Murray had sold ten years of Rangers retail rights to sportswear firm JJB in 2006 for just under £50 million.