Rangers unveil new away kit as fans plan boycott
RANGERS have unveiled their new away kit for the 2015/16 season amid calls from a supporters group for fans to boycott all official club merchandise.
The new strip, made by Puma, incorporates the club’s Govan heritage and colours of black and red, with a predominantly red shirt with black panels teamed with black shorts and red socks.
Rangers Interim Chairman, Paul Murray, said: “Rangers value Puma’s support and are delighted to be in a partnership with such a prestigious global sports brand.”
Ruth How, Puma UKIB’s Head of Marketing, added: “Rangers has one of the richest heritages in European football and from the moment we took on duties as official kit supplier, we wanted to ensure the kits we delivered were worthy of this rich history.
“We have used all of our apparel knowledge and innovation to enhance player performance on the pitch.”
But the Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) have again appealed to fans of the Ibrox club to boycott the club’s merchandise after Sports Direct’s court victory over Rangers.
The Mike Ashley-owned firm successfully gained an injunction preventing the Rangers board from disclosing the details of the retail agreement between the two parties.
The club is due to hold a General Meeting at Ibrox tomorrow as Ashley seeks clarification over a number of issues, including the club’s delisting from the AIM stock exchange.
But after today’s court ruling, the Ibrox board will not be in a position to give further information about the retail deal that has seen many fans refuse to buy club merchandise and instead purchase alternative shirts.
Since December last year, fans have been snapping up the ‘red and black’ shirt, an alternative shirt that raises funds for the club and also pays homage to the Burgh of Govan.
An RST spokesman said: “In his panic to stop Rangers fans from knowing definitively about his questionable dealings with our club, Mr Ashley has done them a valuable service.
“There can now be absolutely no doubt that the Sports Direct contracts with Rangers are of benefit to one party and one party only.
“We call on the hundreds of thousands of Rangers fans who have already stopped purchasing official merchandise to continue to abstain from an arrangement which benefits only Mr Ashley.
“We also ask them to spread the word to their friends and family and those remaining few who may as yet not be aware of the disgraceful retail arrangements which are holding our club to ransom.
“Figures published many months ago showed that Rangers received only 70p per £10 spent on merchandise by fans. In the last accounts reported the club received nothing from the retail agreement with Sports Direct.
“Our message is simple. Unless the current contracts with Sports Direct are negotiated to the satisfaction of the Rangers board, and that satisfaction is clearly communicated to fans, then we urge Rangers fans not to buy any official merchandise from club shops, Sports Direct or any other outlet.
“Purchasing from other shops does not solve the problem.”