Rangers had originally signed up for the tournament in Australia – which took place earlier this month – alongside Glasgow rivals Celtic, but then backed out of their matches amid a backlash from their fanbase. It has led to sports promoters TEG Live Pty Ltd and Left Field Live Pty Ltd filing a claim against Rangers, which was lodged to a federal court on Friday. They believe Rangers wrongfully terminated their agreement to play friendlies in Sydney against Celtic and local team Western Sydney Wanderers and are looking for £1.7million in compensation. The Scotsman understands, however, that Rangers will launch a counter-claim against the organisers over breaches in contract.
Court documents reveal that there was some disagreement over the use of the Old Firm workmark in promotion material and media releases. Furthermore, Rangers commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove wrote to TEG and Left Field chief executives Geoff Jones and Bart Campbell to inform of a contravention in agreement referring back to stipulations around the wordmark. Media reports in The Australian claim that Rangers terminated the agreement due to “overwhelming negative reaction” from fans that an Old Firm match would be played in Sydney and not due to the use of the wordmark, but a statement from Rangers on March 31 read: “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.”
TEG Live Pty Ltd and Left Field Live Pty Ltd claim they suffered loss and damage following the “wrongful termination”. Tickets for the matches in Australia went on sale in mid-March, before Rangers pulled out of the event, and they have pointed to a clause in the agreement outlining Rangers should play unless a “force majeure event” – such as a pandemic or adverse weather – should happen.
English Premier League outfit Everton replaced Rangers at the event between November 16 and 20, with Celtic playing matches against Sydney FC and the Toffees.