Rangers chief hits back at SPFL over cinch deal as fresh information comes to light over 'agency'

Rangers have hit back at the SPFL via a strong letter to member clubs which includes a claim regarding a six-figure agency fee.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has written to member clubs over the cinch deal. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has written to member clubs over the cinch deal. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Scottish champions have been in private discussions with the league body since June 8 over the five-year sponsorship deal with used car firm cinch.

For the opening game of the season, a 3-0 win over Livingston at Ibrox, Rangers didn't display the cinch logo on their shirts or on advertising hoardings while no cinch man of the match was awarded.

The club claims if they were to comply it would breach an existing deal with chairman Douglas Park’s motor company.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson wrote to the SPFL clubs to explain their position, noting Rule I7 which “protects the commercial interests of all members”.

He also claimed that the issue was raised before the £1.6million-a-year deal with cinch was signed, and that the deal was brought to the SPFL by an agency “that will receive c.£100,000 pa in fees for each of the five years of the deal”.

The letter said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Rangers continues to comply with the rules of the SPFL.

“When the SPFL Executive put forward the written resolution with regards to the new sponsorship contract, Rangers immediately notified Neil Doncaster that, in line with Rule I7, we would be unable to provide the new sponsor with many of their rights due to a pre-existing contractual obligation.

“We cannot breach an existing contract. This is a legal principle which is founded in Scots Law and is the reason that the SPFL has Rule I7 within its rules.

“Rangers has complied with and will continue to comply with the SPFL rules and fulfil all sponsorship obligations which do not conflict with our pre-existing contractual obligations.

“However, this situation has raised some questions which the members may well wish to ask of the SPFL Executive:

- Given the possibility of Rule I7 being relied upon by members, did the SPFL Executive/legal advisors include a clause in the contract with cinch, which allows the SPFL not to provide rights to cinch where members rely upon Rule I7? If not, why not?

- Given that the issue was raised by Rangers (when there is no need under the rules for Rangers to do so) immediately after the written resolution was raised, why did the SPFL Executive proceed to sign the contract when they knew there was an issue and without further checking with Rangers as to its extent?

- Did the SPFL Executive inform cinch prior to the contract being signed that it could not provide all of the rights it was contracting to provide due to SPFL Rule I7?

– It was interesting that the Chairman provided the Chief Executive with the credit for closing the deal when it was introduced to the SPFL by an agency that will receive c.£100,000 pa in fees for each of the 5 years of the deal. That is c.£500,000 of cash that will be leaving the Scottish game. Is this the best use of Scottish Football’s limited resources? Could this money have been better spent by employing a full time Commercial Director?

“I trust that this clarifies the position.”

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