Rangers reassure fans over Sports Direct kit sales
Rangers have sought to reassure their fans over Sports Direct’s involvement in the retailing of their new Castore-produced home strip.
Following a long-running court dispute, Rangers were finally able to cut ties with Mike Ashley’s controversial sports company in May but, in its advertising, Sports Direct claimed that the new Rangers kit would be sold “exclusively” in their stores from 1 August.
However, in statement released last night which did not make direct reference to Sports Direct, Rangers set out that Castore, the club’s official retail supplier after agreeing a £25 million, five-year deal with the Ibrox side, would determine which outlets stocked the merchandise and that all sales would “benefit” Rangers – an issue with the previous Sports Direct contract.
The statement read: “Rangers continues to look forward to their long term exclusive partnership with Castore, which, for the avoidance of doubt, is a direct agreement between those two companies with no other persons party to the deal.
“As previously stated, it offers a fresh start for the Club and a chance to purchase high quality clothing and other products that directly benefit Rangers. As is common practice in teamwear retail, Castore will form a number of wholesale supply arrangements with high street retailers in the UK and overseas because that is key to the global aspirations of both Castore and Rangers but the purpose of these arrangements will always be to maximise the availability and sales channels for Rangers products.
“Rangers exclusive partnership with Castore ensures that Rangers always directly benefits with a royalty from the sale of all of the Rangers products manufactured, distributed and retailed by Castore. This includes all products distributed by Castore to high street retailers.”
The Rangers statement highlighted that a refurbished Rangers store at the stadium would be selling the new kit from August 1. This store had previously been in the control of Sports Direct, and, as a result of the commercial conflict between the company and the club, had not sold the official Hummel-branded kit of the past two years.
“The new Rangers Ibrox Retail Store will be complemented with a number of other key retail sites in Glasgow and further afield, now identified by Castore and Rangers and close to agreement,” it read. “The Ibrox Retail Store will undergo a £250,000 renovation and become a key venue for all Rangers supporters and on matchdays will be supported with further pop up stores within the stadium.”
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