Ibrox rebranding on the cards as Charles Green considers raft of proposals

Owner Mike Ashley attending a Newcastle match. Picture: PA
Owner Mike Ashley attending a Newcastle match. Picture: PA
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Mike Ashley faces competition in his bid to rebrand Ibrox as the Sports Direct Arena, as Rangers chief executive Charles Green considers a number of rebranding proposals.

Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, has already agreed a deal to sell Rangers merchandise in his chain of sports stores, and has now opened negotiations with the club over the naming rights to the stadium.

The move is reminiscent of his rebranding of Newcastle’s St James Park as Sport Direct Arena @ St James Park, a name change which was subsequently reversed following angry protests by fans.

However, a number of other parties are believed to have submitted proposals, and Rangers insist that no decision has been taken on the issue.

A Rangers spokesman said: “It’s important to stress at this stage no decision has been taken about the possible renaming of Ibrox.

“A number of proposals have been put to the club and as Charles Green has said they’ll be considered if they are deemed to be to the benefit of the club.”

The renaming plan has been met with mixed reaction. Mark Dingwall, spokesman for the Rangers Supporters Trust said: “Rangers fans have been calling our stadium Ibrox for more than 100 years and will be calling it Ibrox for another 100 years to come.

“It’s important for clubs to explore new revenue streams so long as the commercial worth marries with historical values.

“It appears these type of naming deals are only successful when the stadia are new builds, such as the Aviva or Emirates.”

John MacMillan of the Rangers Supporters Association said: “It would leave a sour taste in the mouths of many supporters if the stadium is re-named but it will always be Ibrox to Rangers fans.”