Rangers wait for judge’s ruling in Sports Direct court battle

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Bosses at Rangers are waiting for a judge’s ruling on a High Court row with Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

READ MORE - Sports Direct wins interim injunction against Rangers

Mike Ashley's firm was granted an injunction to stop Rangers from selling their new kits. Picture: PA

Mike Ashley's firm was granted an injunction to stop Rangers from selling their new kits. Picture: PA

The dispute centres on a deal through which a company within the Sports Direct group sells replica Rangers kit and other branded products.

Mr Justice Phillips was told, at a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday, that the agreement between SDI Retail Services and bosses at the Glasgow football club was close to expiring.

SDI bosses want to stop Rangers entering into a new deal with a “third party”.

They say a contract clause means they should have a chance to match any new offer. Bosses at Rangers dispute their claim.

Earlier this month, a judge made a holding order temporarily barring bosses at Rangers from signing a new deal.

Mr Justice Phillips heard arguments, from lawyers representing both sides, about whether that order should be extended. He said he would announce his decision on Wednesday.

Bosses at Rangers were involved in a High Court dispute with Mr Ashley in 2017.

SDI bosses complained that Rangers’ directors had wrongly terminated a deal through which branded products were sold.

Rangers’ directors disputed the claim and asked a judge to call a halt to the litigation.

Judge Richard Millett made a ruling in Mr Ashley’s favour and decided that the litigation could continue.

Barrister William McCormick QC, who led the Rangers’ legal team, told Judge Millett how fans had become angry after learning the club only got about 7p of every £1 spent and had staged a merchandise boycott.

Mr McCormick said fans thought Mr Ashley pocketed too much of their money. He said there was a widespread view that no “self-respecting” Rangers’ supporter wore a replica shirt.

Mr Justice Phillips was on Tuesday told that the boycott had ended.

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