Gers in kit sale ban row

In­junc­tion means club can’t sell strips

Sunday Mail (UK) - - President Faces Uprising - Nor­man Silvester

Mike Ash­ley’s Sports Di­rect firm have won a court or­der pre­vent­ing Rangers from sell­ing the club’s new kit.

The sports­wear firm went to the High Court in Lon­don where they ob­tained the tem­po­rary or­der that stops the club sell­ing the new strips made by Dan­ish sports­wear firm Hum­mel.

The ac­tion was raised by a Sports Di­rect’s sub­sidiary, SDI Re­tail Ser­vices Ltd.

The in­junc­tion ap­plies to three new kits launched by the Glas­gow club last week – one blue, one mainly white and one or­ange. None are yet on sale to fans. Sports Di­rect claim Rangers are in breach of a con­tract which al­lowed the com­pany to put in a bid to mar­ket and dis­trib­ute the same strips.

Last Mon­day, their lawyers asked Mr Jus­tice Bryan to put a tem­po­rary halt to any strip sales un­til all the le­gal ar­gu­ments can be heard.

The judge is­sued a tem­po­rary ban­ning or­der un­til Tues­day when the case will be called again at the High Court for a full hear­ing.

In his judg­ment he said:” I am sat­is­fied that this is an ap­pro­pri­ate case for in­junc­tion.”

It is ex­pected that Sports Di­rect will seek to have the in­junc­tion con­tin­ued on Tues­day.

Rangers an­nounced in April that they had agreed a three-year deal with Hum­mel.

Their long-run­ning dis­tri­bu­tion agree­ment with Sports Di­rect of­fi­cially fin­ishes at the end of this month

Rangers are said to have paid the firm £ 3mil­lion to get out of the ar­range­ment.

The Ibrox side hope to be in charge of their own dis­tri­bu­tion over the three years of their Hum­mel deal.

Rangers de­clined to com­ment on the in­junc­tion ob­tained by Ash­ley, who had an 8.9 per­cent stake in Rangers but has since sold it to a fans’ group. He pre­vi­ously had a deal with a pre­vi­ous Rangers board to take 93 pence for ev­ery £ 1 of club mer­chan­dis­ing sold in his Sports Di­rect stores. The puni­tive con­tract re­sulted in Rangers fans boy­cotting Sports Di­rect stores. When Dave King took over at Rangers in March 2012 he de­clared that his pri­or­ity would be to tear up the agree­ment.

The new deal lets Rangers take the bulk of prof­its from sale of mer­chan­dise through their Me­ga­s­tore and Web­store out­lets along with an equal share of prof­its from sales at Sports Di­rect stores.

Man­ager Steven Ger­rard’s men wore the new home top for the first time in a friendly against Bury on Fri­day night in front of more than 40,000 sup­port­ers.

But fans were last night still in the dark over re­lease dates for the home and away kits.

No an­nounce­ment is ex­pected to be made on their sale un­til next month af­ter the old strip deal with Sports Di­rect ends.

Rangers had how­ever said they hope to have the strips on sale be­fore the start of the new Premier­ship sea­son in early Au­gust.

The club’s first game is away to Aberdeen on Au­gust 5.

But any sale of the strips is de­pen­dant on the out­come of the court case in Lon­don this week.

The club are hop­ing to use money from the sale of the strips to al­low Ger­rard to strengthen the first team with new sign­ings.

No one from Sports Di­rect re­sponded to our re­quest for a com­ment.

AC­TION Mike Ash­ley won or­der NO SALE The new strips

PLEDGE King aims to bin deal

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