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Rangers chairman King demands answers from Sports Direct

Rangers chairman King demands answers from Sports Direct

Rangers chairman Dave King has vowed to take legal action against Sports Direct despite two recent court defeats for the club.

A High Court judge last week ruled Rangers had breached the terms of a merchandising agreement made with a company in the Sports Direct group, by making a new deal without giving Mike Ashley’s firm a chance to match that offer.

Rangers were ordered to pay legal fees which, coupled with a similar defeat in July, are set to cost the club close to £1million.

In the wake of the verdict, Sports Direct urged Rangers to “accept the outcome, move on and put in place commercial arrangements with Sports Direct, for the benefit of the Rangers fans and the club”.

But King has vowed to keep fighting while complying with Mr Justice Teare’s ruling after accusing the firm of failing to make payments due to the club.

In a personal statement which did not immediately appear on the official Rangers website, King said: “I challenge Sports Direct to follow up its statement by sharing with Rangers supporters how much last season’s retail agreement benefited the club.

“In terms of profits from Sports Direct’s sale of Rangers kit under the prior agreement, the club has still not, despite repeated requests, received a proper accounting for the retail activities or payments due under it.

“That certainly does not provide me with any comfort in dealing with Sports Direct as a partner. It is solely because of Sports Direct’s refusal or inability to act as expected of a normal commercial partner that Rangers now has no choice but to litigate to secure payments that are due and are long outstanding.

“My advice to Sports Direct is that whatever short-term success it might enjoy through its courtroom manoeuvrings will not affect my resolve, nor that of RIFC’s other investors to ensure the best deal for the club and its supporters.

“We continue to show the resolve we have demonstrated over the last three years in resisting all attempts by Mike Ashley and Sports Direct to take further advantage of our club.

“As in previous litigation, Sports Direct’s urgent court injunctions will always be complied with – but will not be the final word.”

King declared the “end of the dispute with Sports Direct” in June 2017 and it later emerged in the club’s annual accounts that Rangers had paid £3million to come to a deal. Newcastle owner Ashley went on to sell his nine per cent stake in the Glasgow club.

Sports Direct has been contacted for comment.

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