Newco kit deal, the Ashley in the Room


I know we have a big Europa League game tonight but I cannot keep my hands off yesterday’s statement from the ever-interesting Newco.  Their Commercial director, James Bisgrove, who is almost one year in the job, does not have a kit deal in place for next season.

Let’s clarify how the process of getting a kit deal works:

Summer is when kit manufacturers make most of their money.  Product has to be on the shelves in June at the latest, before the schools break and people fly off on holiday.

To achieve this, manufacturing slots are booked for March or early April.  These are high volume items, production cannot be arranged off the cuff.

Clubs’ official launch dates are late April or early May, by this time, stock is in warehouses.

If a club is out of contract, as Celtic are this year, the new deal will usually be announced in March.

The contract itself will be concluded the previous autumn.  The intervening months are used to prepare kit design, confirm manufacturing slots and affect an orderly handover.

At a club like Celtic, the process to complete a new kit deal for summer 2020 will have started a year before, but in truth, conversations about ‘the next contract’, go on between club and suppliers all the time.  I would expect the same at Newco.

So why, therefore, on the 19 February, did Newco issue a public notice, inviting potential kit and retail partners to get in touch?

Time is short.  Multi-million pound contracts with any serious manufacturer will require scoping and due diligence, this could take weeks, if not longer, considering Newco’s complicated arrangements with the Ashley in the Room.

Sports Direct have matching rights on whatever deal Newco can acquire and were awarded recompense for missing out on the last deal.  This means that potential suppliers know that whatever work they put into a bid, Sports Direct have a right to be informed of their terms and, if they want, can decide to take the contract on those terms.

This is perhaps why neither Nike, Adidas New Balance, or anyone else has already secured preferred supplier status.  Worse still, as Newco do not have an offer in place, as it stands, Sports Direct could potentially acquire the rights for £1.

In his comments yesterday, James Bisgrove hopes this kit deal “mirrors the demand of the club’s global fan base.”  Another outcome is possible: the matching clause will gift the deal to Sports Direct for a paltry amount, and the lack of a secured manufacturing slot will result in no shirts on the shelves during the crucial summer trading weeks.  It will be a poor contract and it will perform badly for all concerned.

I am working on a financial piece about Newco for publication next week, which will discuss profound consequences for the Ibrox club.  Yesterday’s statement is consistent with everything else that is going on at the moment.

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  1. Repost –



    Hail! Hail! In Glasgow!!!





    Good omen for tonight. 🍀🍀







    Anyhow, now that Hummel have huffed off, who can think of a humorous new shirt sponsor for thems?







    We’ve all heard the Pampers one – pish up front and shoite at the back.







    Any new ones?

  2. “Sports Direct could potentially acquire the rights for £1”



    Do you really think Ashley would be prepared to pay this much Paul? :)

  3. Paul,


    I read , James Bisgrove`s comments the other day. They sounded more like a begging letter than a great offer !

  4. Art of War.


    Marmite without the Love?



    Cinema Mogul and the Sex Pistols. Rank Rotten ?



    I accept those are rubbish but I am trying to encourage others !

  5. The Battered Bunnet on

    Yip, the invitation to tender for Sevco merchandising rights came as something of a surprise on a couple of levels.



    Firstly, I had assumed following the court case that Sports Direct would simply be co-opted in for Elite for the final year of the disputed contract, all else like-for-like. After all, that seemed to be the outcome required of the judgement.



    Secondly, as Paul makes it crystal clear, the merchandising operation needs to be mobilised now to hit the market in time. A February invitation to tender, a March submission, an April decision, a May contract negotiation, a June start, and all with a very fair wind. When do the bleedin’ shirts arrive in the shops?



    We know Ashley has matching rights, but the assumption was he simply needed to match the Elite contract. Perhaps Sevco have gone back out to market to establish a new price for Ashley to match, which as Paul points out, given the circumstances might be considerably less than the original Elite offer.



    Given the trouble he’s gone to in court to recover the rights, it seems unlikely that Ashley has now decided he doesn’t want them after all.



    More likely, it’s all simply a bit of crude marketing, setting up the base lines for the sad song they’ll need to sing to the support when they announce the great new deal they’ve struck with Ashley.



    Meet the new dross. Same as the old dross.

  6. I wouldn’t be to complacent on here regarding Sevco,you never know what’s round the corner,Talk up the Hoops by all means,leave Rangers 2 and other teams to there own problems,Oh and while I’m on here what is the latest on The Mysterious Hotel The New Ticket Office ,and other rumours .

  7. Faux grandstanding from Sevco, when are those ST renewals due out? Trying to con the hun hordes, that Ashley isn’t involved anymore.

  8. Chanty – Saw your post on previous article. What years were you at Cumbernauld Utd? I was there around 80-82. Fun times.

  9. The Hun statement regarding New Kit suppliers,even has an E-Mail address at the bottom,for interested suppliers to get in touch.LOL.That won’t get panned.Surely not.Who would be so cruel.

  10. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Sevco sponsorship… Coca-Cola.


    Would love to see Fat Charlie wearing a blue rag bearing the slogan “things go better with Coke”



  11. I hear Remnant Kings are interested.Or maybe I picked that up wrong,and it’s The Gypsy Kings.The do a nice Orange Sombrero.

  12. On Bear Assed Den


    “Fek Adidas,tell them to GTF.They are supplying the Taigs”.



    Adidas shares crash.

  13. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    ‘Furthermore, Rangers will celebrate its landmark 10th year in 2022, which represents a unique opportunity for the successful partner to join the anniversary celebrations.’




  14. mincelt 1974till1975 a great wee club celtic always gave them 2 to 3 players every seasn Bob Woods a pal of Mr Stein hh

  15. Another very well-informed article from CQN. Typical of Paul67 to rise above the noise and explain how things really work.



    We’re lucky to have him

  16. glendalystonsils on

    I’ve been waiting so long for Sevco’s final hammer blow that my ice cream has melted and my jelly’s gone mouldy.

  17. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    CELTIC40ME on 20TH FEBRUARY 2020 1:21 PM


    Another very well-informed article from CQN. Typical of Paul67 to rise above the noise and explain how things really work.







    We’re lucky to have him





    And how.

  18. Resorting to sending out tweets to drum up business is just another symptom of the running shambles at Ibrox.

  19. i'vehadtochangemynamebacktojackiemac on

    They couldn’t start again. They thought they could swan into the league and spend to the top again.

  20. Whilst our manager says the opposition are a fine outfit and we will have to work hard and play well,



    Steven Gerrard “…..,has warned Rangers they will need to be on their best behaviour as they come under the watchful eye of VAR for the first time.”



    Is he saying that without VAR they are used to getting away with misdemeanours?



  21. Turkeybhoy



    ` ” “Fek Adidas,tell them to GTF.They are supplying the Taigs”.



    Adidas shares crash. `



    …and so did that :-))

  22. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    As the long, dark and bleak Scottish winter draws to a close, and thoughts turn towards the kinder, warmer and brighter conditions of Spring, so European returns to the football menu.


    The heavy shackles of an SPFL title challenge against dour, brutal, negative opposition in depressing, sparsely populated arenas such as Rugby Park and Pittodrie, can be shaken off tonight as European Competition gets underway again.


    This battle is played out in fantastic arenas, with a fabulous history that, have seen the greats of world football perform there at the peak of their intoxicating powers. Camp Nou, the Bernabéu, The San Siro, the names easily trip off the tongue of all devotees of the beautiful game.


    Tonight Celtic returns to European competition at a full to bursting… eh… Parken. Jeez, the danish sure know how to clip ma wings.


    Forza Celtic.



  23. Bada bing wins the kit sponsor naming award with Poundstretchers!



    In other news (scroll on by if not interested)



    Larry Tesler, the mind behind `cut, copy and paste’ has died aged 74.



    Tesler played a key role in the development of a range of Apple products, serving as VP of AppleNet and Apple’s Advanced Technology Group.



    Prior to this the computer scientist had a pioneering career in technology.



    After studying the subject at Stanford University he went on to work for the legendary R&D facility, Xerox PARC.



    However, Tesler’s crowning achievement was the invention of cut, copy and paste, a function that is now taken for granted in modern computers.





    Who knew that this was one man’s life’s work?


    A function I use every day – as most people who use computers do – and never thought of who came up with it.



    His funeral will be a private affair with keyboard members in attendance and drinks afterwards at the Spacebar! :-)

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