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. weebobbycollins on

    All this ‘Rangers’ stuff…have they not suffered enough?


    “Nooooooooooooooo, they haven’t!” said a spokesman for CQN.

  2. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    Someone made a comment about a remark Peter Lawwell (apparently) made recently in relation to Rangers financial situation and the possibility of administration – along the lines of ‘we have very strong views on what should happen’ (possibly in relation to points deduction?)



    Anyone able to elaborate, or is this old news?




  3. The Battered Bunnet on




    It was SFTB who saw the quote and mistakenly thought it was current. Turns out it dated from 2012.

  4. glendalystonsils on

    FrankTerry on 20th February 2020 1:28 pm



    I always keep the freezer full , just in case!-))

  5. Hunderbirds ” 2:02



    For a minute,I thought I was reading a challenger to John Keats` `To Autumn` !

  6. Huns being asked to”Please,please,pleeeeze,don’t sing anything,sectarian,or racist tonight.We are being watched”


    Meanwhile in Parliament,MP Adam Thompson,raises a motion to congratulate them on their”Everyone welcome”initiative.

  7. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    HOT SMOKED on 20TH FEBRUARY 2020 2:17 PM







    Cheers for clarifying bhoys!




  8. TB


    `Meanwhile in Parliament,MP Adam Thompson,raises a motion to congratulate them on their”Everyone welcome”initiative.`


    Did anyone wonder why Sevco felt the need to initiate this ?

  9. I tend to sit up and take note when CQN delivers a blog like this on TRFC these days.



    In the run up to oldco going bust Paul67 was on the money. Phil mac was at that time too. But it was pretty obvious to anyone looking at that facts all the same.



    As the years have gone on I think Phil Mac and other bloggers have been less well informed and their output more speculative than it was in 2011/ 12. There have been moments of noteworthy reporting from those sources but much of it has become a rehash of old news and the odd punt on new stuff which often doesn’t materialise.



    The reason I think we should take note of this blog is because it hasn’t engaged in speculation over Sevco. I get the distinct impression that our host is very well versed in the financial elements of running football clubs and exceptionally well informed.



    From the sidelines it looks like Sevco threw some half hearted dice in appointing SG and then again in signing Defoe and Davis last January and by awarding the tubby Colombian several pay rises. It also looks like that gamble has failed and it’s either voluntary austerity to cut costs or enforced austerity through an insolvency event to burst the bubble, clear the wage bill of high earners and keep Sevco alive.



    I don’t see liquidation this time – the conditions aren’t there. But admin is surely where they are inexorably bound now.

  10. From Art of War at 2.05



    “Larry Tesler has died aged 74.




    Tesler played a key role in the development of a range of Apple products…However, Tesler’s crowning achievement was the invention of cut, copy and paste, a function that is now taken for granted in modern computers.”



    Apparently his funeral is to be conducted by the inventor of the USB connector…the coffin will be lowered into the grave, taken out again, turned around and put back in.



    RIP, a man who’s invention most of us use every day and that I just used in this post.

  11. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    I think we need Declan to come back and clarificate things a little bit for all those of us who don’t have our ear to the table




  12. Hot smoked


    Petititions go in all the time.labour,Tory,snp,DUP all have done so for both clubs out of ibrox over time.



  13. It would make sense for Sevco to go into admin this season rather than suffer a 15 (or is it 25?) point deduction next season.



    We win at Ibrox and I’d imagine there’s a discussion to be had in the Sevco boardroom.

  14. FIELDOFDREAMS – Excellent stuff. On computer matters….




    The Ole Sevco 2012 computer has bad memory problems and it’s logic circuit is known too fuse regularly resulting in large outage of confusing and contradictory reporting via it’s SMSM module. This was later discovered to have been caused by the Traynor Virus.



    The recent Stevie G upgrade which, after some initial success, looks to have been compromised by a slow running Davis programme coupled with a mix up in the Morelos translation software. It’s


    manufacturers have now cut their Hummel operating system and are desperately seeking some open-source providers to help them make it to upgrade 55.




  15. As regards admin or liquidation, it really depends on the reason for the insolvency.



    If it’s a restructuring of costs and long term debt then admin it is.



    If it’s a question of having no money to pay bills, it’s liquidation. Admin works if there’s funds to work with. If not, liquidation it is.

  16. An Dun


    Back to the old prepacked CVA – who are the creditors – is there any liens in existence eg Close brothers

  17. Hope the weather doesn’t affect Braga too much.


    Always thought if we’d played Porto pretty much anywhere north of Seville or just a bit cooler we’d have won. Still not watched it.

  18. Remember the Rangers Fighting Fund?


    How did it work out? Lol



    Legend Jardine told Blues News: “The main thing was when we went into administration the club was inundated with requests to try to help.



    “Jim Hannah and I came up with an idea, we ran it past the administrators – they were fine with it – and we looked to form a committee.



    “In tandem with a lot of things the club is doing, we set about starting the Fighting Fund whereby fans can donate any amount they like to the Rangers Supporters Assembly account.



    “Then on a weekly basis we will meet with the administrators and drip feed money into helping the running of the club.



    “The one thing we don’t want is liquidation and we hope that this initiative will go a long way to helping the club manage itself within its current problems then a new owner comes in and we can start to rebuild the club from there.



    “Fans can rest assured that any money that comes in will be used to make sure that the club survives and pays its bills until a takeover is completed.



    “If there is any money left over once a new owner comes in then the money will be frozen and the committee with decide with Ally McCoist, depending on how much money is left, how it should be used.



    “Will Ally want to use it to buy a player, do we want to invest it in Murray Park or perhaps on improvements at Ibrox.



    “On Saturday we got all the supporters club secretaries together to explain what we were doing and asked them to endorse it. Every one of them was fully behind it.



    “At that meeting one chap came up and said he would pay £100,000 which is fantastic so it shows you the level of interest and goodwill out there.



    “We’ve been in touch with the North American and Australian fans and tomorrow night we are going to Belfast to see the Northern Ireland supporters’ representatives.



    “Then next Monday I will be meeting with our corporate clients and explaining to them what we are doing so they will also have an input.



    “So it’s everyone within the Rangers family who is involved and hopefully we can get enough money to ensure that the club gets itself out of this predicament.



    “What we will do is meet with the administrators and decide how the money is spent and we will make sure it is spent properly.



    “We want to be as honest as possible and as transparent as we can on how the money is spent.”



    Sorry for long post, back to Celtic and Kope of Hagan….

  19. There is more chance of new owners at Ayebrokes than administration.



    If Ashley’s sale of Newcastle goes through .


    He has them over a barrel.



  20. Art of War



    I never new that this occurred.


    It is so naive that it is hardly credulous.



    Gullibillies indeed.



    The administrators must still be wearing pampers to protect against the soiling that they could not contain.




  21. 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 ra people get ready for the marching season.

  22. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    SAINT STIVS on 20TH FEBRUARY 2020 4:13 PM



    And longer manufacturing times for XXXXL kits must be factored in




  23. Saint Stivs



    Good point, deadline for the kits to hit the shelves is no later than the morning of the 11th of July




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




    I dont think it was his own idea

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