Sports Direct, JD, Hummel contracts all in flux


At the High Court in London yesterday, Mr Justice Phillips was told by both counsels that Newco Rangers had accepted claims by Sports Direct that they were entitled to match and retain any retail contract offered by a competitive organisation.

A clause to this effect was inserted in the agreement signed a year ago, which also saw Newco pay Sports Direct £3m to terminate their existing agreement this summer, while buying Newco shares owned by Mike Ashley at a premium price of 27p per share.

Apart from ordering Newco to pay Sports Direct costs, the judge declined to act, telling both parties to get on with it.  Although Newco have conceded their earlier position was wrong, much work has still to be done to effect the terms of the contract and put any new deal in place.

The mechanisms to bring about a new deal between Newco and Sports Direct are difficult.  The deal Newco apparently made with JD Sports to pick up retail operations from now is clearly in jeopardy, which could cause additional problems for the Ibrox club.

Justice Phillips told Sports Direct counsel, “You are going to get your new contract with Rangers (sic.),” but this is far from certain.

Newco will have to look at whatever contract they have signed with JD Sports, a contract they will have to terminate before they can even open discussions with Mike Ashley’s representatives.  A sticking point in this respect is likely to be non-disclosure terms.  JD cannot allow their direct competitor sight of their offer.

It would be more appealing to pay Ashley off, again, and do business with JD Sports, than offer JD Sports compensation for terminating a contract they will expect to earn millions from.  The latter option would necessarily reveal JD’s offer structure, terms and contract nuances to their principle competitor.  A clear violation.

Ashley knows this.  He is likely to hold out for the disclosure the contract requires.  It will be an added bonus to an already sweet deal.

The first call will be to JD Sports, who will be asked if they will tear up a contract worth millions, and agree that their commercial offer details can be shared with Sports Direct.  JD are a FTSE 250 company in their own right, and a subsidiary of Pentland Group, which also owns Speedo, Mitre, Red or Dead and Kickers.  I cannot even imagine who would have the authority to tear up such a deal without appropriate compensation.  But, there again, I cannot imagine the compensation figure Ashley would demand to tear up his contract.

Then there is the Hummel contract to consider.  Kit sponsorship deals depend on kit being sold.  Financial returns are performance dependent.  This is another can of worms.  The first summer of this deal will be over with the Danish manufacturer significantly down on projections.

The short history of Newco has seen a litany of horrendous commercial decisions but none more onerous than the deal signed with Sports Direct last year, or this year’s cataclysmic oversight not to honour that deal.

They bought 9% of their own shareholding for an inflated price of 27p, paid £3m in cash to curtail the existing agreement, will now have to make good to either JD or Sports Direct, and pay £500k legal costs.

The problem, as you and I know, is not Mike Ashley.  The world knows what kind of character Ashley is, there can be no surprises on that front when it comes to this.  The problem is Newco is a shambles of an operation.  Vain-glorious statements are the only environment they compete in, and in that competition, they are the real world champions!

Why the ‘Rangers’-sympathetic journalists have not chased him out of town is inexplicable.  He is doing damage in plain sight but being allowed a free ride.  We will miss him when he goes.

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  1. Good morning CQN from a damp Garngad



    Well here we are, bring on the Rosenbergers.



    I see that Premiere sports 2 has suddenly appeared, thank goodness, although we should never have been moved channel for a friendly.



    Come on you bhoys in green.⚽️??? ???






    D. :)

  2. I see the rags are saying that BR is at loggerheads with the board.


    They having a laugh, look at the other side of the city, you could write any amount of story’s about there manager and board, and no one is telling me that Mr Gerrard is happy with his lot, but no one dares print any shite about them.



    No wonder their sales are in decline, and I have not bought a paper in about 3 years






    D. :)


    Fingers crossed we can beat the Norwegian Would Bes,and hopefully we can douse the Greek Fire in the next fortnight.



    Sticking to my 2yo plan of not predicting any score lines or outcomes. It’s worked so far.





    Morning,sunshine. Where are you watching the game tonight?



    I’ll be in my van as usual,on the Swindon-Oxford-Southampton stretch of my duties.










    You know that no criticism is allowed of their latest Messiah. Pravdaesque reporting from that side of the city. Which has worked really well for them so far.



    Fortunately,Celtic fans have a healthier opinion of criticism,by and large. And we are in much better shape for it.




  5. bashi-bazouks on

    BCW/Celterela – I took it from one of Captain Haddocks name calling episodes. I never realized it had a “real” derivation. Billions of blue blistering barnacles!

  6. bigrailroadblues on

    Bobby 7.53. Watching in the house young fella. Too much temptation in a public house. Drat and double drat.

  7. Premier Sports 2 now launched on Virgin media. Channel 552. Celtic game listed for tonight.


    Aye,the times they are a-changing,right enough.



    It’s getting like Pravda on here.

  9. Worth a wee repost……..





    Rarely post so I’m an unknown on this blog to beat all blogs.



    I was moved by a photograph I recently saw of a very young boy with his Celtic top on being led to his seat by his Dad/Grandad and the look of absolute joy on his face and this has prompted me to express some simple thoughts



    I’m the son of a Glasgow Corporation Foreman Bricklayer who died many years ago after a losing bout with cancer. He gave me many things not the least of which is an abiding love of Celtic. ….



    In my early years we’d head to a building site on a Saturday morning where he would “do his thing” and I would entertain myself around the fire pit which was part of the winter landscape at many of the sites at places I see mentioned constantly on the blog.



    At or around noon we’d head off to Parkhead to see the game. Bonnar, Haughney and Meechan,Evans, Stein and Peacock,……………..Higgins, Fernie, Collins, Walsh, Tully, the McPhail boys……



    Truly a joyous experience for a child.



    Like many of you I choose to prolong this love affair because it’s a connection to a part of my life which is incredibly important to me. Managers come and go, owners may come and go but The Club remains because of the efforts of those committed to it. I have lived abroad for many decades now and CTV is my lifeline.



    My thanks to those who choose to “fight the good fight” on behalf of the support.

  10. David66



    Id love to say im the same regarding the purchase of newspapers and IF it was down to me…..i would be!


    Alas……every now and then on a Tuesday or a Saturday, my Mum asks me to ‘pick up her paper'(The Daily Record has a crossword those days and she likes to do them)


    What am i meant to do eh?!!


    Its a shameful exchange of money at the till and walk from the shop. Cannot remember being as embarrassed getting something off the top shelf in my younger days!

  11. Good morning CQN, not been on for a few days. From what I hear…


    At least three signings expected before the window closes, couple of defenders and a midfielder.


    Don’t rule out Roberts or Denayer, we have spoken to his Representative. The closing of the English window may go some way to deciding if either but there are other targets but no information on who they are. However, both have been told to find good clubs. Denayer not adverse to playing here due to Boyata. On the latter, hearing he is open to extending his stay. Brendan is keen to keep him.


    Also hearing new deals in the coming months for Brown and Forrest.


    As I say just what I hear.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  12. Lennybhoy,from what you are hearing,I wouldn’t put much faith into it,and if there’s a couple of players coming,then I would be pleased, also I mentioned yesterday,that Brendan seems to say that he is happy with the players he has ,

  13. What is the Stars on



    Coming on here with your positivity and talk of new signings.


    What a happy clapper board lackey olf firm apologist £49 bigot buck back of bus type you are.



    Its well known Brendan is unhappy with Lawwell and Desmond and their biscuit tin for you heated driveway for us approach.


    Halifax Town is where its at




    Thank you for the transfer gen, always good to see you post in the midst of the windae saga and on game day.




    Bring on The Rosenborg




  15. TIMBHOY2 on 1ST AUGUST 2018 8:44 AM


    I always ‘Keep th Faith’ mate…


    From what I hear it is never far away. Brendan will almost always say he is happy with Players he has, he would be daft no too. However, he will always say he can enhance what he has. Time will tell, a long way to 31st August but I am confident we will sign a few Players.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  16. WHAT IS THE STARS on 1ST AUGUST 2018 8:48 AM


    lol…happy clapper most certainly but…old firm apologist £49 bigot buck back of bus type you are…cannot take that one mate, if we have to give them 800, charge them £149…:). I don’t recognise them and as such stopped going to there place in 2012, no more £49 to them from me…:)


    Halifax Town, one Scarf Bhoy I am and it is green and white…:)


    STARRY PLOUGH on 1ST AUGUST 2018 8:49 AM


    Thanks mate.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  17. Mahe



    No swagger from me- I left others to reach their own conclusions- You must be confident that they align more with my original views than those stated by the frankly ridiculous, Ewan Cameron, the provocotavive Chris Sutton, The wonderful writer James Forrest (who can be prone occasionally to be intemperate in judgement) and your own more measured but still over-interpretative reading of Brendan’s words.



    My conclusions then & now are similar to those that you are reaching. I always agreed that we (Brendan and the fans AND the Board) wanted more players and better players than we currently have but they have to be good enough and worth it, otherwise you risk Gamboa and Comperr buys (I leave Hendry out of that category as he could be the new McGregor- when he started playing for us, no-one, and I include myself in this, saw Callum as anything other than a mundane journeyman who scores occasionally). I also knew Brendan would prefer, if it was possible, that better business would have been done by now and that better players were willing to come early, before examining other options and for the price we could pay and the wages we can afford. However, reported (but unconfirmed by Celtic) targets like Chancel Mbemba chose Porto and Fabian Schar chose to go to Newcastle.



    The £9m for Odsonne bit was written by the journo and not a part of Brendan’s quotes – so how WE should stop that is beyond me. I agree that it is only likely to reach that level when we pay off PSG when we sell Odsonne at a profit.



    So, I could have understood and agreed that Brendan was unhappy or, to be more precise, not at all pleased with progress so far. But that was not the acccusation that prompted my disagreement. The accusation was that BR was indicating unhappiness with the Board and PL over interference with , stalling on or undermining his intentions in the transfer market. That I saw no evidence of in any clear statement from Brendan. That I saw being added to by the people reporting his words as such- taking the same line as Ewan Cameron (and I don’t mean they knew that Ewan had gone down that line).



    Brendan’s recent statement clarifies matters and refutes those wilder interpretations of his intent but, frankly, there was enough in his initial statement to show that his words were more directed at fans and bloggers (the Playstation Managers references were actually spoken by Brendan- they were not imagined interpretations). There were stronger clues as to what he meant that should have called people up short before they pounced on – “Oh Aye! That must be directed at PL and the Board”





    Did he just slip up or was he miffed?



    Neither, he is answering a lot of questions, mostly inane, at a lot of press conferences and interviews. He will not always manage to say exactly the right words that address the question, sotthe our fears, and provide minimal information preserving confidentiality. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes “I don’t know about that” means ” I don’t know” (yet) or “I am not going to tell you until it is KNOWN and not speculation.



    We have to allow our people to do their job- yes with scrutiny (It IS legitimate to be concerned about transfers) but not with fevered speculation.



    All of this will be extremely moot if we slip up against Rosenborg tonight, mind.



    Aff oot again

  18. Not been on here for a while


    A few comments


    1. I long for an average centre half None of our CH could even say they have reached average (. What is it about BR and center halves , a bit like O’Neil and goalkeepers )



    2. James forest. Sorry not good enough the amount of ball he gets and wastes it. Could not lace paddy R boots

  19. WHAT IS THE STARS on 1ST AUGUST 2018 9:19 AM


    They will not suffer enough until the padlocks are secured and the Bulldozers move in…alas that is one dream of mine that will come true, thanks to the establishment.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!



    Aff oot again…


    Are you KEVJ in disguise…:)


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  21. Time was when that Bashi Bazouks supported Thyme an’ Money


    at the oul’ Burns Howff……



    ……they were a tribute act as well.




  22. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Well good luck to the Bhoys for tonights game. I have a feeling that we will have to score and cancel out there away goal if we are to win the tie I dont feel that Celtic travel well in Europe but they have to improve on there poor away record if they want to get in to the group stages.H.H.

  23. Could anyone help me, please?


    Below is from our Manager. I NEED to see it as negative but I am struggling.Anyone?



    “I have got no reason to ever believe that the club don’t want that, either. They have supported me extremely well since I have been here. All the changes I wanted to make, all the things I wanted to do, I have had great support in that.



    “I can easily bring in 10 players. It looks nice and it might flash up on the telly. But I am looking at efficiency, I am looking at the quality of the players.”




  24. Not often I disagree with the estimable SFTB . I did re this:



    ” no-one, and I include myself in this, saw Callum as anything other than a mundane journeyman who scores occasionally).”



    No one? I always considered that Callum had a special talent. I also thought that Ronny Deila would become a top class Manager.




  25. Hot smoked,



    “I can easily bring in 10 players” but the board won’t let me


    “ I’m looking at efficiency “ but 6 out 6 trophies isn’t good enough because we didn’t win the CL


    “I’m looking at the quality of the players” because the ones we have aren’t good enough



    There sorted that for you.


    Only real mineshafters know what Brendan really means by the words he didn’t say.




  26. EC67


    I knew I had missed the true meaning of his words. Thank you.


    He also said :I have got no reason…


    Now who wants a Manager without the ability to reason?


    See? I`m getting the hang of practical criticism now.




  27. Lennybhoy,



    Let’s hope you’re on the button. Boyatta and Roberts would be good news and even Denayer would be good, if he can reproduce anything like his form when he was here before. The couple of glimpses I have had of him since didn’t warm the old cockles. He looked unfit, tbh.

  28. Incidentally, if Denayer comes in and Boyata stays, what happens to Ajer?


    I am not as big a fan of Denayer as others seem to be.I felt that playing alongside the superb Virgil van Djik made life relatively easy for Jason D . I would be happy with Hendry, Ajer and Boyata. Simunovic is a strange one. He can really look the part but something is not right there, I feel.


    Cheerio for now.



  29. Good morning Celts,



    Does anyone have a recommendation for a bar to watch the game in Manchester City Centre tonight?



    Have been to O’Shea’s on Princess St before but just wondering if there are better options…?



    Hail Hail




  30. angelgabriel on 31st July 2018 11:19 pm


    Yea, How blatantly obvious is the pathetic attempt to ‘catch out’ our Manager with a repeat question on transfers on the eve of a difficult away CL qualifier?? With a smirk and a snigger, he gave the impression he had an exclusive on the runnings of our Club.


    The scandal that is being hidden is Scottish Football, with cheating and lying, the cover ups and the spin, is criminal.. and yet they concentrate on putting our Manager, Board and Club in the dock with pathetic non news made up stories. Shocking.

  31. Mahe the Madman



    Provoke is an interesting word.



    The dictionary defines it as:



    stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.


    “the decision provoked a storm of protest from civil rights organizations”



    The question is did BR provoke anyone as in deliberately in order to put pressure on the Board whom he was unhappy with.



    Did he just come out with his words or was he provoked into what he said by Chic Young?



    How about a scenario in which neither was provoking anything?



    Chic asked a question because the subject was topical and BR answered. Nothing more nothing less.



    The meaning (I know very few are interested in this but it’s important ) that the words provoke is not down to the author but to the reader or listener.



    The “provocative” words trigger our a reaction according to our core belief, in this instance the attitude held to the Board which is coloured and reinforced by either past experience of them or what we have been led to believe about them by others.



    Core beliefs are hard to shake because they are part of what makes each of us “us” and to change a core belief changes who we are and that can be scary and challenging.



    Is BR to blame for the reaction his use of words provoked in others? How is he supposed to know how those words will be received by listeners? None of us know that for sure.



    I’m trying to provoke a wider understanding of the human condition here, but how many are thinking happy clapper because a) my words are seen as a challenge to a core belief and b)it’s easier to blame someone else for our reactions than do the harder work of thinking them through.



    The ultimate point here is forgiveness, either of the provoker where the provocation was deliberate with malevolent intent or ourselves for not taking responsibility for our reaction where no provocation intended.



    Forgiveness is an absolute necessity in a world where we are all mistake makers whether by provoking or being provoked.

  32. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ HOT SMOKED on 1ST AUGUST 2018 9:51 AM



    Not that I am seeking to infer anything from Brendan’s words, but do you not accept that he is acting like any professional individual would when providing public statements, i.e. he is being tactful and diplomatic, notwithstanding any feelings he may (or may not) have?



    Even if Brendan was furious with the transfer policy (which I am not saying he is), I would not expect him as a professional who holds himself to high standard to come out and start making accusations and causing disharmony.