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. Lennybhoy.


    Thanks for update, always appreciated.


    For me, players, of a certain calibre, will wait to see if they can pick up a mega contract in EPL.. The fact that window closes earlier than ours,will hopefully assist us, of course we have to help ourselves out too, by qualifying for Champions League, as that makes us more attractive too.


    I’m not sure the blog is anymore negative/ abusive than previously, what is certain is many less post, so the negative/abusive posts stand out a bit more. Certainly recent posts are nowhere as abusive, as a few years back.


    I’m thinking about Ryecatcher/Rudicantfail whose posts were shockingly abusive to many.


    Nothing stays the same, the blog isn’t as cutting edge as it used to me. Many have gone to Twitter where news usually breaks faster, in my opinion the blog will eventually die out, very few new posters to keep it fresh and whether we like it our not, the young team view this as a blog for pensioners.


    I don’t understand the criticism of James Forrest (our player) Strachan, Lennon and Rodgers all rate him highly.that’s good enough for me.


    Hail Hail

  2. Sydneytimgood to see you back on. Hope you and yours are all good in the West Island.



    I think young Ajer is already a first pick CH, and he can only get better. Henry still to prove himself but give it time. If Boyato re- signs we will have a good solid core. Simunovic has not been consistent or present enough and difficult to see him staying around. So one more solid CH and we are sorted in this position, unless we need to replace Boyata. JD had his chance time to go elsewhere. I would welcome Paddy back any day of the week.

  3. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    Albert Kidd


    Don’t go wrecking the place if you cannot find a TV that is in working order.A few years ago a certain bunch……..well I think you know the rest.

  4. Jason Denayer and Paddy Roberts…



    What exactly does our scouting dept do when it comes to looking for value ? – watch old season reviews on dvd and buy a season ticket for the Man City Development team ?



    FFS csc

  5. big wavy on 1st August 2018 11:16 am



    Jason Denayer and Paddy Roberts…



    What exactly does our scouting dept do when it comes to looking for value ?





    Perhaps they’ve been asked to look for quality rather than value and for known quality rather than punts? I dunno. It’s a reasonable question though – it’s an expensive place to shop. The Waitrose of the scouting world…

  6. We have added Moussa, Ntcham and Edouard in the last 2 years. Not only are they fantastic players they are collectively worth tens of millions more than we paid for them.



    That’s outstanding business by the club and by the scouting department . We should be giving credit for that rather than whinging about about things that the club are far better placed than fans to deal with.



    All clubs sign players that don’t work out , for one reason or another. Where we have failed it’s been relatively inexpensive for us . Give me our track record in buying and selling over the last 6 years any time.



    We should recognise that Celtic are extremely competent at signing players and just show some patience and confidence in the club

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

    @ NATKNOW on 1ST AUGUST 2018 11:38 AM



    Agreed. We should try to buy outwith England but sell to them. John Park and his team were particularly adept at picking up gems from the smaller leagues.

  8. Jimmynotpaul…………..Like you I rate James Forest highly and perhaps if England had a player of his quality they could have gone farther in World C. One who could open up defense in the blink of an eye. With 17 goals he is in the form. Of his life and he deserves a good contract. Regarding Rosenborg always tricky away from home but Celtic seemed the fitter team last week and these Norwegians may not relish pressure. Will still keep the rosary beads handy.

  9. Mahe the Madman on



    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.



    The bhoy over eggs the pudding that much he must own a few chickens.Is a good Tim though and does have talent I would admit no problem.


    On BRs words,,,I do read between lines. It seems yourself and others take words literally. Not to say Im right and youre wrong though. This seems to be one of the big differences in our “ clashes “.



    “ 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.”



    I would like to blog to stop saying we spent 9 . Its 9 with all the addons I believe as you do also.



    “ Brendan’s recent statement clarifies matters “


    Its the usual jargon and while he admits people are working on signings he does not say “ IM HAPPY “ which would have clarified matters. All it clarifies are that there is work going on for players.



    “ 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”



    Now youre hinting at reading the clues or finding meanings when I thought you were urging us not to do that or at least telling us the meaning you find could well be wrong. Do we look for meaning ,,, or read the words ?



    “ Did he just slip up or was he miffed?” Neither


    You dont know that.



    “ He will not always manage to say exactly the right words “


    Very true and that has been shown this last week. And not to be pernickety but there are some things he said in his latest I myself am not to sure about.


    “ No matter what my feeling is I have to respect where the club is at “ I could pick that apart.


    “ I have no choice” If I was a first team player I could be thinking well thanks for the endorsement,,not.



    Hail Hail