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. bournesouprecipe on 31st July 2018 7:33 pm



    Its the same old bigot pound and same old rangers whatever way you look at it.


    Thats why its £49 a pop and not £21. Throw in cup games and Celtic supporters are throwing this vile and repugnant institution a lifeline. Dont spin it. Oh its sevco and thems are bad and lets all laugh at them losing money. The truth is bipolar Celts are funding them with the lifeline they need.




  2. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    DD, agreed re. swapping Cascarino for Boyd.


    When Brady bought Slater, I thought he knows what he’s doing. Brady was some player and he said Slater was the kind of player that got bums on seats, so I trusted his judgement and so wanted Slater to do well. That was a big let down at the time. The only bum Slater put on a seat, was his own, on the bench.


    Think I’m right in saying his first appearance was as a sub at Snake Mountain, first touch he hit a rocket of a shot from about 35 yards, that was just past the left post… I often wondered if his Celtic career might have been very different if that shot had gone in.



  3. I think the negative posters are heavily outnumbered by the positive and neutral posters.Unfortunately, the Negs post much more often ( or maybe it just feels like that ?) leading to a feeling that the site has become a more unpleasant place.


    From my seat in 106, I have become very aware of how negative some Celtic supporters can be so I have never doubted that the constantly negative posters are Celtic supporters. What I do wonder about ,though, is if they give any consideration to the consequences of their actions ie CQN loses a lot of its appeal because of these constantly negative posts.Not only is negativity off putting but the constant expression of opinion as though it were factual is another bugbear. Saying that Celtic refer to Sevco as `Rangers` is a fact. Opining why Celtic do that is an opinion.


    I could go on but I quite like watching Judge John Deed :-)


    Cheerio for now.




  4. Delaneys Dunky on




    You are correct. Business is business for a PLC.


    The soda bread and potato farls win anytime. ??

  5. NEGANON2 on 31ST JULY 2018 6:22 PM



    What have you ever done for Celtic and the Celtic support?

  6. Did anyone else find the word “Celtic”. In that article?



    Irrelevant. Let’s stop talking about politics in other places…. it’s all about. Celtic in Europe . Isn’t it?

  7. Champions League Q2



    Shkendija (Mac) coeff = 3.500 knock out seeds Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol) coeff 14.750 1-0 agg


    Seeds Dinamo Zagreb (Cro) coeff 17.500 knock out old foes Beer-Sheeva 7-2 agg


    Trnava (Svk) 0 – 0 Legia Warsaw (Pol) after 30 mins (Legia down 0-2 from 1st leg)



    AEK Athens win 3-2 in home friendly against Galatasaray (scout will report back)

  8. 50 shades of green on

    GENE on 31ST JULY 2018 8:04 PM


    50 shades





    he was banned for the last game against rosenborg……






    Your right Gene as soon as I hit post i realised my mistake, DOH




  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Would take Paddy back in a heartbeat, 1 year left on MC deal….an entertainer with an end product, only a wean, play here for 2/3 seasons see what happens

  10. HOT SMOKED on 31ST JULY 2018 8:03 PM



    The angry mob has far more stamina. I’m pretty sure paul67 has come to terms with life as an influential, intelligent Celtic blogger but that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t get pished off when our enjoyment is spoiled

  11. NEGANON2 @ 6:22 PM,



    “…and yet i see no genuine interest in Celtic lack of response to recent res12 issues nor anything about the dearth of transfer activity.



    Well, the blog has been hoachin’ with comments regarding tranfer activity. I for one am more than happy where we are at the moment. Early rumours abound, we were going to lose our best players in this window, we have to wait and see but for me, less is more.



    As far as the Res12 issues are concerned this is a bizarre situation as IMO it was constructed to be.



    I read on Johnjames a few weeks ago he had heard that the SFA compliance officer was not seeking to look at Rangers 2011 UEFA Licence application as he’d reviewed the advice the QC had given to the SFA and had suggested the evidence against Rangers was heresay.



    Of course I’m not sure of the veracity of JJ’s info but this would be an incredible route for the SFA to take.



    After stating they wanted transparency and to build trust this would be the most shallow and flimsy argument to hid behind.



    I’ve no idea as to what information Celtic have regarding the SFA’s decisions or their intentions to push this issue forward but until the “findings” are published I believe Celtic are fumbling in the dark.



    Now consider this heresay argument – and I’m waaayyyy above my pay grade on this one – but will try to present the situation as I see it. Now if of course JJ is correct.



    Now many of us discount heresay as little more than gossip, that can be a meaning.



    In evidence terms this is not the case there are various “qualities” to evidence presented. It is the case however the heresay evidence is not looked upon as the strongest evidence and a Judge would certainly be very reluctant to make a determination on such evidence.



    That said we would have to look at it in the context of the Rangers UEFA Licence inquiry.



    If there is heresay evidence and it can be backed up with Documented evidence then we are looking at a much stronger argument. This IS the case here.



    The other thing is this evidence wasn’t ever intended to be presented to a Judge, or in the case of a potential tribunal a panel of Judges &/or lawyers as it is…



    …in fact the whole point of the inquiry was NOT to look at the QC’s opinion, helpful as that may have been, the point was there seemed to be a substantial case and that the inquiry was to take the evidence, uncover further evidence, undertake a thorough investigation and present a prima facie case to the JPDT.



    Now we need to know why on the face of it a fairly straight forward task of collating the evidence and investigating the potential wrong doing did not amount to a prima facie conclusion.



    Prima facie: ….to signify that upon initial examination, sufficient corroborating evidence appears to exist to support a case. 



    Let’s take an example of heresay evidence.



    Mr McGill’s (Rangers Financial Controller) admission that the WTC money was an outstanding debt, during the Craig Whyte trial.



    Now this is heresay. You may think that an admission given under oath at a criminal trial would warrant more gravitas.



    Yet it is the rules of evidence (as previously stated I’m way over my head on this but doing my best). It is why an original document is always preferable to a photocopied one. The “best” evidence needs to be presented.



    Now of course the panel could put great weight on Mr McGill’s testimony (as for one thing it showed him in a bad light, why would he lie about it?). Yet under what circumstances was this “admission” made? How “reliable” did the witness seem in the witness box?



    These are the unknowns that lawyers and Judges are wary off…



    Yet although under these circumstances this evidence could be construed as heresay, to leave it at that in blatant nonsense.



    In the CO’s inquiry this evidence is a starting point. There is documentation that can be collated, much of this in the public domain.



    There is affidavits, sworn statements from potential witnesses that won’t be heresay and of course once the prima facie evidence is presented, witnesses could be called.



    Mr McGill was called as witness in the Craig Whyte SFA JPDT, following the LNS Inquiry. Mr McGill was exonerated at that time.



    If the SFA compliance officer has not got any further than heresay evidence – Auldheid et al have – then he didn’t look for the evidence during his 8 1/2 month inquiry and the process will rightly be looked on as a sham.



    Yet until we see what the SFA have to say to bring “trust” & “transparency” to these proceedings there is little meaningful comments can be made…



    …we don’t want Celtic competing in the vain-glorious stakes… let’s leave that to them.



    Hail Hail

  12. Celtic40me


    Saw your post about me being content after england’s WC departure – true but a couple of days on here has seen that feeling disappear :((

  13. Delaneys Dunky on

    MIT & Hunderbirds



    Tom Boyd is one of my favourite Celtic players I watched every week. Great Celtic servant.



  14. GENE, thanks again for your updates on the m6, went down the A5 to telford then Kidderminster and came out on the M5 at Worcester, so missed the roadworks on the M6 and M5 thanks again.

  15. MICK1888,



    I agree. Why is Paul so anxious to give us his opinion/analysis on another club.

  16. DD



    My last game at ‘Cheater’s Palace’ was Beachball Sunday…I thought I’d go out on a high. I do however thoroughly enjoy watching us humiliating the staggering corpse of a club on a fairly routine basis at that ground via the telly device.




  17. Delaneys Dunky on




    I would take both Patrick Roberts and Jason Denayer off Man City’s hands. Think they would do great in a Celtic shirt. ?


    Boyatta and Denayer would be an effective Belgian partnership I think.



  18. What is the Stars on

    Imagine if we supported Halifax Town


    We would have nothing to moan about.

  19. Delaneys Dunky on



    Me too. My two sons and I and our mates, have great fun watch us pump the huns at doomdome on telly in one of our houses. Usually about 10 of us. Saving £490 between us. ??

  20. BSR



    Great memories. Laughed at them for the full game, the guy next to me had a huge passport, water wings and a Stetson and he spent the 90 minutes ripping it out of the angry people in the enclosure.




  21. GENE on 31ST JULY 2018 8:10 PM



    That’s a shame. But we’ve seen it all before on CQN, although not normally in a summer after a double treble.



    I’m still smiling after the he World Cup, possibly more with relief than anything else

  22. Aaaah. I do love “all our yesterdays” on CQN. It reminds me of the moment at the start of Lucky Number Slevin, where Goodcat meets a guy at a bus station ….



    “There was a time …”






    “You misunderstood. I wasn’t asking for the time, I was just saying… there was a time.”



    “There was a time?”



    “Mmm-hmm. Take Brown Sugar back there, for example. She’s pretty foxy, right?”



    “She’s 70.”



    “If she’s a day. But there was a time …”



    Except, in this case, there wasn’t a time at all. Like Little Englanders, dreaming of Brexitland there are people on this site thinking of a time that never was. When all Celtic fans on CQN pulled in the same direction, when they all believed in the same things, when they all sang from the same songbook.



    I’ve been here longer than a lot of you, but less time than some. I like to think I left a mark on this site, for good or for ill. I was one of the three co-founders of the CQN Magazine project. I would not be blogging now if not for this site and for the boys at E-Tims who first published my stuff … I go back a long way, but not as long as some. I just have a better memory than some, it seems to me.



    Back in the heyday of CQN, when it was without a shadow of a doubt the most influential of all the Celtic blogs – in many ways it still is, in some of the ways that really count it definitely is – one of the things that made it great, that made it the place I most enjoyed spending my time when I wasn’t working, was that this site was exactly the opposite of the bitchy Hell-hole it can be a lot of days.



    It was a time when you COULD say the Celtic manager was capable of making mistakes. When you could question the club transfer policy. Where the regulars actually laughed their backsides off whenever some huffy clown labeled a fellow Celtic fan a “hun” just because they had a difference of opinion.



    It wasn’t the diversity of opinions that changed this place; that was always there. It was the utter lack of civility and decency in some of those who won’t even tolerate a difference of opinion. On this site I’ve been labeled a board apologist. I’ve been labeled a board hater. I’ve been labeled a self-promoter … me, the guy who walked away from the CQN Magazine project with no visible bitterness or rancor and who hardly posts here at all … if I am self-promoter take comfort in the fact I do it well away from here.



    Tonight that intolerance of any dissenting voice is as loud as it has ever been on here. I learned a lot on this site. I learned more about crafting an argument and honing a debating point here than I did from all the years I spent in political arguments on other forums and in meetings beyond count. There was a time when if you disagreed with someone on here that a debate is what followed.



    Now you just wait for the insults to start.



    I won’t be around to read those that are coming. This is what this site has done to my level of engagement with it. I just don’t enjoy being around for it anymore.

  23. Nice to see PC Lustig travel today and big Boyata back in training and with the English window closing next week the SMSM will be furiously spinning to find Celtic negative stories.



    Defensiveclouds clearingCSC

  24. Ron Bacardi on 31st July 2018 8:29 pm



    Its Old Firm. Its the Celtic PLC business continuity plan. Its not Europe. I mean why doesnt Paul67 go on about Halifax Town?


    Do you need me to spell it out…..