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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Delaneys Dunky on




    Hope we see the beachball and polis hat wearing Tim in action in Trondheim tomorrow.

  2. 50 shades of green on

    TROONCELT on 31ST JULY 2018 8:21 PM







    Ffs I’m in agreement with you now. HH






    You know it makes sense Big Mhan…?




  3. Really looking forward to the game tomorrow, this Celtic team have the excitement juices flowing again. Should be ideal tomorrow hitting them with pace on the break.




  4. 9 in a row in the JUNGLE on

    Oh what the Kelly’s and the White’s, driven by the gemme Jungle would have given to be armed with mountains of evidence of collusion and anti Celtic cheating.


    Big Jock would’ve had every club in the country clued up about how much that they were cheated out of.


    But, in 2018, a Celtic that is propped up by the big flashy motor brigade, sit at the back of the West of Scotland bus.



  5. bashi-bazouks on

    DD – £490 worth of jelly and ice cream no doubt!


    ??? why is there not a jelly emoji?

  6. I struggle to see many posts insulting other posters, I see posters having a go at the dissenting posters, at times, like last week when I posted what I saw and felt about the game against Rosenborg, I stand by my posts and feelings yet a fair few took the chance to try and ridicule me for my stance, fair enough, it’s a blog and it’s their choice to do so, thing is, they refused to look at the bigger picture.


    I said that a half decent team would have destroyed us in the first thirty mins, and they would have, I fully accept Brendan saw the problems and changed things, all well and good, but had we been up against a better quality team we were gonners, there is a bigger picture, always.

  7. Billy Bertie and Bobby on

    Don’t care what anyone says. I’m proud of my team.


    Proud to be a Tim and I love this site. Celtic are awesome. Rangers are s***e. Have to go now. HH.

  8. bashi-bazouks on

    9iaroitj – would this be the bus?



  9. Delaneys Dunky on

    Bashi Bazouks



    Mainly jelly ice cream, champagne and a large order of pizza and curries. ??

  10. bashi-bazouks on

    Didn’t get that link to work !



  11. 9 in a row in the JUNGLE on

    BASHI-BAZOUKS on 31ST JULY 2018 8:41 PM


    9iaroitj – would this be the bus?


    I can’t get it to play, cheers anyway HH

  12. THE EXILED TIM, why do you talk such bloomin sense. hope you and the dugs are all okay.hh.

  13. Ron Bacardi on 31st July 2018 8:45 pm






    Awe you daily Record crossword aficionados can join in











    and bigot pound it was oh!

  14. bashi-bazouks on

    Still not working ! It’s the double treble open top bus!


    DD – would it be that Irish pizza people are talking about. I drive home past the Horse and Barge every night and think “that’s DD from CQN’s pub”!

  15. 9 in a row in the JUNGLE on

    I wonder if The Green Man has recovered from his mugging yet, kevj as well.


    Hail Hail

  16. Delaneys Dunky on



    I can assure you that the majority sitting around me at the Rosenborg game last week, were heavily moaning and groaning in that first 30 minutes. It was sweetness and joy for the last hour of the game. Maybe Mags is onto something wi his bipolar Celtic fans observation.



  17. Monaghan1900 on

    FFin’ entrepreneurs and market analysts:



    “I’m sure the new contract will not have such clause that has been took upon by SD at this time.”




    “The simple way to get round such a situation may be for [Sevco] or Club 1872 (or some other organisation that is close to the club) to form a retail wing with the specific aim of putting together a tender that would provide the club with a share of the sales that is on a par with that which the big clubs down south would expect to receive. If Ashley wanted to match it then he would have to pay through the nose. If he didn’t then we would be rid of him.”




    “Seriously what’s to stop JD offering us a ridiculously good deal? What’s the industry standard? Get them to better it. Fat [fellow] if he still wants the business would need to match it…. if he doesn’t award to jd and renegotiate at a respectful point….”




    “The whole of Britain knows SD as a cheap & nasty brand with a total charlatan at it’s head” [Sound familiar, Sammy?]




    “Personally I’ve personally never spent a penny in his jumble sale shops since he darkened our doors and as well as other things I’ve even kept 27p untouched in a (Lloyds) TSB Bank Account for 6 years in order to cost them a wee bit of money!”




    “Last I heard from the club was to buy strips again etc, due to a percentage change in distribution between the club and SD”




    “That was said when they knew there would be no strips issued”




    “what if it transpires SD are receiving a bigger cut than [Sevco]? Will people find that acceptable? Will it be more acceptable if that’s what happens but we don’t find out about it and live in blissful ignorance?”


    [I knew someone who used to drink port and brandy.]




    “Imagine this scenario fats insists that they have matching rights dk reluctantly concedes knowing that preferred tender jds is offering deal that benefits rfc hugely and fairly, fats would have to match or decline.i just find it hard to believe that our cm and board would have went to court when they knew they couldn’t win it might be that’s exactly where our cm wanted fats to take us.”




    ” I understand as much as anyone that we don’t want to give Ashley money but we aren’t actually. We are buying merchandise and part of that sale has to go to whatever retail company secures the rights. That is their benefit of stocking the shelves and allowing us to buy stuff.”




    “As an aside yet more obstification from MA provides yet more ammo to the belief he is a placeman. He has no interest in profit.”

  18. I’m not sure we’ve gone with the right approach for the sevco game. I’d have preferred that they make the first reduction. However, also dead against then getting a free pass from us. I wondered if a more financial strategy could have been more amusing.


    1. state that we are not reducing their allocation so 7,500 tickets still available.



    2. These tickets are priced at £100



    3. If you want them it’s cash up front = £750,000 cash



    4. Expect retaliation for the next game and only 800 at £100



    5. Take the tickets £80,000 then give them free to the 800 faithful who do most away games.



    6. Next game make them £150 a pop etc.



    7. At any point where they decline their allocation revert to home fans at £25 a pop.



    8. Rinse and repeat…




  19. Delaneys Dunky on

    Bashi Bazouks



    Dalmuir West may be known as Little Ireland, but Irish Breakfast Pizza husnae made our takeaways’ menu’s yet. Pop in the Horse and Barge for an away Euro game sometimes. You will be made very welcome.



  20. James forrest


    Sorry to hear you are for the off, I will continue to read your blog.

  21. A CQN by numbers would be an interesting thing



    Or maybe not



    I’m guessing after an initial period we’d see pretty regular patterns of activity. We’re all (not hun) monkeys after all.



    The only only statistical outlier and constant would be the BSRs gags

  22. Delaneys


    I was told that I was watching a different game etc, I didn’t have a clue and all the usual bollix, I saw fine well with my own eyes what was happening and we were not at the races, it changed and it was fine, but……….blessed again imo.


    Thing is, it will be those who told me I don’t have a clue who will be the first to bitch and moan if we don’t make the group stages, seen it so many times before.



  23. bashi-bazouks on

    DD – it might yet happen – I live a 2 min walk from Yoker station and only 5 mins to Dalmuir. Sounds like a plan when possible. I’ve got 3 bits under 18 at the moment and we watch from home- but don’t need to stay in for every one.

  24. !!Bada Bing!! on

    WHAT IS THE STARS on 31ST JULY 2018 8:21 PM


    Imagine if we supported Halifax Town





    We would have nothing to moan about.



    Made me laugh there,…..more than some o yer tips dae….?

  25. Madrebmacs Grandpa on




    That question is an important one in CQN lore. I’m flattered that you would ask it !

  26. Delaneys Dunky on

    Bashi Bazouks


    Always a good crowd in for Celtic away games. Give me a shout and I will meet you.



  27. Well,that Rodgers is some kind of a liar.Well,according to the experts on CQN.If he is not,then i would expect the blog to be full of,”Sorry,I was talking bollox”kind of posts.


    Which is it.Is Brendan telling lies,or were you talking bollox.

  28. mike in toronto on

    Sorry to read that JF is leaving the blog. Did nt always agree with him, but always enjoyed his posts.



    I tend to agree with much of what he posted today.. CQN was once a great read…. good lead articles, and informed discussion. Not so much of either anymore. Biggest difference, however, is the lack of courtesy by some posters.



    Sadly, JF is not the first good poster to leave, nor I suspect will he be the last.

  29. bashi-bazouks on

    Don’t worry about James F – he’ll be back. He can’t resist it and he knows we mostly all like him to much!