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. What is the Stars on

    Bada Bing




    Though i was kind of inspired by Celtarella/Mags and his bipolar remarks

  2. JimmyQuinnsBits on

    “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…“



    I dont get the problem… all fairly fantastic as far as I can see

  3. Two out of 3 seeds eliminated from Champions League Q2 tonight


    Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova) and Legia Warsaw (Poland) out (plus old foes Beer-Sheeva)


    Need to be sharp and concentrated tomorrow night in Norway

  4. SFTB @ 8:44 PM,



    Very good point:))))



    I’m told the unique spelling the SFA used in these occasions is due to the fact any evidence used against Rangers, Sevco or otherwise must be both…



    …Hearsay and heresy – as they being ethereal in nature, they are above the law.



    My point of course should have referred to Hearsay…



    Thx for pointing out my incorrect use of an ethereal word;)



    Hail Hail

  5. I told you weeks ago,then Brendan Rodgers talking about bringing in quality players, tonight same old spin,wants to work with what he’s got,and that my friends is what’s going to happen,no new players arriving in this Transfer Window,so questions should be asked what’s happened to the 30odd Million,oh I forgot a new pitch ,a new floodlights systems,a new audio system,what a joke that is,and a new roof on a crumbling Main Stand,and that’s that,if new players are needed it will be in January,

  6. Monaghan



    It would seem that the English language takes as much of a beating as sevco itself.



    And then there’s the creation of entirely new words in that parallel universe they call their own.



    obstification. Who knew?



    HH ??

  7. On a day when you lose James Forrest but see the reappearance of Roy Croppie I’m left with a real sense of big steps forward, big steps back.



    The trolls are winning imho opinion.



    HH ??

  8. James Forrest, disheartening to hear you are for the off as we need as many good Tims on board here as possible. That said, not sure I entirely agree with your post as some of the criticism aimed towards some of the “dissenters” does deal with the points they make and not just throw insults at them but even those that do – is it not a case of what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander? Anyway, keep up the good work over on The Celtic Blog and keep sticking it to Sevco/SMSM and the SFA.



    Hail Hail

  9. JimmyQuinnsBits on

    Like everywhere else, the seasons come and go on this blog…. the youth will replace us ould crusties and, imho, will be better then most of us



    Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Ciao, Ciao

  10. JUNGLE.......lurker. on

    Maybe if we’d have called out and nailed the hun cheating, instead of helping to sweep it under the carpet, the atmosphere might have been different, who knows.

  11. CQN trawling new depths today and the season’s in its infancy.



    Everybody is free to air their opinion. If you feel the need, defend it. Leave it at that. There is no need to attack the person who holds another.



    Scroll on by…………….Enjoy Celtic and these great times.

  12. What is the Stars on

    Soon there will be just me and mags left on here


    Everyone else will have flounced off to Halifax Town Quick News .



    Or will they??


    I feel a list coming on


    Non flouncers of the world unite.

  13. Lost a bit of respect for Patrick Roberts when he announced he wanted to test himself in England and reach his potential elsewhere, a mere two days before trophy day. I suspect this was a bit of stage management by him and the Club to soften the blow at a time when supporters had their minds elsewhere.



    The brutal truth is that it didn’t work last season. Even when fit he didn’t hit the heights in a team that wasn’t firing. Last summer was a fiasco that should never have been allowed to happen. He missed virtually all of preseason, hardly kicking a ball for Citeh before returning to Celtic behind the curve, only to somehow edge James Forrest when we were routed by PSG at CP. JF must have been miffed and no wonder. Thankfully James got his head down and truth be told blew he Patrick out of the water. Thanks for everything Paddy but your not fit and not focused on Celtic. Give me James Forrest all day long.

  14. Dumbhoy



    Possessive apostrophe? I read so much of their drivel I think English is my second language.



  15. We had better not exit CL tomorrow night.



    CQN could self combust.






    No heresy there.:)


    Bashi Bazouks



    You dont mind me asking pleade your blog name what is that ?

  17. David17: Bear in mind PR stayed with us in 2017 to complete the first treble when he could have been part of the England (u20?) World Cup winning team.



    I respect him for that.

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    TIMBHOY2 on 31ST JULY 2018 9:39 PM


    I told you weeks ago,then Brendan Rodgers talking about bringing in quality players, tonight same old spin,



    Had you/we heard of Ntcham or Edouard 18 months ago?

  19. MIKE IN TORONTO on 31ST JULY 2018 9:18 PM



    Biggest difference, however, is the lack of courtesy by some posters.



    You’ve not been on here long have you :)

  20. HUNDERBIRDS ARE GONE on 31ST JULY 2018 8:03 PM



    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.



    *Liam had been his agent before taking the manager’s position so would have seen him on a regular basis.



    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.



    *I thought that masell, still do.

  21. Surely people r entitled to an opinion. We r all celtic fans. Trolls aside. I’ll ask again. Any1 know any good celtic pubs in Inverness. Cqn is littered with flouncers

  22. ALMORE on 31ST JULY 2018 10:40 PM


    David17: Bear in mind PR stayed with us in 2017 to complete the first treble when he could have been part of the England (u20?) World Cup winning team.




    I respect him for that.





    True. Still love the wee man and wish him every success, just thought that interview took the shine off his time with us.

  23. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I have had spats with James Forrest on here, but he chose not to go to Celtic Park and support the team, i recall some reasons were financial which is unfortunate.If you want to be ‘an influencial blogger’ , at least do your best and support the Bhoys who wear the Hoops on the pitch, plenty make sacriifices to do the same, James your affect diminishes HH

  24. bashi-bazouks on

    BCW – it’s a tintin reference – I got the idea after my brother in law started posting as Rascar Capac. I have been following the blog since early in its first year ( posted as paul Dominic at that time ) but only very rarely come on and post.

  25. D17: You and I are Celtic supporters. KT is one of us, a rare breed.



    I’d have loved PR to have signed for us and think he would have made an enormous contribution.



    However, he is a modern footballer, and like Gary Hooper, he will probably regret his hasty return to England.




  26. There is a slightly worrying lack of anxiety concerning tomorrows match, you could say. Still, at 1/14 the bookies fancy us to qualify. Nothing to worry about then…




  27. BHOYJOEBELFAST on 31ST JULY 2018 7:17 PM



    ##Tontine## And Bobby Craig.



    *actually wee Bobby had a good pedigree with the Hi Hi before moving to Sheffield Wednesday and then ontae Blackburn when he arrived at us.



    At the time of his signing it seemed a good move, he was 27 and the oul heid we needed with the “Kelly Kids”. I at the time was delighted with it.



    He actually made his debut in our 1st ever European tie at Parkheid, I was a young high school lad in the Celtic end complete with school blazer and flannels and like most us us was wondering who the new player was.



    He only played 21 games for us but still managed 13 goals; unfortunately it seems he arrived with a bunion problem



    He replaced the wee mhan in the horrendous SC replay, he was an inside forward playing on the wing a position he had never played in, where we were humiliated with the huns singing easy easy easy as our support deserted the terraces with 10 minutes left.



    Bobby left for Perth before the new season started in a swap deal for Bobby Young, who you may ask, well he was the brother of Ian but never kicked a ball for us. He left for the Arabs before that season was over.



    Bobby Craig wisnae the problem, Bob Kelly was. Bobby incidentally eventually moved tae Toronto where he founded the Toronto Celtic CSC.