Sports retailing and spending what you earn


You get the sense that the Sword of Damocles is hanging over Newco Rangers.  Some wondered about the sense in Mike Ashley controversially renaming Ibrox as the rumoured ‘Sports Direct Outlet Village’ but having bought the rights to do so for £1, he is now able to leverage this detail in his earlier loan.

He has the retail and stadium naming rights but ownership of the club badge, details of which it appears the Newco board leaked to the Daily Record yesterday, would allow him to control the strips, novelty ducks and other tat, no matter where it’s sold.  Any future shirt deal would need his authority, as it would require use of ‘his’ logo.  Which would inevitably lead to shirt deals being concluded by one of Ashley’s in-house brands.

All this makes sense if you are a retailer with notions of monopoly status.  ‘Rangers’ branded pencil cases, alarm clocks and shirts will continue to sell, no matter in which league Newco inhabit.  It’s a straight merchandise play from the retailer, who is the only person in the UK in a position to exploit clubs going through a hard time, like Newco.

Ashley is thick-enough skinned after sitting through all that Newcastle fans could throw in his direction for years.  He doesn’t need to be liked, and with control over intellectual property like the badge, he doesn’t even need to be the retailer to make money every time club merchandise is sold.  Newco wouldn’t even be able to put the badge on their tickets without his agreement.

In many ways this proposed deal is an inevitable step.  Clubs are enormous merchandising opportunities, the people who can profit most from this are the retailers.  It is, of course, only inevitable because of the state Sir David Murray left oldco in.  As soon as he handed the keys to a liquidation specialist the game was over.

News in today’s Herald that an S&P study makes Celtic the least likely publicly listed football club in Europe to default is likely to sound a little hollow to some who watched us against Accies on Sunday. There are many ways to build a sustainable and successful football team, but none of them involve spending more than you earn.

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  1. Philbhoy



    The club did not back him. They apologised for it.


    I believe that his name was being put out in public by someone if he didn;t chuck it. Really not worth his hassle for an unpaid job.




  2. jamesgang



    We should be grooming a new generation of Scotland’s finest….our own and Dundee United’s! – and playing footie to make your purr. We’re not.






    Like Liam Henderson.



    Wonder why he is out of the picture/

  3. jamesgang



    Griffith’s has proved that he can score in this league.


    I am honestly surprised we paid the money we did for Scepovic when we had Griffith’s in our ranks. The guy might not be everyone’s cup of tea but play him regulalry and he will rattle them in.




  4. Re. the Sevco badge



    The reasoning could be that those in the Blue Room do not own the rights to the old team’s badge






    It’s just another act of misguided defiance that they are the same team (with the five stars a display of brazen chutzpah)

  5. kitalba



    Just a wee aside:



    Does anybody know what became of the Celtic Supporters who were arrested in Amsterdam?



    Only know of a young bhoy from ML5


    Though not among those who were sentenced


    Was told No further action taken would be against him

  6. Kitalba I often wondered what happened to the”Amsterdam 5/7″ It;s on sites like this we should be finding out but unfortuneately we seem to have lost our way somewhat. This blog is a pale shadow of what it used to be and for that I guess we are all to blame. Lets strive to make it better. Hail Hail Hebcelt





    To be fair,it is back on track in the last ten days or so.



    Nothing to do with the referendum,btw.








    I was wondering why no-one had sued the programme compiler.



    But if I’ve timed this right,you’ve got a mention on the first and last posts on the page!

  9. I’m not sure what the Huns have against MA – given their precarious state he looks their best bet at the moment.



    He has significantly more business acumen than King, minus the unfortunate legal problems. Sure, he might plaster their dilapidated stadium with Sports Direct banners, but at least they’ll still be (just about) alive.



    If not MA, the alternative is surely running out of money by Christmas?

  10. philbhoy









    I thought Scepovic looked brill on his debut. Well good in that he was popping up all over the place. Then I realised he looked a lot like tonev from a distance and I was conflating the two of them!






    HH jamesgang

  11. ItaliaBhoy




    15:40 on 9 October, 2014




    I’m not sure what the Huns have against MA


    He is not the “glib & shameless liar”




    Till later all


    away to pick my wee here up fae nursery :))


    He beat me at running yesterday stopped put his hands on his hips and said” Papa your easy peasy to beat”


    We’ll see today



  12. BMCUW to be fair it has got better but nowhere near what it was or should be. I have no idea how to sort it other than not respond to the various trolls and nutters who infiltrate, they feed of reactions. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  13. Jamesgang



    I may well be right? I hope I’m not!



    Results though seem to suggest I am..much to my dismay….

  14. weet weet weet(GBWO) on

    Was having a look at RM,came across this thread,anyone heard about it.




    Watched a story that is breaking state side concerning artificial pitches and a possible link to cancer cases in players in their early teens through to early twenties. I’ve put this in here as the club and probably many bears have youngsters training and playing on artificial pitches and as such could have repercussions for both.



    The story is that a coach of a girls soccer team has had two goal keepers in their early teens diagnosed with cancer, on attending a treatment appointment with one of the girls a member of the medical staff pointed out on hearing that the girl was a goal keeper that this was odd as they now had four girls who played as goal keeper being treated for cancer. On hearing this the coach did some digging and found out that in there had been 38 girls diagnosed with cancer, 34 of these were keepers.



    The suspected problem is the small rubber pellets used in the pitches are being breathed in when the keepers dive to make saves. These pellets are made from granulated rubber from recycled tyres, and the rubber contains a number of contaminates. If you watch a game played on these pitches you will see the pellets coming up as a dust cloud when the ball is kicked.



    If I hear anymore on this I will post an update, I would ask that if anybody on here is involved with youth football teams to keep an eye open for any reports of young players either being diagnosed with cancer or anything that they feel could possibly be linked to this story.




  15. P67 said


    There are many ways to build a sustainable and successful football team, but none of them involve spending more than you earn.



    do any of them involve spending all you earn?


    do any of them involve repeatedly selling your best players?


    do any of them involve earning more so that you can spend more?

  16. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Newco rangers ? Can’t you get sued for that ?




  17. johann murdoch on

    how can you resign as a volunteer? ..surely you simply just dont turn up the next time you are supposed to volunteer?-still makes a healthy headline to appease the Sevco hordes Hh

  18. Things have improved a great deal on here over the last week or so since the apparent disappearance of the singing dick.



    Banned for life hopefully.




  19. The Earl of Denby on

    I don’t want to be the prophet of doom, but I don’t like the fact that Mike Ashley is increasingly involved at Ibrox. I don’t think it is good news for anyone other than Rangers fans.



    It looks to me like he is systematically buying up the whole outfit, bit by bit, for the cheapest possible price, and very soon he will be the outright owner of the Ibrox club and company. He is going to choose his moment and squeeze everything he can out of the value, but when it comes to the crunch, he will pick it all up, lock stock and barrel. No chance of liquidation this time.



    This is a man who is a bonafide billionaire. He’s an extremely successful business man. He actually knows what he is doing in terms of business, so I think this would be a vanity project for him. Indeed in his early days at Newcastle Utd he transformed himself from being a virtual recluse to wearing the team shirt and going out getting plastered with the fans. In the process he’s spent something in the region of £140M; a figure that doesn’t even dent his reported £3.5Bn net worth.



    If he becomes owner of everything Rangers, throws a similar amount of money at them as he did at Newcastle, wears the strip and drapes himself in the Union Flag, he’ll be universally loved by them. It is the nightmare scenario. Ashley is the sugar daddy they have craved since Sir Moonbeams’ companies could no longer facilitate the strain.



    And let’s face it, it would take a tiny percentage of his worth to oust Celtic from being SPFL Premiership favourites.

  20. weet weet weet(gbwo)



    Fascinating and potentially very worrying.



    There’s real concern about nano particles from brake pad dust etc getting into the lungs and even directly ingested into our systems.



    Particles potentially far smaller than even the traditional dangers of traffic pollution and second hand smoke. When you consider that Second hand smoke particles are 1/20th of the size of a grain of sand these ever tinier ones are mind boggling.



    HH jamesgang

  21. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Earl of Denby



    He’s not exactly turned newcastle round though has he ?





    He would fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations if he spent what is needed to get them competitive.



    Ffs,Fair Play,huns,who am I kidding?

  23. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Insinuating that the huns wouldnt adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations ? That’s you and Paul getting sued now

  24. Philbhoy-I believe that rag the Evening Times ,printed the Livvy programme guy’s name and address,reprehensible.

  25. Not sure how to view Ashley’s carry on. He could have invested money in the share issue at 20p a share and the money would have gone straight to the Club. However he passed on that and a few days later bought out another shareholder’s over 4 million shares at 20p. Obviously the money went to the seller and not to the Club. It was slightly more beneficial to Ashley to buy 4 million existing shares than 4 million new ones but for a man of his means the difference was chicken feed, yet he deprived the Club of the extra million. He is also trying to sack Wallace & Nash in a move that will cost the Club half a million in severance pay but will also ensure he keeps King out of the equation. Seems to me that Ashley’s priority is Ashley.





    Jings,I’d best stop doing the lottery then!

  27. The Earl of Denby


    16:01 on


    9 October, 2014





    Mike Ashley is not in the least interested in running football clubs, he is however, interested in maximising a clubs use for promoting his ONLY love…..Sports Direct.



    He has LOANED Newcastle £100 Million, which he can re-coupe with even relegation from the EPL and a sale of players/club.



    What would his outlay be to make Rangers achieve Champions League ststus?



    Their stadium needs at least £10 Million


    The average age of the team that defeated Livi was 29


    Will they even gain promotion to the Premier at the first go?


    They need a new team once they get to the Premier, how much?


    I don’t think they have produced a set of accounts yet, there are laws about that and competing in UEFA comps.


    An unfortunate event WILL happen over the next season or so when BDO officially liquidate Rangers FC and start chasing down EBT recipients for creditors cash, old co new co will be decided.


    Will the SFA allow him to ‘run’ 2 clubs?…..(Probably aye) but they shouldn’t.


    LOTS of ponderables but I think he just wants to milk the merchandising and have an advertising platform for Sports Direct.

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