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. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Surely after this well thought out protest the huns have come up with at the Forte on Saturday then Sports Direct will no longer exist ?




  2. Bawsman


    16:19 on


    9 October, 2014



    I costed this out based on everything we know about TRFC and their running costs and I reckon they’d need at least 5 years of consecutive CL groups to recoup the investment required to get there.



    Not happening.

  3. Morning



    Is it a generation thing or something else? The poppy thing I mean…



    All the males in our family fought in WW2, and I still have a photo of my maternal grandfather in a British Army uniform from WW1.



    In WW2, I lost two uncles, another one was torpedoed and sunk twice and my Dad flew in the RAF Bomber Command.



    Poppies aren’t a problem for me as a consequence.



    I know what has occurred since under the UK flag, but I still remember those who mattered to me and what they did.



    More than abuses in NI for me, the real antipathy towards the poppy by Celtic fans seemed to result from the poppy being adopted as a symbol by the uber Brits who supported Deidco. Rather like the referendum stushie, if they were on one side – we had to be on the other.



    Probably oversimplified it, but I’m trying to reconcile my own ‘out of step’ views on a wee red flower.




  4. Bawsman-beat me to it,Ashley is only interested in fleecing the Zombies for merchandise,won’t put a penny into the Money Pit.I read Ashley and Green carved up the Puma kit deal between them,Sevco are left with 7 pence for every jersey sold.I’m sure like last year,the poppy Jersey will be out soon for an extra fiver,which will obviously go to the Poppy Appeal……………aye right.





    IMO,the poppy has been hijacked to represent something alien to the original intention.



    It was originally to remind us of the fallen,and give us an opportunity to honour their memory and to pay for the upkeep of veterans unable to care for themselves-mainly due to horrific injuries received in the field.



    I still donate,but in the last few years have defined to wear it. It now seems to be a symbol of jingoism and triumphalism,flaunted by politicians and media darlings.



    The very things that start wars.

  6. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine


    16:24 on


    9 October, 2014





    Surely after this well thought out protest the huns have come up with at the Forte on Saturday then Sports Direct will no longer exist ?





    Good point :-)

  7. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Weeminger 16:27


    Spot on. The MSM keep going on about them getting into the CL. Problem is you have to qualify these days – no direct entry to the group stage. The old club didn’t do qualifying too well (think Kaunus, Malmo, etc). When was the last time they got through the qualifiers? 2003?

  8. Oh No not the poppy debate again, ffs, If someone wants to wear a poppy wear it, if someone doesn’t then don’t. There should be no compulsion either way, it should be a matter of personal choice. Beyond that, I for one don’t want to see CQN choke on poppy posts with the trolls & lurking Huns just loving it.

  9. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Sums it up for me, I always donate but will never wear it. Says a lot about this country really.

  10. Some good points on the poppy.



    Huns being Huns need something….anything…to get at us. Let’s face it, they have nothing left to goad us with.



    I don’t let them get to me over this, the imposed wearing of the poppy by everyone (Jon Snow excepted) however, makes me shun it.



    I respect, and will be forever grateful to the men and women who died or were wounded to give us the lives we live today.

  11. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Mike Ashley getting involved with Sevco and ReJuventus quick rejuvenation will warm the cockles of our board.



    Poor Ronny is about to get the final year of WGS tenure and Big Tonys and Lenny’s first year.



    The verdict not proven SFA and the hun TV deal paying SPFL will get 2012’s postponed project legitimately back on track. Both huns coming up this season.



    We have our ready made transition period excuses at the ready.



    Resolution 12 is the only known unkown that keeps the interest up.




  12. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Just seen results from Ayr today



    royal regent wins 1st at 80/1 and Lord Buffhead wins 3rd at 14/1



    good day for the huns in Ayrshire

  13. The Earl of Denby on




    All Mike Ashley has to do is give the club £100M to put Sports Direct on the jerseys and he has legitimately negotiated the FFP rules.



    Whether or not he is interested in Rangers emotionally or in a business sense doesn’t really matter. His involvement, which I agree is likely to be only to further his other business interests, will more than likely result in them being in a much stronger position than they are in now.

  14. prestonpans bhoys on

    Good evening from a very wet Bowness-on-Windermere



    Went for a few beers since it was chucking it down and of course discussed footie with Miss Prestonpans. Could see a hun next to me wanting to join in but he failed to do so shame!

  15. Stairheedrammy on

    I don’t know what happened to the Amsterdam boys, but those lifted in the Gallowgate police over reaction are in the middle of final court appearances with 6 not guilty so far from 8 trials completed. Amazing how quick our support move on

  16. BMCUWP



    It certainly seems that way to me too.



    Hope you’re well and looking forward to Saturday night at the hoolie.






    I hear you but frankly it will organically occur every year around this time – inevitable IMHO.



    I also think that we have malcontents who will find fault with whatever we do or say on here. Why should we tailor our own discussion just in case someone else wants to distort it or discredit us? They seem quite able to do that without us saying a word.


    As it happens I think we are of a similar mind on the issue but some want to stifle personal choice on any issue.



    Hope you are well.




  17. The Earl of Denby


    16:51 on


    9 October, 2014





    All Mike Ashley has to do is give the club £100M to put Sports Direct on the jerseys and he has legitimately negotiated the FFP rules.



    Whether or not he is interested in Rangers emotionally or in a business sense doesn’t really matter. His involvement, which I agree is likely to be only to further his other business interests, will more than likely result in them being in a much stronger position than they are in now.





    He won’t give them a penny.



    Why did he buy someone else’s Hun shares rather than give the club money by buying them direct?



    He also needs to sell Newcastle first and he’s been trying to do that for years (as like Murray and the 1st Huns, no-one wants them).

  18. Well, I see the Huns are yet again trailblazers.


    Saw the Boyd “not proven” decision so took a quick look through the disciplinary outcomes over the past few years.


    Probably close to 90% of cases are upheld with 10% being found in the player’s favour.



    Not once in all these appeals as far as I can see has a “not proven”verdict being recorded. Silly me always thought that was due there to there being a three man panel so in all cases there would, at worst, be a majority if not unanimous decision.



    How the hell a three man panel can come up with this defies belief and indicates yet again that there is no lengths the authorities will go to in assisting the Huns.



    Let’s wait and see how many future NP decisions will be made – don’t laugh at the back.


    Wonder if Sally will demand names of the panel members.



    On this occasion I really DO think we deserve to know who they are.

  19. The Earl of Denby on




    I think he would rather the club was sent to the brink of oblivion where he can buy them for the least amount of money possible. So perhaps buying from an existing shareholder prevents that money going into the club, and thus reduces the value of future shares. Shares he fully intends to buy.



    At that point he would not be giving ‘them’ anything. It’s all his.



    You’re right about him having to sell NUFC, but that would be a case of just how much loss he is willing to cut. He could probably get more than £1 for Newcastle. Indeed we should remember that this is not a man with burgeoning company debts or limited personal wealth.

  20. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    The Sevco Newco fans that I know are delighted to have 2 Billionaires fighting over them,


    regardless of who wins control they see it as a win win situation, whoever wins the battle will have to pump cash into the team to make them successful then profitable, interesting view point.

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I think Celtic fans should forget whats going on at I brokes and concentrate on what is happening at Parkhead at the end of the season we may well lose the following Broonie out of contact Commons out of contract Kayal out of contract Guidetti free agent Denayer back to Man.City Van Dyke sold Tonev back to Villa Berget back to Wales Wackaso back to Russia Gordon sold. So anyone thinking that Rony is getting the chance to build a team might want to cut the man a bit of slack.We may be financialy prudent but in the football sense we are nearly bankrupt this is none of the managers doing it is down to moneyball the team on the park at the moment may be the poorest in a while but believe me it can get worse and some of you bhoys are worried about the Rangers. H.H.

  22. Kevjungle


    Before you head off, and this is a serious question, have you ever posted anything positive on here?


    you seem intent only in having a dig at the board or Lawell or those who are apparently happy clappers.



  23. The facts as we know them.



    Mike Ashley owns Newcastle Utd.



    Mike Ashley has pumped about £200m into Newcastle Utd.



    Mike Ashley is a ruthless businessman.



    Mike Ashley can’t sell Newcastle.



    Mike Ashley has shares in Sevco.



    Mike Ashley has stadium naming rights at Sevco.



    Mike Ashley is trying to secure the badge/emblem/image rights.



    Mike Ashley will not make the same mistakes in Glasgow he made at Newcastle Utd.



    Mike Ashley will not throw money at Sevco.



    Mike Ashley may just see Sevco as a way to make back some of the money he threw down the drain in Newcastle.



    Doesn’t matter what happens over ole Ibrokes way there are Celtic fans diving for cover in panic.


    Please forget about Sevco they are a busted flush and we will blow them away when the time comes.




  24. the three man SFA panel for Kris Boyd


    Jack Glass


    Donald Findlay


    Murdo McMurdo





    c/o Orange Halls


    1690 Masonic Avenue






  25. Joe Fillipi


    Im not Ronnys biggest fhan, but no matter what way you look at it, its hard to see how we will not still be a “team in transition” when next years CL qualifiers comes around

  26. The Earl of Denby


    17:16 on


    9 October, 2014





    Q. How do you make a small fortune owning a football club?



    A. Start with a large fortune.



    Mike Ashley is not in the least interested in running a football operation/club.

  27. Paul 67


    Whatever the motivation for Mike Ashley and his buying of more of a shareholding, when can we expect our highly renummerated CEO and his board which is filled with business accumen , or so we are told , address the alarming slide of Celtic Football Club, from a point of view of results and of attendances?

  28. Tamrabam


    There must’ve been 4 on the panel, the 4th being a medium to contact Jack Glass, unless I’m mistaken he’s no longer.

  29. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Tamrabam. My concern is we have one of the poorest sides on the park in a long time and I can only see it getting weaker.Yet many Celtic fans are wasting time discussing the problems at Ibrokes when in my opinion we should be asking questions about what is happening at Parkhead. I agree we will still be a team in transition next season and many fans will blame it on Rony when it is much deeper than that. H.H.

  30. In all honesty, if a Celtic player was up before the compliance officer for what Kris Boyd did, we’d be in meltdown. It was 2 players touching foreheads and never in a million years a head butt. An absolute joke.

  31. Joe Filippis Haircut


    17:28 on


    9 October, 2014





    It’s not a great deal different to the team which broke a shed load of records last year mate. In fact, I would say we have strengthened.



    There…..I said it.

  32. Livibhoy at 17:19 Facts we know etc.



    Half your facts are not facts.


    They are suppositions by yourself.



    Rangers were placed in liquidation in 2012. Now that is a fact


    Sevco Rangers are a new club. That, too is a fact.



    Henrik Larsson was a brilliant footballer. Only an opinion.







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