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. Che



    (not a lot of fact if truth be told!) a blast from the past and no more than that

  2. livibhoy



    17:19 on 9 October, 2014



    One line you missed is that £20m in EPL would buy you one quarter of Wayne Rooney.


    In Scotland it would but a squad that would guarantee entry to CL group stages and domestic domination.



    He could strike his own ego and make a few bob from UEFA for the sake of some loose change!



    HH jamesgang

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Bawsman. If indeed as you say we have strengthened in my opinion is not shown in our results but I am prepared to give Rony time to improve the team and the results.My concern is even if he does improve us he is going to get the legs swept away from him at the end of the season with players moving on because of continued cost cutting. H.H.

  4. RWE,



    I think your confusion is par for the course for those of us who have experienced more of the British Armed Forces than their involvement in the North of Ireland. My maternal grandfather died as result of the wounds he received in WW1; my granny also lost 3 brothers in the same conflict. My Dad and his only brother were conscripted during WW2 (like virtually every Catholic in Parkhead, while the others often found jobs in the Forge). I don’t ever remember him or anyone else in the family wearing the poppy but it was never a bone of contention until the undead usurped it and its symbolism.

  5. lennon's passion on

    Mr 67 another rangers article. You are getting obsessed or its a good way to avoid the issue’s that matter. DEILA is a dud.

  6. The Earl of Denby on



    17:23 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.






    Evidently not. Which is why he hired other people to do it at Newcastle.



    That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have any interest in owning a football club and exploiting it in order to further his other business interests.



    It is my concern that in the process he will by default make Rangers stronger.

  7. Mickey Ashley thought he was getting a great deal when he bought NUFC from the tha Halls and Freddie Shepherd


    It took him over six months to discover that they had in fact shafted him royally!


    It will take him years to recover his losses unless he finds his own mug punter to buy the club at well over the odds


    He is unlikely to repeat the same mistake with the Zombies – he knows already how much he can milk from them regarding strips etc so he already knows what he might need to spend to keep the show on the road so that the mugs keep buying the tat!


    He is unlikely to want to spend millions on the stadium and team so look out for him selling off such costly assets to some true Rankersmen while he keeps the image rights and commercial contracts


    Dave King and friends want the club/company whatever but don’t want to spend money actually buying the shares


    This could get bloody – so let’s hope so!




  8. Stairheedrammy on

    Ashley’s buisiness is based on selling sports merchandise and as long as he keeps the new Rangers competitive the berrs will keep buying the XxXL tops and 5 star sash holders. Looks like he sees them as a long term cash cow so we’d better expect some initial investment from him as he builds them into a force to challenge us next year

  9. The Earl of Denby on




    If Ashley has indeed spent £200M on Newcastle, it should be noted that his net worth has seemingly increased by ten times that amount in that same amount of time. Almost as if owning Newcastle was in no way detrimental to his overall business ventures. In fact there may be some unseen mechanism wherby owning a football club facilitates better business relationships and thus better business deals.



    It may be not that Ashley is unable to sell NUFC, but that he hasn’t had his financial expectations met. Even if it was only a hobby for him, he’s hardly spending beyond his means.



    I’d wager every single Celtic fan on this blog has paid a higher % of their Net worth on Celtic, than Mike Ashley has on Newcaslte, and will ever spend on Rangers.

  10. The Earl of Denby


    17:40 on


    9 October, 2014





    I don’t think this will end well for the Huns, you obviously do……….We shall see.

  11. bournesouprecipe on

    And our fans wonder why in this country Celtic require to show the utmost care in what they say, and even more care in what they don’t say.



    Civil unrest?



    You had better believe it.



    What can Celtic say about their oldest rival that everyone knows undeniably was liquidated. The judiciary, the liquidators, HMRC, any official government office will not broach the subject let alone hint, at how it is.



    The very mention of ‘Newco’ sends the aggrieved, poor punished enough Sevco 5088 into apoplexy, and they are backed by a compliant twisted media that reported the very same liquidation, and slight of hand that saw a licence miraculously transfer to a new club.



    The deserters of Rangers made off for Sevco land, where the merest mention of what they already know happened to their previous club, can cause large scale carnage in Glasgow and Scotland, especially when their oldco, newco scum supporters have cheated, lied and defrauded their way back inevitably into the SPL.



    They gave us a taster in miniature on referendum Friday in George Square, and Celtic and their support will be the target, regardless of how financially impoverished Newco remain, their new club will continue to be the focus of assistance, large scale national amnesia, as the very bad tribute act continue unhindered as the same ‘fabric of Scottish society.’



    I like the way Rangers died by their own hands, but I don’t need my club to tell me, the story.

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut


    17:40 on


    9 October, 2014


    =======================Lustig, Forrest and Mathews coming back will make a big difference. Efe back in the middle with VVD and we have last years platform with added firepower.



    As I say when I play snooker…….let the shot develop :-)

  13. If Ashley pumps money into Zombie Fc .how does he get it back?…advertising ..who will see it outside of Scotland…merchandise..who will buy outside of Scotland(N.I.)..


    Champions league…yeah ok …getting theres the trick…imo he is trying to get the badge coz thats where the money is….let all the ranjurs men fight over the Club(new or old) as long as you got zombies at sports direct mike makes money….

  14. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Bawsman. fellayou keep up your positive attitude I certainly hope you are correct and I am wrong but I cant see it. H.H.

  15. Joe Filippi’s Haircut..




    Hiya,joe.. Nice tae Greet ye..



    Ronny, will Get a Handle oan It.. Ah am certain.



    He needs some time.



    Give hiv till Christmas.. by that time we Should See or No See.. How the Big Picture oan him is Shapin’ up.



    Ah Approve of Downsizing the Payroll.



    Broonie, Should Go.. Commons , tae.



    Baith,ur a Drag in the Team Building Programme, which Ronny is..well. Abuilding.



    Like Ah hiv Previously, said..



    Ronny is New..



    He has a Loat tae Find oot.. no… Ah am No sure that Many folk Oan here..



    Will Understaun ..this..



    There is a Wholeloatta Difference between..



    Finding oot whit he his goat ,as his disposal.



    n Learning whit tae dae Aboot Things.



    First thing, In Any Joab.. Wan Must Find oot.. the Lay of the Land.




    Ah said that Ronny , Needs Time tae that Find Oot..


    jist whit he has Goat in His Cupboard.



    There ur a Loata. excess Provisions.. in There,which he needs tae ditch.



    Like.. Commons n Broonie… mebbe.. Bitton, tae.. Mebbe.. Charley.. as weel!



    Stokesy?… Of Course~ Steffi?… Tough wan.. Ah am No Sure Aboot this Guy..



    He May come good.. Wait n See.



    If Ah wuz King..



    n.. Ah am No.. but ,if Ah wuz..’



    A wid..



    Dump all of oor Present Mid Field Players..



    Commons, Broonie.. Kayal, Bitton.. Charley?…



    N . Start Over again.. Ah Might Persevere wi Steffi..



    But..Ah am as Sure as there is Ashes in the Midden.. or.. There used tae Be..






    Celtic , wull no be a threat tae any of the Toap Teams of the world.. mebbe..no even tae the Toap Teams in the S.P.L.. (Re,the way Ah saw Celtic Play agin.. St.Mirren..n Hamlton.. or Aberdeen.. recently)



    Until.. Celtic



    Completely..n ..Positively..



    Root Oot.. n Demolish, AWE… of the Cast of Oor PRESENT MID FIELDERS!



    No wan of them is worth a Tinker’s Cuss.. (Well.Mebbe.. Steffi.. we wull See)



    Before Ah go.. Let me Remind You of this..



    ( in Case Ah hivane Made Maself Clear!)



    Maist of Awe Celtic’s Trouble..









    Noo Ye Know






  16. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Kojo. You may well be right but for me Biton has not been given his chance and Broonie gives us drive im not convinced about Johannson.However, football is all about opinions so you take care out there.H.H.

  17. West Wales Celt on

    All guess work of course but it strikes me that we are witnessing a battle between 2 parasites, Green and Ashley. The former seems to be hiding in the background sucking out revenue through the infamous onerous contracts, the latter appears to want a greater share of this game. If this guess is anything like accurate there is something peculiarly ironic in that said onerous contracts are likely the sole reason that NewCo are too good to let die but also the main reason why they attract parasites whose only use for the host is as a source for exploitation.



    Trickle feeding of just enough working capital to avoid liquidation is all the huns can expect…

  18. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Monster Munch has been given a not proven verdict and will have no suspension to serve.Only in this bitter wee country.H.H.

  19. Bgx,



    I know it sometimes isn’t as simple as this but for every bun who spends a fiver in Ashleys shops there’ll be some other fan who stops.



    Whatever happened to the other sports company who got into bed with thems?

  20. Bournesouprecipe,



    Best post you have made, IMO, in all your many excellent posts.



    Rangers were liquidated in 2012.


    Sevco/Newco Rangers are a new club.



    These are the two facts everyone of us should continue to maintain as the truth.


    Only when we give up holding this view will their revision of facts hold sway.




  21. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I take it that the references to FFP with regards sevco and Scottish fitba was a joke ?



    Mrs Ashley can buy Rangers. See Dave Kings Auntie or was it his mammy ?



    With Mike Ashley be defacto owning two clubs so close to one another a whole range of business opportunities can arise. How close are these two clubs not just geogrpahically but spiritually as well ?



    How would Newcastle reserves fair in the SPL ?



    If the bookies are right and Rangers get promoted and Celtic win the league would Ashley keep Mc Coist on ?



    How would Sally trying to upsurp Celtics new title winning manager sell ? I would suggest more than if it was say Derek Adams Rangers



    DD is only interested in making a profit out of Celtic and he is deemed a success so why can’t Mike Ashley do similar with the SFA´s favourite pet ? Because Peter Lawwell is now influential within both main footballing bodies ?



    If Ronnie was like Lenny marginally to lose the title this year. I would expect the club to hold onto him like they did with Lenny in his first year. Would that sell the game for next season overall better to the Scottish populace ?






    Anyway who knows. Pity the fitba is shinola





  22. Hail Hail to all bhoys and ghirls heading to Airdrie town hall tonight.



    Nik Kershaw CSC

  23. weebobbycollins on

    For Ashley it’s all about promoting Sports Direct. He has the British market sewn up and now wants to conquer Europe…Newcastle won’t play European football anytime soon however, a not too burdensome investment in Sevco could see them top us next season and qualify for CL…especially with this hesitant, ponderous board that we have to put up with…can you imagine?…”Join us after the break with Rangers v Barcelona direct from the Ibrox Sports Direct Arena…” Surely a nightmare scenario…

  24. wellbhoy7


    18:15 on


    9 October, 2014


    Hail Hail to all bhoys and ghirls heading to Airdrie town hall tonight.



    Nik Kershaw CSC


    wouldn’t it be good………..if it was Paolo Nutini……..:}

  25. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I expect many on here to compromise their beliefs in sevco when Celtic FC welcome them back to the fold. I will need to write a new module for Hobby Tony ;-)




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