Rangers found to have breached Sports Direct merchandise terms

Bosses at Rangers Football Club have lost the latest round of a High Court fight over a merchandise deal with Sports Direct and Newcastle United boss Mike Ashley.

A judge has ruled Rangers breached the terms of an agreement made with a company in the Sports Direct group.

Mr Justice Teare concluded the Ibrox club made a new agreement with another firm without giving Sports Direct a chance to match that firm’s offer.

The judge had analysed the row at a High Court hearing in London earlier this month.

He indicated arguments about damages could be aired at another hearing.

Mr Justice Teare said Rangers had lost and would therefore pick up all lawyers’ bills run up during the latest round of litigation.

Lawyers told him Sports Direct had spent about £280,000 and Rangers about £147,000.

The judge said legal bills would be assessed in detail before Rangers paid the full amount.

He said it might be argued Sports Direct’s bills were “high or possibly unreasonably high”.

Rangers made a deal relating to replica kit sales in June 2017, the judge said.

The club then entered into a new agreement with a firm called the Elite Group in September 2018, he found.

Sports Direct bosses said Rangers were in breach of the agreement made with them, which was disputed by the club.

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