In a statement:
"THE Rangers Football Club Limited has today served notice on Rangers Retail Limited terminating the IP Licence and Rights Agreement with that company with immediate effect.
"The Club now needs to speak to its commercial partners to agree the next steps flowing from the termination and will make no further comment on this matter whilst discussions are ongoing.
"The Club will endeavour to communicate further with its supporters and customers for Rangers Kit and other Rangers products as soon as it is in a position to do so."
Of course, Rangers Retail was an effective subsidiary of Ashley’s Sports Direct, established by Chuck Green, Brian Stockbridge, Barry Leach, et al just 47 days after the accused fraudsters acquired Rangers back in 2012.
At stake now was imaging and intellectual property rights, rights that Ashley procured back in 2012 when he invested the hefty sum of £1 million pre-IPO for around 8 percent of the Club and, as it turned out, nearly all of its property rights. Granted, he did toss in another quid later for the rights to plaster Ibrox with SD ad hoardings like he’s done with St. James’ Park in Newcastle. And a couple loans here and there made him the presumptive saviour to some who would struggle with a light switch. Rolling out the tanks, was Big Mike; Rangers stood no chance.
But today’s move effectively ends the Club’s relationship with Sports Direct. The Rangers Retail contract was a de facto agreement to give Ashley 95 percent of revenues generated from the sale of merchandise. In addition, he was given control over all our badges and trademarks, all for–well–effectively a zero sum figure when you account for all the funds stripped out of Rangers by him and his associates.
Poor Mike has been under heavy fire from the brigades lately, taking a battering on all sides of his massive empire, one which the lesser degree thought would see Rangers become a POWER IN EUROPE so Immense Mike could shill his cheap goods to a wider audience. Apparently finding shoddy Slazenger golf shirts is a top priority in the ex Eastern Bloc.
Thankfully, on top of the battering Ashley’s been getting from the English press and in Parliament, Dave King took to brow beating Large Mike in court as a matter of hobby. And that culminated Wednesday with Rangers tossing up two fingers and taking control of their retail revenues again.
Brave Mike can still shill royal blue "LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINAL" t-shirts as much as he wants for the next seven years; mercifully, they can’t be emblazoned with any Rangers trademarks on them going forward. Perhaps that will give him time to file the overdue Rangers Retail accounts.
The next move will most likely be in court, but how far Loyal Mike will take it is highly questionable. With every judicial move he makes, the chances of the entire deal drawn up between him, Green, Imran, Whyte and the rest being exposed moves nearer. That’s a risk you would think Sports Directs’ ever-crumbling share price couldn’t stand up to.
Short term: We’ll likely have a new kit manufacturer coming soon. That’s a little tough to swallow as the leaked Puma tops were the best looking effort they’ve given so far – which is a bit like saying syphilis is the best STI you can get under the circumstances. I don’t think we’ll look back on any of these tops as ones to remember simply on their aesthetics alone.
Other parts: You’ll be able to buy merch from Rangers again and have a good idea the money is actually benefitting the Club and not being used to pay red light PR men in Soho. Hooray!
So celebrate a victory today against the shitehawks that efforted to destroy Rangers. If you took part in a protest, boycotted the merchandise, made your voice heard, well done. A winner is you. Prodigious Mike is one step closer to being out the door completely.
If you were the in the vocal minority of the ones still backing Massive Mike to rocket fire Rangers to EUROPEAN GLORY, despite all the evidence he and his partners were clearly robbing the Club blind, tough break. Better luck next time. I hear there’s a side in the English championship that you may be interested in tracking.