Rangers Lose Latest Round Of Merchandise Fight With Sports Direct Boss Mike Ashley

I don’t think it’s been decided either way yet, but at the first interim injunction hearing SDI we’re arguing that the agreement provided for infinite or indefinite renewals. That was part of the reason they said the £1m damages clause wasn’t sufficient and an injunction was required.

From what we’ve seen of the contract, I think there’s at least a stateable argument that’s the case (the contract provides that if there is a matching offer, we have to enter into a new contract with SDI on the same terms as the current one except for the material terms being matched. On the face of it, the same terms would mean the new contract also has to have the matching provisions in it. The contract also provides that if there is no third party offer to consider, the current contract just automatically renews.)

There could be parts of the contract we've not seen which would give a different interpretation, though. There also could be clauses which give a get out in other ways if something SDI does can be regarded as a breach.

I also think a court likely wouldn’t want to tie an organisation into an indefinite relationship in this way, but if the words of the contract are clear, who knows...

I think if all that is at stake was the £1m damages claim though, we would have settled by now - we’ve probably paid hundreds of thousands in legal fees already, so it wouldn’t make sense.
Thanks @Marty101 It may not be what folks want to read but they'd do well to read your interpretation. Of course, if all we had to do was pay £1m to be rid of the fat leech we'd have done it long ago. Surely people can see that? :eek:

Ashley may be a c*nt but he has the best legal team in the business when it comes to this contract stuff - at the end of the day it's how he does his business, it's how he preys on other companies, it's his 'bread and butter' if you like. We are not the first and we won't be the last to be caught up in his legal web.

The prospects look bleak. Worst case he gets to regain control of the retail operation and gets hefty compo on top. We would probably then have to compensate Elite Group as well. It's a battle we HAVE to fight and we have to hope that somehow, for once, we catch a break and find a way to win this one.
 

cambridgeblue

Well-Known Member
I also think a court likely wouldn’t want to tie an organisation into an indefinite relationship in this way, but if the words of the contract are clear, who knows...
Surely a restriction of trade.

To break a business contract the damages and remedy are £ - not eternal penury by forcing business to work together indefinitely.
 

mart22

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Marty101 It may not be what folks want to read but they'd do well to read your interpretation. Of course, if all we had to do was pay £1m to be rid of the fat leech we'd have done it long ago. Surely people can see that? :eek:

Ashley may be a c*nt but he has the best legal team in the business when it comes to this contract stuff - at the end of the day it's how he does his business, it's how he preys on other companies, it's his 'bread and butter' if you like. We are not the first and we won't be the last to be caught up in his legal web.

The prospects look bleak. Worst case he gets to regain control of the retail operation and gets hefty compo on top. We would probably then have to compensate Elite Group as well. It's a battle we HAVE to fight and we have to hope that somehow, for once, we catch a break and find a way to win this one.
I find it impossible to envisage any scenario where Sports Direct sell any Rangers merch, supplied by Hummel, ever.
No judge is going to order Rangers to contract with Sports Direct. There will be an award of damages, or the parties will reach a settlement out of court.
What Sports Direct are doing is not clever at all. Their fight with Rangers is damaging their own brand. Ashley has put his ego before Sports Direct shareholders.
 

Grant K

Active Member
When this ends, as it eventually will one way or another do Rangers have the ability to go after those individuals that signed these deals. To a layman like myself, with no great law of contract knowledge, it is difficult to see how it could be argued that these contracts were to the benefit of both parties and that those who signed on behalf of Rangers did so to the detriment of Rangers. Am I just letting my ire get the better of me or would we have a case.
 
I find it impossible to envisage any scenario where Sports Direct sell any Rangers merch, supplied by Hummel, ever.
No judge is going to order Rangers to contract with Sports Direct. There will be an award of damages, or the parties will reach a settlement out of court.
What Sports Direct are doing is not clever at all. Their fight with Rangers is damaging their own brand. Ashley has put his ego before Sports Direct shareholders.
In your opinion you expect a large payment either in damages or to settle.
More than the 1 million.
So how much does fat man want?
A carve up probably started in Sandy Bay, another attempt to Bury us?
 

mart22

Well-Known Member
In your opinion you expect a large payment either in damages or to settle.
More than the 1 million.
So how much does fat man want?
A carve up probably started in Sandy Bay, another attempt to Bury us?
I get a sense all of SD's court actions are about lining up their ducks. We talk about the merchandise deal as if it were one contract. However, it appears there were several deals agreed with SD. I think SD lawyers are working through them all in court in an effort to maximise their damages. I've no idea what kind of figure they hope to receive, but I hope in the end they feel bitterly disappointed with what is awarded.
 

Southside_shug

Well-Known Member
I get a sense all of SD's court actions are about lining up their ducks. We talk about the merchandise deal as if it were one contract. However, it appears there were several deals agreed with SD. I think SD lawyers are working through them all in court in an effort to maximise their damages. I've no idea what kind of figure they hope to receive, but I hope in the end they feel bitterly disappointed with what is awarded.

Mart22 I've not read through all this thread, but I'm sure it was established way back that there is a maximum damages figure, regardless of whether they are lining up ducks or not.

However I am sure that the legal fees figure for a loss to the club would be astronomical....
 

mart22

Well-Known Member
Mart22 I've not read through all this thread, but I'm sure it was established way back that there is a maximum damages figure, regardless of whether they are lining up ducks or not.

However I am sure that the legal fees figure for a loss to the club would be astronomical....
I think that's wishful thinking mate. Nobody knows the number of contracts we had with SD, and the value of each contract. Snippets of terms here and there have been reported, but that's all we're seeing, small parts of a bigger picture. There are undoubtedly many vital details being argued by lawyers we have never even heard of.
 

RabSpackman

Well-Known Member
I genuinely hope that fat dick Ashely drops of a heart attack.

Our lawyers never seem to cover themselves in glory at these things either.
The knots that Ashley’s people will have inserted in those contracts to protect them from challenge though... they are excellent at creating watertight contracts that the other party will either give up on trying to exit, or spend themselves into a hole doing so.

The idea that the Rangers lawyers would just turn up in court, claim it’s not fair and a judge would rip up the Sports Direct commitments is just not close to reality unfortunately.
 

RabSpackman

Well-Known Member
The last time the press reported we lost a court case, King countered they had the wrong interpretation and lo and behold there's suddenly a City full of Hummel kits. I will reserve judgement until the board speak (ahem, they've liked making statements of late) and or respected legal eagles on here give an interpretation
I think the situation is that Rangers were able to enter a separate agreement with Hummel and distribute kits... but Spots Direct are contractually within their rights to counter that they weren’t given the opportunity to match the new offer.

You can twist legal agreements in many ways and I would presume that the people putting these contracts together at Sports Direct have mitigation plans and the associated clauses buried deep in the detail that protect them from various counter measures that Rangers can turn to.

It’ll take a long time to unravel, if at all possible.
 
I think folks are missing the point that we have already conceded that we did not give SDI the 'proper' chance to match the Elite Group offer. We 'withdrew' that argument in Court way back in November or December I think it was. In effect, we have already conceded that we were in the wrong. The discussion now is about how that gets resolved.

A figure of £1m was mentioned as the compensation term. SDI legal team have argued that that figure is 'entirely insufficient' - even though it's in the contract - and the Judge at that hearing seemed to 'sympathise' with their view. However, that has yet to be fully tested. You can be sure that if Rangers thought we could lose this deal for a payment of £1m then we would have done so by now. SDI don't want compo - they want the contract back PLUS compo.

12 April is the date for the 'speedy trial'.
 

DejaVoodoo

Well-Known Member
Given the fact that SD have been slow in negotiations with Rangers in order to keep us in limbo, surely any Judge would rule that the relationship between the two is irrevocably damaged and all that needs to be determined is damages.
 
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