Rangers Kit Sales Row: Rangers To Ditch Puma Kit and Bring Out Own New Shirt?
Rangers to End Sports Direct Relationship
Rangers already wore the new shirt in four matches.
However, the move of releasing an own shirt is reported to be the extreme option among a number of moves Ibrox executives are currently exploring following the breakdown of their relationship with the sportswear firm and Mike Ashley's Sports Direct empire, and Puma, who have a legal right to sell and market the kit under the terms of their five-year kit deal agreed in 2013 are expected to challenge any attempt to undermine the contract.
Rangers in May said it had withdrawn the exclusive licensing rights of Sports Direct to use the club's trademarks given to its merchandising joint venture with Sports Direct and it was believed that meant kit which contains the protected logos could not be sold. But recently the kit row was sparked when Puma confirmed it had released a batch of kits for sale to Sports Direct and other retailers.
Herald Scotland reports that "Rangers have spent weeks in talks with Puma, who found themselves caught in the middle of the row between chairman Dave King and Sports Direct supremo Ashley." But Puma rejected their compromise attempts and instead side with the Newcastle owner when he requested shipments of the new Rangers home, away and third kits to be delivered to Sports Direct stores across the country.
Puma has said that after taking legal advice that it was okay to sell, market and distribute the new kit.
Rangers added: "We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the club and/or supporters groups prior to the launch."
The club has already triggered a seven-year notice period required to cancel all contractual ties with Sports Direct.