RANGERS is due to pay Sports Direct nearly half a million pounds in legal fees by today's 4pm deadline after Mike Ashley's company won an injunction banning the use of Hummel-branded kit from next season.

It comes after the Ibrox side were told that it faced paying out millions of pounds in damages after ruled that the club breached its agreement with Sports Direct by failing to offer the retailer the chance to match its current deal with Hummel.

Judge Lionel Persey QC in the High Court in London ruled last month that Rangers should now pay the retail giant substantial compensation which could run to “many millions of pounds”.

He also hit the club with an injunction preventing it from continuing in its deal with sports merchandising firm Elite and Danish sportswear brand Hummel.

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It has also been confirmed that the judge made an order to make an initial costs payment to Sports Direct of £444,846.60 by 4pm today.


It is expected that Rangers will make the payment by the deadline.

Fans will still be able to buy kits for the forthcoming season, but for the 2020/21 campaign the judgment suggests that Rangers will be forced to enter another deal with Mr Ashley or seek his approval for an alternative agreement.

The club has been in long-running dispute with a Sports Direct over the meaning of terms within their retail agreement which affects the rights to sell the club's merchandise.

The legal row revolves around Rangers making a new non-exclusive agreement with another firm, the Hertfordshire-based football merchandising firm Elite Group, without giving Sports Direct managers a proper chance to match that company's offer.

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The court was previously told SDI Retail Services (SDIR), a subsidiary of Sports Direct alleged a breach of its agreement with Rangers when Elite opened a website selling replica kit and Rangers merchandise in September.

Mr Justice Teare granted an 'undoing' injunction that curbed the club's retail partnership with Elite in October.

Rangers argued that the injunction should not have been granted because Sports Direct had allowed the club to grant non-exclusive rights to third parties.


Mr Persey's judgment said: "During the future football season 2020-2021, Rangers shall not permit the Rangers FC teams to wear any official Rangers technical products de-by, supplied by, gifted by or manufactured by Elite or Hummel, or bearing the Hummel brand."

The club would have been held in contempt of court, fined or have assets seized if they failed to comply with the costs order.

Previouslt, Rangers claimed that the injunction would cause the club to lose significant revenue and risk further claims for damages from Elite.

They also claimed players and fans would be left with no kits and their “ability to function as a football club would be impaired”.

However, the court rejected these claims.

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But Mr Persey said he did not believe the loss of revenues would be significant and took issue with the club's bid for any payment to Sports Direct to be limited to £1 million.

Damages in the case are expected to be decided at a later date.

The judgment stated: “I am satisfied that SDIR was not only entitled to match the rights offered to Hummel/Elite but would have done so.

“Those rights were not only not offered to them but Rangers... untruthfully asserted that Hummel had not been granted any Offered Rights and did not provide SDIR with a copy of the Elite/Hummel Agreement.

“The upshot of all this is that Rangers, Elite and Hummel have until now performed and enjoyed the benefit of the Elite/Hummel agreement.

“The 2018/2019 season has been completed and preparations for the 2019/2020 season were well under way by the time of the hearing. Had the rights been offered to SDIR then SDIR would have found itself in the shoes of Elite and would have been in a position to make the sales and profits that Elite has made.”

The court had previously been told how fans had become angry over a merchandise deal with Sports Direct in the past after learning the club got about 7p of every £1 spent and had staged a merchandise boycott.


William McCormick QC, who led the Rangers' legal team, had previously told the court fans thought Mr Ashley pocketed too much of their money and said there was a widespread view that no "self-respecting" Rangers' supporter wore a replica shirt.

At the end of June, last year, Rangers had announced that Mr King's dispute with Mr Ashley was over while confirming a new one-year kit deal with Ashley's retail firm has been agreed.

Mr King then hoped the deal would encourage supporters to end their kit sale boycott and provide a major financial boost as Rangers aim to challenge for the Scottish Premiership title.

In a statement after the July judgment Rangers said: "Rangers would like to reassure supporters that matters concerning the litigation currently being brought against it by SDI Retail Services Limited are not as reported.


"Rangers was disappointed by the terms of the recent court judgment but respects the decision of the court and will meet any financial award made by the court.

"No such award has yet been decided and at this stage Rangers does not even know how much will be sought. Contrary to some reports, the judge has not determined that the contractual cap on damages will not apply.

"Rangers would also like to reassure supporters that no steps have been taken to stop supporters being able to buy this Season’s Replica Kits."

Rangers and Sports Direct have been contacted for comment.