A judge has raised concern after Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and Rangers became involved in another High Court fight relating to merchandise deals.

Judge Lionel Persey said he was "slightly disturbed" about how much court time was being taken up while overseeing the latest of a series of hearings in London.

He asked whether mediation had been considered and told lawyers that he was firing a "little shot across the bows".

Judge Persey was overseeing a directions hearing in that latest stage of the litigation at the High Court in London on Wednesday.

 READ MORE: Rangers challenge after losing latest round of court fight with Mike Ashley

In August, Rangers were due to pay Sports Direct nearly half a million pounds in legal fees 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 in July that Rangers should now pay the retail giant substantial compensation which could run to “many millions of pounds”.

READ MORE: Rangers due to pay nearly £450,000 to Mike Ashley's Sports Direct

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.

Fans were still 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.

Rangers disputed claims made against them.

SDI has now made allegations about a sports clothing company, the Elite Group, Rangers had made an agreement with - and more allegations about Rangers.

Judge Persey is due to oversee a further hearing on January 17.

"I am slightly disturbed about how much of the court's time is being taken up with these issues," the judge told lawyers.

"This is a little shot across the bows."

He added: "Has any consideration been given to mediation?"

It is understood the respective cases were given to the judge in written “skeleton arguments” but lawyers would not divluge what they were.

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."