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Rangers fans urged to snub kit as Ashley row rages on

By Gavin McCafferty

Published 04/08/2016

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley

Rangers' new replica kits are set to go on sale despite the club saying it has had no input amid a continuing dispute with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

Rangers have reacted with surprise and disappointment after it emerged replica strips had been manufactured by Puma for sale.

Retailer Greaves Sports in Glasgow said the strips would be going on sale this morning and they are expected to be on sale at Ashley's Sports Direct chain, although stores would not confirm.

The club have been trying to end their relationship with Sports Direct, which was established when Rangers shareholder Ashley held influence and had allies on the Ibrox board. The contract with Rangers Retail Limited (RRL) reportedly earns the club just four pence from every pound spent on merchandise.

A club statement read: "The club has made its best efforts to engage with Puma on an agreed way forward without the involvement of Sports Direct for the manufacture of replica kits.

"It emerged that Puma had manufactured some replica kit after receiving purchase orders directly from Sports Direct and without the prior knowledge or agreement of the club.

"The club has not been party to discussions on the launch of kit sales by Puma this week.

"We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the club."

The official Rangers fans' group, Club 1872, urged fans to boycott the new kits.

Puma insisted it was releasing replica kits into the market in "full compliance with the sponsorship and licensing agreement" it has with RRL.

Belfast Telegraph

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