Rangers fans are urging each other to boycott Mike Ashley’s retail outlets as Castore reveal details as to why the High Street billionaire’s stores are selling the new Gers home kit.
The kit has now appeared online in another Ashley-owned High Street store, House of Fraser.
Speaking to Four Lads Had a Dream, Castore co-founder Tom Beahon goes into greater detail as to how Ashley has got his hands on the new Gers kit ahead of the new season.
And why Sports Direct gave up their legal right to compete with the Castore deal.
“The truth is that Rangers were in a really difficult position given their previous deals, due to well documented and long-term legacy issues,” said Beahon.
“Whatever brand came in and offered, we knew Sports Direct had a legal right to match that deal and if they so chose they could have kept Rangers as a partner.
“What Sports Direct looked for in order not to exercise their legal right to match was an ability to sell a limited number of Rangers product, again that is not in any way strange or different and would be the case in other deals.
“Under our direct partnership between Castore and Rangers, Sports Direct, as well as several other third party retailers, will have the option to purchase from Castore and then the ability to sell Rangers products.
“That is the situation.
“It is worth reiterating, whatever Rangers product is sold anywhere in the world, whether it is through Sports Direct, through Greaves, through Rebel Sports over in Sydney, Rangers Football Club is benefiting from that, Rangers Football Club will earn a royalty on all of those sales.
“The club now have a deal, and the fans have 100 per cent knowledge, that if they are purchasing Rangers product they are supporting their football club.
“That, to me, is a big step forward and a fantastic move for the club.”
The Ibrox club has been financially hamstrung by a poorly weighted retail deal with Sports Direct signed during tumultuous times in the Rangers boardroom, ran by the previous regime.
This deal infamously earned Rangers only 7p to every £1 sold and has been a giant obstacle to the club’s development off-the-park ever since.
This has resulted in years of courtroom battles and conspiracies but the club’s fans can now see light and those Castore angel wings at the end of the tunnel.
🏡 Introducing the 2020/2021 Home Jersey.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) July 1, 2020
Whilst Ashley’s stores have been given some kit and will be stocking it, it doesn’t mean that any Rangers fan has to purchase from them.
With Castore’s original 50k run of kits selling out within 36 hours, there may be a temptation for some fans to place a pre-order with Sports Direct or House of Fraser to ensure they get their hands on the kit.
But given these won’t land until the 1st of August and that the new Rangers Store at Ibrox will be plenty well-stocked and opened by then – Castore plan to have a further 200k kits available for the start of next month – fans are being urged to wait by fellow supporters.
House Of Fraser supplying Rangers strips don't go near them or any Mike Ashley retail outlet 👍
— 🇬🇧Coplandbear🇬🇧 (@Coplandbear1872) July 4, 2020
Great to see @houseoffraser now stocking our kits.
However I would strongly oppose purchasing here – Buy your kit Direct from Castore/Rangers. https://t.co/pQ061LsvuX
— 𝗠𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗲𝗹 𝗦𝗲𝗮𝗳𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗿 (@SeafarerMichael) July 4, 2020
House of Fraser is owned Ashley.
Again, but from the new website that is launched august 1st, or Rangers store at Ibrox https://t.co/iqpajsAyW5
— Yaco (@Yaco1872) July 4, 2020
I’m this close to blocking anyone who tweets about house of Fraser’s selling Rangers gear.
With your links and screen grabs your only giving it the attention it doesn’t deserve, if your thick enough to buy from any of his companies then more fool you.
— Scott (@ScottWi1son) July 5, 2020
Don’t buy rangers shirts at Sports Direct, it won’t effect our club in anyway and will hurt big Mike.
— Rory (@Rory55421923) July 3, 2020
Can rangers fans stop tweeting don’t buy from sports direct if you don’t know that already you have some serious issues and won’t ever learn, we don’t need 1000 tweets saying the same thing
— Jack McGavin (@jackkmcgaviinnn) July 2, 2020
Rangers exclusive partnership with Castore ensures that Rangers always directly benefits with a royalty from the sale of all of the Rangers products manufactured, distributed and retailed by Castore.
Don’t buy from sports direct, simple as that. It’s no hard to understand😂😂
— Kenny Pettigrew (@KSP1872) July 1, 2020
If Rangers fans don’t buy tops from Sports Direct, Ashley won’t make a penny from us. Not one single dime.
DON’T BUY FROM SPORTS DIRECT
It really is that easy. If he makes money from us it’s because Rangers fans have spent their hard earned in his manky shops.❌
— Gallus Pioneer … Better Never Stops (@Gallus__Pioneer) July 1, 2020
So Castore have their own agreement with Sports Direct among other retailers.
We still get our royalty cut.
Just don't buy from SD, shop direct at Rangers 👍🏻
— Ibrox Loyal (@IbroxIoyal) July 1, 2020
If Sports Direct have purchased stock from Castore to sell in their stores the simple solution would be buy from Castore and Rangers official use your loaf n don’t enter the stores
— KennyGrfc (@kennygrfc) July 1, 2020
Rangers themselves responded to these Sports Direct fears by telling fans that for the “avoidance of doubt” the Ibrox club’s retail deal with Castore is a relationship solely between themselves and the sportswear brand [Rangers].
It hasn’t stopped the rumour-mill running into overdrive – particularly across the city – concerning the billionaire’s involvement with Castore.
But despite confirming that Mike Ashley has nothing to do with Castore for the umpteenth time during the week, Beahon took the time to do so again during the interview with Four Lads.
“I am well aware of the history between Rangers and Sports Direct, in particular, as well as other parties,” said Beahon.
“It is 100 per cent completely true is that this partnership is a partnership solely between Castore and Rangers.
“It is a two-way partnership that has been constructed in a way that is not normal in football deals in that Rangers benefit in everything that we do.
“That is not always the case, other people don’t always do deals that way.
“When I see rumours about Mike Ashley being a shareholder in Castore or having some sort of affiliation with Castore it is surprising as we have been 100% clear this is not the case on several occasions now.
“Mike Ashley or Sports Direct have no shareholding or involvement at any level in my business. There are only so many times or ways I can say that before people believe me.”