Rangers shareholders and fans’ group Club 1872 have demanded further explanation from the club and Castore amid the ongoing issues fans are experiencing with the kit retailer.
Club 1872 have also questioned the credibility of claims from the retailer that match-worn kits – sold at the same price as the lesser quality fabric – were shipped out accidentally.
Castore have previously apologised to supporters for these issues, highlighting problems with couriers and in the supply chain amidst the Covid shutdown as influences on the issues.
The Liverpool-based sportswear brand have also been forced to recall a cheaply made kids lifestyle product which was being charged at an exorbitant price.
Club 1872 want further clarity over a number of issues ranging from considerable differences in kit quality to shoddy customer service, with some fans still awaiting the delivery of orders.
The Rangers shareholders claim they have grown “increasingly concerned” with the situation and have warned the trust of supporters “will not be so easily regained” if it is lost.
Demanding further explanation of the “unacceptable” situation, Club 1872 warn that the immense retail power of the Ibrox support “cannot be taken for granted”.
Here’s the statement in full, which you can also read HERE:
Club 1872 has grown increasingly concerned over recent weeks as the scale of the issues with delivery of Castore x Rangers products, and subsequently concerns over the quality of some of those products, have come to light.
Having previously enjoyed a constructive dialogue with both Castore and Rangers on the expectations of supporters around this new retail arrangement, we had hoped to be able to address these concerns directly with them.
Unfortunately, although we have had belated contact from Castore today, we have not yet received any response to our specific concerns. Also, despite asking a number of detailed questions of the club, we have received no answers to those questions.
We have sympathy with Castore and Rangers over the tight timescales to produce kit for this season which have been further compounded by the challenges around Covid-19, and we have told them as much.
However, those challenges do not fully explain or excuse the poor customer service or lack of reliable communication around the quality and delivery issues that have occurred. It also appears that these issues have been considerably more widespread than has so far been acknowledged by Castore or Rangers.
They cannot and should not be dismissed by trying to focus solely on the volume of sales which have been achieved. Those sales are a testament to the incredible loyalty of the Rangers support but they cannot be taken for granted.
Of further concern to Club 1872 was the statement released by Castore, with the assistance of Rangers, on Thursday 20th August, which attempted to explain the differences in quality between two versions of the home replica kit which have been sold to supporters. The explanation given – that some of these tops were “pro kits” released early in error – does not appear credible and does not stand up to scrutiny.
We would remind both Castore and Rangers that whilst all interested parties can work together to improve the reported problems with quality, customer service and communication, trust will not be so easily regained with the support if it is lost.
The quality issues, customer service problems and lack of reliable communication from both Castore and Rangers have been completely unacceptable and they should now be honest and open with supporters about what has gone wrong, how they plan to fix it and how they will ensure that we will not see a repeat in future seasons.
We firmly believe that all Rangers supporters want to continue to show their financial support to the club through the purchase of Castore x Rangers products but they deserve a proper explanation about what has occurred over the past few weeks in order to rebuild confidence.
Rangers signed a landmark deal with Castore in the summer – believed to be worth £25m to the club – as years of tumultuous battles surrounding the kit deal with Sports Direct finally came to an end.
This is Castore’s first foray into the football market and with such a hunger to buy merchandise from Rangers supporters they are beginning to find out very quickly about the challenges in this sector.
Club 1872 are also only echoing the views of supporters here as Rangers fans rally to demand better from this unacceptable situation.