EXCLUSIVE: Rangers set to battle against new SPFL sponsorship deal

EXCLUSIVE: Rangers set to battle back against new SPFL sponsorship deal with Scottish vodka distillery as a potential ‘NUCLEAR’ row leaves other Premiership clubs fearing financial fallout if agreement is rejected

  • Rangers are heading for a new legal battle with the Scottish Premiership
  • League chiefs are on the verge of renewing a commercial deal with Glen’s Vodka
  • But Rangers are unhappy with the level of corporate governance in the league 

The SPFL and Rangers are heading for an explosive new legal row over a second sponsorship deal.

League chiefs are on the verge of renewing an existing commercial tie-up with the Loch Lomond Group, producers of Glen’s Vodka.

And Rangers have written to clubs in the SPFL Premiership warning that they feel unable to fulfil any aspect of the new agreement.

The move is an escalation of a long-running dispute over another title sponsorship with online car firm cinch.

The Scottish Cup holders argued that they were under no obligation to comply with the cinch contract because they already had an agreement with Park’s Motor Group — owned by chairman Douglas Park — which also deals in second-hand cars.

Rangers are set for an explosive legal battle with the SPFL over a new sponsorship deal

Rangers are unhappy with the renewing of a sponsorship contract with vodka distillery Glen’s Vodka

Despite the league negotiating a new contract which placed no onus on Rangers to display cinch branding, however, attempts to convene a clear-the-air summit of clubs at the end of last year ended in failure.

After a brief hiatus, the dispute has now been resurrected after Rangers argued that the new resolution voted through by clubs excused them from promoting any sponsorship deals agreed by the SPFL before the end of the cinch contract in 2026.

The two sides are locked in disagreement over the legal interpretation of a resolution stating that: ‘The SPFL shall not grant (or permit the grant of) the Rangers Related Rights (or any similar rights) implying sponsorship of or similar association with the SPFL, the League or the Divisions, to any third party at any time throughout the Remaining Term.’

In December 2020, Glen’s vowed to ‘work closely with the SPFL and many of its clubs across both league and cup competitions for the next three seasons’.

The Ibrox club are unhappy with the level of corporate governance within the league

Rangers managing director Stewart Robinson (pictured) has warned of soaring legal costs

With the current contract due to lapse at the end of this season, discussions over a renewal are at an advanced stage and clubs fear the financial impact if Rangers decline to comply.

One club source told Sportsmail on Friday night that the new row has the potential to be ‘nuclear’.

The Ibrox club have voiced public concerns over the level of corporate governance at the SPFL, calling for the heads of chief executive Neil Doncaster, chairman Murdoch MacLennan and legal advisor Rod McKenzie.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has also warned all 42 senior teams of soaring legal costs as the rancour rumbles on. For their part, the SPFL remain confident that they have gone by the book in their dealings with all parties.

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