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Rangers Football Club Vs. Sports Direct


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Bosses at Rangers Football Club are embroiled in a fresh merchandise deal row with Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, less than three months after a High Court judge said both sides should "try to make peace".

In a High Court hearing in London in late July, Mr Justice Phillips was told a dispute over the terms of the deal had been settled.

But lawyers representing the two sides were back at the court on Wednesday after Ashley complained of a breach of contract by Rangers.

Mr Justice Phillips heard in July how a deal, which allows a company in the Sports Direct group to sell replica Rangers kits and other branded products, was expiring.

He had been told bosses at Rangers wanted to sign a new deal with a third party, but SDI Retail Services executives objected and said they should have a chance to match any new offer.

The judge had been due to analyse evidence about the meaning of a contract clause at a trial.

But lawyers representing both sides told him out-of-court agreements had been made.

The judge said Rangers had accepted claims made by SDI bosses.

He said Rangers and SDI were negotiating another deal, and added: "I would really have thought the time has come to try to make peace."

The judge was told more than £500,000 had been spent on lawyers, with SDI running up legal costs of £350,000 and Rangers £185,000.

Mr Justice Phillips said Rangers' bosses should pick up the vast majority of SDI's legal bills as well as paying their own fees, adding SDI was "entitled to the costs".

The latest dispute is being analysed by another judge, Mr Justice Teare.

Lawyers for SDI said Rangers had entered into an agreement with another company, following the hearing in late July, which was a breach of contract.

They said Rangers had defended "this conduct" on the basis of an argument about the construction of its agreement with SDI.

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