Rangers and the SPFL have had a difficult relationship ever since the league was formed in 2013 following the merger of the SPL and SFL – and it looks set to get worse with the Gers reportedly involved in a legal dispute over the league’s sponsorship with car firm cinch.
The Gers took on Livingston at Ibrox yesterday in the first game of the newly-rebranded cinch Premiership but their branding was nowhere to be seen – including on the arm-patches clubs should wear on their right sleeve – with the only SPFL markings appearing on the Rangers players’ shirt numbers.
Rangers, according to the Daily Record, “believe there are gaps in the contract which mean they do not have to display the branding, or award a ‘Cinch man of the match’.”
Rangers’ decision not to wear the league patches on the sleeves of their shirts could see them charged with breaching SPFL rules, with rule G46 stating: “If so determined by the Board, the shirts of all Players in League Matches and Play-Off Matches shall carry the League logo and/or, the name/logo(s) of the title or other sponsor of the League, on one or both sleeves, as specified from time to time by the Board”.
The Scottish Sun added that “Rangers and SPFL have been in talks over the issue for weeks regarding “the fulfilment of rights obligations”. with Rangers’ lawyers “refusing to back down.”
While it is unclear specifically where Rangers have issue with the cinch sponsorship, it is the latest in a long line of issues between the club and the league.
Managing director Stewart Robertson – who also sits on the SPFL board – recently accused the league of lacking leadership, underselling the TV rights and not having any sort of plan for how to help improve the country’s best young players.
The deal with cinch is reportedly worth £1.6million per year to clubs and is lauded as the ‘biggest ever‘ deal the league has had since it formed – Ladbrokes being the only other previous sponsor.