EXCLUSIVE; the truth behind Rangers’ new kit deal?


 Article by: Alastair McKeown

As readers will know, there has been quite the saga over the kit deal with Hummel – and the astonishing delays in getting the shirt to retail. Last week Rangers finally delivered, and an initial sale went online. But what of Sports Direct? Injunctions? Contracts? Where is or was the money going?

My instincts were aroused when suddenly the kit was announced for sale on the club website through the ‘gersonline’ shop via non-exclusive partner the ELITEGROUP-UK.

I wanted to be sure that the fat man (we all know who he is) was not behind it somehow so I thought I’d do a bit of digging. And here we go:

Taken from Elite Group website.

“Elite began working in the embryonic football merchandising market some 20 years ago, selling a range of products including branded clothing. Over the past two decades, we have built up a network of suppliers throughout the world, mainly in China and the Indian sub-continent.”

In 2010, The Elite Group went into partnership with the football clothing company, LBJ, whose aim was:

“…to serve the UK and European football industry with vibrant, innovative and relevant designs of ‘terrace’ wear. Their attention to detail, service and products made them a market leader. The partnership between LBJ and The Elite Group enabled their sourcing capabilities to be strengthened and LBJ Sports Apparel Ltd was established.”

The chairman of Elite Group is Mr Neil Matthew Friar and he has been with them some 21 years firstly as a Director of Elite Sourcing Ltd found on Company check. He also held directorships in other companies one of which was LBJ hence the merger of the two companies.

Still not satisfied I decided to dig a bit more and found Neil Matthew Friar on LINKEDIN. Well what a surprise!

Director The Elite Group

February 1985 – Present 33 years 8 months

Chairman Hummel UK & Ireland

April 2018 – April 2018 1 month

Chairman The Elite Group and Hummel UK & Ireland

March 2018 – March 2018  1 month

Well, what to make of that…? I am satisfied that the one we know as the fat man has nothing to do with this. This has been a workaround as far as I can see to rid ourselves of him, which I believe is part of the delay in getting strips out. Any wrong spelling of players shirts is down to Jimmy Bell as he prints them, sorry Jimmy!

To end on another good note Elite Group/LBJ supply a very large number of EPL clubs Spurs, Arsenal etc so they’re a credible group and we appear to be safe with them.

So rest assured all you bluenoses the fat man ain’t getting a penny as far as I can make out.

Let’s go.


  1. One slight criticism they could have made them more affordable due to the delay I'm also glad to see the fat man isn't involved a big call out to the boys for Wednesday night against ayr give us another fine performance due you what it looks as though the celtic game to early in the season for us after sundays showing .

  2. Alastair McKeown job well done on your article and all checks regards the fat man 👏🏼👏🏼 If Carlsberg did weeks then last wk was it…

    Onwards and upwards 🔴⚪️🔵

  3. Agreed on the price of the strips, I know were trying to recover years of lost revenue but they're extortionate lol

  4. Curious as to why Mr. Friar seems to have been Chairman of Hummel UK & Ireland and of Elite for only 1 month (March 2018), and then Chairman of Hummel UK & Ireland for only 1 month (April 2018).

  5. Good job got mine as soon as i giy through to the site. 80 quid into the club's coffers not the fat man. Quite happy to spend a bit more this year . The board did its best with SG and not bothered by a few extra quid to help pay for it. #lets go …. kick some hoopy arse

  6. It's a pop up online sale and this is heading back to court sure as shit.I just hope there is recognition by the judge of the Slags personal delaying tactics and my guess is he'll be awarded damages(hopefully minimal).I'm praying we can finally be shot of this despicable person.

  7. Good bit of research mate,i know the strips are a bit pricey but i have bought two safely knowing the money is going to our club and not a penny to the fat man ,let him sell the strips in his shops as not a bluenose will buy anything from him.

  8. Happy to pay the prices for the tops and have peace of mind the fat man will not get a penny from me, let him sell the strips in his shops as he will be left with them all, as we have shown before,we will do without than buy from him !!!!

  9. Thank f*** the shirt sagas over and we can start generating more income💪

    WATP LETS GO 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

  10. Can get my English grandkids fully bearsed up with no guilt 😁They all love the rangers Let's go it's on people have some belief. Not goin over the top to say we have a chance at last. Big chance by the way if we stick together 🇬🇧

  11. Delighted that the tops are now on Sale 😃💙

    …Bit Pricey for Me just now though
    …Will Probably have to wait a Wee While before Buying

    Also Unsure on Who to get it Personalised with, At the Moment, My First Choice is Arfield 37 🤔

    Come on Rangers!!! 😃🔴⚪⭕

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