Rangers might not yet have fully won the war on the SPFL today with Douglas Park’s victory over the SFA, but it was a massive battle to secure and was deeply damaging to both governing bodies.
In a nutshell, the judge threw out the SFA’s appeal over the court block proceeding with their case against the club over cinch, meaning the national association has to pay all costs pertaining to that appeal.
It doesn’t quite yet mean Rangers have won against the SPFL, but it’s a massive scalp, and all boils down to Rangers’ use of legislation allowing them to ban cinch from Ibrox and the club shirt because they already have a contract with another car dealer, namely Park’s of Hamilton.
In short, the chairman had his deal in place with the club long ago, and then the SPFL bring in a car dealership as a sponsor.
This would be like a Coca Cola employee trying to get Pepsi draped all over their office.
Did the SPFL do this on purpose?
In truth it was likely their incompetence, not reading their own fine print and not even considering any club might have a deal in place with another car company.
When you bring in sponsorship, you have to ensure no conflicts of interest anywhere in the field that sponsor will be covering.
It’s just basic due diligence. And the SPFL failed at that.
Rangers put their foot down, Park not willing to promote a rival brand – and while that might seem a little petty, it’s understandable.
We said long ago that Park’s business interests were his own deal and he shouldn’t use that to violate the SPFL deal, but equally they should have forensically studied the deal they were doing to ensure it didn’t step on the toes of any existing contract.
Their own rules prohibit it for goodness sake.
But this was their mistake, and it’s their war to lose.
This battle victory was only the first stage.