No sooner have they published their accounts – which show yet another loss – but the Ibrox club is in the crosshairs of legal action yet again.
The next phase of the “Elite” case has been heard today and a date for the next stage pencilled in for next month. The case itself is not likely to be heard this side of the new year; but by August 2024 it will all be over.
Just in time for season ticket sales to take a major hit should they lose. They are being sued for £9.5 million plus expenses.
They are almost certain to lose, and we all know the history of the case having followed it since the days when Dave King attempted to force Mike Ashley out of the commercial side of the club. He did so by disregarding signed contracts.
What a disaster it was for that club to allow Mr Glib And Shameless anywhere near the centre of power. Their fans welcomed him with open arms.
When there were rumours earlier this year that he might return there was a section of their support who would have loved it and still worship this guy as a hero. But he dragged them through gutters so deep that they might never wash the stink off them. They still haven’t been able to, three years after he left.
Whatever their fans thought of Ashley, that man had signed commercial deals which King’s predecessors had signed in good faith. There was probably room for a renegotiation, but King was more interested in playing to the gallery.
At every turn, whenever he crossed a line Ashley came back and hit him with a court action. And every time Ashley did that the media took the club’s side, branded him the out of control one and then published Ibrox’s lies that the matter had finally been dealt with.
When they signed the Hummel deal, they said the matter was resolved. Not true. When they signed the Castore deal, they told the fans that there was nothing to worry about, that the “historical” issue with Ashley had been fixed and that they were free to move on.
There was no mainstream media interest in pursuing the truth of that; as usual, it was down to the blogs to point out that if such a deal had been struck the club would surely have publicised it and to great fanfare.
It seemed a bizarre way to break that news.
A few of us even called them liars.
Brave of us, right? Except that nothing about the way they announced it made sense and Ibrox has a history of lying to both the media and its own fans. It smelled wrong, and we said so, with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain in particular pretty clear in his view that the issues were nowhere near fixed.
We were probably the least surprised people in the world when the news of this court case first dropped last year.
The Hummel deal was so clearly in violation of the Sports Direct deal that it was nearly certain that court action would follow. They signed that deal with Hummel when Ashley and his people had exclusivity and the right to renew their contract year on year. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain spoke to people at Shirebrook at the time and they confirmed that as far as they were concerned those rights were intact.
As usual, Phil was scorned and so were the rest of us who pointed out the glaring, gaping holes in Ibrox’s story. We’ve been right at every stage of this; the Ibrox club has been caught telling porkies over and over again.
They’re not much better in the courtroom, in spite of much media spin
King and his people lost every battle in this fight, and the suspicion remains that even at the very end, Ashley still held the cards.
The impression that he and his people are the behind-the-scenes backers of Castore itself, something borne out by their sites still selling Ibrox stock and often before the club’s own outlets are, is impossible to shake.
The Ibrox club have played it fast and loose here at every stage, in their media spin and even face to face with their own fans.
The consequences are on their way, and will drop next year … just what they don’t need. Even if they cut a deal at this stage, Ashley and his people will want millions to settle this. That club deserves everything it gets.