By Kieran Maguire

23rd Dec, 2021 | 5:00pm

Kieran Maguire: Rangers in 'peril' as Mike Ashley development could cost millions

Rangers could be forced to shell out millions after losing a legal battle with Sports Direct – but the payout may be exempt from FFP rules.

That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Rangers’ fractious relationship with Mike Ashley.

Ashley-owned Sports Direct have secured the release of papers pertaining to lost earnings from the Scottish champions’ current kit deal with Castore.

Rangers are ruled to have breached a contract with Sports Direct subsidiary SDIR signed during Ashley’s time as a shareholder at the club.

Per The Sun on Monday (20 December), they could now be entitled to a multi-million settlement upon the release of the Castore figures.

Maguire assessed the case and what it might mean for Gers in terms of profit and sustainability regulations.

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“Deal with Mike Ashley at your peril,” he told Football Insider‘s Adam Williams.

“Rangers had a relationship with him via Sports Direct at a time when they were looking for funding.

“Part of the deal was that Sports Direct had the right to sell Rangers kit.

That was very lucrative for them as Rangers fans are very committed and like to wear the shirt.

“Then the relationship cooled but Ashley wanted to sell Rangers merchandise event though Rangers wanted to tie up with other partners.

“Ashley’s lawyers had created a fairly watertight contract that made it difficult for Rangers to deal with other retail partners.

“My view is that the club will be unhappy with the outcome and there will be financial implications.

“This may be exempt from FFP as it is commercial compensation. It won’t necessarily restrict them in terms of competing in the European pool.

“But the small print will have to be examined in great detail and I’m sure they will be in contact with Uefa if they want it to be exempt from FFP.

Ashley’s legal proceedings also factor in Rangers’ previous kit deal with Hummel.

The next stage of the legal case will take place in June, when the Ibrox club will discover how much in damages they will be forced to fork out.

In other news, Glasgow pundit tips Nathan Patterson to quit Ibrox and this is when he will join Everton.