By Kieran Maguire

17th Jan, 2021 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Finance guru drops 'Amazing' £35m Rangers reveal & Mike Ashley claim

Commercial activity has never been more important to Rangers amid matchday revenue absence — and their Castore deal is doubly important by severing all ties with Mike Ashley.

That is according to author of The Price of Football and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to correspondent Adam Williams about Rangers’ deal with kit manufacturer Castore.

While the deal is significant from a financial standpoint, it also represents a separation from former shareholder Ashley, who is deeply unpopular with Rangers fans.

And, as Maguire explains, the partnership, worth £25million over five years, will prove even more crucial in filling the financial void left by the nonexistence of matchday revenue during the pandemic.

Asked to explain just how important this deal was to the Ibrox club, he told Football Insider: “It’s very significant. Rangers have a very devoted fanbase. They have a very diverse fanbase in terms of geography.

“They are more dependent on matchday revenue than most clubs. Of their total income, matchday revenue is 60%. The highest in the Premier League is 24% and the average in the Premier League is 14%.

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“Rangers made £35m from ticket sales last season, which is amazing. They sell out all the league games, they sell out the Europa League games too. So to lose that is a big hit.

“The amount they were making through merchandising had fallen because there was a sort of quasi-boycott by the fanbase due to the fear that money was going in some way to Mike Ashley because of prior arrangements. Therefore the Castore deal is a clean break.”

There were some issues regarding quality control at the beginning of the arrangement but since then the Castore deal has proved invaluable to Rangers.

Commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove announced that the club had sold over 200,000 Castore products in the first quarter of their partnership.

In other news, a former England man has said Alfredo Morelos could be set to leave Rangers.