A Rangers fans' group has called for a merchandise boycott after Mike Ashley won an injunction preventing the club's board from revealing confidential information about its retail deal with Sports Direct.
Rangers shareholders will meet at Ibrox tomorrow after Ashley called an extraordinary general meeting to demand the repayment of a £5m loan.
At the High Court in London today a judge ruled: "I am satisfied there is a real risk of disclosure of confidential information tomorrow". Ashley's lawyers argued confidentiality agreements attached to Sports Direct's deal with Rangers had been breached.
Rangers' arrangement with Sports Direct has angered fans who believe it benefits Ashley's retail company at the expense of the club. Following the High Court ruling, the Rangers Supporters Trust urged fans to take action:
In his panic to stop Rangers fans from knowing definitively about his questionable dealings with our club, Mr. Ashley has done them a valuable service.
There can now be absolutely no doubt that the Sports Direct contracts with Rangers are of benefit to one party and one party only.
We call on the hundreds of thousands of Rangers fans who have already stopped purchasing official merchandise to continue to abstain from an arrangement which benefits only Mr Ashley.
Rangers First, a fans' community interest company which owns over 1m shares in the club, stopped short of explicitly condemning Ashley in a statement issued today but called for further transparency and criticised the previous board for permitting the confidentiality clause.
It is once again clear that the previous board have failed to put Rangers first and were operating to the benefit of Sports Direct rather than the people they were paid to represent.
We feel that the current situation should not only be a concern to Rangers fans but also the shareholders of Sports Direct and PUMA as well. The decline in sales of Rangers replica shirts from around 500k back in 2008 to around 50k last year should be a major concern to all their investors. The further insertion of these confidentiality clauses we believe will only contribute to an even further decline in sales levels in the coming years.