Over many years this website has been privileged to work with various partners of the club. Indeed, with the explosion of social media in more recent times, such dialogue can prove very useful for both ourselves and the companies involved - not to mention helpful for the club itself. It's rare anyone would want to take advantage of this but clearly since 2012, events have transpired which have proven difficult for Rangers and its supporters.
Once such issue is that of the club and its retail activities - with specific relation to the replica strip. Every year, without fail, Rangers fans buy the strip in their hundreds of thousands, not to mention the huge range of other items, large and small. This is worth millions to the club and one need only look at the JJB deal to see just how lucrative it can get.
Unfortunately in more recent times, the club are struggling to make as much money from this vital source of income. A struggle which is currently being played out in the courts which restricts what we can say here. Suffice to say though, the club are making peanuts and the supporters are being deprived of making purchases they do without fail every summer. Ultimately, this issue is costing the club money and hampering our chances of success.
It's with great disappointment then that one of the club's retail partners, PUMA, is now going ahead and releasing official merchandise despite the club attempting to prevent such earlier this year. Yesterday the club said ""We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the club and/or supporters groups prior to the launch."
You can read PUMA's own statement in full here:
PUMA today announced the release of the new Rangers home, away and third kits for the 2016/17 season. Rangers, who return to the top flight of Scottish football this season, will be looking to emulate the success of the ‘88/‘89 side which wore the kit which inspires the design of the new home kit.
Fans will be able to see the new home shirt in competitive league action when the team take to the field in their first game back in Scotland’s top flight vs Hamilton at Ibrox on Saturday 6th August.
The home shirt itself features a traditional royal-blue design boasting an embossed chequered pattern graphic on the body. The sleeves feature a simple overlap collar that creates an overall classic football theme that pays tribute to the club’s rich history.
Mesh panel detailing enhances both comfort and garment breathability and provides the team with a high quality kit that maximizes performance.
A PUMA spokesperson said; “We understand the rich heritage that is intrinsic to Rangers Football Club and as the team return to the Scottish Premiership we wanted to deliver a kit that was worthy of this. With just a few days to go until the season starts we wish the team the very best of luck in what is set to be such an exciting season for both the club and fans."
The new kits will go on sale from 4th August.
Now it's not for us to pre-judge supporters who want to buy this kit - that's everyone's own decision and we respect that. However, when PUMA talk about 'understanding our rich heritage' while wishing us 'the very best of luck', we merely ask every fan to consider the tiny proportion of profit we make from the sale of these strips (in itself often apparently held back from year to year).
In that sense, Rangers is restricted financially and competitively and will be for up to another seven years as the notice on this deal is served. PUMA are part of that restriction and by selling these strips are making a mockery out of our club and every Rangers supporter. Do you really want to partner with such a business?
It's worth highlighting the following statement from Greaves Sports who had been due to start selling the new strips today. A principled stance I'm sure you'll agree. Please consider this when our strips finally do become available for us all to buy in the future.
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