Rangers to profit from new SPFL cinch deal despite sponsorship row as Neil Doncaster insists clubs won’t lose cash

The Ibrox club refused to display the primary car sponsor’s branding last season.

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Rangers will profit from the new SPFL cinch sponsorship deal despite being excluded from displaying the car company’s branding as part of a revised sponsorship contract.

The Ibrox club have been locked in a bitter dispute with the league over the 12 months since the car dealership launched a five-year deal worth £8million as the main sponsor or Scotland’s top four divisions last June.

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The Light Blues refused to display the cinch logo within their stadium and on their jersey sleeves, claiming it breached a previous agreement already in place with chairman Douglas Park’s own car firm.

However, the new settlement negotiated by SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster, which has received “overwhelming” support from top-flight clubs, confirms that Rangers are no longer contractually obliged to promote cinch emblems.

The SPFL insists it will not prevent the club from receiving their cut of sponsorship and prize money, while claiming the amount of cash going to other clubs will also remain “materially unchanged.”

The agreement comes after a poll conducted by YouGov found the row had increased public recognition of the seceond-hand motor company.

Park won a legal battle with the Scottish FA last year after the SPFL asked them to arbitrate the dispute between Rangers and the league in an attempt to find a suitable solution.

The judgement saw the SFA ordered to pay for both Park’s and its own legal costs - which is now expected to be rendered needless.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The fall-out began last summer when Rangers emerged for their opening day fixture with Livingston with the cinch badges absent from their kit.

It was a stance they stuck to for the remainder of the season, with manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst infamously forced to conducte TV interviews at Fir Park in front of a sponsor’s board that was covered in masking tape to hide the cinch logo.

Rangers insist the decision to exclude them from the requirements of deal is ”full vindication” of their opposition to the cinch partnership.

Following the announcement, a Rangers spokesman said: “This is a full vindication of our stance throughout the past season and further highlights wide-ranging concerns regarding the corporate governance of the SPFL.”

An SPFL statement read: “Under the terms of the revised cinch contract, Rangers are no longer required to participate by providing the sponsorship inventory that they have so far not provided, whilst, crucially, the overall income to Scottish football is expected to remain materially unchanged over the original five-year term of the sponsorship.

“This revised package has now been approved by cinch Premiership Clubs.

“It’s extremely good news that we have been able to work with our partners at cinch to develop an updated sponsorship package which delivers the same level of financial support to Scottish football, whilst providing additional SPFL media assets to cinch to compensate for loss of Rangers related rights.

“It is testament to the strength of our relationship with cinch, and the high value they place on it, that they have agreed to move forward with us on this basis.

“This deal gives us further confidence that we will exceed our budget and deliver fees to clubs of more than £27.5 million for Season 2022/22.”

Murdoch MacLennan, chairman of the SPFL commented: “This is a great outcome for the entire game in Scotland.

Murdoch MacLennan will chair the SPFL's EGM on Tuesday. Clubs have been reminded not to turn up at Hampden. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

“Our friends at cinch have been brilliant to deal with throughout this whole process.

“There is so much to celebrate in the SPFL as cinch and our clubs look forward with excitement to the launch of the 2022/23 fixture list this Friday.”

A spokesman for cinch added: “We welcome the evolutuion of our agreement with the SPFL and are proud of our continued investment into Scottish football across all four cinch SPFL leagues.

“We are very much looking forward to next season and to continuing the stellar growth of our business in Scotland.”