Date: 17th May 2020 at 8:21am
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With 9-in-a-row expected to be confirmed tomorrow Celtic find themselves on the back foot with a block-buster statement from Ibrox this morning.

Since last August a High Court ruling ended the partnership between the club at Ibrox and Hummel/Elite which has predictably ended up in the courtroom with many other cases.

The matching clause in the contract with Sports Direct has ensured that no mainstream brand would do business with Ibrox where Dave King remains the single biggest share-holder.

After a fortnight of speculation little-known Scouse firm Castore have put a smile on the face of loyal bears with a fantastic collection of statement bingo that blows Celtic’s ninth successive title success into the news margins.

The global fan-base is there, tick, worldwide brand also gets an early mention plus of course the most successful club in the world. All the phrases that the deluded and gullible like to wake up to on a Sunday morning.

Other favoured phrases are also included however there is absolutely no detail on anything, not even a start date for a Castore trackie.

Castore have two shops, one in London, the other in their native Liverpool with everything else done by mail order.

CLICK HERE to order a Quieros Bench Jacket (£295), Stadium Jacket White (£215), Huelva Running Tee (£70) or Jerez Running Shorts (£65). ‘Rangers’ are the first football club in the Castore range with a further 3-5 leading European clubs expected to be added in the next 18 months.

The 7am email to delight all bears reads:

Dear Rangers Supporters,

It is a huge privilege and honour for us to partner with Rangers Football Club. We want to take this opportunity before the official announcement to reach out directly to the most important people within this club and introduce ourselves.

The first thing to say right from the very outset is that we are here for one very simple reason – to drive this club forward and help bring trophies back to Ibrox. Rangers is one of the most prestigious football clubs on the planet and the most successful club in the world; trophies belong here. These are not empty words – as the new kit and retail partner of the club, we are committed to adding value and contributing to Ranger’s next chapter of success.

Firstly, through ensuring the players are wearing the highest quality kit in the league – Castore exists in a highly competitive market because we create products that are undisputedly superior to our competitors. We create fabrics that are lighter, more flexible and more durable than anything else in the market and work with the best manufacturing facilities in the world; we have complete confidence our products will enhance world class athletes.Sport at the very highest level often comes down to the smallest margins and we will do everything we can to give Rangers players an edge. As for the designs of our new Rangers kits, we’ll let you be the judge of those yourselves.

Secondly, we want to sell more products to Rangers fans all over the world. In a clean break from how things have been done in the past, Rangers Football Club will benefit directly from every product we sell. The more we sell, the more money flows straight back into the club. Castore is a digitally native brand, already selling into over 60 countries worldwide and we will use our expertise to leverage Rangers global brand recognition. Rangers has one of the largest, most passionate and most international fan bases in the world. We will utilise our expertise to better serve these fans and in the process look to create a blueprint that can deliver long term financial benefits to the club. We also have incredibly exciting plans for the megastore which we will refurbish and reopen in the coming months. All of the great clubs of European football have stadium megastores befitting their status and Rangers will be no different. We will make the megastore one fans can be proud of and call their own.

When we founded Castore four years ago it was with the desire of building a global brand. Not an easy goal to achieve but the idea of being content with anything less appeals to neither of us. In a past life, we both had ambitions of playing professional football ourselves – unfortunately neither of us had the talent to get to the top so instead we want to do something where we could genuinely challenge the very best. The sportswear market is one of the most competitive in the world and the desire to compete is what drives us. A small clique of American and German brands have dominated the global sportswear market for so long and we see no reason whatsoever why a British brand cannot disrupt the status quo. Our business has grown extremely rapidly since we started and we now have a group of very strong investors backing us, with very high expectations. Partnering with Rangers is a seminal milestone for us on our journey of building Castore into the brand we want it to be and we have absolutely no intention of stopping before we get there.

We made the decision to enter the football market 12 months ago and our strategy is simple – to partner with clubs who have a deep history and heritage, a global fan base and the ability to win trophies. It is the final of these points which most excites us. We will partner with 3-5 leading clubs across Europe in the next 18 months and had a number of options available to us when choosing our first partner. Nobody came close to matching Rangers and we cannot wait to be part of the next chapter of success for this phenomenal football club.

Castore is proud of our Liverpool roots and the city of Glasgow and Rangers as a club share many of the values which are important to us – resilience, a commitment to hard work, a desire to overcome the odds. Nothing worth having in life comes easy and success is earned. Our brand ethos which drives us every single day is Better Never Stops – this attitude represents both cities very well and it is this mindset which will underpin everything we do with Rangers in the coming years.

We will shortly be launching the new kits for the 2020/21 season and are incredibly excited to unveil the designs to you all. An exclusive pre-order window will be offered for all MyGers members and we look forward to sharing more details soon.

The final message we would like to leave you with is that we are not like any other kit partner you have had previously. We have built this business ourselves, from the ground up, brick by brick. It has taken sacrifice, pain and an immense amount of hard work to get us here. This is personal for us. We are fully aware of the expectations in partnering with this great club and are relishing the opportunity to make you proud. We know that talk is cheap but in the coming months and years our actions will demonstrate that we will not let this partnership be anything other than a success.

Tom & Phil Beahon
Castore Co-Founders

Two years ago Hummel said much the same about their three year deal. The legal team at Sports Direct will be watching events with interest, picking the moment to ensure maximum costs are paid to their firm.

In other news Lewis Ferguson and Lyndon Dykes (Livingston) are being lined up for next season’s title bid although both players are currently under contract.