Club 1872 have finally found their voice to publish a highly critical statement on the retail shambles at Ibrox.
All branches of the support were used to give Castore Sports the red carpet treatment as two smooth talkers from Liverpool convinced the gullible that they were poised to boot Adidas and Nike into touch in the competitive world of sportwear.
Tom and Phil were turning on the charm 24/7 as they reminded the huge global fanbase about a worldwide brand and the great myth of how the old Ibrox kit used to outsell Manchester United in the early nineties.
There wasn’t a word of caution from any source as fans got their bank and credit cards out at the start of July to pre-order kit that arrived after the same items went on sale at Sports Direct.
A multitude of issues have been raised on social media ranging from the exceptionally poor quality to items falling apart after a visit to the washing machine.
Ibrox SLO Greig Marshall used to twitter to explain a small number of problems but so far the club and Castore have taken a dignified vow of silence as they are swamped with demands for refunds and multiple product recalls.
Club 1872 have around 8,000 members donating money directly to the club, in 2017 they bought out half of Mike Ashley’s shares but have been denied a place on the board of directors who regularly vote to dilute their shareholding!
Last night Club 1872 stated:
Dear Member, Club 1872 has grown increasingly concerned over recent weeks as the scale of the issues with delivery of Castore x Rangers products, and subsequently concerns over the quality of some of those products, have come to light.
Having previously enjoyed a constructive dialogue with both Castore and Rangers on the expectations of supporters around this new retail arrangement, we had hoped to be able to address these concerns directly with them.
Unfortunately, although we have had belated contact from Castore today, we have not yet received any response to our specific concerns. Also, despite asking a number of detailed questions of the club, we have received no answers to those questions.
We have sympathy with Castore and Rangers over the tight timescales to produce kit for this season which have been further compounded by the challenges around the pandemic, and we have told them as much.
However, those challenges do not fully explain or excuse the poor customer service or lack of reliable communication around the quality and delivery issues that have occurred.
It also appears that these issues have been considerably more widespread than has so far been acknowledged by Castore or Rangers.
They cannot and should not be dismissed by trying to focus solely on the volume of sales which have been achieved. Those sales are a testament to the incredible loyalty of the Rangers support but they cannot be taken for granted.
Of further concern to Club 1872 was the statement released by Castore, with the assistance of Rangers, on Thursday 20th August, which attempted to explain the differences in quality between two versions of the home replica kit which have been sold to supporters.
We would remind both Castore and Rangers that whilst all interested parties can work together to improve the reported problems with quality, customer service and communication, trust will not be so easily regained with the support if it is lost.
The quality issues, customer service problems and lack of reliable communication from both Castore and Rangers have been completely unacceptable and they should now be honest and open with supporters about what has gone wrong, how they plan to fix it and how they will ensure that we will not see a repeat in future seasons.
We firmly believe that all Rangers supporters want to continue to show their financial support to the club through the purchase of Castore x Rangers products but they deserve a proper explanation about what has occurred over the past few weeks in order to rebuild confidence.
The Beahon brothers helped open the club store on August 6 but haven’t made any public comment since. Company Secretary James Blair is a Director of Club 1872.
Good news for fans is that Quality Assurance from Sports Direct has ensured no faulty goods in their network of stores.