Rangers could be hit by £5m bill as Sydney Super Cup chiefs seethe at Celtic friendly no show


Furious bosses of the Sydney Super Cup are set to hit Rangers with a whopping £5million bill for pulling out of the derby Down Under.

Record Sport understands urgent legal discussions kicked off in Australia after the tournament’s promoters woke up on Friday morning to discover the Ibrox club had pulled the plug on the deal to face bitter rivals Celtic on the other side of the planet in November.

Rangers have blamed event giants TEG Live for the dispute, insisting that the Aussies are ‘unwilling to fulfill their commitments’ and it’s understood this centers around a perceived reluctance to package the friendly as an ‘Old Firm’ clash.

But this has been angrily refuted by sources Down Under who are adamant the club’s commercial director James Bisgrove even gave his personal approval to an initial launch at the start of last month in which the ‘Old Firm’ slogan was not used.

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And now the organizers – who have already sold around 50,000 tickets for matches which also include A League outfits Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers – believe they are due the staggering £5m sum for breach of contract.

In a statement released yesterday they said: “We were disappointed to wake up this morning to Rangers FC’s statement that it will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup.

“The Rangers board committed to these matches following extensive negotiations over eight months. Seemingly in response to negative fan reaction, they have pulled out of their contracted commitment.

“We have worked closely with all stakeholders to bring this exciting event to Sydney, and we refute any suggestion that we were unwilling to fulfill our commitments to Rangers. We have acted in good faith and have put the event on sale with a great response from fans here.

“In changing their minds, the Rangers board has let down many, many fans in Australia and the Asian region. We will now consult with our stakeholders before determining our response.”



Rangers and Celtic face off eleven again

The Aussies are also adamant the discussions to stage a derby 10,000 miles away from Glasgow began months before Ange Postecoglou’s appointment as Celtic boss – in stark contrast to Bisgrove’s claim the negotiations began ‘weeks’ ago.

The beleaguered Ibrox board has been under heavy fire from its own supporters ever since confirming that the club had signed up to take part in Postecoglou’s homecoming tour before the World Cup in Qatar.

In a video defending the decision to take part Bisgrove revealed the club stood to rake in more than the £3m they banked from winning last season’s top flight title.

But that led to a seeing backlash from supporters who opened fire on the club’s bungling top brass during back-to-back away trips to Dens Park in the Scottish Cup and SPFL.

Rangers responded by releasing a statement in which they issued an ominous threat to crack down on ‘disruptors and their propaganda war at the end of this season’.

But, in a move which blind-sided the tournament’s promoters, the club completed a humiliating climbdown when they confirmed they have chosen not to take part – despite holding further talks with TEG Live bosses involving managing director Stewart Robertson and company secretary James Blair just hours earlier.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst said: “We always concentrate on our football, I don’t call it a distraction because the fans were not happy with the game.

“Now the game will not go on in November so it’s very positive for everyone involved in the club that there are no protests any more from the fans.

“We will look into another game to be played in November against another opponent.”




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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