A company owned by Rangers chairman Douglas Park has declared a court victory that is set to see it become involved in arbitration between the club and the Scottish league.
Park’s of Hamilton announced it had been granted an interim interdict at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to prevent a Scottish Football Association arbitration process from proceeding as planned.
The dispute centres on Rangers’ refusal to publicise new Scottish Professional Football League title sponsor cinch, which runs an online market for used cars, citing a rule which protects pre-existing contracts.
Park owns a travel firm and car dealership.
The SFA facilitates the arbitration process, which will be decided by an independent legal panel. The court hearing saw lawyers debate the procedures around the hearing.
A statement from Park’s of Hamilton read: “For the purposes of Park’s interim interdict application, the court considered that the failure to include Park’s went against the SFA’s own rules.
“This ruling now prevents the SFA from proceeding with an arbitration process without Park’s of Hamilton being involved.
“We were surprised that both the SFA and SPFL vehemently argued against this petition, despite the fact that their rules clearly state that any arbitration process should feature all interested parties.
“Park’s is proud of its association with the SFA and Scottish football, which dates back over 50 years, so it is with regret that we were forced to take this action.
“This is a decision we did not take lightly but felt it had to be made as a matter of principle, to protect the rights of club sponsors throughout all levels of the game.”
In their own statement, Rangers claimed the court hearing could have been avoided if those responsible had adopted a “more consensual and less confrontational approach”.
Rangers also accused the SPFL executive of adopting an “inadequate and antagonistic” approach over the issues surrounding the sponsorship deal.
The SFA and SPFL have been approached for comment.
In a leaked email to clubs earlier this month, SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan stated that Rangers had refused to give the league board any sight of any pre-existing contract which would prevent them from promoting cinch.
Rangers’ approach was described as presenting a “substantial commercial risk” to the SPFL which threatened payments to all 42 clubs and saw the league refer the situation to the SFA’s arbitration process “with great reluctance”.