Rangers have been granted permission by the Scottish FA to take the Scottish Professional Football League to court over the ongoing sponsorship row between the club and league.
The step towards legal action is the latest flashpoint since the SPFL signed a sponsorship agreement with cinch in 2021.
That deal, worth around £1.5m a year, made the company the title sponsors of the Premiership, Championship, League 1 and League 2, and required all 42 member clubs to promote the brand.
Rangers refused to display the car retailer’s logo and fulfil sponsorship agreements, arguing that it was in conflict with their own deal with Park’s Motor Group.
The Ibrox club won that battle, forcing a revision of the cinch contract to state that Rangers were under no obligation to advertise the company. The SPFL said that the new deal wouldn’t materially change the income to their member clubs over the five-year deal.
Park’s later accused the SPFL of attempted bullying and Rangers have previously made their concerns about the leadership of the league known, saying the organisation is in need of change.
Discussions have taken place since about an apology to Rangers and Park’s, as well as the SPFL covering the legal costs incurred during the initial court case.
The Scottish FA facilitated arbitration between the parties but that has failed to progress matters, with Rangers believing that the SPFL are dragging their heels.
Scottish FA rules prevent clubs from taking disputes to court when there is an arbitration process available. As revealed by the Herald, Rangers have approached the governing body for permission and been granted an exception to take legal action in this case.
Papers have been drawn up but not yet filed, but it’s understood that if there is no move from the league to make a formal apology and take steps to cover legal expenses, then the club will go through the formal process of taking the matter to court.
However, if the league body does address the situation to Rangers’ satisfaction quickly then the legal process will be abandoned.