The Scottish Professional Football League has apologised to Rangers after a long-running sponsorship dispute was resolved.
The SPFL agreed a deal with car firm cinch in 2021 but Rangers claimed it compromised a prior agreement in place with then Ibrox chairman Douglas Park’s firm, Park’s of Hamilton, and did not promote the deal, winning the right to take the matter to court.
A statement released from the SPFL read: “The SPFL regrets any damage to the reputation of Rangers and Park’s as a result of the dispute.
“The SPFL has accepted that Rangers had a pre-existing contract with Park’s at the point that the SPFL entered into its title sponsorship contract with cinch in June 2021.
“All three parties have now agreed to withdraw the resulting Scottish FA arbitration, with the SPFL making a contribution to the costs of Rangers and Park’s. These sums will be donated to charity.”
SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said: “We are delighted to have finally drawn a line under this dispute following discussions between ourselves and Rangers, and we are keen to do all we can to learn from this protracted disagreement.
“I am particularly grateful for the constructive approach shown by all parties in helping resolve this long-running situation and am very happy to apologise if there has been any damage to the reputation of Rangers FC or Park’s of Hamilton.
“Going forward, we have also agreed to commission an independent review of governance to help ensure the SPFL can avoid any such dispute in the future. This review will commence in October 2023.
“I am pleased we have put this matter to bed at last and am now looking forward to working constructively with Rangers and our 41 other clubs at what is a hugely exciting time for Scottish football as a whole.”
A spokesperson for Rangers said: “Rangers acknowledges the apology from the SPFL and is pleased that this long running dispute has been brought to a conclusion.
“In welcoming the independent review of SPFL governance, the club wishes to give thanks for the efforts and patience of those who have driven this to a satisfactory outcome.”
It was subsequently announced that the review of governance sub-committee will be chaired by SPFL independent non-executive director Karyn McCluskey, and SPFL audit committee members James MacDonald of Ross County and Chris McKay of Celtic, with an external auditor to be appointed.
An SPFL spokesperson said: “Given the increasing scale of the SPFL and its ambitious targets for further growth, the Board has welcomed the opportunity to carry out a comprehensive and independent review of governance, ensuring that the league embraces the latest developments in best corporate practice.”