Celtic and SPFL fans in hysterics with rivals' embarrassing Cinch gaffe

By Euan Davidson

September 22, 2021

When used car company Cinch announced a deal to sponsor the SPFL, it was greeted by either approval or shrugs from Celtic supporters.

However, today, the company has given Hoops fans a right old laugh, via Rangers, sponsorship and the courts.

Our rivals south of the Clyde went into arbitration over the SPFL’s sponsorship deal [BBC], involving the SFA and – eventually – the courts. The argument was that because Rangers have a deal with Park’s Motor Group, the involvement of Cinch on club merchandise caused a commercial conflict.

Park’s Motor Group buy and sell used cars. Cinch buy and sell used cars. You can see the issue here.

It all looked rather unnecessary and ugly, with Rangers refusing to wear the company’s name on their shirts. There was even a Flag Day debacle, what with Cinch sponsoring the league [Glasgow Times].

So far, kind of fair enough – it’s in a club’s interest to ensure they agree with the sponsorship of the league, as a voice within the SPFL, and all the rest.

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However, today, there emerged an irony that Celtic, and other Scottish football fans, are truly enjoying.

Per the Daily Record:

“The fact is that right up to June 7, Rangers Football Club Limited was negotiating with cinch to sell them the naming rights to Ibrox so it became the cinch Ibrox stadium and of course that was a proposal of considerable value to Rangers Football Club Ltd.”

Or, in more simple terms [via Chris McLaughlin, BBC]:

Call it petty, but Celtic fans are going to enjoy the Cinch and SPFL debacle after Rangers’ grand-standing

Well, then.

Having concerns about a league sponsor contradicting a legal agreement with a club sponsor is probably justified.

However, having a months-long tantrum, when you knew that it’d become public that the very company you’re in arbitration with was once the subject of negotiations to rename your stadium?

It’s entirely delicious, and it’s not just Celtic who are going to have fun with this.

A la the Sports Direct debacle, you can see this situation becoming a subject of fun around the SPFL.

What makes it funnier is that Rangers, in an attempt to save face, offered a heavily redacted account of the relationship between Park’s of Hamilton and Rangers to the Court of Sessions. Understandably, that’s caused a problem of its own.

How this rumbles on will be of consequence to Celtic, of course, as well as the rest of the SPFL. If Cinch ending up pulling their sponsorship over this utter mess, then it affects the bank balances of SPFL clubs nationwide.

Sponsoring a major football league has hardly been a cinch, has it?

Supporters of various clubs had their say:

In other news: Callum McGregor set to miss his third consecutive Celtic game