Celtic’s Scottish Premier League title victory could have eased tensions over a car retail sponsorship row involving cinch, Park’s Motor Group and bitter rivals Rangers.
The Scottish Daily Record reported that the Hoops’ title-winning end to the season meant Constellation Automotive may have secured the “great publicity” needed to prevent its online car retail brand from withdrawing an £8 million sponsorship deal with the Scottish Premier League.
Former champions Rangers have refused to wear cinch branding – or display it at its Ibrox stadium – as it battled the league governing body over the contract which the club claims is in breach of their existing deal with the car dealer group of chairman Douglas Park.
The five-year cinch deal is worth around £1.6m a season split between the 42 SPFL clubs.
The matter has already been taken to court with the possibility that a ‘nuclear option class action’, in which other clubs could sue Rangers for lost revenue, could result from the sponsorship deal’s withdrawal.
However, The Times newspaper has quoted a source at Celtic as stating that cinch’s “growing dissatisfaction from cinch about Rangers' lack of co-operation” may have been allayed by the league title’s outcome.
A Rangers league title could have become "a stress point” in the under pressure cinch deal, in light of the club's refusal to wear its branding, the source told The Times.
However, the "great publicity they received" after Celtic's win "should show the sponsors the value there is to be had from the current contract", the source added.
AM initially reported on the Scottish football’s car retail sponsorship spat in August last year.
At the time league chairman Murdoch MacLennan had written to all clubs to confirm that the dispute is being treated as a matter of urgency.
In his letter MacLennan described the deal with cinch as being “by value, the biggest single sponsorship deal in the 131-year history of the league”.
He added: “It is therefore very disappointing that one of our clubs has not felt able to deliver inventory to cinch.”