Today’s press conference recap and Castore update as they sell out 50,000 strips in under two days

Today’s ‘virtual’ press conference was once again attended by fan media. Joining us today was new Rangers Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin and Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister.

Both myself and David Edgar recorded our now traditional after conference chat on what was said and you will be able to hear that on the Heart and Hand website here 👉🏻

We were given the chance to speak with both and I was keen to ask Gary McAllister on what it was like to work on a daily basis with talents such as Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent and what sort of challenge it was to try to nurture their talents and bring out the best in their ability.

Gary replied

They are offensive players so they sort of suit my eye a bit more than the guys that play in the defensive side of the pitch. Trying to pass on any little bits of advice on looking forward, looking to be positive, looking to try and get shots at goal. That is always something that is encouraged by the manager to try and impose on the side.

I have always been someone who works with those players and try to pass on what I have learned in my career. Anything I can tell them is encouraged, the attacking players and attacking phases of play are those I can share my experiences with, helping them look up the next line, so defenders looking into midfield, maybe even by-passing that and looking at the forwards. The Kents, Hagis, Barkers, Stewarts, we have got quite an array of talent there so it is just about trying to pass on little bits. But mainly it is about the players being positive, on the front foot and looking forward.

Gary spoke well throughout, he was extremely happy with the players fitness and attitude highlighting the standard in last three or four days especially has been fantastic. He also confirmed they have kept a close eye on the mental strength of the players and everyone is well.

He also commented that Alfredo was happy and eager to show the manager he should be part of the starting eleven. He mentioned every player had his price but he was unaware of any bids that may have come in for the player.

Jon McLaughlin was next up and I asked him how he was settling in at Rangers and what we can expect from him in a Rangers jersey

Jon told us

Firstly, it has been great to be up here and it is obviously a very impressive surrounding to come and work in at the training ground and when we get to the stadium as well. All the guys have been great, very welcoming to me and it has been great to be out there on the pitch with them and back playing football, back on the training pitch getting the work done. That has been great.

The second part of the question, hopefully over the years I have built up a reputation for being quite a consistent performer, someone who can be a calming influence to a defence in front of them and who they can rely on to do my job. Try and go about our business without causing too many headaches for the manager. A lot of managers like a goalkeeper that just gets on with their business, can be relied upon and trusted and when the big moments come in those high pressured environments that they can be trusted, do their job for the team and be there when needed to contribute. I am not a goalkeeper that is desperate for the limelight or that is going to go looking for work to make it all about them. I just hope that I can be the kind that, when called upon, can make sure that they are at a level to contribute and be value to the team.

Jon spoke very well and professionally throughout, he was happy to be here and also see’s himself as making a big challenge for the GK jersey. I think he will turn out to be a shrewd signing for the club and I don’t see him letting us down.

The new merchandising era under Castore swept into power yesterday as Rangers fans snapped up every first team top available in under two days of sales. Close to three million pounds of income generated for Castore, it quickly became evident just why Tom Beahon had told us he was happy to sign an annual cheque over to Rangers for that exact amount. Rangers will of course benefit from yesterday and on going sales as part of our retail deal. Anyone who has missed out on a jersey will now wait until August the first when the home strip will go on sale and coincide with the launch of the new away kit.

The process was quick, straight forward and access to the website was extremely fluid. A couple of clicks and apple pay later the top would quickly be ordered and be ready to arrive in early August. Communication with Castore was good throughout the day and it was a pleasant experience for everyone. The tops were heading towards a sell out and Castore where quick to send thanks to everyone for our support. The only slight was a mix up regarding MyGers and being able to order earlier but a small blip in proceedings.

Rangers would later release a club update you can find here 👉🏻

Rangers merchandising deal with Sports Direct finishes July 31st. There is no direct deal with them and Rangers there after. One of the biggest victories Rangers have had is Sports Direct not matching the deal Castore did with us. Rangers have stated time and time again that we achieved a clean slate.

Castore will form a number of relationships with high street brands, they have done similar with Greaves but they are paying full value and Rangers will retain maximum royalties from that. In a world where Castore wish to break into football they have to deal with one of the biggest high street chains. That is a small price ‘to pay’ for being in the position we are now in.

My only wish is the possibility of this happening had been made aware to the fans, a simple heads up, even indirectly, could have prevented everything but it is a learning curve for Castore themselves and our support.

There is no links or claims to Ashley, any of his companies or Sports Direct owning Castore, a simple check shows that, and Castore have confirmed this several times. Anyone suggesting that is lying and spreading false agenda driven nonsense.

I am proud of the fans response, we immediately wanted answers and as ‘fan media’ we all made the club aware and asked for answers, which prompted that Rangers update. That update has now came and clarification has been given.

We should always hold the club and club partners to account, we have to be vigilant but we also have to be calm and realistic with it also. We have a positive retail deal which will benefit the club financially hugely in the next five years.

Yesterday was a positive day and shouldn’t be overshadowed by nothing more than sensationalist advertising by a high street retailer.

Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise 🔴⚪️🔵