By George Overhill

27th Mar, 2023 | 3:10pm

Castore 'struck gold' with Rangers in time to beat Celtic for 55, owners admit nothing could prepare them for club's fans

Rangers fans were a force that nothing could prepare you for according to the owners of the club’s kit suppliers Castore.

The company have had a rapid rise in prominence over recent years and are into their third season of making the Ibrox side’s kits, but owners Tom and Phil Beahon underestimated the sheer volume and force of the Gers’ support.

In a story for The Athletic Liam Twomey writes that “Castore struck gold with Rangers” thanks to the Light Blues overturning Celtic for the 55th SPFL title win in the first season, before making a run all the way to the Europa League final in the second, but the early days were not without issue as the club’s support outstripped supply with overwhelming demand.

The Athletic story outlines how the partnership with tennis star Andy Murray led to the “quantum leap in the company’s rise: the brokering of a five-year kit deal with Scottish giants Rangers in 2020” but that “their learning curve with Rangers supporters was steep and far from seamless”.

Tom Beahon told the outlet that beginning the partnership during Covid-19 was “crazy” due to supply issues, but the step up was a major challenge.

He said: “The feedback on the designs themselves was positive, but we had a number of challenges getting the volume of kits into the market. I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the avalanche of demand from the Rangers fans.

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“They’re known for having a massively passionate fanbase and we experienced the full force of that. We ordered what we thought was a really good number of shirts that would satisfy demand for the first six months of the partnership, and when we’d sold out in a matter of hours we realised we might have underestimated… that was a classic example of, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’.”

Now they know

The Light Blues’ support will give any club in world football a run for its money so of all the sides to partner with for a quick rise to the top Castore have picked a strong option.

It is no surprise that a company that was new to supplying an entire team would be caught on the hop by a support as fervent as the Gers, but they certainly know now.

Rangers have had their fair share of controversy around kit manufacturers in recent years with a legal battle surrounding the end of their previous relationship with Hummel going to the high court.

The SPFL title win, and the attention-grabbing European run were certainly beneficial for Castore to get their name out there, but fans are going to need to see more in that vein after a deflating campaign this year.

With Steven Gerrard long gone and Giovanni van Bronckhorst unable to keep standards up in the league it is now down to Michael Beale to regain lost ground.

There is bound to be a fair amount of movement in the transfer market this summer as the manager seeks to remodel his squad, so anticipation should be high heading into the new season as long as the final weeks of the current campaign bring some returns.

In other Rangers news, a senior first-team player has put the pressure on Michael Beale after surprise footage emerges.