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Dave King and Sports Direct court dispute over gagging order postponed

King was ruled not in contempt of court but Sports Direct bidding to prove he breached injunction.

By STV News

Published 18 Jan 2016.

Rangers chairman Dave King and Sports Direct's court case over a dispute about an alleged breach of a gagging order has been postponed.

King was cleared last month of contempt of court after a judge threw out a legal bid by Mike Ashley's retail firm.

However, the judge warned King that it was too early to say he had been "vindicated", with a trial on whether he breached the terms of an injunction to be heard in January. The case was due to call again at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday, however it has been put back until February 1.

Sports Direct is seeking to prove that King breached the terms of the injunction. Ashley's firm want damages and Rangers could be fined if found guilty.

Billionaire Ashley's Sports Direct launched the legal action against Rangers, and King, over an alleged breach of a court injunction.

The Ibrox chairman faced up to 30 days in prison if he was found in contempt but a judge dismissed the application and he walked free from court in December.

Justice Peter Smith dismissed Sports Direct's application to commit Rangers chairman King for contempt.

Ashley claimed that the Rangers chairman was in contempt of court after breaching the injunction, which related to the public discussion of the club's commercial contract with Sports Direct and any meetings between Ashley and King.

Ashley's claim came after a television interview the South African-based businessman gave this year in which he mentioned a meeting between himself and Ashley.

The interview took place in South Africa and was filmed for Sky Sports in July of this year. At court in December, Justice Smith ruled that Rangers and King were not in contempt of court, saying: "To get an injunction you have to come to court and the threshold is that it is a genuine secret."

Justice Smith added: "How do you prove it was an accurate account of what he said? It wouldn't be the first time the press didn't report in full. I am not going to send a person to prison on inferences."