Thursday 22 February 2018

Rangers admit to money mismanagement and need to raise £30m in three years

Rangers Manager Ally McCoist
Rangers Manager Ally McCoist

Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace's 120-day review into the club's finances claims the Ibrox outfit have "mismanaged almost all of their cash reserves" since they re-emerged from liquidation.

The Glasgow giants have raised £70million since May 2012 but by December had just £3.5million left.

Wallace's document - released to the Stock Exchange on Friday morning - insists the club have now streamlined their business practices and will not have to cut boss Ally McCoist's playing budget.

He says the club now plan to raise £30million over the next three years but warned supporters that plans to withhold season-ticket cash threaten the club.

Wallace's report says: "Should the club suffer a substantial decrease in season ticket income in the next two months, then it would be unable to trade in the short term without seeking additional external funding as previously disclosed in the RIFC December 2013 interim results."

It was also revealed the Light Blues faithful will not be able to pay for season tickets for the forthcoming campaign with debit or credit cards after the company responsible for handling the transactions insisted the club gave it security over Ibrox - a demand which Rangers have rejected.

Rangers now say that if season-ticket sales slump they may use powers granted to the board at December's Annual General Meeting to allot as many as 43.4million shares to existing shareholders at 1p each in a bid to raise fresh cash - a move which will concern supporters as it allows existing investors to strengthen their grip on the club.

However, former Manchester City chief operating officer Wallace has played down fears over the club's long-term future, insisting "the business is now on track".

He adds: "A successful and sustainable future for the Club can be achieved if the Club continues to be managed professionally, with strong stewardship and standards of governance and has the continued support of the Rangers fans, shareholders and commercial partners."

Wallace announced his review into the club's books back at the fiery AGM which saw the rest of the Ibrox directors roundly booed by angry supporters.

He concludes that among the money frittered away by the League One champions was £2million spent on stadium wifi, LED displays and jumbo screens "that were non essential and have not generated incremental income".

The financial forecast which Wallace inherited last November when he was appointed to replace former CEO Craig Mather contained "several key assumptions that upon review were seriously flawed".

He says the fact Rangers were forced to take out a controversial £1.5million loan earlier this year was the result of "poor planning and forecasting of cash flows" and admitted that a number of commercial deals signed by the club during the Charles Green-era were putting the club under strain.

The club are now hoping to renegotiate those contracts or rip them up altogether.

McCoist was allowed to sign nine new players last summer but Wallace says the club "should have known that it could not afford" those new arrivals and the £10.4million it has paid out in wages between the summer of 2012 and last December. He adds that some of the contracts handed to the Ibrox squad are "generous and poorly structured".

However, the chief executive has now drawn up a three-year plan to make sure Rangers are able to challenge Celtic for the Scottish title upon their return to the Scottish Premiership.

McCoist will be given funds to add to his squad over future transfer windows but the club will also have a "more structured and planned" signing policy. Wallace also hopes to see the 54-time Scottish champions form alliances with top foreign clubs in order to access talented youngsters.

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