The sad story of Rangers football club is turning into a happier one at the end of their first season after being forced to drop into the Scottish Third division, making it a rare case of the nation’s biggest club being forced to play outside the top flight, with a new ownership on board. They’re no longer in peril, although that doesn’t mean that their financial troubles are over.
Rangers have posted a loss of £7 million for the last seven months of 2012. Interim results to December 31 show revenue of £9.5 million, with operating expenses of £16.6 million. Cash in the bank at the turn of the year sat at £21.2 million. In December, Rangers raised £22.2 million from its listing on the London Stock Exchange.
According to Charles Green, the club’s chief executive, there isn’t much to worry about.
This has been a significant period in the club’s history, in which vital steps were taken to ensure the survival and rebuilding of one of the UK’s most venerable football institutions. The priority for the company to date has been to stabilize the business and put in place solid financial foundations for the future.
To this end, revenue streams have been enhanced, and costs cut. These achievements have been made whilst retaining the important fabric and structure of the club. We will continue to execute our growth plan, and investors and supporters can have confidence in the development of operations as the club progresses.
Undoubtedly, challenges lie ahead but the club is now well equipped to meet them successfully. Above all, the club and its supporters are resolute in the belief that, both on and off the pitch, Rangers can look to the future with confidence and pride.
It hasn’t been really hard for Rangers in the Scottish Third division, holding a 23 point lead over the next in the table, already promising promotion to the Scottish Second Division way before the end of the season, with only one match left to play for the most successful club in the history of Scottish football.
Rangers lost just one match this season, that one coming very early on in the season. After early struggles, they went on to win 16 of the next 19 matches, with three draws not really changing the final outcome. The team’s top scorer is Andrew Little with 19 goals in league matches, followed by Lee McCulloch with 13.
Rangers expect to report an operating loss at year end in accordance with the business plan and broader growth strategy, following the purchase of the club by Green’s consortium after the oldco was consigned to liquidation.
In my 30 years’ investment experience, I have never seen a business move from the liquidation of one company to another’s successful flotation in such a short space of time. This could only have been achieved by the outstanding efforts of management, staff, advisers and fans.
This unity and sense of purpose has, rightly, been admired internationally. The company’s performance to date will give further encouragement to all Rangers supporters who are unswerving in their commitment to ensure the club enjoys a successful future.
According to the men incharge, no one expected to make a profit off the club so soon, especially not by playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football.
We are not about trying to make profit at the expense of everything else. We do need to create shareholder value because we are now a public company but it’s about approaching things in a sensible way. The existing investors haven’t invested to make profits in the first six months, put it that way.
As long as we have proper, stable financial procedures in place, as long as we continue to push forward and enhance the other commercial revenue opportunities that the club hasn’t enjoyed before and as long as we are efficient in what we spend – and we do need to spend on players at the right time as well – then the club can continue for the foreseeable future.