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  1. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/police-probe-launched-after-rangers-3464370 Forgive me, but I think things have just taken a particularly unedifying turn for the worse.
  2. According to STV the review will be published to LSE today as planned. Please ensure all discussion takes place in this thread where appropriate. Full review for download here: http://t.co/HNRfyvKDAe
  3. Rangers manager Ally McCoist has admitted major shareholder Sandy Easdale’s description of the Ibrox club’s finances as “fragile” is a significant concern ahead of today’s publication of a 120-day business review. Rangers manager Ally McCoist has admitted major shareholder Sandy Easdale’s description of the Ibrox club’s finances as “fragile” is a significant concern ahead of today’s publication of a 120-day business review. McCoist was visibly taken aback when he heard Easdale had already given an interview to BBC Scotland yesterday, ahead of the manager’s own press 
commitments before tomorrow’s final home league of the season against Stranraer. Although Rangers will be presented with the League 1 championship trophy after the game, it is today’s long-awaited business review, prepared by chief executive Graham Wallace, that dominates the agenda at Ibrox. Staff at the club are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the review and whether it will impact on their jobs amid fears of further cost-cutting. McCoist said that the welfare of employees was of paramount concern. “Nothing’s changed in my opinion with regards the livelihoods of the staff,” he said. “That’s arguably the most important thing. Obviously the future and health of the club is of vital importance, but without doubt the people within the football club and their livelihoods are extremely important.” Easdale, who is also chairman of the club’s football board, yesterday admitted Rangers were “at a crossroads”. The businessman urged supporters to keep buying season tickets. The most recent set of interim accounts published by the Ibrox club saw accountants Deloitte note that “the company has made key assumptions in relation to the timing of season ticket monies”, adding that uncertainty over the receipt of season ticket income indicated “the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”. Compromising the club’s plans is a strategy of some fans, backed by former Ibrox director and potential investor Dave King, to withhold season ticket money in a fund. The sum will only be released when certain conditions are met by the board. Season-ticket sales to date were described as “slow” by Easdale. Also concerning for McCoist was the major shareholder’s sopinion Rangers could not survive another administration. “In 140 years, the club’s gone into administration once,” said Easdale. “I don’t think it would survive a second one. So I would ask every loyal Rangers fan – and I pick my words correctly in saying ‘loyal Rangers fan’ – supports the club at this time and gives it a chance.” It was this kind of rhetoric McCoist admitted was troubling, although he had not yet been fully briefed on Easdale’s comments. “He told the BBC that?” asked McCoist. “That’s news to me. I wouldn’t react to it until I had time to digest it to be honest. But if that’s what he’s said then that would be a little bit concerning.” The manager, who had a series of meetings yesterday with club hierarchy, was cautious when asked to comment on what he expected would be the contents of the review. “I would be hopeful of non-negative news,” he said. “We will react accordingly to the news we get. I don’t want to pre-empt this. There is no point in guessing what might or might not happen.” Earlier in the day Easdale had admitted he was uncertain what the future held for Rangers. “At the end of the day, the club is at a crossroads at the moment and a fragile position,” he said. “It can either go forward with a strategic view, with a long-term view, steady as she goes, or be pulled apart in other directions.” The bus tycoon also outlined his concern over season ticket renewals. He said: “I don’t actually know the figures but I think there are a couple of situations there; we’re a couple of weeks early. People are waiting for a report. At this moment in time, ticket sales are slow.” McCoist, meanwhile, is braced for being told there are limited funds with which to strengthen his current squad, who have gone through the current league season unbeaten. He said that being challenged to win the Championship title next season with an equal or even lesser budget would “go with the territory” of being Rangers manager in the current times. “It’s not a concern because I accept it,” he shrugged. “Whether I like it or think it’s right or wrong is immaterial – I accept it. It goes with the territory and I’ll have to handle that. “The budget has dropped in the region of 70 per cent of two or three years ago and it’s dropped again this year from last year. But what everyone needs to realise is that I don’t set the budget. I didn’t give the new players their wages, I had nothing to do with that, that was the previous regime, so you’d have to ask any questions relating to that to them. I was only working within the parameters that were given to me. I wasn’t the one who offered them x amount of thousand pounds a week. That wasn’t my gig. I just wanted to play them and thankfully I got the players.” McCoist is relieved that at least his options, if he has any, will become clearer by the end of today when it comes to the matter of signing players. The club have been linked with moves for Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson and St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean, as well as Gavin Gunning and Kris Boyd, of Dundee United and Kilmarnock respectively. More crucial, McCoist pointed out, is the need to sort out the futures of players nearing the end of their contracts. “I’ve still only spoken to two players but in the crazy situation we are in, I haven’t been able to offer them anything,” he revealed. “If I get the go-ahead we would be interested in talking to them. “That’s all I can say to them,” he added. “It’s anything but ideal. My priority is to speak to the guys here at the club first. That’s the very least they deserve.” The Union of Fans, a coalition of Rangers supporters, issued a statement last night hitting back at Easdale’s comments. It said: “The financial position of the club is not down to lack of support or loyalty from any of our fans, it is down to two years of mismanagement and the squandering of huge sums of money. “We would like to know why Mr Easdale is being pushed out to speak on behalf of a PLC board he is not part of. Mr *Easdale’s comments about the financial position of the club are share-price sensitive, as are his comments about possible *administration. “These comments directly contradict those of the CEO, Graham Wallace, who is on record as saying that a second administration is not a possibility. “Once again huge question marks are raised over corporate governance at Rangers by Mr Easdale’s role at the club, which has never been clarified.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/mccoist-frets-over-fragile-rangers-1-3388199
  4. WITH boardroom civil war on the horizon at Hampden, MailSport unearths secret hijack plot and asks 'Has the SPFL gone power crazy?'. The SPFL’s blindside run at the SFA’s powerbase is about two things – control and cash. But the clubs’ push for power could end up costing the game MILLIONS in grassroots sponsorships. The professional clubs would take complete control of the development budget for football in Scotland if they won the day with their resolution. They believe the money could be better spent under their own umbrella and have also made a play to take control of the main board of the SFA. However, big-money backers of the game – like Tesco Bank, McDonald’s, sportscotland and the government-backed Cashback for Communities scheme – base their contributions on the fact that they are all-inclusive and not aimed at the elite end. MailSport believes all of these relationships – plus others with local authorities – would be in jeopardy if the pro clubs took control and ran the game to their own ends. The two boards will meet on Tuesday, brought to the table for the first time in a year to discuss the proposals – and the pressure will be on to avert a civil war in Scottish football. Revealed: The secret copies of four explosive resolutions the SPFL have proposed for the SFA's AGM. Here’s everything you need to know about the resolutions: Q/ So what do the SPFL want? The resolutions in a nutshell: 1. The Professional Game Board (PGB) provides one representative – Celtic’s Peter Lawwell – to the seven-man main board of the SFA but the SPFL want this increased to two. 2. Currently the president and vice president of the SFA must have served a minimum of a year on the PGB or Non-PGB, as well as four years on the SFA Council and have attended a minimum of eight Council meetings in five years to qualify for a nomination. The SPFL want to do away completely with these criteria. 3. The SFA main board control the budget for football development, from Mark Wotte’s performance department to the grassroots programme for kids and coaches run by Jim Fleeting and Andy Gould in Scotland. The SPFL feel the professional game should control this entire pot and want the PGB – in other words, the senior clubs – to take control. 4. The main board currently control the ability to elect any club for full membership. The SPFL want that right to be passed to the clubs to approve or veto new members. Q/ What’s the grand plan behind them, then? Individually, the four resolutions wouldn’t be as threatening but it’s their cumulative effect that could have grave consequences. The end game? The clubs will have two from the PGB on the SFA board plus control of a hand-picked president and vice president – thereby controlling the seven-man board with a majority of four, thus controlling the SFA. The clubs would also have access to the money currently used to fund the development of the game. They would also control future votes by being able to stifle any additional membership requests which would jeopardise their power of veto if they vote as a group. Q/ Why shouldn’t the pro game be better represented rather than the juniors and amateurs having a disproportionate say? They probably should – but if there are no checks and balances of their powers, is it good for the game as a whole to have pro clubs with vested interests running the entire game from the national team down to the grassroots? If push comes to shove with money and power, who will they seek to serve other than themselves? Q/Okay, but the current system still allows long-term blazers gaining power on the back of nothing but good attendance. Also true, and the SFA main board IS weak – the system does need looked at to allow more appropriate talent to rise to the top. Q/So this resolution is a good thing? Yes – and no! If there’s no need for office bearers to be time-served, you could end up with flavour-of-the-month fly-by-nights parachuted in by the clubs without any examination of their bona fides or their intentions. It’s possible that we could see some real talent and acumen appointed – but you’re relying solely on the judgment of the clubs to find it. Q/ What do they need to pass the resolutions? Each vote requires 75 per cent approval from the 94 members. Q/ Will they get what they need? They’re not speaking for all 42 clubs because a cursory call round indicates they haven’t actually consulted the rank and file. It’s unlikely they would get universal membership approval for all of it – the perception will be that the top 12 clubs will stand to benefit the most. Q/ Hang on, it’s Mike Mulraney of Alloa proposing all of the resolutions, though? He was one of three lower-league chairmen elected to the SPFL board last summer along with Les Gray (Hamilton) and Bill Darroch (Stenhousemuir). The weight of the Premiership members – Stephen Thomson (Dundee United), Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen) and Eric Riley (Celtic) – will be behind this but having Alloa, Stenny and Accies involved lends it an ‘everyman’ look ... not just being driven by the big clubs for their own gain. Q/ What about the cash, then – how much is at stake? Hard to put an exact figure on it but so much of it is ring-fenced for specific grassroots and community use, it’s not nearly as much as they think. The irony is the biggest chunk of the performance strand of it – around £2m – is used for Club Academy Scotland. So the clubs already benefit. Just not to the extent they think they should. Q/Why do the clubs feel the need to control it then? A couple of reasons. They don’t like the way Wotte is running things, they don’t think the performance strategy is worth what it costs, they don’t like the lack of control and input they have over performance schools and, simply, they see money they don’t have and they want it. They still don’t have a sponsor and a lack of cash will see them struggle to fulfil their promise of jam for all down through the divisions. It’s ironic considering the SFA has underwritten the only decent thing they’ve achieved as a body – the Premiership play-offs – to the tune of £1.5m. Q/ Are they right about the performance strategy, though? It’s still early but there is evidence the strategy is having an effect. Scotland won the Victory Shield at Under-16 level for the first time in 15 years. The U-17s have made the UEFA Finals in Malta, winning all three games in their elite round. The U-19s are in the elite round in England next months. The women’s team are well on their way to the World Cup in Canada with a 100 per cent record from six qualifiers, a feat that could earn the SFA close to seven figures. Throw in the fact the national team are back up to No.22 in the world rankings and they have a decent claim to their strategy working. Q/ But what about the rest of the game outwith the clubs? That’s the big worry. The SFA has overarching responsibility for the game as a whole and its development from the ground up. At last count, there are 130,768 registered players in Scotland from the youths to the amateurs to welfare to the women’s game. Meanwhile, the SPFL’s development branch – Club Academy Scotland, for pro youths from 11 up – sits at 3,185. Throw in the first teams and the clubs account for around three per cent of the football players in Scotland. Q/ Surely they should be the SPFL’s focus? They are. A working group set up between the organisations is looking at streamlining Club Academy Scotland and clearing out the jersey fillers and creating more ‘best v best’ football at the elite level. However, the clubs don’t like the performance schools and that they have no say in their operation. What some of them do like, though, is the idea of regional academies like the Forth Valley experiment involving Falkirk, Stenhousemuir and East Stirling. Q/ What benefit is there in the clubs taking on responsibility for the rest of it? Very little, if any. All they see is a top-line figure and pound signs. The problem, however, comes with the fact that much of the money is simply used to leverage other funding. For example, £476,000 is budgeted for a community programme that helps fund 70 coaches across the country – however most of their salaries are paid by local authorities through partnerships with the SFA. These partnerships would disappear if councils thought they were simply funding the professional game rather than its community branch. Q/ What about the other backers of grassroots football? Their visions all involve inclusivity and community benefit. McDonald’s work with all the home associations and have invested more than £1m every four years over more than a decade committed to growing the game. Likewise Tesco Bank, with £1.2m over the past four years. The government’s Cashback scheme has pumped in £2.2m over three years. On Wednesday, Regan and Fleeting were in the Isle of Lewis to unveil a new facility at Back that has received nearly £500,000 from Cashback, sportscotland and the Big Lottery. These resolutions would leave the pro clubs responsible for this kind of commitment to remote communities. Would they be interested? The Movers and Shakers The looming SFA AGM is shaping up to be one of the stormiest in the organisation’s 141-year history. Delegates will consider the four resolutions that would effectively hand control of the SFA main board to the clubs. Alloa chairman and successful businessman Mike Mulraney (right) is the name on the resolutions. He wants clubs to elect an extra member to the board – in addition to Celtic’s Peter Lawwell (left). SFA chief executive Stewart Regan (far right) has a fight on his hands. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scottish-football-looks-set-civil-3434596
  5. IN ROBERT Bolt’s play and film, A Man For All Seasons, Sir Thomas More assembles his numerous domestic staff to break the bad news that he has fallen on irredeemably hard times. “I am no longer a great man,” he begins. “And since I am no more a great man, I no longer need a great household. Nor can I afford one. You will have to go.” Here was a practical demonstration of the kind of acute insight and quick wits that gave rise to the former Lord Chancellor’s reputation as one of 16th-century England’s most formidable intellects. Of course, More would also have been quick to acknowledge that even the humblest peasant farmer, faced with financial catastrophe – a failed crop, say – would have been similarly aware instantly of the necessity of a protracted period of austerity, or even abandonment of his smallholding and relocation as an employee on a steady, if modest, income. It is a grasp of elementary economics that seems somehow to have eluded anyone charged with executive duties at Rangers throughout the years since the instigator of the old club’s decline, David Murray, began the large-scale, reckless extravagance that led to calamity. Since then, despite the onset of administration and liquidation and passing through the hands of a succession of regimes to the present board of directors, the Glasgow institution has existed in a constant state of financial vulnerability, with no-one among the numerous sets of “saviours” apparently willing to identify certain damaging truths and take appropriate remedial action. This speaks of a culture problem at Ibrox, one that became entrenched during the 140 years that preceded liquidation in 2012 and has generally not even been acknowledged, far less addressed, despite the overwhelming evidence of the need to abandon principles that have been rendered wasteful by monetary imperatives. Chief among these actions is to emulate Thomas More and concede that Rangers are no longer a great club. That is, “great” in the sense of magnitude, as opposed to their historic high achievement and the resultant command of the affections and allegiances of many thousands of followers. An organisation whose annual turnover once was close to £60 million has now, according to the latest returns, shrunk to £19m – and even that amount is likely to be reduced again at the end of the current financial year. Yet, in the wake of liquidation of the old club and the birth of the new, the directors saw fit to sanction a yearly wage bill of around £7m for players charged with winning the fourth- and third-division championships. Salaries of non-playing personnel make the total around £9m, while the general costs of running the operation drain the kitty of £1.4m per month. These ludicrously high outgoings having to be met entirely from the club’s working capital, since their history of leaving behind creditors owed millions when entering administration means they no longer have access to credit lines at the banks. Despite the obviously perilous condition of their finances (a recent emergency loan of £1.5m from private individuals required simply to remain solvent until the end of the season), numerous supporters are immovable in their conviction that Rangers remain a “massive” club whose rightful place is at the head of Scottish football’s Premiership and competing creditably in the Champions League. There is, of course, nothing intrinsically flawed about aiming for the stars, but the problem with too many Rangers followers is that they want it to happen yesterday. Their ideal is the instant cure of a wealthy benefactor taking control and providing an unconditional minimum £50m of funding with which the team could be transformed from lower-league capabilities to national champions in the blink of an eye. And yet, curiously, there appears to be a substantial number of fans willing to rally to the banner of Dave King, the South Africa-based entrepreneur who, astonishingly, has publicly declared his unwillingness to invest in the club. So far, he has offered only words, primarily to blacken the names of the current directors. King has also shown himself to be as inconsistent as many who have become involved in the propaganda war at Ibrox, at first encouraging supporters not to renew their season tickets, then changing tack by saying that the chief executive, Graham Wallace, should be allowed to complete his 120-day review of the business, before returning this week with another fusillade in the direction of the board. King, convicted on more than 40 counts of tax evasion in South Africa, accused the opposition of a lack of integrity and honesty. But, among the array of head-turning schemes associated with disenchanted fans and the directors, the most preposterous is surely the demand by the former to be handed security over Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park as part of their renewing season tickets. This is like insisting that M&S give customers security over their flagship Oxford Street store in exchange for a pledge to buy more merchandise. The entire season-ticket phenomenon, in fact, has been warped into a grotesque caricature of its traditional place in the game and led to the utterly meaningless and misleading question: “What happened to the fans’ money?” This clearly ignores the fact that, when a ticket is bought, the money becomes the seller’s while the buyer gets the ticket. It’s not complicated. At the core of the Ibrox morass, however, there ought to be a warning that the fans should be careful what they wish for. Institutional investors collectively make up a large majority of shareholders, but each has actually spent a comparatively tiny amount on acquiring their equity. If they continue to be harassed, they could consider the venture not to be worth the bother, sell off the assets and close down the business. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/glenn-gibbons-rangers-fans-playing-dangerous-game-1-3381635
  6. This is taken from FF posted by Kaiserbear53 Expect a response from Mr King in the next few days but it won't be until after the Game on Saturday as Mr King does want not to take the focus off the team and be blamed for protests and the anger that will come. As expected and as has already been stated, the current board have spat in the face of Dave and this attempt to under mine the restructuring and sort our club out once and for all will soon come to a resolution. The board will try and palm you off with a membership scheme which some may buy into but bide your time bears and bearets, listen to what Mr King has to say about the shiftiness off this move and make your own minds up. Kaiser _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Its what will happen, The information will be released through the press association as he is still in South Africa. Next week the battle begins. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Without breaching trust here to much? King was not satisfied, he was patronized and was fobbed off therefore played the board at their own game, he know's they are unprofessional and not capable of running the club short - mid or long term, what King done was simply give the board and CEO enough rope. They made public assurances which have been breached, do you honestly think a man who has spoken to his children and told them, this will be your inheritance, this is what I am doing, is going to let the current mob who couldnt organize a prayer in a mosque away with it? Have faith. I have no idea how true or who the poster is.
  7. Graham Wallace will be finding little time for respite. A draft version of his 120-day business review is thought to be ready for senior figures within Ibrox, the rate of season ticket renewal uptake will be evident to the ticket office staff and supporters have raised questions about executive bonuses. He understood that he would not face conventional challenges when he took on the chief executive role at Rangers in November, but he will never have felt under greater scrutiny than now. Wallace brought with him an impressive CV and a strong reputation. Within English football circles, particularly at the highest level, Wallace remains an admired figure. Former colleagues at Manchester City, where he was chief finance officer then chief operating officer, still talk enthusiastically about his personal and professional qualities. Often, staff in other departments would turn to Wallace for advice on how to deal with difficult situations, even though they were not specifically his remit. Those qualities, and the experience gained during three years at IMG and five at MTV Networks, do not suddenly dissipate. Wallace understood the situation he was walking into when he accepted the job offer and believed that he could - as an independent figure - find a solution to the state of conflict around the club. The result of December's annual meeting of Rangers International Football Club shareholders was an endorsement of his credentials and he might not have anticipated such a protracted state of upheaval. Rangers fans have made vocal and visual protests about the way the club has been run It is questions that he has been assailed with. Former director Dave King, pointedly, asked if the board was seeking financing last December while Wallace was publicly declaring that there was enough cash to sustain the business to April. The Union of Fans asked about his bonus arrangements and specifically if he is entitled to 100% of his salary, the same contractual arrangement as one of his predecessors, Charles Green, and the former finance director, Brian Stockbridge. It was Wallace who removed Stockbridge from his post in January before bringing in the former Liverpool financial director Philip Nash in an advisory role. Both men have solid reputations, but neither is likely to have encountered such a difficult situation as the business of rebuilding Rangers. Wallace inherited a mess, with the money raised by the launch of RIFC on the alternative investment market having been spent and the revenue being smaller than the club's outgoings. Rangers were also tied into most of the commercial contracts agreed by Green, although Wallace has struck a sponsorship deal with the online casino, 32Red, which is for three years. There is, though, a fundamental challenge. Rangers need recapitalisation - something Wallace has always acknowledged - as well as the rebalancing of costs that the chief executive has been pursuing. At the AGM, he announced a 120-day review of every aspect of the business. This was a required initiative - the interim results to 31 December 2013 showed a £3.5m loss - but the timescale was ill-judged. Football clubs are simple businesses, with mostly fixed costs and income, but very difficult to run because of the impact of sporting performance on the finances. It seemed to supporters as though Wallace was buying time. There was also a credibility issue when it was announced in February that £1.5m was being borrowed from two shareholders, Sandy Easdale and George Letham, with the money secured against Edmiston House and the Albion Car Park, given Wallace's previous assertion about the cash in the bank. The 120-day deadline passed on Thursday 17 April and an update on the review will be released on Friday 25 April. It will need to declare how Rangers will raise the funds to match the investment requirements. Manager Ally McCoist's football department needs an overhaul The football department needs an overhaul, with a scouting network required, but also more strategic decision-making when it comes to the first-team budget. Costs are imbalanced and manager Ally McCoist agreed to accept a pay cut, but a long-term, sustainable approach needs to be implemented to return Rangers to the top flight in a competitive state. Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park also need maintenance work, but bringing the business back to an even keel by cutting costs and increasing revenue streams will not provide the level of additional funding that Rangers need in the short to medium-term. With the board having ruled out borrowing against their major property assets, the options are limited. A fresh share issue, which King is keen to underwrite, would dilute the holdings of any current shareholders who do not reinvest. This would alter the shareholder dynamic and the power base that supported the current directors at the AGM. It is this problem that Wallace has to solve. If he presents a review to the board that steers the business towards recapitalisation, will all of the directors agree? There is also the more pressing issue of season ticket sales. The renewal process is underway and the deadline is the week following the business review update. Many supporters have grown weary and cynical of the machinations, on all sides, of the saga. Yet renewals are critical, since the interim accounts published in March revealed that going-concern status for the next 12 months was only granted on the basis of an increase in season ticket prices and sales. If the renewal numbers are in decline, there is a legitimate question about how Rangers will be funded until the end of next season. Wallace is experienced and capable but also at the mercy of the situation he took on - although earning the trust of the entire Rangers fan base was always unlikely given the tensions that exist between different groups. There are some decisions he might, on reflection, have made differently, but it is the ones he makes now that will be critical, to his future and the club's. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/27081026?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  8. This should be interesting, renewals before the 120 days. Rangers will launch their season ticket renewal campaign at Ibrox tomorrow. As reported in the Herald today, prices expected to rise by 18%.
  9. I am hearing that both Keevins and Guidi have been rationalised, let go, elbowed, received their jotters, .................... etc from the Mirror Group. More to follow.
  10. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail.html?announcementId=11905464 Full results and report here: http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/375
  11. If they manage to stave off the liquidators that is! Hearts beat Partick Thistle 2-4 today, but St Mirren beat Motherwell 3-2 and Hearts are now relegated....
  12. Sons of Struth about an hour ago Hearing that George Angus, previously Morgans consultant who ended up employed by club after consulting in staff redundancies has been escorted from the building today. apparently at request of Nash. Is this one of the historic contracts come to light? https://www.facebook.com/SonsOfStruth
  13. When is the 120th day or has it passed? Not sure if we're counting from Wallace's appointment or the AGM. Also, what's the chances of hearing "the review is over and proposals will be out in 4 week" just to keep us hanging on? It's clear the majority of fans don't trust the board so I'm not sure how they can win hearts and minds without making a magnificent gesture which is tangible to us. Even then it'd be viewed with suspicion but our fans are easily led from the Blue Room. Obviously there's talk of a new share issue but is that realistic when they know King might walk in and scoop up the shares, assume control, and go about clearing the decks for his own people? Wallace might welcome this but I highly doubt Easdales and Laxey will. The small matter of BPH and Margerita most likely objecting to their holding and future earnings dwindling is another factor to count in which could scupper any new share issue. Negative loyal!
  14. Written by: Admin Saturday, 29th March 2014 It is with utter disbelief that once again our Club and it's support have been dragged into a series of incidents which has resulted in Vanguard Bears deciding to release a statement to outline where we stand with this RFFF mess. The recent legal action carried out by Sandy Easdale against Craig Houston is well documented, what has enraged the vast majority of donators to the RFFF is that certain factions, for reasons only they can explain, saw fit to first release their intentions on Mark Dingwall's FollowFollow forum, a forum which any supporter of any club can join and have a say, to put to a vote for acceptance of monies being taken from said fund to shore up Craig Houston's Legal Defence against Sandy Easdale, should this have made the courts. This action went against the vast majority of donators wishes, despite certain parties assuring everyone they spoke for the majority of the support. The RFFF was set up to fight our Club's corner against our detractors out there, of which there are many, sadly there are just as many from within the ranks of our support these days who are equally as damaging. Many put their hard earned cash into this fund in good faith, sadly thanks to certain individuals with nothing more than self-promotion and mischief on their minds have sought to put this at risk. The anger among the many donators has resonated around the globe, and no one can blame them for their anger thanks to this latest stunt. The seven committee members who voted to accept this should now find their positions in the RFFF untenable. If they had any dignity and feelings for the way in which their latest stunt has left the support enraged and suitably angered, they would resign with immediate effect. Knowing the background of some of them and their past antics, this would seem highly unlikely. It will now be down to the majority of enraged supporters who donated to the RFFF to demand their resignation, and with this in mind a decision must also be taken regards the next move to protect this money falling into the direction of self-promoters, with their own not-so-hidden agendas, to use as they see fit. It should be noted that the VB representative on this committee voted totally against any funds being utilised for anyone's legal defence funds against Sandy Easdale. We also vow to ensure that this cash will never fall into the hands of any self-appointed fans group leaders or hastily nailed together 'new age' fans groups either. We note also that Mark Dingwall in a recently released post on his own forum is once again imploring the support not to renew their season tickets for next season. We find this utterly astonishing that somone who relies on handouts from other supporters to attend matches - whenever he feels like turning up - should ask of many who hold season tickets, and have done so throughout their lives, to give up theirs so he can further destabilise our club and cause further harm to pursue his own and others agendas. VB once again will urge all of its members and beyond to ignore the rants of this troublemaker and self-promoter and to get fully behind the club in its time of need. Dingwall along with Chris Graham and other self-appointed and opinionated 'fans' speak only for a handful of rabble rousers and charlatans, we are sure the decent and vast majority of the Rangers support will see through their desperation to disrupt and destabilise our club and renew their season tickets when the time comes. This group of Charlatans will NEVER speak for the vast majority of our support, make no mistake about this. The Rangers Board now must act firmly and address those that would seek to harm both our Club's finances and reputation immediately, until that large boil is lanced and removed, the uncertainty and divisions will remain. http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/statement-on-the-rfff-committee.html
  15. Rangers fans want the club to provide a facility by which they can pay extra monies to the club. That is the overwhelming message I am hearing from supporters who want to counter any shortfall from season ticket boycotts next season. Whilst the general perception is that any withholding of season ticket revenue will only actually be carried out by a small hardcore of rebels, loyal supporters are keen to make sure that there is no negative impact on club finances. I already know of bears who intend to buy extra season tickets and many more who might not go that far are still motivated to pay an extra sum on top of their season ticket money. In essence, fans want a fund set up whereby they can donate monies to the club. This would mean that when purchasing season tickets, they could donate an extra £25, £50 or £100 to the club. Another possibility is that when supporters buy merchandise at the Megastore, they are given the facility to pay change towards the fund. Similarly, collection cans could be placed in the food kiosks for bluenoses to stick their change into after buying grub. A donation button could be placed on the club website and events could be held by supporters club with the fund benefitting. I have not spoken to one Rangers fan who is not excited by the prospect of being able to chip in and help the club. This is not a begging bowl mentality by any manner of means – it is fans doing what they can to keep Rangers prosperous. The fund could, of course, be ringfenced for the playing pool or specific projects. It would be easily accounted for in the club accounts and could be monitored by an independent body. Far from it being a stopgap method to help the club through a difficult period, this fund could become an important method of non-equity financing over time. It also gives genuine supporters a chance to contribute to the club’s progress and gives them a say in the club’s destiny. If the money is used for the playing pool, it also helps fans feel good that the players they watch have been brought to the club partly by their own contributions. I think another benefit would be to help unite the divided support and give a focus to bluenoses. It also helps fans become proactive in a positive way. Many fans want to help the club at this moment in time but feel they have no outlet. At this critical point in history, the creation of a fund that fans can pay into purely for the benefit of Rangers Football Club is a great way to keep the wolf from the door and is another buffer against financial disaster. All those people who keep telling us that being the fan of a football team is far more than just being a consumer now have the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and prove their argument. The principle is simple: If you love your team, step up and pay! Would you happily pay extra money to keep Rangers strong financially? If so, let me know in the Comments below or contact the club direct. http://www.rangers.co.uk
  16. MICHAEL MOLS has challenged the Rangers board to prove they regard the club as more than just a cash cow to be milked dry and insists a number of former players are waiting in the wings to provide an international scouting network on the cheap. The 43-year-old Dutchman - who played up front for the Ibrox side in a more prosperous era between 1999 and 2004 - travelled to Gayfield to watch the weekend's 2-1 SPFL League 1 victory over Arbroath and revealed that an ex-players' collective is ready to help reconstruct a now nonexistent element of the infrastructure at their former employers. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/rangers-can-call-on-international-rescue-mols.23828999 I don't have access to the full article.
  17. .......and it's fast-fading for Graham Wallace and the Rangers board. KEITH looks at how Rangers' CEO Wallace's reputation has been damaged in recent months and says that his business review, published in a fortnight's time, will give him an opportunity to salvage it. RIDDLE me this. It’s a priceless commodity and yet it costs nothing at all. It cannot be bought but its every ounce must be thoroughly earned. If Graham Wallace could solve this puzzle then his task as Rangers chief executive would be made a great deal more easy. The answer, of course, is trust. And it’s been his biggest issue ever since he agreed to wade into the quagmire that is the Ibrox boardroom. Simply by willingly associating himself with the board which appointed him, Wallace was up to his knees in inherent suspicion from the start. But his long-standing professional reputation bought him a bit of time. To many, he was the acceptable face of an otherwise intolerable regime. Five months on, however, Wallace’s mask might be starting to slip. Because on Thursday of last week, just hours after putting his name to the Ibrox club’s latest declaration of multi-million pound losses, Wallace found his integrity being called into question by the very supporters he has been struggling so hard to convince. The Union of Fans – an umbrella group made up by various factions – accused Wallace of “misleading” season-ticket holders and shareholders alike over the true state of Rangers’ finances. And all at once the CEO became a busted flush because if he really has lost the trust of his own customers then it’s hard to see any way for him to claw it back. His silence, as well as that of chairman David Somers in the five days since, has been of the deafening variety. Then again how exactly is Wallace supposed to talk his way out of this one? How on earth can he explain why he stood up at the club’s agm on December 18 and insisted robustly that all was well when, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole world can now see that plainly it was not. For the record here’s a taste of what Wallace told the assembled shareholders: “There is sufficient cash in the business to fund the ongoing needs of the club in the near term. There has been speculation in the Press that we are teetering on the brink of administration. That is categorically not the case. There is sufficient funding to continue to trade as we normally would.” Now Wallace may not have been attempting to mislead about any of the above. If, by the near term, what he meant was really the next three or four weeks. And if, by categorically pooh-poohing the risk of another administration, he already knew how he was going to raise the money needed to plug a £4m black hole for the rest of the season. It could also be argued in Wallace’s defence that he himself had been misled, perhaps by the then financial director Brian Stockbridge who lost his job very soon after. And none of that can be discounted. But, if you believe it then you must also ask how it could be that a man with Wallace’s credentials as a financial big hitter, would allow himself to be placed in such a position. If, when he stood up to speak at the agm, he really wasn’t armed with the full extent of the club’s dwindling cash reserves, then what does that say about his own competence as a CEO? And here’s the really tricky bit. What if, less than a fortnight after the agm, frantic discussions were taking place behind the scenes, not just about how to keep the floodlights switched on through February but also how best to keep everyone else (particularly those in the market place) in the dark about this need to raise emergency funding? In fact, what if the board had been preparing for precisely this penniless scenario since as long back as last September, when they first opened negotiations aimed at raising £2m against assets such as the jumbo screens at either end of the stadium? The truth is, it was only after this potential deal collapsed, at around the time of the agm, that the Rangers board was forced to look at alternatives and ended up agreeing controversial loan deals for £1.5m with two shareholders, Laxey Partners and Sandy Easdale. And yet on February 25 in an exclusive Q&A with Record Sport after this arrangement had been announced, Wallace said: “Football is a very cyclical business, with big incomes generated early in the summer which progressively run down. So this is not a crisis move. It’s not a last-gasp policy. “We have some fairly significant income streams that will arise in the summer. So this is just a short-term facility. We have no bank debt, no overdraft and a balance sheet which is probably the envy of a lot of football clubs but yet consistently everybody talks about us being in a crisis.” Wallace added: “The need for a financial facility is no different for Rangers than for any normal business. We need time for people to see how the business is being operated and to rebuild people’s trust in Rangers as an organisation and trust in the credibility of those who are running it.” There’s that word again. Trust. In little more than two weeks’ time Wallace will have another chance to start earning it, or at least winning some of it back, when he delivers his 120-day business review. It will be interesting to note if he will put his name to one particular plan which has already been floated at boardroom level. It involves not just a huge hike in season-ticket prices but also asking fans for additional cash payments which would be ringfenced and used for spending on their team. Now that really would be one test too many for the patience of this support which is already hankering for Dave King’s millions to give the club an easy fix. Given the hand-to-mouth existence of Wallace’s club, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand why the man in charge is not shifting heaven and earth to bring King’s money inhouse. Immediately. The longer King is kept at arm’s length the less trust these fans will have for Wallace and his regime. It really is that simple. And you don’t need a badge in riddle solving to work out where that leaves Wallace and Somers with these supporters.
  18. RIDDLE me this. It’s a priceless commodity and yet it costs nothing at all. It cannot be bought but its every ounce must be thoroughly earned. If Graham Wallace could solve this puzzle then his task as Rangers chief executive would be made a great deal more easy. The answer, of course, is trust. And it’s been his biggest issue ever since he agreed to wade into the quagmire that is the Ibrox boardroom. Simply by willingly associating himself with the board which appointed him, Wallace was up to his knees in inherent suspicion from the start. But his long-standing professional reputation bought him a bit of time. To many, he was the acceptable face of an otherwise intolerable regime. Five months on, however, Wallace’s mask might be starting to slip. Because on Thursday of last week, just hours after putting his name to the Ibrox club’s latest declaration of multi-million pound losses, Wallace found his integrity being called into question by the very supporters he has been struggling so hard to convince. The Union of Fans – an umbrella group made up by various factions – accused Wallace of “misleading” season-ticket holders and shareholders alike over the true state of Rangers’ finances. And all at once the CEO became a busted flush because if he really has lost the trust of his own customers then it’s hard to see any way for him to claw it back. His silence, as well as that of chairman David Somers in the five days since, has been of the deafening variety. Then again how exactly is Wallace supposed to talk his way out of this one? How on earth can he explain why he stood up at the club’s agm on December 18 and insisted robustly that all was well when, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole world can now see that plainly it was not. For the record here’s a taste of what Wallace told the assembled shareholders: “There is sufficient cash in the business to fund the ongoing needs of the club in the near term. There has been speculation in the Press that we are teetering on the brink of administration. That is categorically not the case. There is sufficient funding to continue to trade as we normally would.” Now Wallace may not have been attempting to mislead about any of the above. If, by the near term, what he meant was really the next three or four weeks. And if, by categorically pooh-poohing the risk of another administration, he already knew how he was going to raise the money needed to plug a £4m black hole for the rest of the season. It could also be argued in Wallace’s defence that he himself had been misled, perhaps by the then financial director Brian Stockbridge who lost his job very soon after. And none of that can be discounted. But, if you believe it then you must also ask how it could be that a man with Wallace’s credentials as a financial big hitter, would allow himself to be placed in such a position. If, when he stood up to speak at the agm, he really wasn’t armed with the full extent of the club’s dwindling cash reserves, then what does that say about his own competence as a CEO? And here’s the really tricky bit. What if, less than a fortnight after the agm, frantic discussions were taking place behind the scenes, not just about how to keep the floodlights switched on through February but also how best to keep everyone else (particularly those in the market place) in the dark about this need to raise emergency funding? In fact, what if the board had been preparing for precisely this penniless scenario since as long back as last September, when they first opened negotiations aimed at raising £2m against assets such as the jumbo screens at either end of the stadium? The truth is, it was only after this potential deal collapsed, at around the time of the agm, that the Rangers board was forced to look at alternatives and ended up agreeing controversial loan deals for £1.5m with two shareholders, Laxey Partners and Sandy Easdale. And yet on February 25 in an exclusive Q&A with Record Sport after this arrangement had been announced, Wallace said: “Football is a very cyclical business, with big incomes generated early in the summer which progressively run down. So this is not a crisis move. It’s not a last-gasp policy. “We have some fairly significant income streams that will arise in the summer. So this is just a short-term facility. We have no bank debt, no overdraft and a balance sheet which is probably the envy of a lot of football clubs but yet consistently everybody talks about us being in a crisis.” Wallace added: “The need for a financial facility is no different for Rangers than for any normal business. We need time for people to see how the business is being operated and to rebuild people’s trust in Rangers as an organisation and trust in the credibility of those who are running it.” There’s that word again. Trust. In little more than two weeks’ time Wallace will have another chance to start earning it, or at least winning some of it back, when he delivers his 120-day business review. It will be interesting to note if he will put his name to one particular plan which has already been floated at boardroom level. It involves not just a huge hike in season-ticket prices but also asking fans for additional cash payments which would be ringfenced and used for spending on their team. Now that really would be one test too many for the patience of this support which is already hankering for Dave King’s millions to give the club an easy fix. Given the hand-to-mouth existence of Wallace’s club, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand why the man in charge is not shifting heaven and earth to bring King’s money in house. Immediately. The longer King is kept at arm’s length the less trust these fans will have for Wallace and his regime. It really is that simple. And you don’t need a badge in riddle solving to work out where that leaves Wallace and Somers with these supporters. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-its-matter-trust-3303691
  19. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/qa-rangers-chief-executive-graham-wallace-on-finances-the-review-and-the-clubs-future.1396009021 Can somebody copy and paste.
  20. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-its-check-mate-3286265#.UzKOhg6Tggg.twitter
  21. Exclusive Dave King interview in @TheEveningTimes and @TheHeraldPaper tomorrow. A must read for #Rangers fans Can't give too much away mate sorry. £m are mentioned for the first time and good stuff on his motivation for getting involved. From Chris Jack on twitter. For those interested.
  22. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/230-markers-and-moonbeams If there is one aspect of the Sir David Murray era that perhaps defines his time in control, it was that of the moonbeam. From the infamous 'for every fiver Celtic spend, we'll spend a tenner’ line to belated and failed promises in terms of investment as his custodianship stumbled towards being ‘duped’ by Craig Whyte; over time Rangers fans gradually realised that the success Murray brought to the club came at a great price. A cost we’re still paying for now. However, if there’s been one positive of the awful last few years, it’s that more and more Rangers fans have become cynical of the bolder claims made by the long line of chancers that attach themselves to the club. Sure, we all want to believe tall tales about tie ups with successful American sports franchises or argue we can secure impressive sponsorship deals with mobile-phone companies but I genuinely think, deep down, we now appreciate modern day Scottish football just doesn’t bring such opportunities. Of course European football may occasionally raise our profile via Champions League participation but the ‘big fish, small pond’ metaphor has never been more accurate – as much as our rivals across the Clyde may pretend otherwise. Nevertheless Rangers remain a big draw for its supporters. Incredible numbers of fans have stayed with the club through administration and our journey back from the (old) Third Division. Indeed to retain 36,000 season ticket holders during this period is something our usual critics must lose sleep over and it’s this annual loyalty which will always form the back-bone of the club’s financial future. This is why the art of the moonbeam became important as SDM started to realise his ambitions soon outweighed his ability; not just in terms of running the business successfully but being able to fund it. Quite simply our season money is the only substantial financial given each year for the club. Ticketus and Charles Green certainly knew this – even if both may have suffered somewhat since. Unfortunately, despite this seasonal show of fiscal fan passion, it remains clear the club will continue to struggle to be viable without the correct business plan and properly qualified directors. That’s why Whyte quickly failed, Green and Ahmad soon departed while other periphery figures also moved on; leaving us with the current stand- off we have now. In one corner we have the incumbent board defending itself from criticism via a rather over-long four month buffers while in the other we have Dave King applying pressure via a £50million media marker. Or is it a moonbeam? The last sentence is a bit harsh of course. After all, if anyone suffered more than most from SDM’s charismatic efforts to raise investment, it was Dave King who didn’t see much return for his £20million investment nearly 14 years ago. Ergo, when people like King talk about such matters, we need to listen and there’s no doubt his suggestions of investment levels are probably correct if Rangers are to ever genuinely challenge Celtic again at the top of Scottish football. With that in mind, I’m certainly glad he’s applying pressure to Graham Wallace ahead of his much-vaunted 120-day plan. Anything less than the £30-50million King speaks of would now look insufficient so the buck is definitely with the existing board over the coming weeks. Their overdue April reaction will be fascinating. However, all this should and must go beyond superficial sound-bites about ‘war-chests’ and/or budget cuts. We’ve heard all this before. What Rangers fans need, more than anything, are demonstrable plans of action. I, for one, don’t doubt the intentions of someone like Dave King but just because he’s a Rangers man or that he’s invested previously doesn’t mean we can have blind faith in his ideals. To obtain that faith, we need as much from him as we’re asking of Graham Wallace: namely a sound business plan which enables to club to be successful but self-sufficient in the longer term. Clearly, an element of risk and initial investment will be required to compete with Celtic in the coming years but how does this square with ensuring the club remains secure for the future? For example, wouldn’t it be dangerous to invest tens of millions into the playing squad if there are doubts over the management team and the lack of scouting? At what level is this risk acceptable without compromising the club’s ongoing progress? Now, all these questions are as valid for the current board as they are for Dave King. Yet, a couple of weeks since my two similar articles on TRS, we’re no closer to seeing genuine answers – widespread media Q&A’s or not. That remains a source of concern so we can only hope all these figureheads are aware of what we expect ahead of the next few weeks. Rangers fans undeniably want to invest in our future but not if it’s just repeating the same old mistakes of the past. It isn’t a surprise that some fans are considering their options so who will be the first to show that they have learned the lessons of the last 15 years? Markers may well be fine but moonbeams certainly are not.
  23. By Richard Wilson BBC Scotland There are still challenges to overcome, not least the continuing lack of a title sponsor for the Scottish Professional Football League, but individual clubs can still thrive. The level of debt being carried by top-flight teams is falling, and that presents an opportunity. Dundee United and Kilmarnock recently secured debt-reduction deals with Lloyds Bank. Two clubs whose financial priority had to be servicing seven-figure debts can now maximise the worth of their incomes. Celtic's interim results for the financial year to 31 December showed a surplus in the bank, while Motherwell, St Mirren, St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are all free of long-term debt. Hearts are due to emerge from administration with the Foundation of Hearts having taken over a debt-free club that will eventually be turned over to full supporter ownership when the purchase price is paid back through fan subscriptions. Ross County's rise up the leagues has been enabled by the largesse of Roy MacGregor. Hibernian and Aberdeen are still carrying debt, around £5m and around £9m respectively, but there is an appetite within Lloyds Bank to seek an outcome that protects the community aspect of football clubs, as seen in the deals struck with Dundee United and Kilmarnock. The effect is to present Scottish football with a chance to redraw its priorities and establish a time of financial stability. "Banks are taking more of a pragmatic view, which says that what we really want is out of this situation, so we will do a deal, if that makes sense, and if the club can sustain itself," says Charles Barnett, the professional sports group partner at BDO, whose annual review of football finances will be published at the beginning of next season. "There's been one or two clubs recently, like Motherwell, who since they got out of their [financial] troubles have regularly reported a break-even type model. That doesn't mean breaking even every year, but over a period of time, so a small profit one year and a small loss the next. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. "We have less sponsorship income in general around the country, TV revenues aren't going anywhere at the moment and attendances at some clubs are doing well and falling away a bit at others. It's an incredibly challenging environment. But this is an opportunity." The removal of debt burdens allows clubs to focus on reinvesting in sporting performance. Dundee United offer a prime example, since the club's youth development programme has delivered a regular supply of promising young talent into the first-team squad. Transfer fees were inevitably required for the likes of David Goodwillie - £2m to Blackburn Rovers - and Johnny Russell - £750,000 to Derby County - since United had debt payments to service. The Tannadice club can drive a harder bargain now that a group of fan investors have contributed to the wiping of £4m in debt . Clubs will covet the likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Andrew Robertson, but United are under no pressure to sell. This allows Scottish clubs more leeway in attempting to keep young talent in the country for longer before the financial pull of the English game eventually draws them south. Aberdeen are among those who have suffered from losing players before they establish themselves in the first team, with Jack Grimmer leaving for Fulham when he was 17 and Ryan Fraser leaving for Bournemouth at 18. Hibernian and Hearts have established a strong reputation for developing young talent, and Scottish clubs can exploit the worth of that reputation. English teams will always be able to offer higher wages, but many young Scots, like Goodwillie and Grimmer, have travelled south and seen their careers stall. To keep young talent in the country for longer, and to the benefit of Scottish football, players need to be certain that their game will develop further through regular first-team experience. That will enable them to become better and so still attract a future transfer, but clubs needs to be financially stable enough to make decisions based on sporting rather than income merits. "The stronger the club's financial position, the stronger they can be in the transfer market," says Ross Wilson, formerly head of football development at Falkirk and now head of football operations at Huddersfield Town. Continue reading the main story “I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players” Ross Wilson Falkirk's former head of football development "But also, the stronger the club's brand becomes in terms of being regularly capable of producing young players, so they can eventually leave at a premium. "For example, Crewe Alexandria are a League One club, but when they sell players it's at a premium compared to clubs around them, because historically they have a reputation for being a strong developer and seller of players. "That could be replicated in Scotland, with clubs consistently producing players for the first team." Most clubs will have no option but to live within their means, so the ideal is to improve those circumstances. The benefactor model has been undermined following the financial collapses of Hearts, Rangers and Motherwell, while supporters are less inclined to welcome investment for the purpose of making a return because sporting performance needs to be the priority. There is also little wealth to be made in the Scottish game when external revenue streams are so modest. "No bank is prepared to lend new money into the sector in Scotland," says Barnett. "Therefore clubs have to learn to live within their means. And what's the purpose of a football club? "In my view, the objective should be to operate a balanced budget over a period of time, not making big or regular small profits." Youth development, smart player trading, all from a stable financial basis, offers Scottish football clubs an opportunity to build a sense of optimism. Supporters also tend to bond with home-grown talent, while the national team will benefit from a growing emphasis not only on academy graduates, but finding a way to keep them in Scottish football for longer so that if they eventually leave for England, they are better able to thrive at a higher level. "I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players," says Wilson. "If you're making proper investment in it, in terms of the structure and the people you bring in, then it reaps the rewards of players being produced and being sold."
  24. http://t.co/YEh6Ay09Wi The noise around Rangers has abated. A series of statements were released after former director Dave King flew to the United Kingdom last week to meet Rangers International Football Club shareholders, directors and supporters. All parties have now entered a 30-day period in which the board has to produce a business plan that adheres to their public commitments about restoring the club to its former status of title challengers in the top flight and regular European competitors. So what is the state of play in and around Ibrox? Here are five key questions on the latest chapter of the Rangers saga. Has peace broken out? King has the backing of fans groups as he puts pressure on the board It's more a hiatus. Following their meeting with South Africa-based businessman King on Friday, the Rangers directors issued a statement in which they pledged to reveal a business plan that would allow the team "to compete at the highest levels of Scottish and European football". This requires significant investment in the football department, which is currently operating without any scouting staff, and in new players. Yet the board also pledged not to use Ibrox Stadium and the Murray Park training ground as security against any borrowing, which leaves investment from existing or new shareholders as the only likely way to raise finance. King wants to lead that round of fundraising and pointed out that the board of a publicly limited company is bound by its stated commitments. He urged fans to give the board 30 days to comply, which the Union of Fans (UoF) - a coalition of supporters groups - "reluctantly" agreed to. It certainly represents a less adversarial approach. What options are there for the board? Wallace is examining Rangers' finances but has ruled out a second period in administration It is difficult to see them having any choice but to commit to a fresh share issue. This has always been mooted by the chief executive, Graham Wallace, but without setting any timescale. Existing shareholders would need to reinvest to maintain the size of their stake, though. If the club is to invest ahead of challenging for promotion from the Scottish Championship and then mounting a title challenge in the Premiership, the question of a share issue would need to be put to a shareholder vote as soon as possible to allow a two-year football strategy to be put in place. The board has agreed to borrow £1.5m from the shareholders, Sandy Easdale and Laxey Partners, with the loans secured against Edmiston House and the Albion car park, with Laxey also receiving a £150,000 premium in cash or shares. King revealed in his statement last Monday that the directors told him they had agreed to these terms because they "considered that a combination of legal risk and the current financial position justified the loan terms". In effect, the financial state of the club meant that the loans ought to be considered high risk. It is clear that Rangers need investment and that the £1.5m is a temporary sticking plaster. Wallace, though, has consistently stated that administration will not occur. Why 30 days? McCoist is awaiting word on what budget he will have for next season At the annual meeting in December, Wallace told shareholders that he would conduct a 120-day review into the business, with outgoings exceeding revenues while the club is in the lower divisions. This ends in mid-April, but the interim accounts are also due out before the end of March. So, within the next 30 days, shareholders and fans will have a clearer understanding of the current financial state of the club - it is expected that the interims will show a reduction in the £14m losses suffered in the last financial year - and the board's plan to improve its position on and off the field. This will then allow fans to make an objective decision about season ticket renewals, which will follow. What if the business plan does not meet expectations, or the board does not fulfil its pledges? The UoF is pressing ahead with plans to set up a season-ticket trust fund, with lawyers likely to be engaged on the project and trustees appointed thereafter. Before asking fans to wait for 30 days, King had advised them to pool their renewal money, which is the club's single largest income stream, and only give it to the club in return for securing Ibrox and Murray Park to protect them. Existing shareholders will surely also be monitoring events. Is a resolution likely? The current board and the shareholders they represent want to stay in place. King wants to invest directly in the club in return for an influence on how the money is spent. A majority of fans at the last home game against Dunfermline Athletic held up blue cards in support of King. From these three positions, a workable solution needs to be delivered. Conflict is unlikely to resolve anything and ultimately it is finances that will dictate what happens. Rangers either seek new funding, or cut costs, with the latter likely to make life more testing for the manager, Ally McCoist, and Wallace to deliver a team that can eventually challenge Celtic again, at least in the short-term.
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