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  1. Interesting to read in the Herald today about one of Scotlandâ��s oldest house-builders being forced into receivership by the Bank of Scotland*. Juxtapose that with the ongoing challenges of our own 138 year old institution, it perhaps lends weight to the claims that the financial issues at Rangers are problems that may result in the bank foreclosing on their facilities resulting in claiming the �£20million+ debt they are owed back quicker than the currently agreed ~20 year term. Indeed, a cursory look across the community again finds sources warning of the pressure that is about to me brought onto the club by a bank eager to get out of our football club at the first opportunity. Of course, them increasing their liabilities in our parent company (cross guarantees or not) suggests this premise may not be quite as hasty as some suggest. Unfortunately, a stand-off remains between the club message of the status-quo; i.e. prudency by way of reasonable cost-cutting and increased efficiency - and the stark warning of no investment; i.e. mass sales of key players and concrete/mortar assets with no replacement. Once again then, as a result of this polar argument, the average supporter is left in a quandary - do we believe a club eager to maintain our financial investment or do we see the wood for the trees and buy into the hysteria precipitated by our manager, competing buyers and other alleged 'credible' sources? Perhaps the middle ground is the best position to adopt? After all, I don't think anyone denies the influence of the bank is a worrying one. It is just the extent of their influence and their associated potential actions that can be debated. The problem we have is that it doesn't help the situation when people spread rumours about the situation one day, then change their mind the next - be it Walter Smith, potential buyers or whoever else is involved in spreading misinformation in this whole charade. Even if people do believe the very worst of scenarios put to us, what do those informing us of this message honestly expect us to do without proper guidance and leadership? 1. Not renew/buy season tickets? Deadline for existing holders has passed and renewals are supposedly in line with last year while new sales are expected to also mirror recent seasons. Success brings its rewards and I'm also unsure not providing the club with one of its invaluable revenue streams would encourage the bank to invest more of non-ticket money such as CL income or transfer fees. 2. Direct protest The bank AGM last week was as good a place as any to embarrass the bank publicly and effectively. Did the people feeding Darrell King and associated fan groups/forums attend and ask questions? Did they protest outside with existing banners? Or did they allow only one person to attend and ask the kind of question much better coming directly from a big-hitter? 3. Gauge fan support Have those interested in buying the club and/or those worried about the influence of the bank attempted to gauge support for their concerns (and bids) by stimulating debate in a positive, constructive fashion - e.g employing club legends, celebrity fans, existing club staff, fan groups, website owners to help run a positive campaign of information sharing, fund-raising and lobbying? Surely if the evidence was clear that the situation was so bleak, this would be easy to find support for? Compare the above different levels and type of effective lobbying and leadership with the drip-feeding of information via confused journalists and anonymous posters on the internet with the club chairman and his representatives organising meetings with high net worth fans, fan groups, the bank and potential owners; then it isn't a surprise the average supporter is inclined to go with the club message (which isn't all that fantastic by the way) as opposed to believing people in it for vested interests. Now, asking valid questions doesn't always mean flying banners at Ibrox Stadium. As I posted above there are much better and more constructive ways of doing this which can involve every supporter while removing the negativity and hearsay from the debate. In my opinion, that has not happened effectively enough which only weakens the stance of those suggesting the bank are the devil incarnate. Therefore, as the John Dickie Group are forced into administration this week by the Lloyds Banking Group, just how long are those predicting a similar outcome for Rangers FC going to wait before coming out into the open? Or will they continue to use rumour and counter-rumour on internet forums instead of genuine leadership which we can all buy into? * http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/corporate-sme/bank-blamed-as-john-dickie-is-forced-into-receivership-1.1027074
  2. Most lucid article yet. Tax move may come back to kick Rangers where it hurts Published on 28 Apr 2010 ANALYSIS: Chris Watt IF it seemed too good to be true, thatââ?¬â?¢s probably because it was. A scheme employed by Rangers to cut wage bills has come back to bite the club where it hurts. Employee remuneration trusts ââ?¬â?? beloved of Premiership sides and City slickers alike ââ?¬â?? have been a stock tactic in the armoury of cost-cutting firms for years. A legal, if controversial, means of shaving costs without hitting players in the pocket, the trusts are a tempting way to make the tax burden disappear from high earnersââ?¬â?¢ pay packets without breaking the rules. Built on a legal tightrope, however, the penalties can be significant for those who fail to toe the line. Arsenal were perhaps the highest-profile casualty when HM Revenue & Customs started taking a closer interest in such dealings six years ago. A House of Lords ruling made clear the legality of such trusts was shaky and the club scrapped its own payment scheme and accepted a quadrupling of its tax bill year-on-year. It is the club that suffers when HMRC makes approaches for cash back, because foreign players are likely to have left the UK when the dust settles, and as such have no duty to pay back anything. Celtic scrapped its own small-scale scheme in 2006 after one year of operation. Nonetheless, such payment options have remained popular with bigger clubs both north and south of the Border. Players at Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs are rumoured to have been remunerated in such a manner, while it is still relatively commonplace in the Premiership. HMRC yesterday refused to confirm or deny whether it was looking into other clubs, saying it would never comment on any business dealings unless court action was approaching. However, Rangers are understood to have paid a total of Ã?£46 million through the employee remuneration trusts between 2001 and 2009, with an input of between Ã?£1m and Ã?£10m each year. Payments peaked at Ã?£9.19m in 2006, but fell to Ã?£4.9m the following year, with further drops to Ã?£2.29m and Ã?£2.36m in 2008 and 2009. This coincides with a period when the club was pursuing wider cuts to its wage bill. It is not known which players benefited. One tax expert said that based on those payments, the bill from HMRC could top Ã?£24m, almost doubling the clubââ?¬â?¢s Ã?£30m debt. The tax revelations come as the club struggles with a grave financial outlook. Some board members fear Lloyds is about to ring-fence incoming season ticket cash from supporters ââ?¬â?? in the region of Ã?£20m ââ?¬â?? to be used to reduce the clubââ?¬â?¢s debt. They are also concerned that most of the Ã?£15m windfall brought in from next termââ?¬â?¢s Uefa Champions League ties will also be taken by the bank as Rangers are forced to work under a crippling business plan. Both of these concerns were dismissed by the club last night. Director Dave King, in a meeting with fans in Johannesburg last week, said he wanted to buy the club. It has been suggested he was prepared to offer Ã?£18m to Lloyds and Ã?£1 to Sir David Murray for his shareholding. It is understood Mr King will not return to the table until the bank agrees to take on the warranties over this tax probe. The SPL champions ââ?¬â?? who retained their title on Sunday ââ?¬â?? were told last October that administration could be an option. The Heraldââ?¬â?¢s sister paper, the Evening Times, revealed there was only a 5-4 boardroom vote to accept the Lloyds business plan. It has been overseen by controversial turnaround specialist Donald Muir, who joined the board at that time. Some prominent figures at Ibrox believe the recent bid made by London-based property developer Andrew Ellis to take over the club is ââ?¬Å?dead in the waterââ?¬Â. A spokesman for Rangers said: ââ?¬Å?The club can confirm that there is an ongoing query raised by HMRC, which is part of a pending court case. ââ?¬Å?On the basis of expert tax advice provided to Rangers, the club is robustly defending the matters raised. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage. ââ?¬Å?There is endless speculation about the future of the club, much of it ill-informed. It is to no-oneââ?¬â?¢s benefit to comment on every speculative opinion.ââ?¬Â However , an insider within the club described it as the ââ?¬Å?ultimate poison pillââ?¬Â at Ibrox, adding: ââ?¬Å?The bill for this, when HMRC completes its investigations, could be double figures in the millions. ââ?¬Å?No-one knows the exact figure, but who is going to buy the club unless someone agrees to pick up that bill? ââ?¬Å?There are people who want to buy Rangers, but not under the current conditions. ââ?¬Å?The business plan expected will see no investment in new players. The club is about to be squeezed even further.ââ?¬Â Thin blue line Q. What exactly have Rangers done? A. The club have been paying some players in part through an employee remuneration trust. Instead of incurring hefty income tax and National Insurance (NI) bills, Rangers have paid the money into an offshore account. This is then ââ?¬Å?loanedââ?¬Â to players at a low interest rate, currently 4.75%, with no expectation of players repaying it. Q. Why would they do this? A. Players often negotiate wage deals based on take-home pay, rather than pre-tax income. Using trusts allows the club to afford better players. Q. Is this legal? A. Yes, although it is a matter of opinion. HM Revenue & Customs has pursued cases against firms that do it, claiming they are breaking the law. Either a negotiated settlement is reached or the case becomes bogged down in court with both sides arguing the toss. It is very common, with big City firms and larger sports teams across the UK adopting the practice. Q. How much money would be involved? A. About Ã?£46 million at Rangers, according to figures obtained by The Herald. The tax man could potentially try to get back all the PAYE tax and NI contributions that would be due on this balance; assuming all the players were on the top rate of tax, this would be roughly Ã?£24.3m, effectively doubling Rangersââ?¬â?¢ debt. Q. Which players could be involved? A. Neither Rangers nor HMRC will comment on this. After accountantsââ?¬â?¢ fees are taken into account, however, it would only make sense to pay top earners in this way ââ?¬â?? players on at least Ã?£6,000 a week would be the most likely candidates. And since the fund has been running since 2001, this could mean any number of Rangersââ?¬â?¢ biggest names from the past decade, including (above left to right): Fernando Ricksen, Peter Lovenkrands, Ronald De Boer, Dado Prso and Pedro Mendes. Q. Shouldnââ?¬â?¢t it be the players who pay the money back? A. Some would argue so, but for foreign players, at least, any such attempts would be easy to avoid, simply by leaving the UK. Q. And why could this make Rangers ââ?¬Å?unsellableââ?¬Â? A. Given the potential for a Ã?£24m can of worms to open up a year or two down the line, any buyer will be cautious about making a bid. If thereââ?¬â?¢s any danger, it is going to rule out all but the most foolhardy of investors. Dispute could end up in Lords or Supreme Court COMMENT: Mark Houston This type of tax planning is widely used by Premiership clubs, because thereââ?¬â?¢s a high concentration of high-net-worth individuals on their payrolls. Thereââ?¬â?¢s nothing illegal about it, but the Revenueââ?¬â?¢s position is that it doesnââ?¬â?¢t work and it sees it as aggressive, because it believes it has legislation that counters this. Tax planners disagree and feel the legislation allows this type of planning. Rangers have clearly taken advice and appealed. There are upwards of 3,000 schemes under scrutiny in the UK, and in the recent Budget, HMCR announced steps to stop this planning with effect from April 2011. I understand that it is used at a number of clubs down south, and there have been stories about Wayne Rooney, for instance, using it. It appears to be routine. The HMRC has been pursuing a lot of cases, and thereââ?¬â?¢s a bit of a log-jam. If there isnââ?¬â?¢t a negotiated settlement, this may end up in a courtroom down the line. I think whoever was looking to buy Rangers would definitely look closely at the potential tax liability that may be there and may seek to be indemnified by the vendor for this liability. Mark Houston is a tax specialist at Johnston Carmichael. PS where do the "agents" fit into this ?
  3. McGregor, Wilson, Bougherra, Boyd Whilst probably lazy journalism, it's pretty much accepted that the latter 3 will be leaving anyway
  4. http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/2972512/Walter-yes-or-no-in-48hrs.html
  5. Mission Impossible... the Rangers takeover attempt by Ethan Hunt Ibrox stadium Martin Williams Share 0 comments 12 May 2010 It always looked to be a Mission Impossible when the consortium set out its Ã?£50 million plan to buy Rangers Football Club. But when one of the key advisors involved in the takeover bid was revealed to be Ethan Hunt, the namesake of the leader of the Mission: Impossible team, it appeared the assignment might prove too tough. The fictional Ethan Hunt ââ?¬â?? played on the silver screen by Tom Cruise ââ?¬â?? and his team often used intricate disguises and forged paperwork to crack their mission. But it was a fake proof of funding document from a Belgian bank that led to the collapse of the real Mr Huntââ?¬â?¢s bid to take control of Rangers. Now The Herald can reveal that Ian Anderson, the leader of the consortium behind the takeover bid and the business partner of Mr Hunt, is currently banned from being a company director in Britain. Rangers and majority shareholder Sir David Murray had been in discussions with Mr Anderson, head of Spanish investment firm Protocol International, which claimed to have a multinational consortium of investors ready to take over the football club. Mr Hunt is described as Protocolââ?¬â?¢s trade and operations adviser. This week it emerged that the deal collapsed through due diligence after Rangers found a proof of funding letter from Belgian bank KBC ââ?¬â?? the 18th largest in Europe ââ?¬â?? was fake. Sir David and Rangers then discovered that Mr Anderson, who had led the talks, had been banned from holding any directorships in the country until 2013 after a previous investment company took millions in fees without providing any funds. The development has been reported by Sir David to the ethics and fraud unit of KBC and an investigation is expected. Mr Anderson had insisted proof of funding for the Rangers takeover had been provided to Lloyds TSB and there were plans to meet the bank this week. Mr Anderson claimed the consortium involved three investors from Spain ââ?¬â?? himself ââ?¬â?? Holland and Italy and they wanted to spend Ã?£20m to Ã?£30m over three to five years on players. They claimed they wanted to take 91% of shares but retain Sir David as president and Walter Smith as manager. However, The Herald can reveal that Mr Anderson was one of two directors of the Victoria Fintrade investment company that took more than Ã?£3m in processing fees and insurance deposits over four years from numerous clients without every obtaining funding for them. When winding up proceedings commenced against Victoria Fintrade in July 2003, they owed more than Ã?£3.5m and left behind a trail of defunct multi-million pound development projects. A spokesman for Murray International said: ââ?¬Å?I can confirm an approach was made and due diligence was carried out on both the parties involved and the information presented and it became clear that the information was absolutely not genuine. The decision was obviously taken not to pursue the approach.ââ?¬Â Mr Anderson, from Nottingham, is president and chief executive of Protocol, which is based in Mojacar, Spain. His website profile describes him as Dr Ian P Anderson and says he is a member of the worldââ?¬â?¢s largest anti-fraud organisation, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. His online Linkedin CV claims he was national sales and marketing manager at First Finance (Bristol), that he was area and regional marketing manager at National Westminster Bank and had various roles within HSBC. What he does not divulge is his involvement at director level of some 20 companies which have dissolved, including his time with Victoria Fintrade. Protocol has the slogan well-known to Rangers supporters: ââ?¬Å?We are the people.ââ?¬Â A source close to Sir David said: ââ?¬Å?There is thankfully no question of any money changing hands. Sir David does due diligence on both the source and the parties involved. Proof of funds is the first thing that is normally done. ââ?¬Å?It would not be difficult to go to the bank to confirm that the letter was genuine and authentic. Thatââ?¬â?¢s a first step. We donââ?¬â?¢t understand how they think they could get away with it.ââ?¬Â http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/mission-impossible-the-rangers-takeover-attempt-by-ethan-hunt-1.1027050
  6. It isn't often Chinese military treatises can be applied to Scottish football but Tzu's famous 6th century book 'The Art of War' certainly seems to be being read by a variety of people when it comes to a few important issues - be it the political influence vacancies at the Scottish Football Association or those vying for the ownership of Rangers in recent months. Obviously the former is interesting in itself but we'll concentrate on the latter subject for this article. Military strategy then? How can that possibly be relevant to the Rangers ownership debate? Well, the metaphor for this piece is a simple one but a cursory look at each chronicle in 'The Art of War' shows there is arguably a distinct pattern being followed by those involved - be it 'Laying Plans', 'Illusion and Reality' and 'The Use of Intelligence' or any other of the well known chapters in the book. Indeed, one could be forgiven the master of illusion himself Sir David Murray will have a well-thumbed copy in his personal library. All joking aside though there is a serious aspect to this. The future of our club is a subject none of us can laugh about and the ownership battle being waged is one that should concern us all. For the last six months especially, this issue has gained incredible momentum - from front page, heavy gauge headlines; to petty arguments across the online community. The only consistency is that many of the relevant people appear to be inconsistent. The 'preferred' bidder seems to change on a week-by-week basis, excuses are made depending on the individual, characters are blighted if subtle differences are found, misinformation is released to create mischief, different media are used by different parties - all tactics which could be taken from Tzu. Just how do we believe then in this apparent propaganda war? Do we believe the unofficial blog-writer who is uncertain of his information and loyal to his selected website? Do we believe the journalists who have their next wage rise to protect based on 'exclusives'? Do we believe fan representatives who appear closer to one bid than the other? Do we believe the club who need our season ticket money? Do we believe the potential owner trying to save several million pounds via the use of whatever means possible? Is there no-one with a vested interest in all of this? One way not to be on the losing side means perhaps it is best to question all parties - with a vacuum of credible information one of the few facts in this debate. After all no-one seems to know the plans of any of the parties as it stands. Non-Rangers fans like a Duffy or an Ellis may have their money banked off-shore and their business history criticised but are they any worse candidates than the Rangers fans who have their assets in limbo or those who may wish to release private club challenges through endorsed journalists. How can we be certain any of these people are acting on our (or our club's) behalf? Does being a Rangers fan automatically mean they deserve our immediate trust? How can we be sure an outsider understands how important our club is to us all? How can we be expected to answer such vital questions? There is a war going on for our club and every time you or I open a newspaper, read a forum or consult our peers; we're soldiers in it. An easy example of this is where fan groups back protest and wave such banners without even saying why they do so. We even have the ridiculous situation of lone bank shareholders asking valid questions at the front-line of the Lloyds AGM while those 'officers' who criticise hide in their chosen newspaper bunker! Fortunately none of us will be sacrificed for our part but neither should we under-estimate how important we are to the success of any buy out - and, of course, the club's future. To that end, some of us have been consistent in our message to all involved. We demand clarity, we expect leadership and we seek honesty. Without those virtues any of the relevant parties lack the mandate to own our club and assume our interests. Who will be the first to step forward and show they deserve our support? Who will win the war for Rangers?
  7. Who were the group who met with AJ and Bain yesterday, isn't it their duty to inform ALL Rangers supporters of the meetings outcome, or are we lowly foot soldiers excluded from such information. Exclusive by Thomas Jordan Share 0 comments 10 May 2010 Sasa Papac today urged the Rangers powerbrokers not to break up Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s double-winning side. The future of the Ibrox manager has been cast in doubt amid fears funds wonââ?¬â?¢t be made available for him to strengthen the squad during the summer despite winning the SPL and the Co-operative Insurance Cup. And there are also six players out of contract with leading scorer Kris Boyd, captain Davie Weir, Nacho Novo, Kirk Broadfoot, Stevie Smith and DaMarcus Beasley waiting to discover if they will be offered new deals. Major steps will be made in determining what happens next at Rangers later today when chairman Alastair Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain and manager Walter Smith meet with Lloyds Bank in Edinburgh. Johnston and Bain met with a delegation of fans before yesterdayââ?¬â?¢s final SPL game ââ?¬â?? a 3-3 home draw with Motherwell ââ?¬â?? and told them they expected to thrash out plans for spending next season that would hand the manager a kitty of around Ã?£5million. That figure would be to re-sign the out-of-contract players, and also for fees and wages for new players. Given that Smithââ?¬â?¢s preference is to maintain a first-team squad of 24 players, that sum doesnââ?¬â?¢t leave the manager much room to manoeuvre and he is expected to ask for more. The reply he is given will go a long to determine what the summer holds for Rangers. On the matter of the Andrew Ellis takeover, the fansââ?¬â?¢ delegation were told that proof of funding had still to be shown, and left the meeting with the impression that deal was going nowhere fast. But Papac, however, is hoping Smith will still be at the helm next season. He said: ââ?¬Å?Everyone wants the manager to stay. He is the most important person at the football club because he has the respect of everyone and he has just managed to lead us to a second successive league championship. ââ?¬Å?I donââ?¬â?¢t know what decision he will make. However, all the players and also the fans want him to stay on. I know there are other things happening off the field and I just hope it all works out well for the club. ââ?¬Å?We also have a lot of players who are coming out of contract and hopefully they can be offered new deals and stay. When you win the title, and also the League Cup, you want to keep a successful team and build on it. ââ?¬Å?So Iââ?¬â?¢m keeping my fingers crossed that turns out to be the case and we can come back bigger and stronger.ââ?¬Â Papac reckons Rangersââ?¬â?¢ fabulous run in December was the turning point in their season and believes their form since then more than proves they are deserving champions. He said: ââ?¬Å?We really put a good run of results together at that time and we remained consistent from then on. For us, that was an extremely important period in the season as we opened up a good lead over Celtic. ââ?¬Å?After that, it was simply a case of making sure our form remained the same and it did for most of the run-in until we won the league against Hibs at Easter Road. It is never easy to win a championship ââ?¬â?? it is a difficult thing to achieve. ââ?¬Å?But we have all worked so hard and remained focused, even when we were having a difficult time in the Champions League. We just kept going out and gaining results and that is why we have won the league. ââ?¬Å?You can see how much the title means to the supporters and also to the players.ââ?¬Â
  8. There should be a moratorium on the amount of bullshit papers can make up and print, all of it rehashed crap.
  9. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks-ignore/walter-smith-needs-assurances-if-success-is-to-continue-1.1026091 Analysis by Darrell King Share 0 comments 7 May 2010 Walter Smith will receive the silverware this Sunday, but will he get the answers? The weekend ahead promises to be one of the most crucial in Rangersââ?¬â?¢ history, as a behind-the-scenes search for clarity on the future goes on, against the backdrop of the clubââ?¬â?¢s first home SPL trophy presentation day in seven years. Smith is becoming an increasingly frustrated figure, and justifiably so. None of us, try and probe as we might, are likely to find out the full extent of the fires heââ?¬â?¢s been fighting in the past year or so. But the clock is now ticking on the most important issue at any football club ââ?¬â?? just who is the manager going to be? Unless Smith is given guarantees in the next few days that there will be funding to repair a squad that has been hacked at and systematically downsized over recent transfer windows, then he is almost certain to walk. And who could blame him? He has been happy to operate without a contract from the end of January until now, just in case a new owner arrived and didnââ?¬â?¢t fancy him, thus removing any compensation bill to bring in a new man. But isnââ?¬â?¢t Smith entitled to now put himself first over club politics? After everything heââ?¬â?¢s given to Rangers, over many years and not just this second spell, he has earned the right to be treated in a far better way than this. He knows the problems and the issues. In fact, he is the man who has brought many of them into the public domain. More than that, Smith has continued to drive the message in bold red warning letters to the heart of the supporters ââ?¬â?? many of whom still appear to be in denial ââ?¬â?? much to the annoyance of faceless men who have barked orders behind the scenes that he should be silenced. He was one man they could not control, and they dared not push him too far given the chaos that would have ensued had Smith departed during Rangersââ?¬â?¢ title defence. But his patience is now being tested. And if he does go as a result of more financial restrictions being imposed ââ?¬â?? and as of yet budgets have still to be agreed between Rangers and Lloyds ââ?¬â?? then there could be an almighty backlash from a support which holds him in as high esteem as they have done at any time in his two tenures. For instance, last Friday ââ?¬â?? after a week in which the club was again rocked by in-fighting in the wake of revelations that a tax investigation was being conducted with regard to payments made into playersââ?¬â?¢ off-shore accounts ââ?¬â?? Smith met the press to reiterate the need for investment and a plan to take Rangers forward. Almost as he was speaking, Sir David Murray was announcing to the BBC there would be a ââ?¬Ë?limitedââ?¬â?¢ budget for players, which was in stark contradiction to his successor Alastair Johnstonââ?¬â?¢s revelations days before that they still had to meet Lloyds to discover what the business plan would be, a process that will begin next week. With those kind of mixed messages, what chance does Smith have? He has pencilled in 16 players for next term, including the injured Andrius Velicka, two goalkeepers, and two kids in Danny Wilson and John Fleck. He knows that will simply not do. The business plan must identify what will happen to the Ã?£55,000 per week that would be freed up from the possible exits of six out-of-contract players ââ?¬â?? Davie Weir, Kirk Broadfoot, Kris Boyd, Nacho Novo, Stevie Smith and DaMarcus Beasley. Smith knows he needs at least six new players. Does he get that money? Does he get hard cash for transfer fees? And how much? What level of player is he pitching at? These are the issues he must have resolved before any call can be made on what he does next. In the midst of all this, Smith also had to cope with the revelations attributed to would-be buyer Andrew Ellis, who was forced to break cover when the content of his chance meeting and blether with a Sky TV presenter ended up becoming public knowledge. Smith would be offered a new three-year deal, Ellis said in a hurried public declaration, adding that he would offer a life presidency title to Sir David should he gain control ââ?¬â?? which he hoped would happen in three to four weeks. Clearly irked, Smithââ?¬â?¢s response to this was that ââ?¬Å?maybe the chap concerned should speak to me first before speaking about meââ?¬Â. Given the men have never shared a conversation, just what was Ellis thinking about? That episode has only added to Smithââ?¬â?¢s frustration. But there are two key situations at Rangers right now. Firstly, the immediate future of the manager and the budget for next season with, as we have revealed, senior figures inside the club still fearful of what conditions the bank will try to impose when Johnston meets them face-to-face at the start of next week. Secondly, the ownership issue, which is no further forward. As we stated last week, there are many inside Ibrox who simply do not believe Ellis will follow his interest through, unless there is some hidden business going on behind his proposed takeover that has yet to be unearthed. Time will tell on that, but he has no plans to meet Johnston in the immediate future according to his people, which does appear strange. As does his lack of urgency in calling Smith. Ellis, in fact, is close to being bracketed in the ââ?¬Å?put up or shut upââ?¬Â category that was outlined by Murray in reference to other interested parties last week. But will any of them? The ownership issue, however, is of less immediate concern to Smith. Assuming the budgetary issue is resolved to his liking, then the matter of finding a new owner would be no more than a sideshow, a bearable distraction. It would have no material effect on his day-to-day running of the team, as long as he has the appropriate financial plan laid out, guaranteed, and is allowed to manage without interference. Smith simply wants to know what Rangers 2010 will look like ââ?¬â?? then he can make a decision. While he wants to see the clubââ?¬â?¢s long-term future resolved as much as anyone, itââ?¬â?¢s what he will have to play with in terms of his team for next season that holds the key right now. Undoubtedly, people like Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain and the supporters want to see Smith given the resources to rebuild and strengthen a team that has won six trophies in three years. Unfortunately, they donââ?¬â?¢t hold the key to that. The bank do. And given their actions over the past 18 months, will they sanction what Smith needs? If they donââ?¬â?¢t, things may be about to get a lot messier ââ?¬â?? and the most important man of all could be lost in the fall-out.
  10. It maked me wonder what colour the sun is on some peoples planet, when I read this drivel. http://www.rangersmedia.co.uk/homepage/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=412:lloyds-warned-at-agm-that-rangers-supporter-pull-out-could-cost-p2b&catid=41:finances
  11. Hmmmm, sensationalist nonsense IMO but perhaps one of our own tax specialists on here could confirm...?
  12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/8654665.stm Sir David Murray insists "limited funds" are available for Rangers boss Walter Smith to purchase new players. The former chairman, who controls 90% of Ibrox club, told BBC Scotland that directors are planning to help the club through its wait for a buyer. He said the sale of his stake is the remit of chairman Alistair Johnston. Murray insisted it was "obvious" that Smith will require investment after reducing the squad to ease the club's finances with a reduced wage bill. The delay in Murray selling his stake in Rangers continues, while London-based Andrew Ellis carries out background research and mulls over a bid reported to be worth �£33m. Murray was commenting as he filed the accounts of his company, Murray International Holdings, which control of more than 90% of Rangers as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Murray's company reported a �£175m loss, mainly through write-downs in its property portfolio, and also through the price of metal falling sharply during the 17-month accounting period to the middle of last year. Rangers suffered a �£12.7m loss and saw its debt rise to �£31m during the year to June 2009. There's no truth to the bank wanting to ring fence the season ticket money Sir David Murray However, Murray is confident it will turn a profit in the current year and next, having just re-qualified for European competition next season and Smith will be in a position to add players to the Ibrox roster. "There are limited funds available to strengthen the team, which is necessary, and Alistair Johnston and the board are drawing up a business plan for that," said Murray. Murray has denied there was any cross-guarantee of funding between Rangers and other parts of his business empire. However, he has had to disentangle the cross-guarantees used between other divisions. Rangers debt levels are being reduced under pressure from Lloyds Banking Group and are expected to be closer to about �£20m by June. The former Ibrox chairman firmly denied reports that the bank is insisting on using ticket sales revenue to pay down any of the club's debt. "There's no truth to the bank wanting to ring fence the season ticket money," he said. Responding to reports that Rangers are under investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, the former chairman said the club would respond robustly. He added: "Lots of football clubs and other businesses are in a similar situation."
  13. ..erm, in the ET: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks-ignore/fans-deserve-home-truths-1.1024057
  14. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=266:rangers-fans-to-protest-at-lloyds-bank-agm&catid=1:articles&Itemid=67 After previous protests against the influence of Lloyds Bank - via shareholder votes against the election of Rangers Director Donald Muir and protests at Ibrox earlier this year - it seems the banking issue is one again on the agenda for Rangers supporters. As coincidence would have it, the Lloyds Banking Group - who this week reported an unexpected surge in profits since being bailed out by the tax-payer - have their AGM next week in Edinburgh. Whilst Rangers fans cannot gain entry to the event, a protest outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre may take place as the AGM is held next Thursday at 11am. Once again Gersnet asks, would you take part in such a protest?
  15. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks-ignore/the-facts-that-shine-light-into-darkest-corners-of-the-crisis-engulfing-champs-1.1023755
  16. Rangers in crisis ââ?¬â?? Douglas Park has spoken to director Dave King, but admits takeover is ââ?¬Ë?impossibleââ?¬â?¢ because of tax investigation For sale ââ?¬â?? but whoââ?¬â?¢s buying? Darrell King Share 0 comments 28 Apr 2010 Douglas Park, the businessman who has interests in several car *franchises and a coach company, last night confirmed he has spoken with Dave King, the South Africa-based *millionaire Rangers director who remains interested in taking over the club. Park told The Herald there was a ââ?¬Å?real willingnessââ?¬Â from several individuals who want to help the Ibrox club out of their financial plight. However, with the revelation that an HM Revenue and Customs investi*gation is ongoing into payments Rangers made into playersââ?¬â?¢ offshore trusts over the past decade, Park conceded there would have to be certain conditions agreed with Rangersââ?¬â?¢ owners, Murray Inter*national, and the clubââ?¬â?¢s bankers, Lloyds, before any deal could be done. The SPL championsââ?¬â?¢ debts are still hovering around the Ã?£30m mark, and the HMRC investigation could lead to a tax bill ââ?¬â?? the exact amount yet unknown ââ?¬â?? having to be met if the club is found to have a case to answer. When asked if he had held discussions with King over a potential buy-out, Park would only say: ââ?¬Å?I have had meetings with Dave King since January, but the contents of our discussions are private. There are people out there with a real willingness to put millions of pounds of their own money into the club to try to address the current situation and return the club to stability. However, unless certain conditions are met, it would be impossible for anything to proceed. ââ?¬Å?At the moment, the bank are in total control of the situation as the season-ticket money, and any Champions League money, comes in.ââ?¬Â Rangers are anxious to discover as soon as possible the bankââ?¬â?¢s plans for the biggest revenue stream into the club, season-ticket monies that annually amount to between Ã?£18m and Ã?£20m, with sources telling The Herald there are fears this money will be used to attack the overall debt as the wait for a new owner goes on. Last night, Rangers were guaranteed automatic entry to the Cham*pions League group stages next season after Bayern Munich overcame Lyon 0-4 on aggregate in France. The German side, along with Barcelona and Inter Milan, who contest the second semi-final tonight, are all guaranteed to play in the 2010/11 group phase courtesy of their domestic league positions and, therefore, an automatic position has been freed up for the champions of Scotland. There are people out there with a real willingness to put millions of pounds of their own money into the club to try to address the current situation and return the club to stability. However, unless certain conditions are met, it would be impossible for anything to proceed. Douglas Park This will generate revenue of around Ã?£15m for Rangers and, again, answers are being sought from the bank as to what will happen to that money, and how much will be put into the business plan for the season ahead. Rangers issued a statement last night denying that Champions League income ââ?¬Å?had already been ring-fenced by the bank to reduce the clubââ?¬â?¢s debtââ?¬Â. However, when our sister paper the Evening Times broke the story yesterday, their suggestion was that senior sources at the club feared the Champions League and season ticket money would be used to address debts, not that it had already been agreed. The statement added: ââ?¬Å?Discussions with the bank in relation to the business plan will take place in the coming weeks. The club would also like to reiterate once again that at no time has director Dave King made an offer for the purchase of Rangers.ââ?¬Â Manager Walter Smith has expressed fears since last October over the future of the club, but he will say nothing else on the financial situation, or his own contractual situation, until being informed by the board of what the business plan is. Smith is almost certainly unwilling to commit to another season at the helm if the club is going to continue downsizing. At the moment, with six players out of contract, *Rangers are scheduled to return for pre-*season training in July with a squad of 14 first-team players plus two goalkeepers. Of that number, three are young players in Danny Wilson, John Fleck and Andrew Little, while another is Andrius Velicka who is unlikely to be match-fit for the start of the season after nine months on the sidelines with a knee injury. They could be open to predators in the transfer market for players such as Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, with no guarantees that any money from sales will be allowed to fund replacements. There has been no scouting network in place because of the financial cutbacks over the past six months; while the pre-season tour planned for America, including a money-spinning Old Firm match against Celtic scheduled for Boston on July 21, *cannot be confirmed until a management team is in place for next season.
  17. Last week the club sent out the season ticket renewal letters for season 2010/2011 - both by traditional post and by email. With a 53rd SPL title within reach and prices frozen for next year, surely everyone will be sending their payment back asap to ensure their seat at Ibrox! After all, the following promise in the letter will allay any fears we may have... Positive words then and I certainly appreciate the thanks for the supports' ever loyal financial and emotional investment each year. Some may find it patronising but I feel the gratitude is genuine enough - certainly retaining over 40,000 season ticket holders will be a big challenge for the club over the coming months. I know I can't be the only bear weighing up his options due to personal circumstances. And that is where the second part of the quoted statement comes in. Outwith the difficulty of finding the �£400+ to pay for the actual ticket, how can we be 'certain' our support will be 'rewarded'? To be clear, I don't expect success every year - that is unrealistic even if Rangers are capable of winning the SPL title at any given time. Similarly, I realise reaching a European final is a once in a generation event and even managing to qualify for (never mind from) a Champions' League Group may soon prove extremely challenging. As such, when I pay my �£400+; I don't do it because I expect success and silverware but simply to retain a close, emotional involvement with the club I love and supply one small investment towards achieving said success. On the other hand, what I do expect is the same commitment, emotion and investment from those connected with the club. Fortunately, for the most part, we do get that in return - even if it could be argued there remains a large gap between the support and those who run the institution. However, just what are the club doing to ensure we remain competitive? This season has seen many exciting aspects - from being on he brink of winning the title, to being unbeaten against Celtic, to winning the League Cup with only nine men - all with an admirable record in terms of statistics and value for money for those of us who renewed this time last year. Indeed if we do secure the title, it will be one of the most satisfying (and important) I've ever experienced. Nevertheless, there are many worries for the Rangers support which may accompany any title-winning hangover. First of all the club's ownership remains in doubt and, despite the manager's words in the season ticket renewal letter, he has been extremely vocal on this issue. Ergo, can we genuinely expect to keep our key playing assets as well as the moderate number of players whose contracts run out next month? Certainly it seems far from clear who will and who will not be here next year. Astoundingly even the management team are not guaranteed to be in charge. Just what influence do Lloyds Bank have on our great club and where does MIH sit - other than being a heavy burden on our immediate future? Furthermore, despite our good performance domestically, in Europe we have been poor now for two seasons on the trot and with an ever-weakening squad, there is little to be excited about in terms of improving on that record next season and beyond. Given the impact European football has on our finances, how does the manager and those who run the club expect to address that crucial challenge over the coming years? To conclude, I don't doubt the vast majority of fans will renew their season ticket - myself among them. And those that are unable to do so (for whatever reason) will likely be replaced by new fans that can. However, just how sincere are the words from the Chief Executive quoted above? Just where is our money going and how will it be spent? To maintain the 'spirit and unity' you mention in the letter, we need to know exactly what you are doing to reward our continued investment and loyalty. Actions speak louder than words. Why not start by making it completely clear just what the future holds for every Rangers fan.
  18. http://www.heraldscotland.com/murray-faces-108m-hit-if-rangers-buyer-refuses-to-take-on-club-s-debt-1.1020769 Sir David Murray stands to take a hit of Ã?£108 million if he sells his 92% stake in Rangers FC to a buyer willing only to take on the clubââ?¬â?¢s estimated Ã?£30m debt. Latest accounts for Murray Sports, the vehicle used by the former Rangers chairman for his football holding, show the accumulated interest on loan notes payable to Murray Group Holdings in the event of a takeover of Rangers has risen from Ã?£44m to almost Ã?£48m, on top of the Ã?£60.6m loan. Meanwhile, another Ã?£4.5m has been added to the write-off in the value of Murray Sportsââ?¬â?¢ holding in Rangers. Already standing at Ã?£41.2m, it rose last year to Ã?£45.7m, because the Rangers share price fell from 52p to 40p during the year. Rangers shares, traded among some 9,000 fans and quoted on the PLUS market, were at 42.5p yesterday, giving Rangers a market value of Ã?£46m. Back in 1997, when billionaire Joe Lewis bought into the club, it was valued at Ã?£160m with Murray at that time plotting a flotation. Lewis sold back to Murray in 2004. In February, the football club reported a half-year profit of Ã?£13m but did not reveal the size of its debt to Lloyds Banking Group, which has been linked with the installation of director Donald Muir on to the clubââ?¬â?¢s board. In early March, London property developer Andrew Ellis said he was considering making an offer for the club. But a fortnight ago engineering tycoon Jim McColl disappointed fans by ruling out financial backing for an alternative supporter-based buy-out of Rangers. Florida-based developer Graham Duffy, whose offer to back a supporter buy-out was revealed by The Herald last December, said this week: ââ?¬Å?As far as I am aware I am the only individual who has produced a business plan in favour of the supporters.ââ?¬Â Dont know if this is actually relevant or just a rehash of old news , clever bears please comment
  19. - Walter Smith - February 3rd 2010 - Walter Smith - April 6th 2010 Two months of a difference, two markedly different appraisals of the situation, but both offered by the same man. Just which one do we believe and is the manager helping the cloud of uncertainty still hovering over a club which is just three wins away from the SPL title? On the face of it, Smith's words yesterday should brighten the sky for many bears. The SPL title is within our grasp and to let such a lead go now would be unfathomable. Our debt is decreasing while our closest rivals' is increasing. Our youth system is bearing fruit and our two best youngsters have either signed or are very close to signing extended deals. Meanwhile, we have various player assets that are worth a lot of money in income if we do decide to sell. Add in the likelihood of Rangers being Scotland's sole representatives in the Champions' League Group Stage, then surely our money worries are dissipating by the day? But niggling doubts remain. Smith tempered his comments yesterday by confirming that if the club isn't sold Lloyds Bank remain influential in terms of our strategy for next season and beyond. A strategy that precipitated Smith's doomsday predications of last year and suggestions our activity in the summer this year will be minimal given we need to work with the squad numbers again. That is worrying given we have several players out of contract in the summer - Steven Smith has rejected an offer while players such as Kris Boyd, Nacho Novo and Kirk Broadfoot have all yet to sign new deals; the SPL's highest ever goalscorer increasingly likely to move to the EPL for free. Similarly, key players such as Bougherra, Wilson, McGregor and Davis are continually linked with big money transfers out of the club. Potentially (and not unreasonably) that could mean as many as eight players leaving over the next 6-12 months and that doesn't account for natural degradation of young players moving on while the likes of Davie Weir stepping back. How do we replace these players - all of whom have played their part in our success - if we don't spend money? Therefore, it is extremely valid to ask how any owner of the club - be it SDM/Lloyds Bank or Andrews Ellis/Dave King - intends to address this situation. Our recent success since Walter Smith returned has seen money spent initially but that has dried up since then, even although it could be argued our subsequent settled squad has benefited us in terms of on-field continuity. With an estimated �£12-15 million about to be guaranteed from our CL participation and sales of any key players likely to add substantially to that, why is our manager so glum about the prospects of us using such monies to 'trade' our way through player turnover? If the debt is readily decreasing and success maintained with the SPL title, any owner would be foolhardy to risk a Scottish institution by grabbing as much of this profit as they can instead of sticking by already agreed payment terms. After all, allowing the squad numbers to decrease - both in terms of quantity and quality - means any future financial return is minimised and a sale difficult. Lloyds are surely not suggesting they want all of their �£25million back by January 2011 while a new owner would surely not expect to absorb said profits and keep the support of an ever-cynical fanbase? As always, there are more questions than answers. The only certainty about Rangers nowadays is uncertainty. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to look forward with any degree of positiveness when those that are in positions of influence seem as unsure and doubting as the rest of us. Given our current position in the SPL, this should be a time of aloof smiles and excitement about the future. Yes, the banter may be there but behind the smiles the stress remains for many of us. Is the SPL title the start of a new period of dominance for our club or simply the beginning of the end? The price may have been frozen but before I pay my �£400+ to renew my season ticket, I expect to know what I'm paying for. I'm not deluding myself as to the challenging future of our club so I certainly don't expect to be deluded to by those responsible for it. Too many doubts remain. Too much uncertainty prevails. It is beyond time for the key people in this situation to stop playing games and secure the future of our club.
  20. RANGERS could still be forced to take part in the Champions League qualifying rounds next season if, as expected, they clinch the Scottish Premier League title. The financially troubled Ibrox side, and the Lloyds Banking Group, have been eagerly anticipating an estimated Ã?£10 million cash injection from competing in the elite club competition to help reduce the club's Ã?£31m debt. However, it has emerged that their path to the group phase may not be automatic if CSKA Moscow or Lyon are the winners of this year's Champions League. The Russians have already failed to qualify for next season's Champions League and Lyon are also in danger of missing out ââ?¬â?? unless either one claims the trophy in Madrid on 22 May. UEFA changed the rules for qualification after Liverpool beat AC Milan to win it in 2005. They had finished fifth in the Premiership that year and should have had to settle for a UEFA Cup place. Now holders qualify automatically ââ?¬â?? and that could pose problems for Rangers. "The top 12 countries in Europe have their champions qualify automatically but we're currently 13th," said an SPL spokesman. "As long as the eventual winners have already qualified through their own league then Rangers will be okay. However, the Russian season has recently finished and CSKA Moscow finished fifth, meaning they will miss out. "Lyon could also fail to claim a place. There are only four points between the top six clubs in Ligue 1. Since only three French clubs enter the competition they may also fail. Should either of those clubs then go on to win the Champions League then Rangers would need to play two qualifying rounds in order to reach the group stage." However, the consolation for Rangers if that happened is that they would be one of the seeded clubs in that draw. "Rangers would then be in what is knows as the Champions' Qualifying Pathway," said the spokesman. "That would mean they would have two qualifying rounds to play but both would be against teams from countries ranked below us. They would face ties which would be, on the face of it, much easier than the task Celtic faced last year when they were drawn against Arsenal." CSKA Moscow are at home against Internazionale in the quarter-final second leg on Tuesday after losing 1-0 in Italy. If they reach the semis they will face Arsenal or Barcelona. Lyon travel to Bordeaux the next evening, 3-1 ahead. Should they qualify, they will meet Manchester United or Bayern Munich. Speaking in February, Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston said qualifying for the Champions League was "crucial". From 2011, the SPL champions will only be able to reach the group phase by overcoming seeded clubs from England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/sport/Rangers-could-still-face-Champions.6202712.jp
  21. Is it debt or a rolling facility, AJ's interviews would have been hard to have been bettered by the master of waffle himself SDM. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Hugh MacDonald, Chief Sportswriter 0 comments Published on 17 Feb 2010 H MacD: Why has the debt not been published? AJ: There is no requirement by the plus markets to declare your debts. That is not to say we are trying to be crafty in any way. The debt levels are impacted by cash and cash availability and our debt to Lloyds Bank is actually not a debt but a line of credit. That means it goes up and down day by day according to our requirements. Our only obligation is to reduce that line of credit by Ã?£1m a year. 
There is not a whole lot of incentive, in all honesty, to reduce the debt. There is an incentive to pay off the players [transfer fees] that we haven’t paid for in previous years. At the end of last year we had Ã?£9m of player debt to pay for players we have acquired in previous years. We have been able to pay almost all of that off with the cash we generated. That is particularly satisfying, because these are the issues that go under the radar. What is your message to the fans, particularly the ones who have strong feelings over the presence of Donald Muir on the board? Right now, we need Lloyds Bank who have been supportive of us. The bank is certainly disciplined and it does not want to be exposed to archetypal football club practices of buying players and not worrying about the next day. It does not want to be dealing with fans’ reactions, either. I am hopeful that the bank will continue to be collaborative in negotiations with potential owners who have an ability to invest in the club. I would hope too that it will be reasonably more flexible on the business plan that both Walter and I are concerned about. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Clarity you gotta be kiddin. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/rangers/the-next-10-weeks-could-define-rangers-future-an-interview-with-chairman-alastair-johnston-1.1007305
  22. RANGERS chairman Alastair Johnston believes the remaining 13 games of the SPL campaign hold the key to the Ibrox club securing a healthier, long-term financial future. Speaking as Rangers published half-yearly accounts which reveal an operating profit of �£13.1 million for the six months to 31 December 2009, Johnston admitted the value of Champions League qualification cannot be overstated in addressing the prospects of reducing his club's �£31million debt and attracting new ownership and investment. The Scottish champions' interim figures also showed a turnover of �£37.8million, directly attributable to their participation in the group stage of European football's elite club competition this season. Twelve months earlier, on the back of elimination from the Champions League in the second qualifying round by Lithuanian side Kaunas, Rangers posted a loss of almost �£9million and turnover of just �£20.1million. The contrast is startling and illuminates Rangers' need to retain their domestic title this season. With Scotland's Uefa co-efficient ranking in freefall, it is likely to be the last year for some time the SPL champions will qualify directly for the lucrative group phase of the Champions League. Rangers, who squeezed into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup last night with a 1-0 win over St Mirren, are ten points ahead of Celtic at the top of the SPL with 13 games to play, leaving them on course for a championship success which would underpin Johnston's quest to steer his club out of their current fiscal storm. "The main thing for us at the moment is the short term and focusing on matters on the field," Johnston told The Scotsman last night. "The next ten weeks will impact significantly on how we aspire to make progress for the club. "The figures we are announcing today are pleasing and they show just how crucial it is to be in the Champions League. We have to sound a note of caution, because we still face many challenges, but clearly getting into the Champions League again would be of significant benefit." Johnston succeeded Sir David Murray as Rangers chairman last August during a period of turmoil for the club as their finances came under intense scrutiny from Lloyds TSB. While he concedes the bank's ongoing involvement in the club's affairs is "not desirable", Johnston sought to ease concern among supporters as he insisted it is currently to Rangers' benefit. "Looking back to August, when Lloyds TSB were taking a more than unusual interest in Rangers, we have to be satisfied with where we are now," he added. "We were successful in persuading them that their immediate reaction, which was to look to downsize the club, was impractical and particularly unwise in terms of maintaining the club's value. "We reached an agreement with them which is not ideal for either party but is practical in the circumstances. In no way would I criticise the fans who are entitled to voice their opinions. But as far as our relationship with Lloyds goes, it is working. We need them at this point in time. Murray (International Holdings) are not going to put any more money into the club, so we need the bank. They have been left holding the baby after the economic crisis hit Murray. The bank are our stop-gap measure." Donald Muir, the corporate troubleshooter appointed to the board to oversee the club's financial restructuring, has become the focal point of protests from Rangers supporters, but Johnston called for understanding of his fellow director's position. "To say Donald Muir is conflicted may be overstating it, but he is wearing two hats," said Johnston. "He is a non-executive director of Rangers and is expected to work within that role. He also represents the Murray group of companies, so in that role he is seeking to liquidate to Murray's advantage. "In terms of a possible new owner, there is activity, but it is like shadow boxing at the moment. I would hope something will happen sooner rather than later, but there has to be understanding and probably compromise. It will be challenging going forward and hopefully we can adjust the current business plan which was the subject of Walter Smith's ire recently, rightly so in my opinion." Smith had expressed his frustration at the restrictions placed on him in the transfer market where Rangers have now not paid money for a new player since August 2008. Johnston praised the veteran manager for his part in achieving ongoing success for Rangers despite those handicaps and is hopeful Smith and his assistants Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall will be in a position to agree new contracts this summer. "The guys know our position," he said. "Walter is at the stage of his career that whenever his time at Rangers does end, he will probably go and play golf. With Ally and Kenny, who are a bit younger, we are dealing with different scenarios. Walter is keeping an open mind at the moment. Whatever happens, history will show that Rangers were very fortunate to have him as manager during this period." Emerging from the January transfer window with the loss of only Pedro Mendes and Jerome Rothen was regarded as something of a bonus by Rangers but the club face further uncertainty at the end of the season when several players, including top scorer Kris Boyd, are out of contract. Boyd has decided to wait until the summer before making a decision on his future. "The offer to Kris Boyd remains on the table," said Johnston. "We hope he will stay but circumstances outwith our control, such as offers from English football, could persuade him to leave. We can't control the environment we are in when it comes to contract negotiations." KEY FIGURES TURNOVER �£37.8m Up by �£17.7m OPERATING PROFIT �£13.1m Up by �£17.0m OPERATING EXPENSES �£21.0m Down by �£3.6m http://sport.scotsman.com/sport/Rangers-progress-in-cup-.6082665.jp
  23. Alastair Johnston insists Rangers would be in greater financial trouble had it not been for Lloyds Bank. More...
  24. CHAIRMAN reveals profit of 13.1million pounds to December 31, 2009 More... RANGERS have announced unaudited interim results for the six months to 31 December 2009 and chairman Alastair Johnston has released the following statement: I HAVE pleasure in presenting the Interim Results for the six months to 31 December 2009, a period that saw the Chairmanship of the Club pass to myself in August 2009. The ensuing six months of my tenure saw us perform in Europe's elite club competition and reap the financial benefit of so doing in achieving turnover of �£37.8m and an operating profit of �£13.1m, an increase of �£22.0m on the prior year. These however have been challenging times within the Club, and credit must go to Martin Bain and Walter Smith and their respective teams in maintaining performance, standards and above all the intrinsic value of the Club over this period. Whilst our results in the UEFA Champions League were disappointing, we currently sit proudly at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, and have progressed to the final of The Co-operative Insurance Cup and the fifth round of the Active Nation Scottish Cup. This has been achieved with a first team squad that has been stretched through injury and suspension, which has in itself created opportunities for the younger members of the squad. Whilst the recent transfer window saw the departure of Pedro Mendes and Jerome Rothen, it was pleasing to retain our more valued assets in the run in for the league title. Discussions continue on various contract extensions, although a balance has to be struck between value and player expectations. Earlier this month we were delighted to confirm the appointment of Tennent's Lager as the official Club and shirt sponsor from 2010/11. We will continue to work towards a positive climax to a highly successful and productive seven year relationship with Carling. Work also continues in developing our ground-breaking media offering through http://www.rangersTV.tv, enabling live broadcasts and archive material to be viewed on demand. Although the effect of the current economic climate had an impact on ticketing and hospitality sales as well as the income from SPL media rights, the turnover for the six months to 31 December 2009 rose by �£17.7m to �£37.8m on the back of Champions League participation. Due to the timing of our involvement in the Champions League, revenue is weighted in favour of the first six months of the financial year. Net operating expenses decreased by �£3.6m to �£21.0m reflecting the reduced salary levels and efficiencies introduced throughout the Club, and resulted in an increase in operating profit of �£22.0m. Accounting for a �£5.5m decrease in gains from the sale of player registrations to last year, profit before interest and tax rose by �£16.5m to �£13.8m. Lower interest rates and historical tax losses contributed to a retained profit of �£13.1m, compared to a retained loss of �£3.9m for the same period last year, an increase of �£17.0m. Whilst the Interim Results are pleasing, a degree of caution is required as the future outlook is fraught with challenges. When I assumed the Chairmanship in August 2009, I realised that we had to take a short-term perspective on the business model that we needed to adopt for the financial year through to June 2010. The Board appreciated the understanding of Lloyds TSB Bank plc in supporting our initiatives to stabilise the Club without totally compromising the ability of the management team to field a competitive squad of players for the current season. We continue our efforts to source a capital injection into the Club to fuel the ambitions of the staff, supporters and shareholders, all of whom have been remarkably supportive as we navigate through the turbulence. Until such time as this is achieved, we are compelled to maintain our working relationship with Lloyds TSB Bank plc. The Board understands that reliance on such a facility going forward is not desirable if we are to retain control over the Club's destiny and avoid negatively impacting the potential for future success. However, a balanced view is required at this stage amongst operating sustainability, ambition, and the commensurate underlying value of the Club. Rangers will need continued commitment from all of those with the best interests of the Club in mind in the months ahead, and I remain totally confident that we will prevail together.
  25. It has been announced that a group of Rangers fans - backed by all official fan groups and all unofficial fansites in the online community (including Gersnet) - are to hold a peaceful protest within Ibrox Stadium this Sunday. You can read the statement released by the group below.
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