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RNS Number : 4108A

Rangers Int. Football Club PLC

22 December 2014

 

 



 

Rangers International Football Club plc

 

("Rangers" or the "Company")


 


AGM Statement

 

 

 

As previously announced, the Company's Annual General Meeting will be held at 10:30am today, Monday 22 December 2014, at Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive, Glasgow G51 2XD. Access will be through Exit 30 of the Broomloan Stand which is adjacent to turnstile 64. Shareholders will have access to the Albion car park with access to the Stadium footprint for disabled Blue Badge holders to park near the entrance.

 

Shareholders are asked to arrive in good time from 9am in order to clear the registration process.

 

Shareholders should bring the attendance card which was included with the Notice of AGM, posted to registered addresses on 28 November 2014.

 

In the event that the attendance card is lost, Shareholders should bring some other form of ID (a credit/debit card will suffice). Shareholders whose shares are held in a nominee account with their stockbroker will need a Corporate Representative's letter (issued by the custodian of their shares) in order to be admitted. Non-shareholders including guests of shareholders, will not be admitted.

 

The meeting will consider the 9 Resolutions set out in the Notice of AGM, each of which will be subject to a vote by Poll, which will be verified by Capita Registrars Limited. The result of these Resolutions will be released to the London Stock Exchange by no later than 7am on Tuesday 23 December 2014.

 

At the AGM the Chairman, David Somers, will make the following statement:

 

"Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to this Annual General Meeting of Rangers International Football Club plc.

 

It feels like years since I last stood in front of you and it is amazing that it is only just over 12 months. 12 months ago, as I had just joined the Rangers Board, I was given the impression that the Club had enough money to see it through the first few months to the season ticket window. Sadly, I quickly discovered that this was not the case. The Board then began metaphorically to take up all of the carpets; after which we were left with a very long list of legacy issues that needed to be sorted out, often as our finances would allow.

 

So in the first few months, we reviewed all of the contracts, the finances and the legal issues, ending up with a long list of legacy issues that would need to be dealt with over time. Since then we have spent many months focusing on these legacy issues dealing with them one by one. To be honest, it is frustrating dealing with legacy issues, because you are effectively looking backwards during this time and dealing with issues you didn't create yourself. I know that most fans will not really be interested in such efforts, because it is not about football, but these legacy issues and contracts have had to be dealt with so that we can begin to move forward. I was always taught to be cautious, so I hesitate to say that we have dealt with all of these legacy issues, as whenever I think that, another legacy issue quietly appears, but we do seem to have addressed many or most of them. One of our biggest remaining legacy issues is the weak state of the Rangers finances.

 

In the financial area, we have been fortunate that a number of people have supported us with loans during the last 12 months, namely Sandy Easdale, George Letham and Mash Holdings. I sincerely thank them for their support, which in some cases, has included their loans being interest free.

 

In the early days, while developing our list of legacy issues to be addressed, Graham Wallace wrote a review, which became known as the 120 day review. In this he indicated a desire to spend £20-30 millions in reaching the top levels of Scottish and European football. After visits to various City institutions the Board believed that such a level of expenditure would be supported by the City institutions, and the then monthly rate of loss, would also be supported by the shareholders. In the event, this was discovered not to be the case, because when we came to raise funds through a share issue, we soon found that there was a lack of appetite from shareholders to invest significant extra funds just to pay wages and utility bills.

 

Accordingly, we have moved to cut costs significantly. Like any household, Rangers can ultimately only spend what it earns and, as has been reported in the media, we have moved quickly to bring our costs down and much more in line with our income. Rangers Football Club has been living beyond its means for many years and much of the cost cutting and efficiency improvements should have been addressed years ago by previous boards when we were in the lower divisions. But they weren't, so we are doing it. A material part of our costs relate to player costs, however, and these can only be addressed over a long period of time because of the length of the contracts. These contracts are often measured in years, not months.

 

In these past 12 months, I have been surprised at a number of things. Firstly, the highly negative aspect of most of the media reporting regarding Rangers. Secondly, because it is clear to me that a stronger Rangers is good for Scottish football, I have been very disappointed to realise that outside of Ibrox, there sadly still exists a great deal of anti- Rangers feeling, perhaps (although I hope not) even in the football establishment. Rangers return to the top flight of our game, I am sure you will agree, will be more easily achieved if everyone who cares about the Club works together for the betterment of Rangers. This turbulent year has seen people calling for a season ticket boycott, seen the disruptive creation of a season ticket trust for a while and other negative ideas. Such negativity is expensive for Rangers as it reduces season ticket and overall ticket sales, increasing the likelihood that I will have to borrow money to cover the shortfalls created. Our path to restoring Rangers to where we all want the Club to be, can only be achieved with the continued support of all supporters, shareholders and business partners.

 

2013/14 saw Rangers Football Club complete the second stage of our rise back to the top of Scottish football and the year also brought another vital component for a new Rangers to emerge for the future - a structured and measured approach to rebuilding the football club. An unbeaten SPFL League One campaign was an excellent return for Alistair, his staff and the players and they deserve our congratulations. While we were all ultimately disappointed to have been defeated in both the Ramsdens Cup Final and the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final, our fundamental objective of achieving promotion was comfortably achieved with a points total into three figures.

 

I was delighted that the Board was able to further support the Manager in providing funds for the recruitment of nine players in 2013/14 and also in the period immediately after the end of the financial year when we brought Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Steve Simonsen and Lee Robinson back to the Club, together with the signings of Marius Zaliukas and Darren McGregor.

 

While the success of any major football club will always be benchmarked by its first team, a strong Youth Academy is also an informative barometer of long-term health and well being. It is very pleasing to see the quality and quantity of young talent being nurtured at Murray Park. Last season our Under20s won the SFA Youth Cup and narrowly lost out in the title race in the final week of the campaign. 57 players from our Under 14 to Under 21 age groups were called into international squads and three more Murray Park Academy graduates made their first team debuts.

 

The ladies and girls teams have come a long way in a short space of time, enjoying significant success. In season 2013, the Ladies reached the semi final of the Scottish Cup, The Under 17s team secured the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup treble, the U15s and U13s finished second in the leagues and a new U11s team has been introduced. Internationally, the Rangers ladies teams have contributed 22 players to the Scotland teams across all age groups.

 

We are charting our future strategy in the five key areas of:

 

• Developing Football Performance

 

• Focus on Player Asset Management and Youth Development

 

• Re-connecting effectively to our Local and Global Fan Base

 

• Developing Best in Class Commercial and Operational Capability

 

• Strengthening Commitment to our Communities

 

 

 

The year also saw Rangers make the first, important steps towards building an effective programme of engagement with our fan base. Fans were contacted via email, SMS, online and at matchdays to assist in our Ready To Listen Initiative, showing we are serious about improving communications and dialogue with all supporters. Subsequent focus groups took place in Ibrox with feedback generated helping to shape the direction of the Club's fan engagement strategy. I think that we would all agree that we still have work to do in this area and one in which we must increase our endeavours.

 

 

 

Although we have experienced difficult trading conditions, there have been a number of important and positive, developments in our fiscal position during the financial year. A 32% increase in total revenue from £19.1m to £25.2m was recorded in the year ending 30 June 2014, with the majority of the uplift due to the first full year of our retail venture with our long term partner Sports Direct.

 

 

 

Reduced revenues from gate receipts and hospitality are down from £13.2m to £12.4m and were a direct result of the lower matchday attendances from both season ticket holders and walk-ins. This shortfall was offset by increased revenue from sponsorship and advertising up from £0.8m to £1.5m illustrating the improvements in the Rangers brand perception. Proceeds from ticket sales were also adversely impacted by the decision not to increase prices of either season or matchday tickets from the previous season.

 

 

 

Season ticket sales were sadly down from 38,228 in 2012/13 to 36,039 in the 2013/14 financial year, resulting in a fall in revenue from £8.1m to £7.7m in financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 respectively. Our average home league attendance also fell from 45,111 in the 2012/13 season to 41,444 in 2013/14.

 

 

 

Other Operating Income rose from £1.7m to £2.1m, a 22% increase, mainly as a result of hosting both Scottish Cup Semi Finals and an increased associated uplift in matchday catering revenues.

 

 

 

At this AGM, we are requesting permission from shareholders to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the Club. We were not able to last year and I sincerely hope, for the good of the financial stability and future of the Club, that it will be forthcoming this year.

 

We are now increasingly looking forward. An immediate priority is to re-build the Board with suitably experienced people and this is already well underway. We also need to look at the football side for a number of reasons. Firstly, there has for some time existed a chasm between the talented young players being developed at Murray Park and our first team. We need to focus on ways of developing our own young players for the first team rather than continually buying-in players. Secondly, as you all know Ally has decided to resign and has given us the required 12 months notice of his intention to leave the Club, as of yesterday Ally is on gardening leave.

 

Sadly, this year, one of our greatest ever supporters will not be with us on the rest of our long journey. In April we lost Sandy Jardine - a truly inspirational man and Ranger. I had the privilege of meeting him a number of times before he left us and I found him to be one of football's true gentlemen. Sandy will be forever revered and the re-naming of the Govan Stand in his memory is a fitting tribute to a truly wonderful person who cared so passionately about his Club.

 

My personal goals remain what they were 12 months ago. Namely to ensure that the events of Rangers' recent past can never happen again; to cleanse the Club of these events, and also to ensure that Rangers gets back to the top in football. I now recognise that we will not get much support outside of Ibrox for this; we have to do it ourselves. And we will.

 

Last year I said that I was proud to be Chairman of Rangers. I will repeat that again today, because I genuinely believe it is a privilege to be in this position."

 

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12192436.html

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Ten searching questions Rangers shareholders will demand answers to at crisis club's agm.

 

AROUND 1500 shareholders are expected at Ibrox as chairman David Somers and directors Derek Llambias and James Easdale face fan fury for leading their club to the brink.

 

A PECULIAR nativity will take place on Edmiston Drive this morning when three men are slated for their lack of wisdom and accused of securing their gifts against the title deeds of the stable.

 

To add to the drama, one of the major figures was last night told there is no room at the inn amid concern Ally McCoist would use the occasion to voice fears on the future of Rangers.

 

Around 1500 shareholders are expected at Ibrox as chairman David Somers and directors Derek Llambias and James Easdale face fan fury for leading their club to the brink.

 

The birth of hope following the plunge into administration in February 2012 has long since given way to a belief among the Light Blues legions their club is suffering a slow, lingering death at the hands of rapacious corporate vandals.

 

They have lost one of their most trusted voices after McCoist posted intention 10 days ago to see out his 12-month notice.

 

It was never going to be allowed to go that far but chief executive Llambias took the decision to put him on gardening leave yesterday to avoid the potential for embarrassment at a meeting in which the board will come under pressure enough from people with Rangers at their heart.

 

Fans will demand answers to searching questions that prove their club is being led by individuals capable of restoring it to on-field success and financial stability but few are expecting to walk away at lunchtime in festive fettle.

 

Record Sport has compiled a list of questions Rangers fans will surely fire to the board – and the Supporters Trust have already written to nomad WH Ireland demanding to be heard.

 

1. How does the board plan to increase turnover and reduce costs to enable Rangers to operate in future without the need for emergency loans?

 

2. Can the board explain fully the terms of its merchandise agreement with Sports Direct, in particular the latest financial figures that appear to show Rangers receiving just 75 pence from every £10 spent?

 

3. What, if anything, did Rangers provide to Mike Ashley Holdings (MASH) for waiving their rights to naming the stadium?

 

4. What is the Rangers defence to the SFA allegation of Ashley’s dual interest, especially if he increases his shareholding?

 

5. What do the Rangers board understand to be MASH’s long-term vision for the club?

 

6. If the board knew £8million was needed to see out the season, why did they not engage further with Dave King over his proposed investment?

 

7. Does the board envisage any scenario in the next 12 months in which its assets – Ibrox, Murray Park, Albion Car Park and Edmiston House – are sold to pay off debts?

 

8. How does the board plan to re-establish trust with the fan base, particularly those who have already disengaged?

 

9. There are 12 players out of contract in the summer. What are the plans for player recruitment and retention from January?

 

10. When will the club seek to replace McCoist and what will be the remit of the new manager?

 

The board of Rangers International plc will oversee an agm that promises to be angry and confrontational after another year of dire financial performance.

 

Rangers will seek permission from shareholders to launch a fresh share issue – their second in six months – to keep the club operational after they admitted they need another £8m by January to see them through until the end of the season.

 

Staff salaries will drop into bank accounts this week but the club’s funding beyond that remains a mystery, although it is reported Ashley is ready to underwrite the next share issue.

 

It comes on top of a £3m loan recently secured from the Sports Direct tycoon, whose increasing involvement at the club is now subject of a probe by the SFA.

 

Hampden powerbrokers will surely become even more concerned if he increases his stake beyond its current nine per cent while still retaining a controlling interest in Newcastle United.

 

Rangers announced an operating loss of £8.3m for the 12 months to June 30 and their share price has halved in the last year, from 34p to 17p. Their previous shares issue, in August, secured only a 75 per cent uptake as little more than £3m was raised from a £4m target, with much of the funds used to repay loans.

 

Since James Easdale was appointed director in July 2013 the club have seen 13 other board members come and go, reflecting the state of almost permanent chaos in which the club has been operating since Charles Green’s consortium took control.

 

Thousands of fans have grown weary of the permanent instability surrounding the club and season-ticket sales have slumped from a high of 38,000 in the Third Division to just 23,000 for the current campaign.

 

The quality of performances on a pitch that was once graced by Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup and Richard Gough has also been criticised, with the team already nine points behind Hearts.

 

McCoist will no longer address the fans from the stage – moved this year from the main stand to the visitors’ corner of the ground – and Sandy Easdale will also be a brooding presence as chairman of the football board.

 

Somers chaired the meeting last season and was unconvincing, his bumbling-uncle-from-the-home-counties act failing to impress supporters, who accused him later of patronising behaviour and not being on top of his brief.

 

It still remains to be seen if he puts the meeting in the hands of Llambias, who has convinced those who have met him as a streetwise operator who already knows more about his club than most who have gone before.

 

Chris Graham of the Rangers Supporters Trust said: “If Somers chairs again we would prefer he cuts to the question-and-answer session a quickly as possible.

 

“We don’t want him waffling on for half an hour, as he did last year, not least because most of us don’t believe the script he’s reading from anyway. We’re disappointed we’ve heard nothing from the nomad.

 

“That’s ridiculous. We’ll seek them out before the agm starts to seek assurance proper time will be given to answering all questions and relevant follow-ups.

 

“I expect it will be stormy. There’s a lot of ill-feeling towards the board but their reception at the agm will be dictated by their answers to questions posed.

 

“If fans feel they are being fed a lot of nonsense it might be difficult for emotions to be kept in check but we must ensure we conduct ourselves appropriately.”

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/f...olders-4851787

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Ask him to justify his comments on sports direct against historical figures pre-admin and how this deal is therefore beneficial? Why should we trust a man who has stripped the club of vital revenue and turned it into losses in the form of loans? Ask him how can fans trust a man who when given an inch by CG acted with complete contempt for the club signing what must be the worst contract the club or any football club for that matter has ever entered into its history? Does he really think the fans will trust anyone who stands there and thanks Ashley for his input when he has so obviously stripped us to the bone? If Ashley had paid for his contract there would be no need for loans.

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most of they questions I could tell you their answers right now, most have already been covered by their spin machine with full deflection in place. They need to be far more pointed than that.

 

1. How does the board plan to increase turnover and reduce costs to enable Rangers to operate in future without the need for emergency loans?

With cost cutting already underway mentioned in the media and closer relations with fans through aspects like the fans board. Share issue if resolution is passed. Hope cost cutting indicates to present shareholders and London blah blah blah

 

2. Can the board explain fully the terms of its merchandise agreement with Sports Direct, in particular the latest financial figures that appear to show Rangers receiving just 75 pence from every £10 spent?

will hide behind aim and then wax lyrical about how good it is with future mystery payments due

 

3. What, if anything, did Rangers provide to Mike Ashley Holdings (MASH) for waiving their rights to naming the stadium?

nothing, was done from the goodness of his heart

 

4. What is the Rangers defence to the SFA allegation of Ashley’s dual interest, especially if he increases his shareholding?

will fight sabre rattling only holds 10% at this point. Why would for the good of the game the sfa block it.....

 

5. What do the Rangers board understand to be MASH’s long-term vision for the club?

same as boards, to continue our great partnership which benefits both parties blah blah blah

 

6. If the board knew £8million was needed to see out the season, why did they not engage further with Dave King over his proposed investment?

no proof of cash or names behind bid with recent media coverage from south africa proving them right......

 

7. Does the board envisage any scenario in the next 12 months in which its assets – Ibrox, Murray Park, Albion Car Park and Edmiston House – are sold to pay off debts?

not in plans at this point as stated before.

 

8. How does the board plan to re-establish trust with the fan base, particularly those who have already disengaged?

fans board, transparency............

 

9. There are 12 players out of contract in the summer. What are the plans for player recruitment and retention from January?

youth and contracts will be assessed on an on going basis after the agm and future fund raising will give clearer indications.

 

10. When will the club seek to replace McCoist and what will be the remit of the new manager?

end of season happy with mcdowall at this point he knows the club well and is due his shot, have faith blah blah blah. Will enter a rigorous interview process to find best candidate

Edited by trublusince1982
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