Prior to this morning’s AGM, which got underway a few minutes ago, Rangers International chairman David Somers issued a statement to the stock market, which he intended to reading at the meeting. It contains powerful insight into reality at the club:
“Graham Wallace (former chief exec) wrote a review [in which]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.”
No. Kiddiin’. Sherlock.
That £20-30m estimate was conservative, more would actually be needed. The funding requirement remains but it has grown as a result of newly-established commercial deals the club accepted to agree short-term funding in recent months. Charles Green found fools in the City but that ship has sailed, it is staggering that the board believed going back to the same well would have been effective.
The penny has dropped, the most important aspect of Somers’ statement is:
“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.”
Bang, there’s your dinner! Newco are rubbish and they plan to downsize.
They can’t do much about property, security or business services costs, as Somers said, the “material part of costs… relate to player costs”, and with a player budget heading closer to Alloa Athletic than Athletic Bilbao, income potential will nosedive.
Fixed costs to operate a football club, which occasionally hosts 50,000 spectators at Ibrox, run to around £17m p.a. Then they have to employ players, coaches and other football staff.
As I’ve been saying for years now, football at Ibrox is not economically viable. They can survive as long as there are assets to sell-off, but the sharks will soon finish off the carcase. More power to Mike Ashley’s elbow.
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