We’re seeing a few reports online talking about Rangers’ investment and loan situations – 4lads especially vocal about discussing the implications of it, but in plain English, exactly where are Rangers financially?
The harsh reality is barely a penny has come in since 2015 and the Dave King ‘takeover’ that qualifies as ‘investment’ – it’s pretty much all loans, and the only income that doesn’t have liabilities on it is the cash fans pump in year on year.
Everything else, give or take, has been loans – no one is willing to invest big cash into Rangers unless they believe they’re getting a return on the investment, and that kind of share value growth just isn’t the case with the club these days.
Yes, there’s share issues, of course there is – Ibrox Noise is a shareholder as well. And this is indeed invested cash, not a loan – but that has a huge limit and is very much a finite source of cash.
So instead you have a few rich individuals in suits like Bennett, like Wolhardt who funnel in some big money but on a loan basis, an ‘overdraft’ facility it’s been likened to, and that is their cash for Rangers to use but which we remain indebted to them for.
Then you have this ‘new’ shareholder, Stewart Gibson, who put £5M in in 2020 then another £1M this year, and who remains one of the few ‘fans’ to have the kind of cash that can actually be impactful. That said, £6M, while not pennies, is ultimately a wealthy Rangers fan’s pet project, and his views on the club have been extremely divisive as well. He’s the third-largest shareholder.
And this is, we guess, the end game – while Gibson remains an aberration of a rich fan who actually puts cash in, the actual disposable cash his investment generates is not significant.
We normally rake in about £80M in a financial year, and spend around the same amount too. That’s relatively crude but it works out in that region over the picture. What difference does £6M make to that?
Not a lot, it just gives a man a heck of a number of shares and a voice. Which we are absolutely not deriding – the man has put his money in and that’s more than any other single Rangers fan.
But where does it all leave us? It leaves us without any real funding avenue – loans, loans and more ‘overdrafts’.
There doesn’t seem to be a serious vat of cash anywhere, unless Gibson sticks his hand deeper in his pocket.
We saw the nonsense under Kyle Fox, who was nothing more than an opportunist working to strip us dry. She didn’t show the money because she didn’t have any.
Meaning we’re left without any real disposable funding – no real avenue of revenue other than mandatory streams which let the club break even.
We are safe, we are not going anywhere, but catching up with Celtic requires investment we’re not getting, and despite mega sales from Steven Gerrard’s exit forward, Rangers’ finances don’t look much rosier. The accounts are better, but it’s ‘better’, not great.
And Rangers fans don’t exactly have a rosy future financially to get excited about numbers wise either, because while Rangers are safe under the hood, it’s not based on big strong investment and rich punters. It’s based on patchwork solutions with contracts and agreements on returns.
It’s also likely to be the case for a long time yet, and when even Dave King is doing nothing but trying to get his money back as well, you can tell, financially, it’s not Newcastle by a long way.
But then is that so bad?