Ibrox losses sharply lower
King seeks investors as Rangers cut losses
The operating loss fell to £500,000 from £4.6m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Revenue increased by £1.9m to £11m, largely thanks to ticketing and hospitality.
Operating expenses decreased by £2.2m to £11.4, following a reduction in staff and legal costs that had been incurred by the previous regime.
The club described the six months figures to the end of December as “encouraging” and marking the start of the recovery.
Mr King, writing on the club’s website, said: “After years of trauma we now have clearly defined goals with everything possible being done to ensure that there is no repeat of the disasters of recent years.
“It gives me and my fellow board members a sense of pride that the focus has returned to football and not the off-field issues that dominated the recent past.
“We have, for the first time in a number of years, a solid, stable board and we are more financially secure following years of reckless decisions and spending. The pursuit of personal interest and greed is now a thing of the past.
“There is a renewed brightness and energy throughout Rangers with a revitalised staff that had been worn down by years of corporate mismanagement and false promises.
“It is also well documented that, after replacing the board last March, we inherited a number of legacy issues. All of these have been addressed. Some were capable of being resolved immediately but others require longer-term remedies.
“In particular, the arrangements with Sports Direct remain problematic. The club and I were compelled to deal with a number of legal attacks from Sports Direct in its attempt to reassert the dominant relationship that it enjoyed prior to regime change. The new board and I stood up to this corporate and personal bullying and achieved resounding success in the court applications, including substantial cost orders in our favour. I have already expressed my personal views on the relationship with Sports Direct and its so-called management of the club’s retail activities. There is no need to repeat them.
“It is unfortunate that it required the repayment of the expensive so-called “interest-free” loan before we were able to give notice on the agreement with Sports Direct or to take legal action to protect the club’s interests and seek restitution. This bizarre state of affairs was caused by poorly-negotiated agreements prior to regime change during which personal interest was put ahead of those of the club. Additionally, some of the individuals negotiating on behalf of Rangers had a clear conflict of interest. A joint venture should be based on trust and that is clearly absent on both sides.
“We have now had sufficient time to analyse the voluminous documentation supporting the establishment of the numerous agreements and side agreements with Sports Direct. Discussions have commenced with our legal advisors to review our findings and to devise the most effective legal strategy. This will be presented to the board for approval at the end of this month.
“It remains possible that the seemingly inevitable lengthy and costly litigation can be avoided. There is a far better alternative if Sports Direct recognises that the present arrangements are not working for either party and agrees to renegotiate the present arrangements to create the win-win situation that should have been reflected in the original agreements if Rangers had an effective negotiating team at that time.
“It would be an immediate boost for Rangers if the board can be put into a position to endorse a revised deal prior to the launch of new kit for the coming season. It would be great to see our supporters once again being able to wear kit at games while being certain that their purchases will benefit the club and the team.
“It is also encouraging to know that a working group is currently assessing the best way in which to bring all our fans closer together. It will continue to be important to have unity through a truly independent fan group that represents and speaks for Rangers fans wherever they may be found. This would be a powerful body that should connect with the board and influential agencies throughout Scotland.”
Mr King said the club continues to require funding to meet its ongoing cash shortfall and notes that this has largely been provided by himself and the “Three Bears”.
It amounts to interest-free funds of £9.25m provided by Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, together with a group of Hong King based investors.
“I will continue to look for like-minded investors who can share the financial burden. The recent history of Rangers has shown that it is better to have more investors than few. Hopefully, in time, we will see the broad-based supporters group having an increased stake in the club,” he said.