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Player costs add to expenses

Rangers boosted by return to top flight

IbroxRangers have reported a half year operating profit of £300,000 but also a rise in costs as they marked a return to the top flight.

The unaudited accounts for Rangers International Football Club for the six months to the end of December show operating expenses have increased by £4.1million, with revenue up by £5.3m.

The Ibrox club pinpointed higher match attendances, better sponsorship deals and promotion to the Premiership as key factors in the revenue lift, which totalled £16.3m

The rise in expenses has been put down to a ‘substantial increase’ in bolstering the squad following promotion under former manager Mark Warburton, a rise in match day expenses and an increase in overheads as the board ‘continues to re-establish best practices throughout the club.’

New boss Pedro Caixinha met chairman Dave King for the first time last night and has been assured that King and his fellow-investors will continue to fund Rangers going forward.

However, it is anticipated that with the team doing well on the pitch, no further cash will be required in the second half of the financial year.

A club statement read: “The net impact of these factors is that the operating result improved, from a loss of £0.5m in the comparative period, to a profit of £0.3m.

“The club is well on its way to achieving a sustainable business model while continuing to invest in infrastructure and the player squad.

“Reliance is still placed on shareholders to fund the shortfall that is required during the current rebuilding phase.

“Whilst additional funds are available if required by the club, no further funding from investors is anticipated in the balance of this financial year to June 2017 due to the team’s football performance and progression to the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.”

The club also revealed its ongoing dispute with Sports Direct is still impacting on trading performance.

Sports brand tycoon Mike Ashley is involved in a court battle concerning a merchandise deal which is said to see Rangers receive 7p of every £1 spent.

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