There is nothing more guaranteed in life than setting off the social media hordes with a press release from Rangers that has a £ sign in it. On Friday night Rangers effectively did exactly that and what I will attempt to do is make whatever sense of it I can.
With that said, I am just a supporter like anyone else that goes along on a match day to cheer his team. I am not a qualified accountant! But I will do my very best to look at what it all means and clarify any scaremongering that has been going on.
First of all the Accounts posted an overall loss of £11.3m (2018 £14.3m)
Loss dropped by £3m from season before.
That means that the deficit was covered by the board of directors once again. They have already converted £35m of loans to shares and highlights the big commitment they continue to make
That loss is damaging but falls entirely in with what Dave King projected when he took over.
Of that loss around £5m was spent on Ibrox and the training centre. This obviously a legacy issue from previous years of neglect.
Also included are £3.6m of legal fees in our fight to Mike Ashley. It is key that a resolution is found sooner rather than later but the board remain resolute in their fight against him and his bullying tactics.
£1.6m was also used to pay off bad investment in players, a trend that must not continue.
It is possible then that with European income last term and with the outlay of a new management team, which included 15 new players, Rangers would have been close to breaking even if those issues weren’t here.
It should also be pointed out there is no threat to our FFFP status as cost of maintenance and legal costs are not counted towards that.
Turnover is up by over £20m to £53.2m (2018 £32.6m)
Highlights how vital European football is and how much the supporters continued commitment is to the club. This turnover is also beginning to turn back to the usual numbers of previous Rangers team competing on various top levels.
Further qualification past Christmas this season could bring in an extra £3-4m which is vitally important.
Operating Costs raised to over £58m, £20m increase
The reasons for this is obviously last summer’s recruitment and the costs of extra European games, trips etc.
That’s a balancing act because we had to improve and we have to increase our outgoings to be successful. Without the three major outgoings above it is fair to say we would be in a much healthier position.
Directors loans conversion of £16.6m and a further £17.2m
This underlines the commitment of the board. Investors continue to invest and convert to shares meaning NO external debt which is a huge benefit
To me the accounts are not a huge surprise. The accounts will draw negative headlines because of the losses but this is a calculated move by the board clearly in an attempt to drag the club back to the standards we strive too.
Now it’s clear we shouldn’t be losing £11m a year but millions going to redevelopment make a huge dent in that. The situation that does hurt is clearly the £3.6m outgoings to our fight with Mike Ashley. That is a fight we must see a solution too because that outgoing to court costs etc must stop. Ross Wilsons appointment is to clearly ensure we maximise sales and begin to generate money back into the club, instead of it costing £1.6m letting players go.
From what I can see the turnover to wage ratio seems good and under control. The further funding this season is around £10m, £5m will come in November again through the boardroom and has already been assured by the board. Further monies depend on January income and if we qualify for Europe after Christmas which is hugely important financially.
Another small but worthwhile point, if I’ve understood it properly, is our bank is now with Barclays instead of Metro London. This is a significant step in our continued recovery is a recognised bank now dealing directly with us. We continue to have a facility with close brothers which is available if and when we need. Indeed we have used this and repaid it back previously. Despite claims of huge loans about to be called in and pending financial meltdown with them, this is simply not true
It’s natural to worry about the losses and they are high, the boardroom can’t realistically be expected to continue to plug that gap forever. However this is a strategy they have chosen to follow to accelerate our return to the top. The board don’t take a penny out of our club and most likely won’t see any of it back.
Rangers have no external debt to anyone, we own all our assets and have rich benefactors who back the club. We are no different to any other club where we have a banking facility, like close brothers, except with us we can’t be allowed to do this without a pending meltdown. Most clubs in Scotland are similar and it isn’t unusual.
We have strong assets in our first team and some of which will generate huge sums if we decide to cash in. The buy low sell high model, must be our primary goal to become self sustaining
Overall the results are a mixed bag. We are lucky we have the board who continue to push and strive for that return to the top we all aim for. Whilst they are there and absorbing our losses there is no danger. Parks retail group just posted a £13m profit this year, one of Dave Kings companies last year gave a dividend of £11m. These guys aren’t stupid or negligent. We should be asking questions and getting assurances at the AGM about long term viability, we should always be vigilant on that.
We have to hope these legacy costs disappear and things begin to balance out financially. Whilst this isn’t an in depth look at the balance sheets I hope I have covered the main points, I understand there will be better outlets out there who are more in depth and I fully appreciate that, none of them however come with a donate button and they should be avoided!
Back to matters on the pitch and Wednesday’s outstanding demolition of Ross County was followed up by a professional dispatching of Hearts in the League cup Semi Final at Hampden. With an apparent Hampden ‘Hoodoo’ hanging over us, there was some trepidation amongst the support but in the end the ninety minutes was more than comfortable.
Outstanding individual performances from Steven Davis and Ryan Jack bring a dominance our midfield haven’t seen since the days of Kevin Thomson and Barry Ferguson. Alfredo Morelos is as good a striker I have seen since a young starstruck bear watched his hero, a certain Mr Ally McCoist. He has everything and now is showing the right temperament in the face of adversity on the pitch. James Tavernier has looked more assured at right back in last two games whilst Borna is now a regular performer on the left.
The real bonus from yesterday was the return to form of Ryan Kent. His sublime assist was exactly what we needed to see but it was other moments that brought me huge excitement. Whenever Kent got the ball he drew the opposition in and it reminded me just what an asset we have, teams are genuinely scared of his talent. It was a brilliant moment to hear the crowd chant ‘Kent will tear you apart again’, on that flashes of form he most certainly will.
The ultimate test for our group will come when they appear at Hampden next month. Becoming winners and bringing silverware home is now the natural step for this group. We are more equipped now and our ability to break teams down has been impressive.
Porto and Livingston will provide different but difficult tests before the international break. If we come through them then we will be in good shape for the huge challenge both domestically and in Europe as 2019 comes to an end.
Roll on the challenges the next six to eight weeks will bring, I’m backing us to come out of it all strongly.
I believe in this squad
I believe in our management
I believe our time is coming
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise