NOW that the January transfer window has closed and being mindful of the current Board’s promise of transparency I would like to give supporters an update as we move into the latter third of our Championship campaign.
The Club invested substantially pre-season in new player and management contracts. This was necessary to provide a team that could play attractive football while competing in the Championship with the aim of securing promotion to the Premiership next season. The players and management will continue to pursue these objectives for the balance of the season.
The Board also promised the manager he would have access to funds in the January transfer window if he felt players were available to bring in early and improve the overall squad in advance of next season. The manager has taken advantage of this opportunity and will also now commence the identification of players to further improve the squad during the close season.
Additionally, there has been substantial investment in Auchenhowie. This has resulted in the broken operation that we inherited last year now being fully-functional again. This entailed a complete revamp of the personnel, technology and infrastructure and further investment is planned.
There has also been necessary investment into the infrastructure and facilities at Ibrox. The stadium and its surrounds were severely neglected by prior Boards that were intent on massive cost-cutting measures. Further significant investment is required at Ibrox and the board is presently considering a programme of work to ensure that it is returned to its status as one of the best and most iconic stadiums in Britain. Given the scale of what is required this will take some time to complete.
A further unanticipated investment was made to pay off the Sports Direct loan and to recover all security held by Sports Direct. That has now been completed and the Club has formally given notice to end the relationship with Sports Direct while still reserving our right to proceed with challenges to the existing suite of contracts and side agreements in a court of law.
For the first time a Board of this Club has stood up to the threats of Sports Direct and has achieved resounding success in court proceedings including the substantial recovery of legal costs. Sports Direct’s motives were severely exposed when a High Court judge ruled that Sports Direct abused court processes in its attempt to bully the Club and me. We will continue to put Rangers first and ensure that we get redress and compensation for the poor commercial and business practices that the Club has been forced to endure.
Work is also ongoing to merge the existing supporters groups. The new organisation that emerges will provide Rangers fans with a way to get even closer to the Club and to increase the supporter shareholding position.
Overall, the Club is in a substantially better position – on and off the pitch – than it has been for some time. The Board continues to ensure that the Club is run within the balance required to secure success on the pitch while simultaneously funding the cash shortfall that is required until we have a sustainable business model.
The Club has not secured fair value for much of its expenditure over the last few years. Under the present Board that is no longer the case.