RANGERS today published its annual accounts for the period ended 30 June.
- The Club was returned to operational and financial stability.
- Rangers won the Scottish League Division 3 title by 24 points.
- The Club celebrated its 140th year in existence.
- The company was floated successfully on the AIM Market, raising £22 million for the Club.
Craig Mather, the Club’s chief executive, said: “In presenting my first annual report as Chief Executive, I am delighted to state that substantial progress is being made in rebuilding Rangers.
“The Club is in a very different place to where we were in May 2012. Then, the situation was traumatic and the future uncertain. Now, we enjoy financial stability and have a solid platform from where we can focus all our efforts on achieving success as one of football’s great clubs.
“In the last year, key milestones have been passed successfully. The first team squad has strengthened considerably. The Club enjoys a healthy bank balance. The cost base has been reduced significantly. Business performance is improving and, most importantly, the Club continues to benefit enormously from the unwavering commitment of our fans. Without this support, the re-establishment of Rangers could not happen.
“As expected, we are reporting significant operating losses, although a retained profit. This is consistent with the Club’s five-year business plan. At no stage was it anticipated nor forecast that the business of the football club could return an operating profit in the first year since acquisition. The full recovery of Rangers will take time and I am delighted to report that the Club is firmly on track to achieve this objective.
“Revenues totalled £19.1 million and while there was significant progress made in terms of First Team wages/Turnover ratio, now at one of the lowest for leading clubs at 43%. Operating losses totalled £14 million. First Team players wages were reduced to £7.8 million and more than £4.2 million of expenditure is non-recurring. Profit on ordinary activities before taxation totalled £1.3 million leaving a profit for the period of £1.2 million.
“Lower season ticket prices reflecting the league status meant a drop of nearly 33% in season ticket revenues. Media revenues fell and there were financial consequences of the collapse of JJB Sports. There were also substantial payments of £2.4 million made to clear football debts to other Clubs incurred pre-administration which the management of the Club was committed to addressing, although were not strictly liable to do so.
“We have invested £1.8m in stadium wifi and LED/Jumbo screens to improve fan experience. This should also help generate additional revenue streams and it is the intention to make profitable use of Edmiston House, which was brought back into the Club’s ownership along with the Albion Car Park for £2.5 million.
“Following the acquisition of the Club in June last year and the securing of our position within the Scottish league structure, Rangers was floated successfully on the Alternative Investment Market in December of last year, raising finance in the order of £22m.
“The first stage of the Club’s recovery process was completed with the team winning the Scottish Football League Division 3 by 24 points. This was achieved despite being severely curtailed in preparation for the season due to uncertainty surrounding the Club’s league status and an embargo on player registration.
“With nine new players now on board, who should help make the matchday experience more memorable and entertaining, the Club has made a very encouraging start to this season and is leading the new SPFL League One.
“The rebuilding process is also continuing apace off the pitch and is wholly consistent with the five-year business plan that was set out to investors ahead of the Initial Public Offering in December. In that plan we forecast that in year one the Club would endure challenging trading conditions given its new league status in Division 3. The commercial impact of being in that division was substantial with revenues from season tickets and hospitality reduced by approximately one third. There was also a reduction in sponsorship values.
“Financial discipline has been essential and we will continue to keep a firm grip on expenditure. As we strive to progress through the leagues, revenues can be expected to rise and there will be greater opportunity to improve financial performance further.
“Given the circumstances of Rangers in recent years, there has continued to be widespread comment and speculation about the financial position of the Club, much of it ill-informed. It has been imperative for us to retain focus. The Group has a very healthy bank balance and very little debt.
“There is only £1.6 million of finance leases being repaid and the Club has no loans, overdrafts or bank borrowings.
“The Club’s largest revenue stream is season tickets and the commitment demonstrated by supporters last season and again this season has been gratifying. The Club’s business is performing well and there is good cause for optimism.
“We have in place significant sponsorship agreements with PUMA, Blackthorn, SportsDirect.com, Coca-Cola, and Ladbrokes among others. Indeed, our sponsorship portfolio contains some of the biggest global brands and we are justified in taking pride in these relationships. It is important to note that we have not stopped innovating and developing with new business and technological initiatives. The Club is confident that these investments will generate essential revenue growth in the future.
“Business is getting stronger, people and companies do wish to engage with Rangers again and this Club is gearing up to return to its rightful place in Scottish football. This is made possible because of this Club’s fans – men, women and families who have shown outstanding commitment to Rangers.
“I am confident that Rangers can deliver enduring success for them. They deserve nothing less.
“The players, the management and the Club staff have all worked tirelessly in order to achieve the progress made so far and remain dedicated to meeting the challenges that lie ahead. The Club’s legends, such as Walter Smith and Sandy Jardine, have also played their parts in supporting these efforts. Rangers are in a position to move forward with growing confidence and within the Club there is a real determination to ensure the future is secure, sustainable and successful.”