sport

Ibrox chairman admits concern

Rangers chairman David Somers has warned 'material uncertainty over season ticket money' could cast doubt over the club's ability to continue as a going concern.

In their latest figures, Rangers announced its cash reserves had fallen 17.5m to 3.5m for the year ending December 31, 2013, despite bringing in 22m in their 'initial public offering' 12 months earler.

The club reported a pre-tax loss of 3.5m for the six months to the year end, down from 7.2m for the seven months to December 31, 2012.

Revenue was up by 38 per cent to 13.2m from 9.5m, operating expenses remained almost identical at 16.8m from 16.6m while staff costs were down 800,000 to 7.5m with 500,000 of that spent on severance payments.

Former Rangers director Dave King has recently called on fans to withhold season-ticket money, claiming they should put it in a trust to be handed over on a game-by-game basis rather a lump sum to the club.

The South Africa-based businessman's plan has also received the backing of the 'Union of Fans', a body which incorporates the main supporters groups at Ibrox.

And it is this uncertainty which Somers admits casts a shadow over the immediate future of the League One champions.

In a statement he said: "This possibility results in the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast doubt about Rangers' ability to continue as a going concern and therefore that the company may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.

"Nevertheless, after making the appropriate enquiries and considering the uncertainties referred to above, the directors have concluded that there is a

reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future.

"Accordingly, the directors continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the interim results. Since the founding of the Club in 1872, supporters have, year after year, provided the working capital of the club through ticket sales.

"Also providing capital were private individuals who subscribed for shares throughout the life of the club. This model broke down when Rangers entered administration. The club could only continue to survive and play football with the help of Rangers supporters and those who subscribed for shares at the IPO in December 2012.

"Many of those shareholders are fans and lifelong supporters. However, the bulk of the funds came from institutional investors. Both groups are stakeholders in the Company and must work together to help rebuild Rangers and ensure it has a successful, stable and sustainable future."

Chief executive officer Graham Wallace said: "I am encouraged with the improved trading performance for the period under review which shows growth over the prior year.

"However, we continue to deal with the impact of the previous short-term focus on managing the business, in particular the management of cash and resulting cash outflows since the IPO.

"We have recently addressed the short-term working capital requirements of the Club and will continue to address the longer term financing needs as part of the wider review of the business.

"There remain many legacy issues that require resolution and many challenges ahead, however I am pleased to report that we are making good progress in repositioning the club and business to be capable once again of challenging at the top levels of domestic and European competition.

"With the continued support from Rangers shareholders and supporters together with a strong sustainable business plan, we are putting in place the foundations for a period of long term success and financial stability."