By Paul Nicholson
November 2 – Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers, clawing their way back into Scottish Premier League contention and financial stability, have announced a more than doubling of their losses for the year ended June 2018 to £14.3 million.
Nevertheless, club chairman Dave King (pictured) said the year was “on balance a positive one”.
“Figures can be reviewed in various ways but the underlying and strong message is that Rangers, as a football club and business, continues to move forward. It will always be a challenge to meet the demands and expectations of a wonderful support and that is why we continue to invest massively in our infrastructure, team and staff,” he said.
“It was inevitable, given our dire starting position that vast amounts of money would have to be spent on rebuilding our facilities and the various departments within them. These costs are reflected in the figures but it is important to highlight that the last financial year saw us normalise our financial affairs to the extent we no longer face questions about our financial strength when dealing with suppliers, other clubs and financial institutions.
“This is an extremely positive change over such a short period.”
Rangers saw turnover increase £32.6 million (2017 – £29.2 million), while operating expenses rose to £38.9 million (2017 – £31.3 million).
King blamed the need to “reassess our team management structure” with the departure of Portuguese manager Pedro Caixinha and the need to fund a regenerated team under Steven Gerrard as responsible for the cash spend, alongside improvements to the club’s Ibrox Stadium.
There were positives for the club, not least the rise in average SPFL home attendance 49,173 (2017 – 48,893) Rangers have an impressive number of season ticket holders at 44,658 (2017 – 43,253).
Rangers non-ticket revenues (commercial, sponsorship, broadcasting) increased by 27% over the previous year, marking the club’s re-finding of its feet in the SPFL after the four-year journey back having had to start again in the bottom professional tier after bankruptcy.
Commercial deals and confidence in the club is starting to flow again with the exit of former English shareholder Mike Ashley. Rangers announced Hummel as their new technical kit sponsor for 2018/19.
But the club will always be compared with cross-town rivals Celtic, and the financial difference is still significant. Last season’s Scottish Double Treble winners announced record revenue of £101.6 million, an £11 million improvement on the previous year and a doubling of profit to £17.3 million before tax.
This will always be the benchmark Rangers will be judged against and they are still playing catch-up with a long way to go.
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