RANGERS last night announced they had raised more than £22 million from their listing on the stock exchange.
Chief executive Charles Green previously stated he had secured £17m in pledges from institutional investors and had set aside £10m for fans to buy a stake.
A statement read: “A total of £22.2m has been raised from professional and institutional investors and supporters which will be used to take the club forward, strengthen the squad when appropriate and improve facilities.”
Green, whose company bought the assets and business of Rangers for £5.5m when the club was consigned to liquidation in June, hailed supporters for their contribution despite falling short of the revised target. In a statement, Green said: “This is an exciting time for everyone associated with this 140-year-old institution, but we are just at the start of the journey. We are rebuilding and Rangers will rise again and we will do so with the help of our fans and the institutional investors who are on board.
“This process has generated over £22m, which has exceeded the figure of £20m that we set out to raise when we announced our intention to float the company on 11 October 2012.
“I would like to thank our supporters who stepped up to the plate when asked to buy season tickets earlier in the season and have done so again at a time of year when money is extremely tight.”
The club said that trading in the shares would commence at 8am this morning, on the AIM market in the London Stock Exchange.
The listed company is called “Rangers International Football Club plc” and will act as the holding company for the club.
Green was listed as the club’s main shareholder in the share prospectus with a stake of almost 15 per cent, which will now be diluted. He had not planned to add to his shares.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was the third largest shareholder with nine per cent before the issue of extra shares, behind a consortium called “Blue Pitch Holdings”.
Manager Ally McCoist had almost a three per cent stake before the issue and said he planned to buy more, although his shareholding will be diluted.
Meanwhile, a 3-0 win over Annan Athletic at Ibrox last night put Rangers six points clear at the top of the Third
Division. David Templeton put the home side ahead, but Scott Chaplain missed a penalty for Annan after a foul in the area which saw Lee Wallace sent off. Andy Little and Templeton again then put the game beyond doubt for ten-man Rangers.
On the red card, McCoist said: “My initial reaction was that it was soft. I’ll definitely watch it again and reassess and, if I’m wrong, I’ll stand corrected but I didn’t think it was a foul, let alone a goalscoring opportunity.
“I’ve only seen it in the same time as the referee and he’s made his decision with, I’m hearing, the help of the linesman. I’ve made mistakes before with my first viewing of things.
“Going down to 10 men wasn’t ideal but I still felt we would create chances and we did that.
“I’m delighted that we’ve got seven wins in a row and we can all definitely see a little more consistency in the performances but there are still a lot of things we can do better.”