RANGERS chief executive Charles Green has promised manager Ally McCoist money for new players after claiming the club’s share issue can act as “the springboard for the rebirth” of the club.
Rangers announced on Tuesday night that more than £22 million – including in excess of £5 million from fans – had been raised from their listing on the Stock Exchange, and dealings on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) began yesterday morning.
A successful flotation will be good news for McCoist, who is hoping for some cash to spend on his squad.
A signings embargo means Rangers are unable to register free agents until 1 September, and will have to wait until the following January to buy new players, but Green has promised a healthy transfer kitty when the restrictions are lifted.
Green said: “In the presentation we did when we were selling the shares, and also in the prospectus, we said that, of the £22million, £10 million is put to one side for Ally.
“Of course, we can’t buy players at the moment, we can’t do that until January 2014.
“But, between now and then, we’ll also have another season’s worth of season ticket sales so the cash position will increase.
“We’re not saying it’s £10 million and only £10 million. If Rangers fans, as we expect, buy their season tickets next year, there is perhaps another £20 million there and that is a fantastic position for the manager, the club and its fans to be in.
“When we are allowed to go into the market, this club will take the right players and take the right action.”
He added: “This is definitely the springboard for the rebirth of Rangers.
“Never in Rangers’ history did it sit there with no debt, no borrowings, with cash in the bank.
“The enterprise value of Rangers is still very, very low and that’s why, I believe, institutions have invested in it.
“Having that list of institutions is a real endorsement that, not just people who are passionate about Rangers, but the hard-nosed, financial investment manager in London has looked at it and he’s put his cash there.
“For me, that’s another endorsement that what we’re doing is the right thing.”
McCoist had almost a three per cent stake in Rangers before the issue and said he planned to buy more shares, while former chairman Alastair Johnston and ex-player Kris Boyd are also reported to be among the investors.
According to Green, whose company bought the assets and business of Rangers for £5.5million when the club was consigned to liquidation in June, an element of trust has been restored following a turbulent period.
Green said: “If you look at where we came from, some months ago, I was being described as a snake-oil salesman, to the position now, where current and previous managers and previous directors have put their hands in their pockets and bought shares – that’s given me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.
“But, significantly, the fans have done it and, for fans, it’s more of a leap of faith.
“People like Walter Smith and [fellow board member] Ian Hart have had the benefit of sitting down and understanding word for word what my vision is for the club over the next years and they’ve endorsed it and they’ve bought shares themselves. For the fans who have just taken me on trust, it’s a bigger leap of faith and that won’t be let down.”
Green initially set aside£10 million for fans to buy a stake and believes they would have raised more than £5 million had it not been for the share issue taking place during the festive period.
He said: “I’ve got no doubt whatsoever that if we deferred or delayed into the new year, we would have raised more.
“However, the difficulties in doing that would be, we would be in a new accounting period, we wouldn’t have been able to do it until well after March. If, by then, we had moved into a new league because we got promotion, the club would have been valued at a higher price and the supporters would have had to have paid more for the shares. I don’t think that’s fair.”
Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed they have submitted an appeal against Lee Wallace’s red card. The defender was dismissed during the win over Annan after referee Paul Robertson ruled that Wallace had fouled Jack Steele in the penalty area and produced a straight red card. Goalkeeper Neil Alexander saved the subsequent penalty as McCoist’s men went on to secure a comfortable victory at Ibrox.
A story on the club’s websitesaid: “After careful consideration [Rangers] have exercised their right to appeal against the ruling. It is understood the consequent hearing will not take place at Hampden Park until next Thursday due to the festive period. That being the case, Wallace would therefore be free to play against Elgin City this weekend then Clyde on Boxing Day.”