Rangers: Wallace denies threat of administration

RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace has come out strongly to deny speculation the club could face a second administration.

Graham Wallace, second right, says there's no threat of a second administration. Picture: SNS
Graham Wallace, second right, says there's no threat of a second administration. Picture: SNS
Graham Wallace, second right, says there's no threat of a second administration. Picture: SNS

As the club confirmed yesterday that they are in discussions with two major shareholders over a £1.5 million loan to aid the running of the club, Wallace issued a “categoric” assurance they were not at risk.

“I think it’s important to say the board, myself and the executive team are working very hard to rebuild the club,” he told Rangers’ website. “We are now midway through our 120-day review which is looking at every area of the business.

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“What I categorically can say to all Rangers fans worldwide is that there is no threat of a second administration. Sometimes it is difficult to come out and rebut every element which appears in the press in terms of potential administration.

“Let me put that to bed once and for all. We are absolutely focused on the long-term sustainability and success of Rangers Football Club.

“Supporters should not be concerned by some of the ill-informed comment they are reading. We are working our way through the business in a very logical and organised fashion.”

The club issued a statement yesterday to the stock exchange confirming they were in talks over securing a £1.5 million loan following reports that directors Sandy and James Easdale and major shareholder Laxey Partners were set to issue a much-needed cash injection.

Rangers lost £14.4m in their first 13 months of trading as a new company, which was set up after the Ibrox club went into liquidation in June 2012.

Despite raising £22m from a share issue in December 2012, former finance director Brian Stockbridge had admitted the money would run out before the end of this season and a proposed 15 per cent pay cut was rejected by players last month.

Former Manchester City chief operating officer Wallace, who joined Rangers last November, insisted he was fully committed to the task and insisted any suggestion he was considering his own position was untrue. “I knew exactly what I was getting into when I agreed to join the club,” he said. “My position today is no different from then. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes and we are all totally committed to the long-term success of the club. There is no threat of people walking away.”

Maureen Leslie, a financial expert with MLM Solutions, told BBC Scotland that an attempt to raise working capital suggests the League 1 club requires assistance with general operations.

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Leslie said Rangers fans should be asking questions about where the loan will be spent and urged the club’s board to be more transparent with supporters and investors.

“It’s a matter of some concern, because by saying they’re looking for working capital, that means they’re looking for the money to assist them with the day-to-day running of the club,” Leslie told BBC Scotland. “It’s not for investment purposes, it’s not to buy a player, for example – it’s simply to keep them going and to meet their day-to-day cash requirements.

“It’s a significant concern, I would suspect – they seem to be asking for this money just for short-term needs and to look for such a significant sum to meet short-term requirements, I think, a Rangers supporter would be asking what the long-term plan is.

“I don’t think it indicates that they don’t have a plan, necessarily – but I would certainly be asking for details of what that plan actually is. If you use a short-term fix without a long-term plan, in my experience, that just leads you into difficulty.”

Rangers also announced yesterday that they were launching a fan engagement programme, Ready To Listen, which will kick off with a survey sent to 1.2m supporters.