Alex Rae concerned by Rangers off-field issues

FORMER Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has few worries about the Ibrox side on the park in the coming season - but plenty of concerns off it.

The former Gers midfielder feels the fans need more assurances from the board. Picture SNS

Rae thinks Ally McCoist’s squad have more than enough to see off the challenge of Hearts and Hibernian in the Scottish Championship.

But he fears more turmoil away from the football action.

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Rae believes fans have genuine reason to be concerned over the lack of assurances from the board over the future of the club’s Murray Park training ground, with directors resisting calls to guarantee they will not launch a fundraising sale.

Thousands have fans have withheld from buying season tickets without guarantees - with the latest update from the club revealing only about half of last season’s 34,000 tickets had been renewed.

The club lost £3.7 million in the first half of last season and had just £3.5 million in the bank at the turn of the year - so financial concerns continue to dog them.

Radio Clyde pundit Rae, who was helping launch Bauer Media Group’s enhanced Scottish football coverage, said: “People are worried they are going to sell Murray Park because they gave assurances they are not going to sell Ibrox.

“I think the fact there’s 17,000 season tickets, that probably wouldn’t see them through to the summer.

“It would be interesting to see if the club can categorically give assurances about Murray Park and Ibrox. It’s a very simple thing, if they give assurances, I’m sure there would be an uplift on season tickets.

“And there’s also a trust issue with a large section of fans with the current board.

“So there are a lot of bridges to be built and for Rangers to achieve what they want to achieve medium to long term, they need to iron these things out.”

In the short term, Rangers kick off their season with games against both Edinburgh clubs this week, Hibs visiting in the Petrofac Training Cup on Tuesday before Hearts kick off the league season at Ibrox on Sunday.

“I predicted at the end of last season that Rangers would probably go on and win the league with the squad they had,” Rae said.

“But with the additions of Marius Zaliukas, Darren McGregor, Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd, I think they will have far too much for these teams.

“That might well be a wee bit premature due to the fact that no-one really knows what Hearts and Hibs are going to bring to the table, they are still adding players to their squad.

“But I just think that calibre of player will be too much for everyone else.”