Rangers 'risk repeat of 2012 financial chaos within two years if Dave King walks away', expert warns

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Rangers could be plunged into a repeat of 2012's financial turmoil within two years - if chairman Dave King stops funding the club, a finance expert has claimed.

The Ibrox side's 2019 annual report revealed that club auditors have a "significant doubt" over Rangers' ability to continue as a going concern as a result of a £10 million funding gap.

A general view of Ibrox stadium

A general view of Ibrox stadium

Figures included in the results, released last week, revealed a £11.3 million loss while the report casts doubt over whether the club can meet its liabilities throughout the 2019/20 season.

The 2019 cash shortfall has jumped by more than £5 million, from £4.6 million last year to £10 million 12 months on.

Writing in the report, King confirms that the Gers will adopt the "going concern" basis, but warned that a "material uncertainty exists which may cast doubt over the Group's ability to continue as a going concern".

More than £30 million has been pumped into the Ibrox playing squad over the last three years as Rangers look to end Celtic's dominance of the Scottish game.

Speaking to The Sun, Professor Chris Brady of Salford University's Centre for Sports Business made a stark claim that King could stop bankrolling the club and leave if the Light Blues fail to rein in their Glasgow rivals by 2021 and Celtic win ten-in-a-row.

Worrying

"If Rangers don't win the league within the next two years, the chairman will be reviewing his commitment," Professor Brady claimed.

"The bit in the report that says 'material uncertainty exists' is actually relatively normal, but worrying."

Explaining the "material uncertainty" line, the football finance expert said: "The auditor says, 'You're going to have to write that in the report because for you to carry on as a going concern is going to require £10 million of [King's] money and I'm sure you're prepared to do that, but you have to write that there's a material risk'."

Over the last couple of years, Rangers have converted loans to equity as a means of raising money, with between £33 million and £34 million converted.

While this means they don't have to pay interest on loans, Professor Brady explained that the loans-to-equity conversions have effectively been left off the balance sheet, adding: "What it looks like they've done is converted the loans to equity to cover the £30 million spent on players in the same period.

"That's all good if those players win you the league. You've got to win the league to reach the Champions League, even though you're only going into the qualifiers - that's effectively the Celtic model."

Player sales

Star striker Alfredo Morelos has been linked with £20 million moves to English Premier League sides Aston Villa and Crystal Palace, with Steven Gerrard promising fans at the weekend that the Colombian international would not be sold in the January transfer window.

But Professor Brady feels there aren't a lot of sellable players in the Ibrox squad, pointing out that the club is also paying wages to "three players well into their mid-30s" in Steven Davis, Jermain Defoe and Allan McGregor,

The expert feels that, if the club doesn't sell players to raise money, then King is the only source of funding - and if he pulls out, the club could find itself in financial turmoil for the second time in ten years.