King and cash needed at Rangers - Sandy Jardine

Sandy Jardine at yesterday's Ibrox launch of Mr Struth: The Boss. Picture: SNS
Sandy Jardine at yesterday's Ibrox launch of Mr Struth: The Boss. Picture: SNS
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RANGERS great Sandy Jardine insists the Ibrox club need further investment if they are to have any hope of challenging Celtic for honours again once back in the top flight.

Concerns were raised over Rangers’ finances last week when annual accounts revealed an operating loss of £14.4million for the 13-month period until the end of June.

Chief executive Craig Mather this week held talks with Dave King about possible reinvestment in the club, with some reports suggesting the South Africa-based businessman could take on the vacant role of chairman.

Glasgow-born King invested heavily in Rangers during the Sir David Murray era and is reported to have lost £20million when the club went into administration in 2012.

Jardine would welcome the return of the former director and any further investment he would be willing to make.

He said: “I know Dave King very, very well and I think he would be good for our club. The club needs a bit of stability but what our club needs more than anything else is investment.

“Whoever takes it over, whether it’s Dave King or anyone else, hopefully they can bring investment.

“We will go back to the Premier League, I’ve got no doubts about that. But what we have to do is rebuild and when we go back to the Premier League, it’s not just about competing against Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts – it’s competing against Celtic. To be able to go back there and compete against Celtic straightaway, we need investment.”

Rangers are in the grip of a bitter boardroom battle, with a group of shareholders pushing for change at this month’s annual general meeting. A petition has been raised at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to force a vote on the admission of new directors at the AGM on 24 October and a hearing is set to take place in the court on Monday.

Recent games have also seen some fans protest against the current board but, despite a backdrop of unrest, the players have been able to produce on the park with a 100 per cent record and an eight-point lead at the top of Scottish League One so far.

Jardine added: “I’ve been a player and players don’t worry about what happens in the background. They just want to get on with their training, play on a matchday, play well and hopefully win. All players are like that. I would doubt if any of our players would recognise any of our directors.

“When I was a player, you hardly ever saw any of the directors so you didn’t worry about these things. You just got on with it. I don’t think the players even think about it and, when you look at the way the team has played, it’s not affected them one little bit.”

Jardine, who made 674 appearances for Rangers, was at Ibrox for the launch of a new book, Mr Struth: The Boss.

The book charts the story of the club’s most famous manager, Bill Struth, who spent 34 years at the Ibrox helm.

Jardine believes Struth would have been shocked by the recent financial collapse of Rangers but not by the current boardroom battles.

He said: “Even in his period, there was a lot of politics. The chairman then, Bowie, tried to get rid of Bill Struth. But Bill Struth had built up a reasonable shareholding and got other shareholders and turned the tables. Bowie was dismissed, he left the club and never came back.

“There has always been politics involved in football. To be honest, that’s part and parcel of a big football club.

“I think he would have been shocked at the club going into administration and things like that, but I think he would understand the backroom politics.”

Rangers had earlier confirmed to the London Stock Exchange that non-executive director Ian Hart has resigned from the board.

The retired Glasgow businessman has stepped down from the role to focus on charity work. He had accepted a place on the board last November, along with former boss Walter Smith, who went on to become club chairman before announcing his resignation in August.

A statement to the stock exchange confirmed: “The Company today announces that Ian Hart, Non-Executive Director, has resigned from the board in order to pursue the charitable work in which he is involved more actively.”