Rangers shareholders will attend the Ibrox club’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday morning.
Due to be held at the city’s Clyde Auditorium, it is the third AGM since Dave King took the reins in March 2015. With the search for a new manager still ongoing, Resolution 11 expected to be brought up again and the small matter of two huge games against rivals and second-placed side Aberdeen on either side of the AGM, we take a look at what could be addressed at the meeting.
The search for Pedro Caixinha’s successor
This is likely to get top billing at the AGM, with the search for Caixinha’s replacement still ongoing, despite the Portuguese boss departing Ibrox more than four weeks ago.
Graeme Murty has taken interim charge - like he did after Mark Warburton’s exit - but has overseen two successive defeats and Rangers still haven’t won three consecutive matches this year.
A string of candidates have been linked with the role, with several others offering their help. Derek McInnes, considered the bookies’ favourite for a time, has publicly distanced himself from the position and former Ibrox boss Alex McLeish said he had had no contact from the club over the vacancy despite being installed as a front-runner after McInnes appeared to pull out.
The club has indicated that a new manager won’t be rushed in, and that time would be taken to appoint a successor to Caixinha, but with the club falling further behind their rivals in the Scottish Premiership, supporters are anxious to see the search come to an end, and soon. Club 1872 has already confirmed it will be voicing concerns over the length of time taken to find a new manager.
Expect Director of Football Mark Allen to be the target of shareholders’ questions tomorrow as well - not only over the left-field appointmemnt and subsequent dismissal of Caixinha, but also player recruitment in the last 12 months.
Resolution 11 revisited
Although the proposal wasn’t passed last year, Resolution 11 could well be brought up again for shareholders to vote on. Resolution 11 proposes the convertion of soft loans from directors, including Dave King and his colleagues, into equity.
This would ensure future share issues would get the green light, and shareholders would be asked to invest money to maintain the size of their respective holdings. Second largest shareholder Club 1872 has already confirmed they will vote in favour of the resolution.
Where will future funding come from?
Turnover at Ibrox has increased, and although Rangers announced losses of £6.7 million for the year ending 30 June - twice the losses of the previous campaign - half of the sum was paid to Mike Ashley in order to ‘free’ Rangers from the retail deal with Sports Direct.
Even so, the figure would not have included Caixinha’s summer spending in transfers and wages, which is believed to be between £5-10 million.
Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor have all provided loans in recent years, some of which will be affected if Resolution 11 is passed.
King intends to provide a total of £7 million in loans over the next two seasons but soft loans are unlikely to be a long-term solution for the club. We may learn more on Thursday regarding future investment in the club, but King’s ongoing tussle with the Takeover Panel may cloud matters in terms of securing future funding - either from King or outside investors.
What else could be brought up?
Retail profits, supporter representation on the board, and safe standing could all be addressed at the meeting.
The deal with Sports Direct was part of the reason the club needed to rely on funding from outwith the club but since the contract with was torn up, Rangers will be hopeful of a notable rise in retail profits from merchandise revenue.
The club could also be on the lookout for a new main sponsor and kit manufacturer at the end of the current campaign and will be looking for a lucrative deal to help bridge the financial gap with Celtic.
Although a fans’ representative on the board has been a topic of discussion for some time, it’s still no closer to being implemented. Club 1872 may be able to change this, however. Currently the second largest shareholder, Club 1872 could push for greater involvement on the board if they can acquire further clout through a larger holding. However, it is not thought to be top of the group’s to-do list.
Talk of a safe standing section at Ibrox has grown in recent months, with a feasability study completed earlier this year and numerous supporters backing the idea.
But it’s understood that there are no plans to introduce rail seating at Ibrox, at least before the start of next season.
Will Dave King be there?
Possibly, possibly not. The Rangers chairman is still based in South Africa but did attend last year’s AGM - and with no manager in place he may feel compelled to attend this year’s meeting.
Warburton shared some words last year but it’s unlikely Graeme Murty will be called upon to do likewise.