Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes investment in the team during his tenure means that the squad now holds a number of “big assets” who could generate income if needed.
The club released their annual accounts last week, revealing a loss of nearly £16m in the financial year up to June.
The report also forecast a need for more than £22m to be invested by the end of next season.
Significant amounts have been spent on players over recent transfer windows with very little brought back in from sales but Gerrard believes there is a wealth of value locked into the squad now. He said that the sale of just one player would have put a different complexion on the accounts and that there were now several stars who could attract big transfer fees if they were to be moved on.
“The board support has been fantastic since the first day I came in really,” he said. “In terms of the numbers, obviously you have to take certain things into consideration given the timing.
“They could have looked very much different if we did accept a bid for one of our big assets.
“I think the important thing to know is that this team is in much better shape than it was when we came through the door.
“The team is littered now with big assets. The team is worth an awful lot of money now compared to what it was.”
Gerrard was speaking before his side face Benfica in the Europa League at Ibrox on Thursday. Having led Rangers to the last 16 of the competition last season, generating prize money and matchday income, he knows the impact that further success can have. However, he puts the footballing achievement as the priority.
“Europe is always important for a club like Rangers because of the history and the big European nights that have gone before for the supporters, it’s what they enjoy doing, watching their team in Europe, travelling near and far to follow their team,” he said.
“So from a football point of view there’s always a responsibility and an expectation here as the Rangers manager to continue to do well, year on year.
“If that means we make more money or we go further in competitions and that helps from a financial point of view, then great. That is always the aim.
“The board and myself are on the same page and we’re happy with where the team is at right now. But we both know there is still a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be.”
A 3-3 draw in Portugal in the first match against Benfica gives the team confidence that they can continue their recent form, though the manager said they were full of respect for one of European football’s bigger names.
He said: “Winning games and going on unbeaten runs definitely breeds confidence and belief in the group.
“I think looking to tomorrow’s game, the players who experienced playing against this team not so long ago. We showed for large parts of the game that we could match Benfica and certainly compete.
“So this is a game that the players are very much looking forward to. We have major respect for Benfica individually and as a group. You’re talking about high-level players, a high-level club, and a manager with big experience.
“We expect a very tough game tomorrow but one that we’re looking forward to and excited about.
“We couldn’t be going into the match in a better place, if you think about the run of games we’ve been on.“
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