Rangers AGM: 'Summer spending will have no bearing on January window'

Shareholders were in attendance at the New Edmiston House for Rangers' Annual General Meeting.

Rangers AGM: Chairman says summer spending will have no bearing on January window SNS Group

Rangers chairman John Bennet says the club’s spending in the summer will have no bearing on the upcoming January transfer window.

Shareholders were in attendance for the Ibrox side’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the New Edmiston House on Tuesday with transfer activity high on the agenda.

Previous manager Michael Beale oversaw a re-haul of the first team squad in pre-season with nine new faces brought in for a significant outlay.

As several of the players failed to hit the ground running the patience of supporters has been tested as they fell eight points behind league leaders Celtic in the Premiership.

That resulted in Beale losing his job and Philippe Clement being brought in to replace him. But Bennet insists the amount spent in the summer will not infringe upon the new manager’s ability to bring his own players in.

However, the chairman was clear that the club have to be “more clever” in their transfer dealings and how they handle players reaching the end of their current deals.

He said: “The board is not going to make a pronouncement of the squad, that is down to the manager and his staff, the manager has been very clear to us on this and other matters and he will continue to assess the squad.

“What I can say is that the board will be ready, whether that is for January or next summer, the board will be ready.

“I don’t think the last window’s business infringes on our ability to strengthen the squad, I think we need to strengthen the squad almost every window if not every window.

“We have to keep aspiring to strengthen, so I don’t see any limitations, also bear in mind that there will be contract expiries, and that’s quite significant depending on what we do with that at the end of the season.

“So it’s not just about transfer fees, it’s about recycling wages that roll off, we will need to re-sign certain players, or all of those players, let’s wait and see, so it’s not just about a transfer kitty, it’s also about being clever and being more clever than we have been frankly.”

Bennet also pointed to the figure he believes is key to future financial success at Rangers.

The Ibrox club’s recently published accounts for the year to June 30, 2023 revealed a turnover of £83.8m, an operating profit of £250,000 but an overall net loss for the year of £4.2m, despite the sale of Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo contributing to a record player trading profit of £23.6m.

Speaking at the club’s AGM at New Edmiston House on Tuesday morning, the chairman said: “I am focused on more than one number, but there is one number that should be focused on in that profit and loss account.

“Yes, this club, for the second year in a row, printed an operating profit but that was post-player trading.

“This club last year lost £10.5m, pre-player trading.

“I would ask you please to keep your eye on that £10.5m. It has to go away.

“This is a new executive team for a reason and it is tasked with not only growing the club, but driving through operating efficiencies.

“It is a cultural change and it is under way.

“That £10.5m has to become, at worst, zero. Not every club operates at that level, in other words at minimum break-even prior to player trading.

“They need player trading to have a model. We want to take Rangers to a place where it breaks even or better. I can tell you right now, every day it’s turning – and it will turn.”

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