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Rangers 'could consider supporters' club loan in the future'

The club said it is not looking for fresh funding as fans' group polls members on raising £500,000.

Rangers: Club did not approach group for loan. <strong>© STV</strong>
Rangers: Club did not approach group for loan. © STV

Rangers insist they did not approach a supporters group looking for a £500,000 loan, but admit they may consider their offer in future.

Fan-ownership campaign group Rangers First (RF) announced earlier on Thursday it will poll its members on a plan to lend the club the six-figure sum.

RF officials hope the unsecured loan would eventually be converted into shares once the Light Blues regains its stock market listing.

But in a statement, the club insists it is not currently looking for fresh funding.

It said: “Rangers International Football Club plc note Rangers First’s decision to seek approval from its members to offer the club a loan of £500,000.

“The club is not considering further loans at this time beyond what has already been committed and announced. However, any offer from Rangers First will be considered as part of any future fund raising.

“Rangers remains committed to forging even closer links with supporters and the club is working on a new initiative to make this possible. It is hoped all of the club’s fan groups, including Rangers First, will participate fully in acquiring a larger stakeholding in the company and this initiative by Rangers First could be incorporated into such a proposal.

“It should also be understood that Rangers First was not approached by the Club for funding and had no discussion whatsoever with the chairman, Dave King, that their funding, if accepted, would be matched by Mr King.”

Rangers announced in their annual report in November that they would require £2.5m to see the club through to the end of the season, with “further funding” also needed next term.

A group of investors – including King and allies Douglas Park, George Letham, George Taylor, John Bennett, Barry Scott and Andy Ross – recently handed over a £6.5m loan to pay off a £5m sum borrowed from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct firm and to provide the Ladbrokes Championship outfit with working capital.

Now RF, which owns a 3.52 per cent stake in Rangers, says it wants to lend a hand while also giving supporters a greater say in the running of the club.

In a letter sent to members, the group said: “We are always looking at ways in which to build our holding while also contributing to the rebuilding of our club and we have such an opportunity to present for members’ approval today.

“As you know loans have been provided to the club and the Rangers First board also want to give our members the option to contribute. We are therefore asking you to decide whether or not to join with Dave King, the Three Bears and others and offer the club a loan of half a million pounds. If the necessary approvals are obtained, then the intention is that the loan will be converted to shares which will increase the shares held by Rangers supporters in the club.

“The loan would be on the same terms as Dave King and the Three Bears and would be made available in the middle of January with drawdowns through to the end of the season. The loan will be interest free, unsecured and will run until a share or rights issue can take place with a longstop date for repayment of two years. The club would also have the option of being able to repay it at any time in that period.

“Your board has had much discussion and debate regarding this and believes that this may be one of the best ways for Rangers First to help the club continue to rebuild, develop and expand. This is a key issue on which RF asks its members to decide, we are therefore asking members to approve a loan of half a million pounds to Rangers International Football Club PLC.”

RF members have until January 10 to cast their vote, with 75 per cent approval required for the motion to be passed.

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