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SBD Global/December 17, 2012/Franchises

Rangers Expect To Score $44M Float At London's Alternative Investment Market

Scottish Third Division club Rangers will list its shares on the London Stock Exchange this week in a move "expected to value the football club at £50M ($80.8M) and revive the once-great team's fortunes," according to Jamie Dunkley of the London INDEPENDENT. The Glasgow-based club has "already raised £17M ($27.5M) from financial institutions including Legal & General and Hargreaves Hale." Sources close to Rangers said that "it is likely to raise up to £27M ($43.7M) in total when it starts trading on the junior Alternative Investment Market on Wednesday." Cenkos, which is acting as Rangers' adviser, "has claimed that the equity value of Rangers can double within three years" (INDEPENDENT, 12/16). In London, Jonathan Eley reported Sports Direct majority shareholder and Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley "will own a 5.20% stake in the Glasgow club after admission, while institutions such as Artemis, Cazenove and Legal & General have also subscribed for shares." David Glen, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and author of the annual Scottish football report, said football in Scotland "has a greater reliance on the supporters" because TV revenue "is smaller." Glen also noted that attendances have fallen as incomes are squeezed. However, Rangers’ accounts show property -- mainly its 50,000-seat Ibrox stadium and training ground -- "valued at £43M ($69.5M), and the club is now debt-free" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/14). Also in London, Kate Burgess reported even though football "has rarely been a sporting investment," the club's CEO Charles Green  "reckons he can raise Rangers up without borrowing or overpaying for new talent." Green has vowed to cap the payroll at "a third of revenues." That will be easy next year while Rangers are forbidden by the Scottish Football Association from transferring players. But after that "it will be hard to hold the wage bill back once Rangers starts playing top-tier football where pay averages two-thirds of revenues." Football’s governing bodies are pushing for "greater financial discipline and salaries may come down," but it will take time (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/16).

SORRY SEEMS TO BE...: The SCOTSMAN reported "furious Rangers fans have demanded an apology from Montrose FC" after Saturday's match-day program notes "poked fun at the Ibrox club's financial troubles earlier this year." The introduction to the Rangers team read: "Playing their first season in Division Three, The Rangers are a newco of the now defunct Glasgow Rangers. Currently top of the table, they will be hoping to go on to seal the title and clinch their first silverware" (SCOTSMAN, 12/16).
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