Scottish Third Division side Rangers "won a favourable reaction from investors to its Alternative Investment Market debut," trading above its 70p flotation price, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Fans and institutions have "bought into CEO Charles Green’s recovery plan for the fallen giant of the Scottish game." Rangers exceeded their £20M ($32M) fundraising target, raising £22.2M ($36.1M) and gaining a market capitalization of £45.6M ($74M). Shares reached a high of 77p during first-day trading, before closing at 76p. Green said that "a number of factors would soon be working in Rangers’ favour." Among them, talks to restructure the Scottish game "should enable Rangers to climb back up to the top tier of the game at least a year earlier than expected." UEFA's regulations requiring Europe’s clubs to live within their means "should also favour clubs with big fan bases like Rangers" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/19). In Edinburgh, Lisa Gray wrote Green "hailed supporters for their contribution despite falling short of the revised target." In a statement, Green said: “This is an exciting time for everyone associated with this 140-year-old institution, but we are just at the start of the journey. We are rebuilding and Rangers will rise again, and we will do so with the help of our fans and the institutional investors who are on board" (SCOTSMAN, 12/19).
FANS STEP UP: REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Rangers raised £17M ($27.7M) from large institutional investors and £5M ($8M) from fans. Investors were "left out of pocket earlier this year when the club went bust." Green: "A week before Christmas, this is an amazing effort from the fans." The club planned to limit its wage bill to a third of turnover, a "low level by the spendthrift standards of football, and has vowed not to take on bank debt" (REUTERS, 12/19). In Glasgow, Richard Wilson reported Rangers Supporters Trust bought £250,000 ($406,000) of shares on behalf of members, who now include former club Chair Alastair Johnston and former Rangers striker Kris Boyd, who contributed £5,000 ($8,100). The RST members "will hold the bloc of shares as a group and each individual will have a vote in the return for their input." Since the IPO shares were sold at 70p, the original investors, have "in theory doubled their money, although they cannot sell their shares for 18 months under AIM rules" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 12/19).
MCCOIST PROMISED MONEY: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported Rangers Manager Ally McCoist "has been promised money for new players" with Green stating the club's share issue can act as "the springboard for the rebirth" of the Glasgow club. Green: "In the presentation we did when we were selling the shares, and also in the prospectus, we said that, of the £22M ($36M), £10M ($16M) is put to one side for Ally. We're not saying it's £10M and only £10M. If Rangers fans, as we expect, come out and buy their season tickets next year, there is perhaps another £20M there and that is a fantastic position for the manager, the club and its fans to be in" (DAILY RECORD, 12/19).
DUNDEE FALL OUT: In Glasgow, Gordon Waddell reported the Scottish FA has told Scottish Premier League side Dundee United that there is nothing it can do "to interfere in the Tannadice club’s boycott bust-up" with Rangers. Dundee wrote to SFA CEO Stewart Regan two weeks ago after Green "took the unprecedented step of formally backing the supporters snub of the Scottish Cup clash between the two clubs." The governing body has now replied to Dundee to say that none of its rules or articles "have been breached" by Rangers and that the Ibrox club "will not be charged with bringing the game into disrepute ahead of the February showdown" (DAILY RECORD, 12/19).