Former Rangers chairman Dave King has given fan group Club 1872 the option to buy his shares.
King owns just over 20% of the club and has offered to sell them at 20p per share. That would equate to £13m which Club 1872 is going to raise through ‘Legacy’ memberships which would cost £500.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has said it would take 26,000 new memberships to raise the necessary money over three years.
He also said that Rangers are on a decent financial footing but that the shares could become diluted with any future loans.
And, on the BBC Sportsound podcast, he delivered a warning to Gers fans who are thinking of investing in the hope of a return.
“We’ve seen Rangers in their annual financial report saying they need £8m this season and a further £14m next season in order to meet continuing obligations,” Maguire said.
“If that money comes from loans, that would make Club 1872’s job harder if it wants to maintain its 25% stake in the club. That will be an ongoing issue.
“Rangers day-to-day losses are slightly less than Celtic’s. Rangers going forwards are very reliant on European success, making the group stage of the Europa League and ideally making the group stage of the Champions League.
“A single year in the Champions League is worth a minimum of £30m to a club so they will be building towards that and that could turn losses into profits.
“To put in context what Club 1872 have to do, it’s effectively getting 26,000 people to put in £500 each into an investment scheme where realistically you’re not going to make a return in terms of dividends, with profits going back into the club.
“The only way they get their money back is if Club 1872 sell their shares and that’s clearly not the objective. Hearts managed to raise £11m so it can be done but it will be a very demanding task.”
Investing in Rangers
Maguire is one of the best when it comes to football finance and this is fair warning to Rangers fans, although we don’t think supporters will be investing looking for a profit on their money.
Instead, Club 1872 will be hoping that it can find 26,000 fans who want to invest to keep the club safe in the future and have a say on how it’s run.
It’s a big ask but possible, as Hearts fans have proved, and the Gers fanbase is mighty.
However, the one issue that could prove problematic is any future loans. The figure of 25% ownership gives powers of veto and that’s really important for Club 1872 and the Rangers fans.
If the stake falls below 25% because of dilution then that would shift the goalposts considerably.
However, this is a big opportunity that’s been afforded the fans by King who has already done so much for the club.