Rangers investment from Asia and USA tipped amid major behind-the-scenes changes at Ibrox
Alan Rough believes the wholesale changes to the Rangers hierarchy may have opened the club back up to new investment, with Peter Martin suggesting he has heard of interest from the Asian markets.
As Michael Beale embarks on a major rebuild of the squad there has been huge turnover in key board positions, with Douglas Park resigning as chairman on 4 April to be replaced by John Bennett, and James Bisgrove coming in for Stewart Robertson as CEO.
US-based Kyle Fox pulled out of talks with the previous Rangers set up after nine months in March [BBC News, 15 March], but with new people in prime positions and Beale needing cash to boost his team Rough believes the door is potentially back open again.
Rough said on The Football Show for PLZ Soccer (22 May, 4m 55s): “With all the movement on the board and things happening behind the scenes I’m just wondering if that American consortium’s still hanging about.”
Peter Martin replied: “Well, if anything I’m hearing it’s more the Asian market.”
Rough went on: “I just feel with the movement, and people standing aside who have said, ‘no we don’t want this’, this new group might be a wee bit attractive if somebody comes with a proper lucrative deal, they come in and offer £20million-£30million [transfer budget] that Tam’s [McManus] is talking about. I think this might be the right time.”
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“No no, this is the time Roughie,” Martin cut in, “there’s no waiting on season tickets to fund it.”
Rough went on: “The consortium that are coming in, you’ve got to make sure that they’re the right investors and they’re coming in for the right reason, not to just come in and bail out after five or six years.
“I only say the American consortium because they seem to be coming in, going out, coming in, going out. So they’re definitely interested and obviously had meetings, but the old board said, ‘no, we don’t want your money’.
“But now there’s new people in with new ideas they might be coming back. And don’t forget Dave King’s still hovering about with all his shares.”
It would be in the club’s interest to be open-minded about potential investment opportunities since they have a major job on their hands to fight their way back to the top in Scotland.
Celtic have already secured the league title after also beating Beale’s Gers in the Viaplay Cup final, and are a victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle away from making it a domestic treble after another Old Firm win in the semis.
Rangers finally got a derby victory back with the 3-0 at Ibrox on 13 May, but with five senior men announced as leaving at the expiry of their contracts there is a lot of work still to do.
Supporters have rightly been unhappy with the standards this season, as head-to-heads with Celtic and a nightmare Champions League campaign brought little joy, while last summer’s transfer haul didn’t have the required impact.
Some might still come good, but all in all this season has been a damp squib after the run to the Europa League final and the cup win a year ago, which themselves papered over the cracks following the title victory 12 months earlier.
For a club still feeling the effects of financial oblivion a decade ago it wasn’t as simple as the European cash and the sale proceeds from Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo going straight back into the squad, which allowed Celtic to steal another march.
And Rough is right that the Light Blues can’t be willing to accept investment from just anywhere, but if there is a sustainable, long-term plan out there that will help boost the club’s ability to compete for the foreseeable it would be foolish to rule it out.
In other Rangers news, the Gers could be set to go head to head with Celtic in a transfer race for an exciting target.