Irish Tosh

November 13, 2006

“It’s time they got rid of……that Irish Tosh”

Gerry McNee, Scotsport, STV, November 2006

Rangers, the football club, is likely to seek a transfer from the Ofex trading facility to the main London market this summer, in a move that would value the Scottish champions at about Pounds 250m.
The Glasgow club is also planning to expand outside Europe, by acquiring a number of feeder clubs that will help promote the Rangers brand worldwide.
A person close to the club said a full listing could be sought within “two or three months” and would be accompanied by a fundraising worth Pounds 50m to Pounds 60m – half of which would be paid to shareholders.
CCF Charterhouse, the stockbroker, is expected to play a role in the move.
Rangers will use some of the new funds to create a network of five feeder clubs in Australia, Africa, Asia and the US. Northern Spirit, a Sydney-based club, has already been acquired for Pounds 1m.
David Murray, chairman, said: “We cannot make Rangers any bigger in Scotland, so we must look to other markets. There is a danger of stagnation if you are faced with the same problems every day. This will create a whole new set of challenges for Rangers.”
The feeder clubs will adopt Rangers’ strip and sponsor, but retain their own names. The parent club will use the family of teams as a nursery for developing young players.
Mr Murray said “significant” revenue would come from each club’s individual commercial activities and from stronger overseas sales of media rights and merchandise that would result from Rangers’ increased profile.
The switch to a full listing has been encouraged by an improvement in market sentiment towards football clubs, which has been prompted by a fresh flow of investment in the sport by media companies.
Earlier this month, NTL, the US cable operator, ploughed Pounds 31m into Rangers and became its media partner, appointed to “maximise and exploit” the club’s revenue from media rights and e-commerce.
David Pope, analyst at Wise Speke, said investors were encouraged by the latest round of television money being pumped into football, but were waiting to see how it was spent.
“There are no costs to be deducted from television income, so in theory it goes straight to the bottom line. But the market is a little more cynical this time, because when football clubs have received money in the past they have spent it all on players,” he said.

 Financial Times (London); 27 June 2000; ANDREW WARD