Football: Rangers announce pounds 3m trading loss

SCOTTISH PREVIEW
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The Independent Online
RANGERS YESTERDAY announced a 10.5 per cent increase in turnover to almost pounds 21 million - but a trading loss of just over pounds 3m.

The Scottish Premier League leaders have spent pounds 34m on new recruits, including the Scottish record fee of pounds 5.5m to Fiorentina for Andrei Kanchelskis, since Dick Advocaat arrived as manager in the summer. He has brought in 12 new players to replace 20 of the squad who left at the end of last season.

The Rangers chairman, David Murray, said: "Since the start of the financial year the club has made an investment in excess of pounds 34m to recruit new players. The additional cost of these new players together with the costs associated with the Uefa Cup has increased net operating expenses from last year by pounds 2,933,000, resulting in a trading loss of pounds 3,090,000. After accounting for player registrations, interest and tax, the retained loss for the period is pounds 6,294,000, an improvement on last year of pounds 1,328,000."

Murray added: "The current cost arising from rebuilding the team under Dick Advocaat has been necessary to give the club the realistic prospect of competing at the highest level. We believe that the cost of this investment for the future will provide the necessary returns both off and on the pitch."

The figures, for the seven months until 31 December last year, were announced on a day that Rangers secured a new three-year deal with Honda. No figures were announced although the club claim it is the largest car sponsorship contract in British football. The Rangers marketing and media manager, Martin Bain, said: "There has been tremendous commercial growth at the club in the last four years, which has opened up many opportunities for our sponsors."

Rangers have a trip to St Johnstone tomorrow while champions Celtic must win at home to Dundee today to stand any chance of applying the pressure over Easter.

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