Our half-yearly financial figures are out, and only Fred Goodwin could find anything positive in them.
The stark figures only tell half the story unfortunately, we’ve lost £2,700,000 during the first six months of the financial year (1st July to 31st December 2008).
Added to that are interest payments against borrowings and debt which increased to £1,419,000, giving us a deficit of £3,916,000 for the period. Our turnover is down by nearly £13 million on the same period last year, and the club explain this as being due to no European football which certainly makes sense.
There is no way to sugar coat this, these figures are bad. By way of comparison we made a profit of over £2.2 million during the same period in 2007. Again European football played a huge part in that.
The most concerning aspect of this is that traditionally the first 6 months are better than the second six months.
The first six months include season ticket sales and pre-paid corporate hospitality and should include the bulk of the Cueller and Cousin sales although how those sales were structured financially isn’t clear.
With no European football to come and the transfer window closed without anyone sold only a player transfer at the end of the season but before July will prevent another large loss during the next six months.
We can take some comfort from the fact that at least the club know we have a problem.
The attempts to sell a player in the January transfer window and recent public utterances about cutting the squad size were clearly made with these results in mind. Short of an unexpected and highly unlikely increase in revenue we can expect to lose a number of players in the summer, the club really has no choice as to not cut overheads would be absolute folly.
If we needed reminded about the importance of European football to the club this is it. These figures do seem to make a mockery of old statement about budgeting to go out of every competition in the first round; that clearly hasn’t been the case this year.
The only silver lining I can see in all this is that it will certainly force us to introduce youth to our squad, simple economics necessitate it; young players earn less than experienced ones.
However, young players tend to bring inconsistency, so we’ll have a role to play helping them, too.
In a week where some venerable, old, Scottish institutions have made the biggest losses in history and we’ve seen their directors metaphorically flogged in public, derided by columnists and on phone-ins I think it is fair to say Rangers directors will be keeping any pension agreements they might have very quiet indeed.
We might win the treble this season, but 2009 might just prove to be the hardest year ever for most Rangers supporters.
You can read the Chairman's Statement and look at the report by clicking on the following link to the Official Rangers Website: