John Bennett addresses Ranger loan offers and makes Ibrox cash pledge

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JOHN BENNETT insists that potential lenders cannot meet terms granted by the Rangers’ group of benefactors after revealing that the Champions have received a handful of loan offers from potential outside investors.

Ibrox’s vice chairman was speaking at RIFC plc’s annual general meeting on Tuesday as shareholders reconvened in person after a virtual event last year.

Rangers reported an operating loss of £ 23.5million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 as the cost of the Covid pandemic hit hard despite their success on the pitch and their 55th Premiership crown .

Bennett and President Douglas Park have pledged to cover the required £ 7.5million deficit before the end of the current campaign and it was confirmed at the AGM that the deficit has already been closed.

The Rangers have converted several tranches of shareholder loans into shares in recent months and Bennett is grateful for the continued support of the wealthy supporters who are still funding Operation Ibrox.

Bennett said: “You may have seen last week that we issued £ 3.5million in new shares. These are existing investors converting into shares.

“A part has been secured against Edmiston House. That’s a guarantee that has already been given.

“There are no new guarantees on the club’s assets given compared to the updated figures. I will give you these updated figures: £ 13million has been paid in the form of loans.

“Now I don’t know about you, but Edmiston House alone, as collateral for it, Edmiston House is not worth that for any lender.

“I think you’d be okay with that. You can only do that because they’re friendly lenders, including myself.

“The other thing about the six percent is the lowest coupon this company has paid.

“It was paying off new, you might remember we had a relationship with Close Brothers and it was new and a bit.

“We repaid a loan to the former president who was eight years old, he’s now at six. That’s the benchmark.

“We alluded to it in the annual report and referred to the fact that we’ve had a number of approaches from players that you might see in the south, for example.

“You could see Watford Football Club last month, for example, and a good source for it all is Kieran Maguire at Price Of Football because he picks up everything.

“We’ve had a lot of approaches, including in November. It’s so interesting, they come to you and it could be equity, it could be family offices, it could be banks like Macquarie Bank and they are active. in the field of football, they cannot affect our conditions.

“What I said, and a number of us said, is, ‘OK, these are some interesting approaches.’ I can tell you one of them was at 13% per year. .

“We don’t pay for that. We don’t pay nine anymore, we don’t pay eight anymore, six is ​​the new benchmark.

“If these vendors can come in and beat that at two levels – a lower coupon, because six is ​​the new benchmark and we’ve lowered the cost of funding to six.

“I think that’s one of the lowest numbers in all of British football for loans. But also for security. I can assure you they want a lot more security and a higher coupon.”


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