Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers share issue raises £22m

Image caption Shares in Rangers International Football Club plc will start trading on London's Alternative Investments Market

Rangers Football Club has raised half its target investment from fans, following the deadline for its share offer.

It had aimed to raise £10m of investments in the club from small-scale retail buyers of shares.

There was already a commitment to the major part of the share offer, with rich individuals and institutional investors signing up to at least £17m.

The club announced on Tuesday evening that it had raised a total of £22.2m.

On Wednesday morning, the shares in Rangers International Football Club plc will start trading on London's Alternative Investments Market (AIM).

It is part of the London Stock Exchange, on which shares in Celtic Football Club are also traded.

The deadline for fans to buy new shares in the club passed on Tuesday afternoon.

A statement from Rangers said: "A total of £22.2 million has been raised from professional and institutional investors and supporters which will be used to take the club forward, strengthen the squad when appropriate and improve facilities."

Chief executive Charles Green said: "This is an exciting time for everyone associated with this 140-year-old institution but we are just at the start of the journey.

"We are rebuilding and Rangers will rise again and we will do so with the help of our fans and the institutional investors who are on board."

Mr Green was listed as the club's main shareholder in the share prospectus with a stake of almost 15%, which will now be diluted. He had not planned to add to his shares.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was the third largest shareholder with 9% before the issue of extra shares, behind a consortium called Blue Pitch Holdings.

Meanwhile, Green took to the Ibrox pitch to address the crowd ahead of the 3-0 win over Annan Athletic to announce how much been raised through a share issue.

However, while his speech was taking place, a section of the support staged a protest against potential plans to sell the stadium naming rights.

After his side's 3-0 win, Rangers manager Ally McCoist described it as "a great day off the park".

"The fact that it's in the region of £22m, and for the fans to chip in with roughly £5m, I think is absolutely staggering," he said.

"They've only had the opportunity to do that in the last week or so.

"In the lead-up to Christmas, when finances are tight at the best of times, in a recession, for our supporters to go into their pockets and come up with that money is another incredible show of support for this football club.

"I think the best way I can put it is, the one thing the investors and, certainly, the fans deserve is for their money to be used wisely.

"And I would certainly hope to have an opportunity to use some of that money wisely."

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