Rangers pleased by "encouraging financial performance"

Ibrox Stadium
Rangers' half-yearly accounts show the club's operating losses have fallen to £530,000 from £4.6m

Rangers have described the reduction of the club's half-yearly operating losses to £530,000 as an "encouraging financial performance".

The comparative figure for the previous year was £4.6m under the Championship leaders' previous controlling regime.

Chairman Dave King said in a statement: "I am also pleased to report that Rangers now has no third-party debt whatsoever.

"There are not many clubs in the world that are in that enviable position."

But, on the first anniversary of the takeover by the group led by King, the Glasgow club stressed that it "continues to require funding to meet its ongoing cash shortfall".

Interest-free funds provided by shareholders by 31 December 2015 was £9.25m, largely provided by King, shareholders Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, plus a group of Hong King based investors.

Rangers say that additional funds have been committed to cover the balance of the financial year to June and King reiterated the intention to further invest in manager Mark Warburton's playing squad should they win promotion to the Premiership.

Dave King
Rangers chairman Dave King says the club still requires funding

"It was always anticipated that further acquisitions would be necessary to compete in the Premiership if promotion was secured," said King.

"Mark and the football executive are already working on the player-recruitment plan for the close season, when we will bring in a number of new players to meet our ambitions to continue to compete at higher levels in the coming seasons."

Rangers' revenue for the first six months was £11m, an increase of £1.9m, with King praising supporters who have bought 36,500 season tickets as well as hospitality revenue of £3.3m.

This increase was achieved despite being compared to a period when Rangers benefited from £1.3m generated from hosting of the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens and a Scotland international.

King stressed that problems inherited from the previous regime remained and that arrangements with Sport Direct over the partnership to run Rangers Retail Limited "remain problematic".

Ibrox Stadium
Rangers' commercial deal with Sports Direct has been heavily criticised

It has led to legal disputes with the sports retailer and its owner, Mike Ashley, who is also a Rangers shareholder, but the club chairman remained hopeful that an agreement could be reached to renegotiate the terms of the agreement.

"It remains possible that the seemingly inevitable lengthy and costly litigation can be avoided," said King, who revealed that Rangers would present the results of a legal analysis of the contract with Sports Direct by the end of March.

"There is a far better alternative if Sports Direct recognises that the present arrangements are not working for either party and agrees to renegotiate the present arrangements to create the win-win situation that should have been reflected in the original agreements if Rangers had an effective negotiating team at that time."