Rangers Football Club has announced it intends to float on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, raising up to £20 million for the beleaguered club.
The funds raised will be used for strengthening the player squad, improving and developing the club’s properties and facilities, as well as putting some much-needed cash in the coffers.
The Glasgow-based club hopes the admission to the junior market will become effective before the end of the year.
If the floatation is successful, the cash boost will come at a bumpy time for the Scottish club; last season it collapsed under the weight of its debt and were forced to relaunch with new owners from the fourth tier of Scottish football.
Since its formation in 1872, Rangers has become one of the world’s most successful clubs, having won 54 League titles, 33 Scottish Cups, 27 League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
The club also boasts one of the highest percentages of season ticket holders in the UK, with over 36,000 having been sold for the current season.
Playing at the 51,000-seater Ibrox Stadium, which is Scotland’s only UEFA elite club stadium, and benefitting from the world class 38-acre Murray Park training facility, Rangers has been a major force in Scottish football for decades.
Fans are now being invited - along with larger investors - to contact Capita Registrars if they are interested in buying shares in the club.
Commenting on the announcement Charles Green, chief executive of Rangers, said in a statement: “From the time we acquired the business and assets of Rangers FC, we indicated our intention to list the company and provide our fans with the opportunity to invest in their club... Our aim is to return the club to its glory days whilst ensuring it is run efficiently and profitably.”
Chairman Malcolm Murray added: “Charles has done a great job to bring the club back from the brink of extinction. We now move on to the next stage which is full recovery and growth. The fans' loyalty has been instrumental in getting the club on its feet and the initial public offering gives them the chance to have a say on club matters.”
Rangers as a club exists within a new company structure, but the old company is in adminstration and houses the debts, including tax owed to HMRC.
Administrators Duff & Phelps, which was tasked with calculating how much tax Rangers owed to HMRC, announced its final total as £94.4m on 3 October.