RANGERS have reached an agreement that gives the club breathing space over loans due to be repaid yesterday.

George Letham, a businessman and fan, gave the club £1 million in March after criticism of the interest due on an earlier deal with Laxey Partners.

Letham, who had his loan secured against the club's Edmiston House and Albion car park, has decided to wait for his money after weekend talks with Graham Wallace, the Rangers chief executive.

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It is understood the businessman has accepted assurances from the club, but that his patience is not unlimited. Football club chairman Sandy Easdale also provided an interest-free loan of £500,000, also secured against the properties adjacent to Ibrox Stadium.

The main priority for Rangers is to raise £4 million in a share issue, most probably launched next month at the annual general meeting.

However, Mr Wallace has been trying to recruit long-term investment in the club and the agreement with Mr Letham allows him to concentrate on convincing financiers to back the club.

A City source has told The Herald that the chief executive's moves have not been successful in the City of London. The main players in the battle for control of Rangers appear to be those in the boardroom, Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, and Dave King, the Scottish businessman based in South Africa.

There was a major share transfer yesterday as 3.6 million of the club's shares were traded.

The deals - for two blocks of 1.8 million shares, which totals around five percent of the club - went through within seconds of one another on the AIM stock exchange. The identities of the buyer and seller are as yet unknown but the value of the combined purchase was £900,000. The shares were sold at a price of 24.75p.

It is believed the nature of the deal means it is likely that the purchase was down to an investor merely moving shares to another portfolio, perhaps in advance of buying shares in the issue next month.