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Green vows to fight for Ibrox identity in naming deal

Rangers chief executive Charles Green claims he will fight to retain Ibrox in any new title for the stadium if the club agree a deal to sell the naming rights.

Green is in talks with several parties, including Rangers shareholder and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct firm, over a sponsorship deal which has split opinion among fans.

But Green has stressed he wants to appease the traditionalists and bring in money.

Green told Rangers TV following a meeting with supporters that losing the Ibrox name was not inevitable.

He said: "Charles Green personally is going to fight to get the Ibrox name in that new title.

"I'm never going to ask a taxi driver to get me to the Fred Bloggs Arena, I'm going to ask him to take me to Ibrox.

"I'm sure people who have been associated with Ibrox for longer than I have are going to refer to it as its historical name.

"However, it is that history that attracts a sponsor, that's why people are prepared to pay naming rights for some stadiums and not others.

"And I'm sure the sponsor will want to retain some of that identity."

However, Green cautioned that he was not close to securing a deal.

"I wouldn't say we are at the door," said Green, who raised the future prospect of expanding Ibrox if the club secured regular Champions League qualification.

"We have had problems where we can't even tell a proposed sponsor what league we are in and that has caused frustration with any potential sponsor. But we have to get on because we have no control.

"We have narrowed it down to two or three people who I feel can deliver what we want and the fans want, which is something that we can all be comfortable with and also brings income into the club.

"I don't want to sign up to a long-term deal where all I have negotiated is the rights for a Third Division club in Scotland, to find we win promotion or there's some reconstruction and in a very short period of time we are back in the top division.

"That's limited the people who are prepared to look at that option but I feel it's better to do that and have long-term flexibility."

Green, who said he was very close to finalising contracts with a new kit manufacturer and shirt sponsor, also believes that plans for a 12-12-18 structure are not a "slam dunk", having spoken to colleagues in the Scottish Football League ahead of meetings next week.

Rangers, as associate members of the SFL, are not permitted to vote, but Green claimed his club would work to help move the game forward.

Green, who vowed to seek a way out of Scotland after agreement was made in principle between the SFL and Scottish Premier League, said: "Scottish football is in a mess. If it isn't fixed there will be no Scottish football.

"We have to heal the wounds. We are Rangers, we are better than those others who would carry on doing these crazy things.

"We have shown how different we are because we are filling this stadium with 49,000 people and no SPL club can fill a stadium.

"I want to continue to show that and whatever league we are in that Rangers fans continue to turn up in their numbers and show the world what a great club can do."

Green also explained he and his board had decided not to make major cuts despite turnover falling from a pre-liquidation £60million to a predicted total of less than £30million.

"The club is trading at a loss," he said. "The normal way would be for a chief executive to take a knife and cut 25-30 per cent of the workforce.

"But that's not the actions of a club that are moving and want to go forward.

"We will carry this loss because we want to keep the infrastructure. There won't be losses next year and the business will grown and grow."

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