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Rangers supporters unlikely to take up full share quota

The Rangers share issue will close today with the likelihood that supporters will not have bought up the full £10m worth of shares set aside for them.

Expectations are that around between £3-5m will be raised from fans, to add to the £17m generated by selling stakes in the club to institutional investors.

The deadline for the Initial Public Offering could, in theory, have been pushed back, but it remains the case that shares will stop being sold at 1pm today. The club initially sought to raise £20m, for working capital, investment in the club and the stadium, and to maximise the property assets. The response from institutional investors was oversubscribed, but sales were capped to allow fans to buy £10m worth of shares.

That value was based on more than £20m of pledges having been made. However, with the IPO coming so close to Christmas – because chief executive Charles Green had promised fans the chance to buy into the club before the end of the year – many fans were unable to spend the £500 minimum. Others, including former chairman Alastair Johnston, have invested by putting money into the Rangers Supporters Trust scheme, which will buy a block of shares on behalf of their members. Ally McCoist, too, will also become a shareholder.

"All I can say is I've bought shares for my family – I have five boys," the Rangers manager said. "I imagine a lot of fans will do likewise and make it a family thing. That's what I've done, but I've been told that, as an employee, I'm not legally allowed to say that buying shares is a good idea or a bad idea."

Some of the money raised will be allocated to McCoist's budget as he begins to plan how he will strengthen the squad in the summer. The club's registration embargo ends on September 1, at which point Rangers can sign free agents, and agreements can be struck in January with players who fall into that category. McCoist wants clarity, though, on how much money he can spend on wages.

"We have to look at the kind of budget we've got in terms of the kind of player we can get and the numbers we can add to the squad," he said.

"Hopefully, I'll have a chat with Charles to see how much I'll have. I'm loath to mention numbers as the last time I did that it didn't work out too well for me. So I've learned to keep my mouth shut, but I will say we'll be looking to bring in a few new faces."

Alex McLeish. Page 3

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