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Rangers will count the cost if fans' faith begins to falter

It has been a week of financial intrigue at Rangers, but then that has become a familiar state of mind for the club's fans.

The chief executive Graham Wallace tried to assure supporters that administration will not happen, after speculation that paying the wages might become a problem, then it emerged that a loan of up to £1.5m might be made by Laxey Partners, the largest single shareholders, and two directors, James and Sandy Easdale. Nothing is finalised, but the sense remains of a business that is attempting to find a way through troubling times.

Wallace has always been clear about the need to cut costs, because they are higher than the income streams. Yet no significant savings have been made, leaving room for anxieties to grow. There are legitimate questions, though, such as what terms a loan might be made on, how many shares will be returned as part of the agreement and if other shareholders or individuals have offered additional funding. Dave King, the former Rangers director, also wants to invest in the club, as part of a fresh share issue.

With a fan survey launched last week - and taken advantage of by gleeful Celtic fans - the Ibrox board has also begun the process of trying to win round supporters. Wariness remains the instinct of many Rangers fans, given events of the past two years, and some are cynical that a membership scheme will be launched, to raise more income, regardless of the outcome of the survey. In a matter of weeks, a third aspect will enter this mix of finance and politics, with season ticket renewals sent out.

Any loan, or future income forwarded from Rangers Retail, the commercial agreement with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, will only tide Rangers over to season ticket income. This, under the assumed current business plan, will appear to provide the bulk of the budget for running the club. Prices will inevitably rise, with Rangers set to be playing in the Championship, but there is also the expectation of a fall in renewals, with some fans continuing to be uncertain of the board. It is an awkward situation, and one that Ally McCoist finds himself in the middle of, since the manager has been expected to back the renewal campaigns in each of the past two summers.

"The most important thing is we do get season tickets," McCoist said. "I would hope that the openness of Graham and the board will mean the supporters will have a far better idea in terms of making their minds up. All I can do is pass on the knowledge that's given to me. I am aware more than ever of my responsibility. There will be things I don't know, which is the norm at most clubs."

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