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Season-ticket money to pay off emergency loans at Ibrox

RANGERS supporters' season-ticket money is expected to be used to pay off £1.5m in emergency loans offered by investors to help stave off the prospect of a second insolvency in two years, it emerged yesterday.

Dave King wants Rangers supporters' season-ticket money to be placed in a trust fund. Picture: SNS
Dave King wants Rangers supporters' season-ticket money to be placed in a trust fund. Picture: SNS

An inter-creditor agreement gives the okay for revenues from 2014/15 season-ticket income to be tapped into in order to pay off the debt to football board chairman Sandy Easdale and Isle of Man-based investment group Laxey Partners.

The financially troubled Ibrox club, which made a £14.4m loss in the 13 months up to last June have to pay the debt by September 1.

The move is expected to irritate some fans still angry over secret moves by disgraced former owner Craig Whyte to sell off the rights to three years of Ibrox season tickets to Ticketus to raise more than £20m and pay off a debt with Lloyds as part of a deal to buy the club.

Former Rangers director Dave King has already urged Rangers supporters to pool their season-ticket money and place it in a trust fund until their concerns about the running of the club are met.

Details of the loan agreement emerged as former Rangers chief executive Charles Green insisted that if he had not been "driven out the club" he would have remained for the long haul, with ambitions to have "heard the Champions League music over Ibrox again".

The leaked agreement reveals that the repayments of loans will come from season-ticket money or through a new fund-raising share issue, whichever is first to occur, but a share issue would require shareholder backing at an agm. An initial public offering championed by Green raised around £22m in December 2012.

Both the recent emergency loans are secured against the Edmiston House and Albion car park facilities close to Ibrox, with the cash being used for working capital over the coming few months. Laxey, the club's biggest shareholder with an 11.64% stake, stand to make a profit of around £150,000 in cash or shares.

Rangers are still considering a new £1m loan deal from supporter and businessman George Letham which would see the Laxey and Easdale arrangement scrapped.

Mr Letham has said he was prepared to accept just £75,000 in interest - half of the £150,000 amount agreed with Laxey Partners.

Shareholder and former Blue Knight John Bennett had earlier raised concerns about the Laxey and Easdale loan deal.

He said: "To carve up a loan secured on fixed property and put a 15% loan over 6 months, annualised 30% interest rate, is unacceptable."

Meanwhile, Green, who led a consortium who bought the assets of Rangers after the holding company went into administration in February 2012, insisted he was worth double the money he received after leaving last year. Green stood down in April as chief executive amid claims of links with Craig Whyte, which he denied, and a row over his use of racist language.

He left the board and said he was severing all ties with the club.

According to club accounts, Green received more than £200,000 in severance pay as part of a near £1m annual remuneration package for his 11 months at the club.

"When I joined Rangers, I was the only employee, the only director and the only investor," he said. "I was going to have the same salary as Ally McCoist but Malcolm Murray [former chairman] said that was wrong and halved it. For the work I did, I should have had double. Secondly, I didn't want the severance pay. It's a matter of public record what I took from the club when I left. My salary was £360,000 a year, but I didn't take 12 months' notice. I agreed I would take less because

I didn't want to penalise the club, but I would have happily carried on. The bonus was a bonus in my contract, and I was entitled to that."

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