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Wallace: loan agreement is 'not a last-minute panic'

Graham Wallace last night defended the loan agreement that Rangers have struck with two shareholders and insisted the terms were at "normal" market rate.

Graham Wallace
Graham Wallace

The Ibrox chief executive also said that the £1.5m facility was part of the business plan he inherited last year and "not a crisis loan".

Rangers supporters, though, have voiced their unease with the arrangement struck with Sandy Easdale, chairman of Rangers Football Club, and Laxey Partners, the largest single shareholder in Rangers International Football Club.

According to a statement made to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, Easdale is prepared to loan up to £500,000 with no fee or interest attached. Laxey will lend up to £1m, "with a premium payment equal to 15% of the facility", which means that they will receive £150,000 for providing the loan. Both facilities will need to be repaid by September 1, 2014 - using up to £1.5m of next season's revenue - although it is at Laxey's discretion to accept their premium payment in cash or shares. The loans are also secured against Edmiston House and the Albion car park.

"It's not a last-minute panic," Wallace said. "There was always an assumption that there would be some measure of short-term funding required. All this is doing is putting in place a facility that provides us with some financial headroom in which to work.

"The proportion being provided by Laxey is at a normal commercial rate, that rate having been signed off as appropriate by the company's advisor. It's not different to a level of interest cost that you would except to have on any commercial borrowing."

Supporters, though, are unhappy that other shareholders offered to provide funding, but were rejected in favour of terms that are profitable to Laxey Partners.

"The Rangers Supporters Association, Assembly and Trust have been contacted by a number of current shareholders indicating they would have provided a secured loan on more favourable terms," said a joint statement. "We are concerned that not all shareholders are being treated equally."

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