IN the world of professional football, it is impossible to separate the emotion that comes with supporting a team from cold financial logic.

On that basis, there will inevitably be some who view Dave King’s tenure as chairman of Rangers as a success, while others will be a good deal more critical in their appraisals.

King, who it must be stressed will continue to be a major shareholder at Ibrox after he steps down in the New Year, has plenty of credit in the bank as far as the bulk of Rangers fans are concerned.

READ MORE: Dave King: Triumphs and tribulations of Ibrox club’s saviour 

Since he stepped in with Paul Murray and John Gilligan, alongside wealthy backers George Taylor, George Latham and Douglas Park (also known as the Three Bears) to seize control of Rangers in 2015, King and his fellow investors have ploughed millions of their personal wealth into the club. This has not just been to improve the quality of player on the pitch, but to address years of under-investment in the infrastructure at Ibrox and the Auchenhowie training ground, as well as the club’s scouting network.

It has been an arduous journey, and there have been plenty of setbacks along the way, as underlined by King’s tussles with the Takeover Panel and Mike Ashley, whose Sports Direct continues to exert significant influence over the profitability of the club’s retail operation.

Moreover, in the quest for success on the pitch, Rangers have routinely spent beyond their means in a bid to catch up with bitter rivals Celtic, with the most recent accounts revealing a loss of £11.4 million for the year ended June 30, 2019.

The repeated losses, which King said have topped £25m over the last two years, have continually been the stick which opponents have used to hit the outgoing chairman, with rival fans regularly taunting Rangers supporters that “admin 2” is on the way.

King acknowledged again that the spending pattern of the last five years, with directors injecting millions in exchange for further equity, cannot continue.

READ MORE: Questions over future of Rangers as Dave King steps down 

Indeed, having told shareholders at the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow that he and fellow investors had provided further short-term funding since the club’s year-end, King paved the way for a further share issue, which he said would end the need for directors to providing funding on an ad hoc basis. That has led to speculation that external investment could be on its way.

Should King find a way to restore Rangers to financial sustainability, without the need for benevolent directors to continually put their hands in their pockets, it is likely that more fans would view his tenure as a success. That case would only be strengthened should Rangers finally break free of the shackles imposed by Sports Direct.

Others will perhaps withhold judgment until silverware appears once more in the trophy room.