IT is all about the numbers for Rangers.

It seems increasingly likely that they won't stack up for some time and the ins will be in the shadow of the outs once again. But it is a necessary evil for a club in Rangers' state and a board of directors picking up the pieces in the aftermath of regime change only a few months ago. If it takes money to make money, it takes even more to be successful in football.

Of the figures Dave King, the Rangers chairman, mentioned on Monday at Ibrox - the three-year plan and five managerial candidates, the eleven out of contract players, the 45,000 season tickets and the £13million targeted income - none related to him specifically. Where before there have been headlines of his potential multi-million pound investments, there were no exclamations and no promises. It is, he says, because he does not yet know just how much he will have to stump up for his dreams to become a reality. It is all dependant on an array of factors, each one crucial to Rangers' prospects on and off the park for years to come.

King spoke of there being 'no upper limit' to the budget that will be handed to the new Rangers manager when he is appointed next week. This was not a pledge to put down a wad of fivers, or even tenners, in some summer splurge to steamroller their way through the Championship, though. There is a difference between spending money and investing money, and indeed losing money.

To get from where they are - a squad that finished third in the Championship and lost 6-1 to Motherwell in the play-offs - to where they want to be - Premiership champions and competing in Europe - will take time and significant investment but this time the cash must be spent wisely. Rangers' rise will not be achieved on season ticket income alone, especially when revenue from television and merchandise streams are so low at present.

It will be up to King, supported by the Three Bears, a consortium comprising of Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, to plug the gaps and go over and above what many would perceive should be the limits at Ibrox. For Rangers to win long-term, they must be prepared to lose in the short-term.

"In extreme cases some clubs can end up in administration if they don't have a wealthy backer prepared to fund those loses," Neil Patey, a partner with Ernst and Young said. "So as a short-term plan, what Dave King is suggesting can work - as long as they get promoted.

"If they didn't, it would be a serious set-back. One additional season in the Championship is not great - another raises long-term questions about whether they can get out of the division, which would be a bit of a disaster really.

"The question for Dave King and the other Rangers backers is how long are they going to keep putting money in before seeing the club return to profit? A lot has been said about the wealth of Dave King. Can he continue to support it beyond one-year losses? I suspect he can but as yet, we have not seen a significant amount of money going into the club since Dave King took over."

It is not only cash that must head into Ibrox in the coming days, weeks and months if Rangers are to return to the Premiership just the one season later than expected. As well as a manager and a plethora of new players, an executive team must be installed and the entire football structure evaluated, invested in and improved on. It will, of course, all take money.

The pace of the progress and improvements will determine the speed at which more cash is invested. The sooner Rangers can stop being in the red the better.