STEWART ROBERTSON admits securing cash from European competition will be the main avenue by which Rangers hope to close the financial gap to Celtic going forward.

The Ibrox Managing Director has held discussions with members of the Club 1872 board to answer questions from supporters that were not asked at the Light Blues’ Annual General Meeting last month.

Rangers communicated to Club 1872 that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment on the situation involving Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes after he turned down the chance to succeed Pedro Caixinha as manager.

Read more: Rangers: The Ibrox issues ahead of the January transfer window

But a number of questions, including those regarding the financial and commercial situations at Ibrox, were raised at the meeting.

Accounts for Rangers International Football Club plc showed a loss of more than £6million to year end June 30 and that £7.2million of external finance will be required over the next two Premiership campaigns.

The Gers crashed out of the Europa League at the first qualifying round this season and chairman Dave King has previously spoken about the importance of Rangers returning to the European arena on a regular basis.

Robertson said: “As mentioned by the Chairman in his speech at the AGM, regular European football will be the key to the Club’s finances becoming fully self-sustaining.

“The increased revenues from retail will go some way to narrowing the gap as will more effective player trading.

“The majority of the deficit is accounted for through qualification for the Champions League group stages.

“Other income streams such as retail revenue and commercial income are increasing however there needs to be a recognition of just how valuable qualification for the group stages of the Champions League has now become.

Read more: Rangers: The Ibrox issues ahead of the January transfer window

“It is worth in the region of 30m Euros plus associated gate monies.”

Almost half of the loss that was recorded for the last financial year was due to a one-off payment of £3million that was made to Sports Direct as part of the renegotiation of the retail deal.

The new arrangement runs until the end of the current season, as does the kit contract with Puma, and Robertson hopes Rangers will be able to benefit from increased income in years to come.

He said: “The intention is to maximise the revenue which the Club generates from retail.

“Commercial confidentiality dictates that no more can be said at this time in a public forum.

“The sponsorship income increased from £663k in the previous year (an increase of 130%).

“The Club was tied in to certain legacy deals which restricted its ability to grow the sponsorship income short term however as these come to an end, it is anticipated that this figure will grow and the current year is expected to show a further increase.”