A CHANCE encounter with the Rangers chairman and major shareholder Dave King as I made my way back to Scotland after the Celtic game against AIK Stockholm in Sweden last month proved an enlightening experience.

The meeting in Frankfurt Airport – as he waited to board a flight to Glasgow alongside, as luck would have it, a number of the Parkhead club’s jubilant fans – came with just a few days of the summer transfer window remaining and when speculation that Alfredo Morelos may be sold was rife.

King, who was, it transpired, returning to his homeland for the opening Old Firm game of the season following a summer break with family and friends at his vineyard in Italy, dismissed the possibility of the Colombian striker being sold immediately. “You don’t get involved in a football club to make money,” he said. “Winning the league this season is the priority.”

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Sure enough, the window closed the following week without Morelos, by far and away Steven Gerrard’s most saleable asset, being offloaded.

Talk of another impending financial implosion in Govan have abounded in recent weeks, as it has for several years now, after the latest court ruling in their ongoing stand-off with Sports Direct went against them back in July.

But having wealthy benefactors like King, who insist they are more concerned with returning Rangers to their previous position as the dominant force in the country than getting a return on their investment, is comforting for supporters who have seen their beloved club repeatedly and shamefully plundered by a succession of individuals with shadowy backgrounds, dubious motives and decidedly unscrupulous methods in recent years.

Yet, as admirable as the South Africa-based financier’s attitude towards his considerable outlay in his boyhood heroes is, Rangers could still benefit from balancing the books going forward.

He himself has admitted in the past that their current business model – wealthy fans offsetting sizeable annual losses– is unsustainable in the long-term.

The passing of Resolution 11 at the Rangers AGM two years ago enabled the likes of King, George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor to convert their soft loans to equity. But there is still a limit to how much they can plough in. Increasing other sources of revenue would be prudent.

Cashing in on their best young imports and breaking even in much the same way as Celtic have so successfully in recent years should be a goal for a club which has been blighted by serious financial problems and continues to wrestle with costly and complicated off-field issues going forward.

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Many of the players who were brought in to Ibrox during the tenure of Mark Allen, who Rangers announced had left his position as director of football on Friday evening, were resounding successes.

Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo, Steven Davis, Jermain Defoe, Connor Goldson, Glen Kamara, Nikola Katic, Ryan Kent and Allan McGregor have all improved the first team considerably.

Would they have become the first club ever to successfully negotiate four qualifying rounds and reach the Europa League group stages twice – an achievement which has banked them in excess of £20 million – without them? In that respect, they have been money well spent.

But who in Gerrard’s squad can be sold on to richer clubs either down south and overseas for multi-million pound profits in the years to come. Morelos certainly, Aribo, Kamara and Kent possibly, Nikola Katic maybe. There would appear to be little if any residual value in any of the others.

It has been hard to determine what the transfer strategy at Rangers has been in the past few seasons. At times, they have seemed to have a decidedly scattergun approach to their recruitment. They lavished well in excess of £4 million on Borna Barisic and Eros Grezda in the space of just a few weeks last summer after playing their Osijek side. Neither man has justified the hefty fees paid to secure their services or the wages they have received since.

The Rangers statement last week thanked Allen for his efforts and stressed he was departing for family reasons as well as to pursue other opportunities. But rumours have abounded that relations behind the scenes weren’t quite so convivial. The former MTV executive and Manchester City academy director certainly had a healthy conceit of his own abilities. Did others at the Hummel Training Centre share his view? There have been a good few misses along with all of the hits.

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Brandon Barker, Greg Docherty, George Edmundson, Jon Flanagan, Jake Hastie, Filip Helander, Andy King, Matt Polster and Greg Stewart may prove their worth in time. The jury is still out. The less said about Barisic, Lassana Coulibaly, Grezda, Kyle Lafferty, Gareth McAuley and Umar Sadiq the better.

Whatever the truth behind Allen’s sudden exit is, whoever replaces him at Rangers should attempt to unearth the sort of rough diamonds who their city rivals have proved so adept at finding so the Ibrox club can develop their raw talents and then sell them on for substantially more than they paid.

Celtic have certainly had their failures in the transfer market. Amido Balde, Mo Bangura, Derk Boerigtter, Olivier Kapo, Teemu Pukki and Saidy Janko all bombed. But the sales of Moussa Dembele, Fraser Forster, Gary Hooper, Ki Sung-yueng, Kieran Tierney, Virgil van Dijk, and Victor Wanyama have banked them huge sums. Odsonne Edouard and possibly Olivier Ntcham look like being the next to do.

It makes sense from both a football and a financial perspective for Rangers to pursue the same policy.