IT is a matter of supply and demand. Yet it is also a balancing act between treating the fanbase like supporters rather than customers.

The line is a fine one these days. Rangers have found themselves swaying on that particular high-wire on more than occasion and their Champions League ticket package is another example of the risks that are being run at Ibrox.

On one hand, Rangers are right to maximise their income and must make the most of the opportunity to cash in while the Champions League music rings around the ground and the big names of Ajax, Liverpool and Napoli are in town.

The chance to bank cheques of this size has been a long time coming for Rangers. With prize money and television rights secured thanks to their remarkable win over PSV Eindhoven, it is now time for them to capitalise on their earning power in continental terms.

But that cannot come at the expense of alienating the most important people at the club and directors, executives and staff must never lose sight of the fact that it is the man on the street that they represent and work for. Without the fans, football is nothing and Rangers would not be where they are today.

Some supporters may be placated by the soundbites and cliches. But the more discerning and switched on will be asking questions about a pricing plan that has set a minimum spend of £150 for a three Group A briefs for seats in the Broomloan and Copland and sections of the Main Stand.

Other areas will cost £165 and £174 respectively, while thousands of punters have been asked to stump up £180 to take their seats and see Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in action.

It all adds up to several million pounds worth of ticket income going straight into the coffers this season. When hospitality packages are added into the calculation, it is clear to see why qualification for the group stages is so lucrative, why it is a game-changer off the park.

In purely financial terms, it is transformative for Rangers and it is the latest step in bolstering the balance sheet. After years of outside investment, Rangers continue to move towards self-sustainability, a position where they can spend what they earn and supplement their reserves with sporting achievement and a business model in the transfer market.

It is understandable that Rangers wish to build on their financial successes and keep the momentum rolling. There comes a point, though, when giving a little back is the right thing to do after taking and taking for so long.

If £50 per game had been the ceiling, it could have been grudgingly accepted. As a cheapest ticket, it is just too expensive and that is before families have to consider the cost of around £90 for juvenile packages.

There is no option to spread the outlay and split payments. At a time when wages are being stretched and budgets are being squeezed, Rangers could be accused of being tone deaf.

Given the way in which fans cherish and back their club, tens of thousands will find ways to make it work. Savings will be made elsewhere and punters will do all they can to meet the increasing and continued burden of following their team.

Taking a few quid off the price of each ticket would have cost Rangers money. But it could make more of a difference in the pockets of each supporter and it would have shown an understanding and appreciation beyond the usual statement platitudes.

It is, after all, just a couple of years since season tickets were bought in good faith but with no return. And Rangers are not exactly slow in coming forward to ask for buy-ins for Edmiston House and Champions Wall packages, as well as the myriad of other schemes and products that have over-inflated price tags as a result of a crest on them.

The argument is that fans don’t need to buy them if they don’t want to and for many things that is true and fair. When it comes to tickets, the situation is different and Rangers could have taken a hit for the sake of those who sacrifice so much to support their club.

When the pricing structure was released on Monday, the reaction from supporters told its own story. There was a sense of disgruntlement, perhaps anger, but a widespread admission that they would stump up the cash and hand over their hard earned once again.

A glance across the city, where Celtic supporters will pay a flat rate of £129 to watch Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in action, has fed into the feeling that Rangers have got it wrong. Unfortunately for the Ibrox board, it is not the first time.

These are exciting times to be a Rangers supporter but goodwill towards those that call the shots and run the club is in short supply. It is one thing supporting the team, yet quite another having full faith in the regime.

Last season was permeated with communications catastrophes and shambolic strategies and the decision to push the limits with the Champions League briefs seems another short-sighted move from those who really should know better from the past as Rangers continue to build for the future.

Concerns over the level of customer service are commonplace. Many view the ticket operation as not fit for purpose, while the MyGers scheme continues to attract criticism as nothing more than a cash grab that plays on a sense of loyalty.

The retail offering is not befitting the club or serving the support. Castore may say that better never stops, but it has yet to start in many senses.

And let’s not forget the farce and fury of the Sydney Super Cup. That was the biggest slap in the face to the fans of all.

If Ibrox sells out for each Group A fixture, which it no doubt will, then the hierarchy can say that the supply met the demand and that revenue was maximised. Money talks, after all, but actions speak louder than words.

Rangers should know that by now. Ultimately, the supporters – not the customers – are always right.