John Bennett has dismissed suggestions that Rangers' balance sheet points to troubled times ahead and insisted Philippe Clement will be backed to shape the team in his image.

The chairman was speaking at the AGM in New Edmiston House where the club held it's first meeting since the building was opened at the start of the year. 

While a £252k operating profit was posted for the last financial year, overall, the accounts showed a £4.15m loss. This result came in a period when Rangers enjoyed Champions League revenue for the first time in a decade and the £19.5m sale of Calvin Bassey to Ajax, prompting fears for a year without such twin successes. 

In the wide ranging Q&A section of the meeting, Bennet was asked if this might suggest an issue for the fans to worry about.

“A resounding no," he replied.  "It will not cause any difficulties like we suffered 10 or so years ago. That’s over, well and truly. And it will have no effect on the manager’s plans. The manager has been very clear on the challenges of the January window.  But I wouldn't worry at all about the summer spend that we’ve gone through and that impinging upon what Philippe wants to do.

“I think what’s really important is the statement the club made on Friday was not just about the very important appointment of Nils Koppen. It was very deliberately couched in terms of the football board and I want all of our fans to know that it is a process. It’s no longer about backing ‘an individual’. It’s about backing a club process.

“That’s why you have a football board. That football board, newly formed this year, is about backing a club process. But rest assured that last summer’s spend will have no bearing on where we all - Philippe and everyone at this club - want to take it and need to take it."

READ MORE: Philippe Clement makes future Rangers injury promise

Bennett, who is has invested vast sums into the club, including an outstanding loan of over £12m, explained he has moved to address issues by brining in an entirely new executive team. 

Led by CEO James Bisgrove and a host of new hires, they will be charged with eating into the losses that have occurred prior to player trading by improving the financial performance of the club in other areas. 

And Bennett asked fans to specifically look at one area when assessing future results.

He said: "I'm focused on more than one number but there is one number that I'd ask you to focus on in that profit and loss account. Yes, this club, for the second year in a row posted an operating profit but that was post player trading. 

"This club last year lost £10.5m pre-player trading. Keep your eye on that figure. It has to go away. The club has to drive this and the whole new executive team, and it's new for a reason, and it is tasked as I wrote in the chairman's statement not just with growing the club but driving through operating efficiencies. 

"There's a lot of low-hanging fruit there we can squeeze out in my view. That's a cultural change, it's underway and it's driven by the executive team. The £10.5 has to become at worse, zero. I've got closer to the operations over the last six months, kicking the tyres etc, that £10.5m has to go away. 

"Now, not every club in this country or in Europe operates at that level, minimum break even prior to player trading. They need player trading to have a model. We want to take Rangers to a place where it breaks even or better from that £10.5m and I can tell you right now it's turning, that will turn. Please don't be concerned about that."

Even if there's a focus on what happens before players are sold, Bennett knows full well that the way for the club to excel is through slick player trading. Big clubs in smaller leagues across Europe, the likes of Porto and Ajax, have helped their teams compete by adopting a model that gives young, developing talent a shop window before reinvesting part of the proceeds. Rangers hope the appointment of former PSV scout Nils Koppen as director of football recruitment can accelerate their path to a similar standing.

Bennett said: "We were very deliberate in what we wanted and the role was very important. You could say it’s a split role. I talked about the football board being very important and it’s also very important in the board’s view that we’ve actually spread the load.

"You’ll see Nils’ title reflects this. It’s a Director of Football Recruitment, it’s lost on absolutely nobody that it’s recruitment we need to get right systematically, not sporadically. That’s why Nils has come in as a Director of Recruitment. We were clear we didn’t want to go down the road of an overarching Sporting Director. We met some candidates but it just confirmed and James can add that we did not want the overarching, all-powerful Sporting Director, that was very important for us.

"Did that make it a bit more niche as a lot of people have the ambition, and I speak from experience of interviewing some of these people, they want to be celebrity Sporting Director. We don’t need that and we don’t want that. We know what we want to fix - recruitment. That’s why Nils is here."