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Dave King Q&A in full as Rangers chief discusses Takeover Panel, transfers and chasing down celtic
King sat down with reporters to provide an in-depth interview on a wide range of issues at the club. Rangers chairman Dave King paraded Steven Gerrard as new boss on Friday but waited until Monday morning to debate the current political issues surrounding his club. The Johannesburg-based tycoon met with reporters at Ibrox to discuss a range of issues including his ongoing row with the Takeover Panel, the recent departure of directors Paul Murray and Barry Scott, as well as the axeing of Graeme Murty as first team boss.He has pledged to back Gerrard with whatever he needs to challenge celtic in the coming seasons as he also spoke about plans for a new Ibrox shares issue by the end of June.
Here, in his Q and A in its entirety, he opens up on some of the big issues facing Rangers - and Scottish football. Where are you with the Takeover Panel?
It got to a point where I agreed with the Takeover Panel that while I wouldn’t make a formal offer, one of my trust companies would make a formal offer and that the Takeover Panel would accept the company offer as being the offer coming from me personally because they know that I am never going to make an offer. They accept that. They asked me for proof of funds which we gave them. They then asked for the funds to be ringfenced in a separate account, an escrow, to make sure the funds could only be used for the purpose of the shares. We agreed to that. They were placed into a trust account, (with) proof of funds given to them. Then about two weeks ago the Takeover Panel approached me again and said they were unhappy now with the funds being held in South Africa and they would like them relocated into the UK to be held in a UK bank account in sterling. I said: “I am happy to do that.” But as you know I don’t have facilities in the UK, I would have to open a bank account, which I have agreed to do. I said: “That now requires an extension of the offer period. I can’t get the money into the UK, open bank accounts, do the various KYC (know your customer) things you have to do with the banks in time to make the deadline.” They didn’t grant the extension. That is where we are stuck right now. I have gone back to them and said: “I am going to take that under review because this is something you only asked for two weeks ago.” I am not a UK resident...my business interests are not in the UK therefore I have to open bank accounts and that does take time. That is really where we are right now. They have proof of funds in rand in South Africa, but they want it relocated to the UK. That is where we are at the moment. In terms of the share issue, where are we with that? Will some of the soft loans be converted in that issue?
Just to finally cover the Takeover Panel, it is important to stress this has absolutely nothing whatsoever in any way to do with the football club, directly or indirectly. It makes no difference to the football club, it makes no difference to the funding of the football club, it makes no difference to the ownership of the football club. This is an issue between myself and the shareholders of the holding company. It has got nothing to do with Rangers, it has got nothing to do with the team, nothing to do with funding. Really, all that happens at the end of this process, when it is completed, if it is completed, is the extent of my shareholding in the Rangers International Football Club. That’s all it affects. It has got nothing to do with the football team, it has got nothing to do with the funding of the football team, it has got nothing to do with the funding of the football team. It is really a personal matter between me, the shareholders and the Takeover Panel. The rights issue? I met with (club secretary) James Blair on Saturday. We have now given the go-ahead for the rights issue, the share issue, to commence immediately. We were holding it off because I was hoping to get the offer out, but there was no indication from the Takeover Panel at that time that the relocation of the funds was going to be an issue. We thought: ‘Let’s get the Takeover Panel issue out of the way first, then get the share issue’. Because it would affect my ability to participate in it. I just said to James: “Let’s accept the fact the Takeover Panel will not be resolved in the next couple of weeks. Let’s just go ahead with the rights issue as it is with the restrictions that I have currently got on participating.” Yes, there will be a balance of conversion of loans versus raising of new cash. hearing all sorts of things about what external investment will be coming in. What can you tell us?
At this stage there is nothing external other than existing shareholders and existing investors. We’re not talking to anyone new who’s not there already. What commitment have you given to Steven Gerrard?
We have given a commitment that we will continue to invest in the squad and we will be a net investor still. We will provide additional net funds to him. What sum is needed to rebuild the squad?
Steven and Mark (Allen) will tell us that because it depends how many players Steven wants to keep. We haven’t even discussed this. It’s not something he discussed with me. That’s something he would discuss with Mark and then he would come back to the board and say, ‘We’d like him…’ It depends on whether you transfer players out, whether you get them away from a wages point of view. So they’re going to have to figure that out and then come back and say: “This is our player plan.” Right now, we don’t have a player plan because Steven hasn’t looked at it. How much fresh money will the share issue raise?
At the moment I’m thinking probably £6 million new cash and the balance converted to loans. Once Steven and Mark have had a chance to look at the squad and - outside of the targets you know about already – say: “We need another five, six, seven players” or “Five out, eight in.” It may involve transfer fees, it may not. Will you increase your own investment in the club?
I have to do that. I’ve already done that in advance of next season. One of the factors involved is getting our licence and because we run a deficit deliberately, we’ve always got to satisfy the licensing authorities – the SFA and UEFA – that we have sufficient funds to fund our deficit. We’ve already had to give cash guarantees in advance of next season. Whether we raise money from the rights issue or not, I’m in for the money because right now I’m underpinning the cash. If there wasn’t a rights issue my money would go into the club. If there is a rights issue, less of my mine will go in. The club is fully funded for the next season. Every single club goes through the same process and, I repeat, because we are consciously and deliberately running at a loss, you’ve got to let the authorities know you can fund the loss. Back to the Takeover Panel: Didn’t they tell you initially to escrow the money in the UK?
It didn’t have to be in the UK. The Takeover Panel initially said: “We know you’ve got the cash but how do we know it’ll stay there? You could use it for something else.” They said they needed the money ring-fenced. They suggested putting it into an autonomous trust account, held in escrow, that could only be used for the purpose of the share issue. We agreed with that, transferred the funds into the account, issued the proof of funds and the confirmation from the attorneys that they’re holding the funds.
Only then did the Takeover Panel say: “We’d be a lot more comfortable if part of the money was in the UK.” I then argued against that being part of the requirement but they said: “Well, we’re insisting in this case,” and I said: “Fine, if you want it in the UK, I’ll transfer it but I need time to transfer it.” They changed the requirement, as far as I’m concerned. I asked for an extension to comply and they said they weren’t giving it, so we had a bunfight over that. We have exchange control. It’s known by everybody that I’m not a UK resident so, whether it was the trust or me in my personal capacity, I would still have to get funds from offshore into the UK. It’ll happen. I’m standing to attention on it, quite frankly. I could make it easier maybe in some ways but I think they’ve got it wrong. I think they’ve got a lot of things wrong. I think they’ve tried, in my view, to bully me. I think the Takeover Panel have been bullies. I get from their point of view they’re saying, ‘We would feel more comfortable if the money was in a UK bank account’ where they’ve got power over it, because they’re dealing with banks all the time and they’re dealing with a South African bank they don’t know, which is why I eventually agreed to do it – but there’s a logical consequence to the agreement and I’ll need time to comply. You can’t ask me to do it, get my acceptance to do it and not give the extension to comply. That’s absurd. Are other directors and investors on board with your Takeover Panel stance?
They are absolutely on board because I think they all have sympathy for me. I’m in this unwanted situation because I tried to save the club. They understand this is a consequence of me stepping in to try and save the club. I think they are very supportive of me because they understand the position. This is not some third party corporate raid and I have had a ruling against me. They are incredibly sympathetic to the position I find myself in. What has been the attitude of other shareholders to the Takeover Panel issue?
Nobody has even discussed it. If it wasn’t for you guys (media), we wouldn’t be talking about this. It has got nothing to do with the football club and, quite frankly, it has nothing to do with most people but I am answering the questions because we are here. For me, it is an irrelevance quite frankly.
Have you had an indication of how many existing shareholders will accept your 20p offer?
I think pretty much nothing. Nothing. The offer will not go through. It is not going to happen. Can you clarify that statement?
There has to be a level of acceptance. It has no chance of being accepted. The offer is a technical thing that I have to do to comply with and I am doing my best to do it within the circumstances we have got. At the end of the day, it will mean nothing. It will not happen. It is a process we have to go through. Some of the penny shareholders might think it’s time to cash in though?
The penny shareholders are not enough to get it across the line. You need the majors, there has to be a level of acceptance. The small guys can’t make it happen. What is the level of acceptance?
It is going to have to be 50 per cent of the non concert party shareholders, so you need the Easdales, all the Beaufort Nominees, the Blue Pitches, the Margaritas, to sell at 20p and they are not going to do that. How does this situation impact on the share issue? Are you unable, from a regulatory point of view, to increase your shareholding?
I can only increase it in proportion to my existing (shareholding), so I can’t increase my shareholding in the process, which is fine. I don’t want to. I am happy to keep advancing loans. I am not fussed about having shares, I will give loans. It doesn’t bother me in the least. Why have Barry Scott and Paul Murray resigned as directors?
I think Barry is going through a personal situation with his businesses and bits and pieces where he feels he can’t give his time and attention to the club at this point in time and he needs time to look at his own affairs. Paul, I don’t actually know and you are probably better finding out from Paul. His resignation was a surprise to me. I just got an email saying he was going to resign. It was a surprise, the timing was a surprise to me. I saw Paul on Saturday night. I was at dinner with Douglas (Park) and he came into Mr Singh’s and we chatted, but it wasn’t the environment where I could really chat to him about where he was coming from. Having said that, I completely understand it. Being a Rangers director is not fun and there is a pressure on those in Glasgow in particular. There is a strain and stress and perhaps he has just had enough. It’s strange that Paul would resign without having a conversation with you, no?
It is his decision. I understand the pressure he is in, that all the directors are in. Paul can answer that. Are they a loss to the board?
I am very happy with the five we have at the moment. It is quite a tight board. I have spoken to other board members and we are certainly not going to rush out to replace them. My view, as I have said previously, is that when we get to the point of bringing in new directors I would prefer genuinely independent directors. I think we have got enough supporters on the board so I would rather see independent business people, who are not Rangers aligned, giving us a better level of governance. As much as we try and practice governance and as much as we have got a strong separation between the holding company board and the football club, which is a different company completely, the fact is that we are all supporters and sometimes it is difficult to disabuse your mind of your supporter hat and try and ignore it. Was there friction between you and Paul?
No, no. Paul has been fantastic and walked this long way with us. He has been there. Barry’s resignation wasn’t a surprise because I have got a sense that there are things going on in his life and his business that he needs time to deal with. But Paul’s genuinely was a surprise to me. I have not had the chance to really talk it out other than the brief meeting on Saturday. Are the remaining directors on board with you in your action with the Takeover Panel. Are George Taylor and George Letham also on board?
They are absolutely on board because I think they all have sympathy for me. I am in this unwanted situation because I tried to save the club. They made a ruling against me and they understand it is a consequence of me stepping in to save the club. They are supportive of me because they understand the position. This is not some third party corporate raid where I have come to buy Rangers and there is a ruling against me. I was part of group of people and they are incredibly sympathetic to the situation I find myself in. Could the board positions be filled with investors or are you looking to bring the right people in, whether they are investors or not?
I would like a couple of directors who are completely independent, who have no investment, have no loans or shares and are not Rangers supporters. They can come and say, ‘Guys this is our opinion into the rights and wrongs of running the company’. How do you react to allegations there is no clear strategy at the club?
The real issue there is whether we debate these things in public. If anyone looks at what we have done over the past couple of years, we have been completely consistent.
I don’t think there is a single thing we said we’d do that we haven’t done. There have been accusations of not putting money in. We have put in a lot more than we said we would put in. We continue to do the right things. The strategies have been clear. There is a preference for the media and a very small group of supporters to debate these things in public. We are not going to do that. Our strategies around managers have been very clear. We need managers that can win games. When will Rangers return to profitability?
Not in the foreseeable future, because we are not going to run it to make a profit in the foreseeable future. I would expect us only to start making a profit when we are back playing Champions League. Until that point, I think we are going to have to continue funding the deficit every single year. Will the Takeover Panel take action against you for missing deadline?
I’m sure they will. They have every step of the way. There could be severe sanctions - you could be cold shouldered. Won’t that have an implication on the club, as well as you as chairman?
No. First of all, the assumption is they’d achieve that. I don’t think they will. I have spent a lot of my life with people telling me what they are going to do to me. Twenty years. I’m still here. I wouldn’t assume who is going to win that fight. Secondly, sanctions themselves on me would have no impact on me. I don’t do business in the UK. I don’t deal with any institutions. I don’t have public companies in the UK. I would make no difference to me in practice. I would make a decision whether I was comfortable with it or not. And if it is a question of fighting then I’ll… Sanctions would make no difference to me and it would make no difference to Rangers. Could any sanctions impact on the share issue?
No. They are separate things. There is not a single person participating in the share issue who is talking to me about the Takeover Panel, so it’s not an issue. It doesn’t affect the club. It’s actually a non-issue, other than for me and the takeover panel. But isn't it bad for Rangers in a reputational sense?
It would be preferable not to be the case, I would guess. But, again, I really don’t think it is a big issue. For Rangers at the moment it is really about funding and people are willing to fund. My position has always been clear about that. If you don’t want my money I’m happy not to be there. But Rangers is not in that position yet. What purpose will the share issue serve?
It will spread the funding risk. It brings other funders into the mix. If we are going to continue to fund losses over the next few years, the money has to come from somewhere. Ideally the supporters, but we know there is a limit to what the supporters can do. So you have to try and broaden the investment base as far as is possible. This allows that. You’re having to fund these deficits while celtic are competing in the Champions League. Is there a degree to which you’re running on the spot?
Yes. How can you make up the gap to celtic?
We appoint a manager who can win games, with more resources, and we take one league away from celtic. We only need one league. We don’t need two or three. We need one. Once we take one away, it’s a pack of cards. But celtic can still better your investment? How do you solve that?
It depends if they decide to invest or how well they invest. One would expect a reaction from celtic to the appointment of Steven - we will have to wait and see what it is.
With all celtic’s resources they are not a million points away from Aberdeen or Hibs and they have resources that are far less than what we have at the moment. We are bringing in a manager we think can tip the balance in our favour. celtic might be over-resourced but you can still only play 11 players. They have a big squad earning a lot of wages but these wages are not all getting on the pitch. There are opportunities there. The Champions League group stages are growing ever harder to reach - even celtic have toiled before. How do you get it?
If it’s hard then it’s harder for both of us. We don’t have to guarantee it, we have to narrow the gap against celtic. If celtic are not getting it then that’s fine in that sense. It’s bad for Scottish football but it doesn’t create a gap between us. You really think it would be like a pack of cards at celtic if you won the league?
celtic’s costs structure is more like we were 10 years ago. We needed Champions League football and if we went into the Europa League we were in trouble because the cost structure was so high. Take that away for one season and it will change the numbers in the celtic side very very quickly. They have the comfort levels we once had of knowing we were going to get Champions League money. We have to take that away from them and hopefully we have started that process on Friday. Do you think celtic should be further ahead?
The question was that with celtic’s resources, does it put you beyond them forever? The answer is clearly no. We have seen the cycle. I was with Rangers when we thought celtic would never catch up - never in a hundred years. I think it lasted 11 minutes of the next game we played against them. Dick Advocaat said they would never, ever catch up. But 11 minutes into the next game they caught up and then went past us because Martin O’Neill came in and figured out a different way to do it. You need the right management structure to do it. At the moment we’ve gone more top heavy on management because we have invested in the squad and struggled with stability in the manager’s office. We’ve gone the other way. We have now gone very, very strong in the management squad.” Do you expect celtic to tool up this summer on the back of Gerrard’s appointment?
He is someone who is not going to tolerate people in the dressing-room who he doesn’t think want to be there - or doesn’t think are capable of delivering on the park. We have lost seven home games and that’s unheard of and it tells you something. It’s character. It’s not because we have a worse team than St Johnstone it’s about the character of the people playing in front of 50,000 at Ibrox. Gerrard understands that very well and understands the type of person he needs to bring in who can deal with that and not be intimidated. You watch again on Saturday when a couple of passes go astray and the murmurs come in and all the players play safe. You want players who are bigger than that who say, ‘Ok I gave the ball away, but I will try that pass again.’ That’s character. Steven knows what he wants to bring into this club to go and win games. Was Graeme Murty undermined by you or the board?
Graeme certainly wasn’t undermined by anything I did. My relationship with him remains good. Every time we met it was always clear to him that he was an interim manager and very unlikely to get the job. He understood that. He was there until the end of the season and he got that. There was no problem with that as far as Graeme was concerned. What changed wasn’t internally at the club, what changed was a focus outside the club with people saying he has done well and should be named as full-time manager. I was saying we’re not going to do that as the appointment was until the end of the season on an interim basis. Graeme knew that if he ended up two or three points behind celtic and won the Scottish Cup he’d be a candidate for the manager’s job. He knew his starting position was temporary and would remain temporary. He was never expecting to get the job even if he might have hoped to. He certainly wasn’t treated shabbily by the club and we are honouring every obligation to him. You are getting outside influences suggesting that but it’s not an internal issue. As far as what went on inside with some of the senior players, do I think he was treated shabbily? Not by the club but I think some of his senior players didn’t show him the level of respect for what he was doing for the club at a very, very difficult time. He wasn’t coming in as a complete, accomplished manager, he was coming in to do us a favour and I think he was undermined partly by some of his own senior players. Not by the board, we continue to support him, the relationship still remains strong and he is most welcome to come back into his old position which we have kept available for him. Will the arrival of Steven Gerrard be a big money spinner for the club?
It will help us in the sense that the climate will be easier to deal with. Some of the Hong Kong investors have already said, ‘Dave we could maybe look at putting more into the club’. It’s not really going to change it from my point of view because we have enough lined up for what we want to do. I don’t want more money into the club at this point in time, I don’t want more money just for the sake of spending it. We have a certain plan and the funds are available for next year whether there is a rights issue or not and I’m not going to change that. But the climate is better, there’s no doubt that the profile of the club is higher. The interest in the club, internationally, we have already seen from Rangers TV output that we have had Chinese and Indonesians and Indians looking at Rangers Football Club because Steven Gerrard is here. That’s good, it improves it but in the short term it will have no impact whatsoever.” What are the chance of Sir David Murray begin involved in the club again?
Zero percent would be a bit on the high side. It’s more than unlikely. You say the SFA have asked you for cash guarantees for next season. Is that unusual?
It’s not unusual in the sense that every club has to put a funding plan. You have to put your business plan for the next season to the authorities to get your SFA and UEFA licences. Every club does it. It’s known we are running at a loss so the automatic question is, ‘You’ve got a plan to run a loss, where is the money going to come from?’ And we say we’re going to have a rights issue and they say, ‘Okay, what if it doesn’t happen, we need to know the cash is there,’ so I provided the cash guarantees as I did with the Takeover Panel on the understanding that my guarantees will be drawn down if there is not a rights issue and if there is an issue those guarantees will come back to me. So basically I am funding it until such time as the other funds come into play, which is What’s the timescale for a share issue?
It will happen I would say definitely by the end of June. It will be in sufficient time for all the close season activity that we are looking to do. You said profitability relies on getting back to the Champions League but would new retail deals, the Hummel contract and the likes help?
What that has done is helped us reduce the deficit. The amount of money we’re having to fund is reduced by the better retail deals and, of course, it depends on transfer activity. Are we net buyers or net sellers? What happens, we’ll see. But basically it’s very, very helpful to us that the deficit we are funding becomes smaller because of these other revenue streams like the retail deals.” Why not sell Alfredo Morelos to clear part of the debt?
There were two reasons. One is we wouldn’t have wiped out the loans in any event because the understanding with the football management team is that if we sell players they get the money back to spend, so it was never going to be used to repay the loans. There is no intention of repaying the loans, it’s not going to happen, no loans will be repaid, so that wouldn’t have helped us in that regard. And, secondly, the manager made a decision not to sell him, it was completely up to the manager. He knew that we could have sold the player but for Graeme’s own targets (and) for what he wanted to do for the second half of the season ... if Morelos went out he couldn’t bring another player in. He said: “I would rather have the player. If you’re not putting me under pressure to get the money I would rather keep the player,” and we told him there was no pressure, you make a football decision. That’s a huge decision to leave in the hands of Murty?
He didn’t have the responsibility of turning it down...it’s opportunity. Outside in it looked like a lot of money - from the inside out too - but the money in the bank didn’t help us. That’s what we said to our football manager. We couldn’t spend the money. But £8 million was an extraordinary amount?
It was a lot of money for that player but how much would it cost us to go out and replace a player who is a proven goalscorer in the Scottish league? That’s the question. Would we have to spend the same again or start with an untested youngster? Secondly, we wanted a strong finish to the season, we wanted a Europa League campaign and to do as well as we could. To take away our number one striker, whom we knew could score goals, was detrimental from a football point of view. It was the board’s responsibility, that decision. We could have imposed it on him but we said to him, as a football manager, what do you want to do? He said the guy scores goals and we want a strong second half to the season. If you would allow me, I would rather keep the player and we said: “You’ve got the player.” It was right at the end of January too, was that a factor?
If we could have recycled the money we might have taken a different view but we couldn’t so the money would have just sat in the bank. There’s no intention to repay the loans. Steven Gerrard might have been grateful for it?
It makes no difference to him, he’s going to get the money anyway. It really makes no difference. Steven is going to get the money he needs to do what he has to do. How do you sell Rangers to loan players, especially those from down south?
If you were at Liverpool certainly, and other clubs probably, and you say you’ve got a chance to put a guy for a year or two with Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister and play for Rangers...Would I rather they went there or played for Hull in the Championship? I would think if the player was of that quality and Steven wanted them they would be better giving them to Rangers knowing at the end of that loan period they would have had the experience and exposure to a really smart, winning team. For Liverpool that would make sense because they would know exactly how they would be treated, the way they are going to play and way they are going to train and they would know what they’re going to get back at the end of it. We’re significantly better off with Steven being there in terms of loans players and the likes than we would be without him, significantly better off. What’s the future of Carlos Pena?
He can’t come back to the club this year anyway, that’s not possible. It’s a decision we’ll have to make in January 2019. He’s one of several earning a big wage. Do you need to get them out before you can bring new faces in?
There’s not a need, because we have to win games. We’re certainly not going to say to the management team, ‘You can’t get these players in until you get these guys out.’ Overall, it’s better if you balance the books but we’re not going to restrict it. It’s more important who we get in but we need to get the balance of getting players in and getting them out. However, we’re not going to say, ‘We can’t get this guy away and so we’re not going to replace him.’ We’re not going to do that and be that restrictive. You’ve said you’re in so far for just over £30 million. Money well spent?
I look at where we are and, certainly, off the pitch there has been huge progress. We wouldn’t have got Steven Gerrard if there wasn’t huge progress off the pitch. Where it’s not working well is on the pitch. That’s something we have to deal with. We have made managerial appointments that didn’t work out, but what do you do? We were under pressure to make an appointment and didn’t see an immediate appointment we felt was appropriate so we waited for months. We think that was the right thing to do and it’s been justified with the appointment we’ve made. It would have been difficult if it wasn’t but you make your decision and you have to see it through. And we remain very, very consistent with what we’re going to do with the club. We will come back, we will win titles. There are set-backs, of course there are set-backs, but it’s our job as a board to deal with the set-backs and not be overly influenced by the noise level coming from the media and small minority of supporters who are just vociferous on these issues. I mean, if we got to the Champions League final and lost it we’d be criticised for lack of ambition for not winning it. It’s the way supporters are but we are realistic from the board’s point of view and carrying on, despite the set-backs we’ve had. We analyse it and keep moving on.” Is that £30 million exclusive of what has been set aside?
Yes. It’s cash guarantees that would be less if we could get other investors in. Basically we’re in a situation where I am saying, ‘If we really have to do something and there’s a set-back and we need money then I’m underpinning it.’ I am in that position where I can at least provide the cash guarantees I have to. But I’m doing it on the hope that it’s not drawn on. That’s my preference, I’d rather other people put the money in right now to at least make progress. But I’m the Bank of First Resort, hopefully not Last Resort. If you’ve got the money, why did you agree a £3 million overdraft with Close Brothers?
It’s a significant achievement. For this club to normalise relationships it’s important. Clubs don’t operate without this facility. No club in the world does. Rangers were in a situation where we were denied facilities. So what we’re proving to the world now is that we can get facilities. We want facilities - I’d love to get an overdraft facility. It shows a normalisation of Rangers. It’s our single greatest achievement. To me, the best thing we did was getting that Close facility. That was huge for this club, that we could actually go out into the market place and finally get a third party to give us that facility. That was enormous for the normalisation of this club. What level of finance might be available to Steven Gerrard?
It’s not like when Graeme Souness came in. We’re not going to sign the England captain, the England goalkeeper and the like. There is a limit to what any manager gets. There is a limit to what Real Madrid get to spend. There is always a limit. But the question is does he, in discussions with us, look at the resources he’ll get to do the job and believe in what we’ve committed to that? He’s not going to come to us and ask us to buy Luis Suarez. We understand where we are and where we’re not. But in terms of what he thinks needs to be done to the squad - to challenge and to win games and get three points every week - then we’ve committed to support that with the necessary funds. What that will be depends on the player plan when he sits down with Mark Allen. He’ll say: “I want these guys out, I’ll get nothing for them. I want to free up the wages while this other player might get us a transfer fee.’ They’ll come up with a whole plan and then say: “This is what we need from the close season.” We’ll then say fine, approve it and provide the funds. How much can you raise from a new shares issue?
We’re going one-for-one on this specific issue. We’ll be looking at just over £16m. Right now it’s £6m cash and £10m in loans but we might go £8m and £8m. If the player plan goes the other way we might do it the other way around. We’ve not yet made our final decision but it won’t be less than £6m new cash.”