By Lucy Ashton
Rangers have announced an operating profit for a second successive year, reporting a gain of £252,000 from an £83.8 million turnover for the year to June.
The latest annual figures include “record commercial revenue” and “positive player trading”.
The profit is down £5.5 million on last year, with turnover dropping by £3 million while costs rose from £97 million to £108 million.
The Ibrox club returned to the Champions League group stage for the first time in 12 years last season.
Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was subsequently sacked and replaced by Michael Beale, who departed last month.
“While successive years of operating profitability can be seen as encouraging, especially in light of what had gone before, there is still much work to be done,” said chairman John Bennett.
“The club vision must be simple and clear: sustainable success. This applies both on and off the pitch and it must be a mantra by which all at the club live.”
Twelve months ago, the operating profit was £5.9 million – helped by a run to the Europa League final, the sale of Scotland full-back Nathan Patterson to Everton and compensation for former boss Steven Gerrard, left, and his backroom staff from Aston Villa.
This period covers the sale of Calvin Bassey for close to £20 million, along with Joe Aribo, generating a player trading profit of £23.6 million.
“I have talked previously of the four components of financial sustainability: season ticket sales, commercial revenue, European football and player trading,” added Bennett. “While the first of these components will never be taken for granted, it is the fourth that requires attention.
“Player trading will always be inherently volatile, yet Rangers must replace sporadic ‘wins’ with systematic success. It is a given that it all begins with player recruitment. This is an area of priority for your board, and we anticipate that the coming months will see a strengthening in the leadership and processes of our football department, specifically with this in mind.”
A turnover decrease of £3 million is explained by not having post-group stage knockout European football, with home fixtures down from nine to five.
Across the year, 15 million shares were issued, converting £3.7 million of shareholder loans to equity and the club has spent close to £19 million on upgrades to Ibrox Stadium, the training complex and New Edmiston House over the past two years.
Rangers qualified for the women’s Champions League for the first time last season, losing out to Benfica in the second play-off round before finishing third in the defence of the SWPL.
The cost of Beale’s exit and the recruitment of his successor Philippe Clement are not covered in the report, while Rangers are in the process of appointing a new director of football.