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By ESPN Staff

Rangers reveal financial figures

Rangers have announced a retained profit of £11.9 million for the six months to December 31, thanks to their participation in the Champions League group stages.

Interim results for the Scottish champions also revealed that turnover for the six-month period decreased by £4.1 million to £33.7 million due to a reduction in their number of home games in the Scottish Premier League.

Net operating expenses at £21.1 million were in line with last year, while the figures confirmed a 4.9% decline in the number of season tickets sold.

As the figures were announced, Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston appeared to criticise the role of the Lloyds Banking Group, accusing them of compromising the efforts of manager Walter Smith.

Speaking in a statement, he said: "Bank facilities have been renewed in the normal cycle until 31 December 2011.

"However, while we appreciate the support of the Lloyds Banking Group through the Bank of Scotland in extending our credit arrangement and recognising the progress that has been made in developing a template for collaboration, certain provisions imposed on the club continue to compromise, in our opinion, management's ability to conduct its role with maximum efficiency.

"Having said that, as has been widely reported, the majority shareholder is currently engaged in ongoing discussion with a view to selling its equity interest in the club.

"The outcome of this process could change the role that the bank will play in going forward in its financial structure.''

Johnston was making reference to an ongoing takeover bid by Scottish tycoon Craig Whyte, who this week appeared to move closer to a buy-out of Sir David Murray's shares.

He added: "We are all acutely aware of the distractions off the park, but can assure all stakeholders that our objective of adding the SPL trophy to the Co-operative Insurance Cup and providing Walter Smith with a fitting finale is resolute.

"The strength of the club is in its collective and unyielding support to achieve footballing success. I thank you for your commitment and passion as we challenge for another title.''

Johnston also acknowledged the investigation by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over a tax issue, which relates to offshore payments to players.

He said: "Distinctly separate from the Discounted Option Scheme, and in touching on HMRC's enquiry into the Murray Group Management Limited Remuneration Trust, I would emphasise that no allegations have been made to suggest any illegal activity, and tax vehicles of this type have been used by a number of companies throughout the country.

"We continue to vigorously contest HMRC's challenge on the taxation treatment of the Trust and in doing so continue to receive reassuring opinion from tax, accounting and legal specialists.''

Johnston concluded: "The club has been actively involved in current discussions regarding the restructuring of Scottish football, and in particular the Scottish Premier League.

"However, there are no conclusions as yet to an agreed structure, but we hope that a consensus can be reached to revitalise the game in this country and its standing in European football.''


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