Borrowing was part of the plan, says Rangers chief executive Wallace

RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace last night defended the loan agreement that the club have struck with two shareholders, and insisted the terms were at "normal" market rate.

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Sandy Easdale (left) and Laxey Partners have agreed a combined £1.5m loan with Graham Wallace (right)

Wallace also said that the £1.5million facility was part of the business plan he inherited last year and "not a crisis loan".

Rangers supporters, though, have voiced their unease with the arrangement struck with Sandy Easdale, chairman of Rangers Football Club, and Laxey Partners, the largest single shareholder in Rangers International Football Club.

According to a statement made to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, Easdale is prepared to loan up to £500,000 with no fee or interest attached.

Laxey will lend up to £1m, "with a premium payment equal to 15% of the facility", which means they will receive £150,000 for providing the loan.

Both facilities will need to be repaid by September 1 2014 - using up to £1.5m of next season's revenue - although it is at Laxey's discretion to accept their premium payment in cash or shares.

The loans are also secured against Edmiston House and the Albion car park.

"It's not a last-minute panic," Wallace said. "There was always an assumption that there would be some measure of short-term funding required. All this is doing is putting in place a facility that provides us with some financial headroom.

"The proportion being provided by Laxey is at a normal commercial rate, that rate having been reviewed and signed off as appropriate by the company's advisor.

"It's not different to a level of interest cost that you would except to have on any commercial borrowing. It's secured simply to provide a measure of security."

Supporters, though, are unhappy that other shareholders offered to provide funding, but were rejected in favour of terms that are profitable to Laxey Partners.

"We had a number of conversations with a cross-section of shareholders and other institutions," Wallace said.

"There were several alternatives available. We decided to go down this route after taking advice from our NOMAD [nominated advisor, Daniel Stewart] and looking at the overall economics of it.

"It's not [£1.5m to pay the wages for the next three months], it's a facility to use against our operating costs, as they are defrayed by our ability to generate income and that income coming in."


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