Graham Wallace's response to the key questions

GRAHAM WALLACE sat in the Blue Room at Ibrox yesterday with the most distinguished faces in Rangers' history looking down on him and the weight of expectation from supporters on his shoulders.

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Rangers CEO Graham Wallace had to face some tough questions from the media after the club's 120-day review was released
Rangers CEO Graham Wallace had to face some tough questions from the media after the club's 120-day review was released

The Light Blues chief executive unveiled the results of his 120-day business review and attempted to paint a bright vision for the future despite a bleak financial picture.

This was his moment to win over a disgruntled, distrusting fanbase and here are his answers to the big questions ...

On a day when you announce redundancies, there are still people at the club who could claim a bonus and that angers a lot of people.

GW: "The important issue would be to look at the governance framework that exists in the club and take reassurance from the fact that the club is being operated in a professional, managed, governed way and if there is compensation that is appropriate for any executive in the club, that it is assessed and benchmarked in an appropriate way.

"This is not about anyone on the board voting themselves into huge bonuses using the fans' money. Far from it."

Can you receive a bonus for on-field success?

GW: "I don't think it is appropriate for me to be going into the details of exactly what my individual compensation is. If you are asking the question, 'do I get a bonus if the team wins the league and gets promoted as has happened in the past?' the answer is no."

How can you justify spending more money on players when you already spend a lot more than your competitors?

GW: "If you look at the evolution of the squad and you look at what we have got now, you ask yourself, 'do we need the squad we have got today to have competed this season or last season?'. Quite clearly not.

"We have won both divisions by some considerable margin. However, those decisions have been taken. We work with what we have.

"Our focus is very much to ensure that we can win the Championship next season to be back in the top division the year after.

"We have got a number of players whose contracts end this summer.

"As part of the manager's planning, we look at the squad and where the gaps are, he is assessing what he wants to do with regards to renewals and, working together at a financial level, we will agree what we can afford to do."

Is this situation worse than you thought when you came into the job?

GW: "I knew it was a big challenge, no doubt about that.

"My view of it today is no different from when I first joined the club, I genuinely believe I can make difference. I genuinely believe I can get the business running and growing and operating the way I want. I have never thought of walking away.

"As long as I am adding value then I will be here."

Why do the club feel the need to hire another media spin doctor at a time when you are looking to cut costs? Could the money not have been better spent elsewhere?

GW: "I think you have to trust my judgement as chief executive in terms of looking at the areas of the business where we should be spending money and where we need support.

"We are not entering into significant, long-term deals for huge amounts of money that is putting other people's jobs at risk. What my focus is is making sure that we have got the right capability within the club."

What has happened to the investors Sandy Easdale said were waiting in the wings?

GW: "I can't speak on what Sandy Easdale has said or what was in his mind at the time. We've had discussions with people who are interested in being potential investors.

"As you know, at the AGM we did not get the authority to issue a substantial share issue. That was voted down because of shareholders' concern about who was going to be on the board at that time.

"We've said today we will be going back out in the autumn for shareholder approval for a substantial equity raise.

"We've indicated the magnitude of investment we feel the business needs over the next three years.

"If there are additional investors over and above the existing shareholders who wish to invest then that's fantastic."

Surely it is in the club's best interests to take the investment on offer from Dave King?

GW: "We've met with Dave King and he has made many pronouncements about his willingness to engage and to invest.

"But we do not have the authority right now to issue £30million of shares so even if Dave wanted to participate tomorrow, the club does not have the authority.

"That's why we are saying we will go to our shareholders in the autumn to get that authority.

"Those shares will be offered in line with established process: existing shareholders will get the opportunity and if there are untaken shares available then new investors will also get that opportunity."

Why not do that now?

GW: "I think in six months we have a far more stable business that shareholders will be happier to support.

A lot of fans think there are people pulling the strings behind the scenes. Can you categorically deny that to the supporters?

GW: "When I sit in the boardroom there categorically is no one pulling strings, no one is exercising influence over what we are doing."

The £5.5m to purchase the club. Did the consortium bring any new money into the club?

GW: "I don't know the answer to that."

Could the purchase of the club have been raised from subsequent revenue, in other words, not unlike the Craig Whyte situation?

GW: "I don't know. This is a statement of what has happened in the past in terms of the income generated and where it has been spent.

What I am looking at is where we are at now and where we are going forward. Questions about specifically what was paid and when it was paid is probably not a question for the football club."

Did the £5.5million to purchase the club come out of the IPO money?

GW: "I guess my answer would be the same as before. That is not a question for me, it is not a question for the football club."

Finance

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