RANGERS PR guru Jack Irvine today said fans need to “get a grip on reality” amid financial fears at the Ibrox club.
The row broke out as chief executive Graham Wallace and manager Ally McCoist today launched an initiative to enhance fan engagement.
The first phase of Ready to Listen is a survey designed to give supporters a “genuine voice” in the future of their club.
More than 1.2 million Rangers fans will be contacted with the survey through email, text messgae, social media, and matchday activity.
Wallace said: “We need fans to know that by working together, we have the ability to position the club for a stable, successful and sustainable future.
“We hope supporters will engage with the Club and talk to us openly. We value their input and we are ready to listen.”
Earlier today, Rangers confirmed to the Stock Exchange they are in talks with investors over a £1.5million loan.
The Easdale brothers and Laxey Partners, the largest single shareholder in Rangers International Football Club, are prepared to lend the club money.
Although no agreement has been finalised, it is understood the money would be repaid in the form of shares rather than cash.
Fears about an imminent cash-flow problem are growing among fans, although Wallace is adamant there are enough funds to continue trading.
Rangers Supporters’ Association chief, Drew Roberton, said: “This latest move certainly suggests there are short-term cash issues.
“Administration is still a fear for fans.
“I know Mr Wallace has said it is not an issue and it’s not going to happen again.
“But I don’t think today’s announcment is something that makes fans feel that administration won’t happen.
“It is very difficult for fans’ fears to be alleviated.”
It is understood that Rangers’ cash reserves are diminishing.
Jack Irvine, Rangers spokesman, said: “It is ludicrious for fans’ organisation to be making this claim.
“They have to get a grip on reality.”
Launching Ready to Listen, McCoist said: “Our fans have shown unbelievable passion, commitment and support for their Club since the dark days of administration.
“It is only right our loyal fanbase has a major say going forward.”
The next significant batch of income will be not arrive until season ticket renewals begin to come in during the summer.
Wallace, who is in the midst of a 120-day review of every aspect of Rangers’ business, admitted after the annual meeting of shareholders last year that cost-cutting is required.
The statement read: “The Board of Rangers confirms that it is holding discussions with two major shareholders with a view to arranging a loan of up to £1.5m to provide working capital for the company.
“Documentation and terms have not been finalised, and a further announcement will be made when appropriate.”
The loan from James Easdale, who is a director of Rangers International Footbal Club plc, and Sandy Easdale, a director of Rangers Football Club, and Laxey Partners would be up to £1.5m, and the repayment in shares would be happen at some point in the next 12 monthsthat some Rangers directors were in London yesterday meeting shareholders.
Mr Roberton added: “It is good to see directors putting their money where their mouth is.
“And I hope this deal is more beneficial for Rangers than the people putting the money in.
“But I am sceptical that it will be a better deal for the club.
“It has been well documented that the previous financial director Brian Stockbridge beleieved the financial low point for the club would be april.
“But it seems that Stockbridge’s forecast was optimistic.”
Any lending of funds would be seen as a vote of confidence in Wallace, although setting aside 120 days to review the business of a football club – which is fairly straightforward – is seen as a reflection of the difficult issues he faces.