IT is a King's ransom … but the pretender to the throne at Ibrox is prepared to pay it.
Dave King, the South African businessman who is seeking to push through a substantial cash investment plan at Rangers, has put a price tag on the club's entrance fee to the higher reaches of Scottish football.
"I think the minimum - if we get lucky - is £30m and we will probably need £50m. That would be to compete with Celtic," he said in an interview with SportTimes.
He added: "The Rangers strategy should be a simple thing and I have discussed this with institutions. It is this: every year we have to compete with Celtic. That is the business plan. And that is Celtic's business plan as well. We have to beat them and they have to beat us. "
He also derided a continual lack of competition as corrosive to the financial health of both Celtic and Rangers. "Nine-in-row is terrible for Celtic and nine-in-a-row is terrible for Rangers. It is good for the fans, but bad for business," he said.
He said investment was needed so that Rangers were not condemned to being "also-rans" in Scottish football and pointed out that a "dilapidated" Ibrox needed an upgrade.
He said he was willing to meet the shortfall in any investment plan, even if he had to pay the "thick end" of £50million.
"I am not going into this on the basis that I have to make a return on an investment. I actually believe whatever I invest in Rangers I will never get back. But I am happy to do it," said the Castlemilk-born businessman who lost £20m in Rangers under the Sir David Murray regime.
He insisted fans should be patient as they awaited the board's business review which should be published next month and was dismayed by the sabre-rattling by some supporters.
" I think it is the view of some of the supporters that they are looking for a fight. My preference is not to fight," he said.
"Unfortunately, it was reinforced to me in my visit to Scotland that there are a lot of people who are so emotional about this that they almost don't want the board to say everything is okay.
"They are just ready for the fight."
But he was hopeful that Rangers could come through the crisis that has besieged the club in recent years.
"I will be very surprised if that, through the efforts of myself and other people, Rangers do not come through this in a healthy way and ultimately get back to where we all think they should belong," he said.