DAILY RECORD 🔵 Rangers finance chief insists club no longer on UEFA watchlist – Shango Media

DAILY RECORD 🔵 Rangers finance chief insists club no longer on UEFA watchlist

Rangers finance chief James Taylor has explained where the club stand with UEFA and Financial Fair Play by explaining the monitoring process in THREE key pillars.

Back in 2022, the European governing body placed the Ibrox outfit on the financial watchlist. Taylor says that decision was specifically around an ‘accounting adjustment’ that was perfectly within the rules. Those rules have subsequently progressed, with Taylor moving to explain the situation the club are currently in with UEFA as part of a lengthy sit down Q&A with Four Lads Had a Dream. We previously told how the finance chief has mapped out the Ibrox club’s plan to wipe out the £10.5million pre-player trading loss that chairman John Bennett told shareholders “had to go away” and to “keep an eye on” at the AGM.

Speaking in depth and explaining the three cornerstones to give supporters a clearer picture of the current situation, he told Four Lads: « As a football club, you are right, we were on a financial watchlist with regards to UEFA from the CFCB in relation to last year or a couple of years ago and it was specifically around a particular accounting adjustment. It was perfectly within the rules but it was something that was bringing revenue back from a Covid position that automatically, effectively, makes you go onto a watchlist.

« That was the case and I think UEFA rules are moving forward, they have progressed. The regulation within UEFA has changed now from what we define as FFP to something that is along the lines of UEFA club licensing and UEFA monitoring. From a licensing standpoint, as long as we have a positive balance sheet, then from a purely financial angle, and there are a number of other things that go into it, but from a financial angle that would tick that box and we are comfortable there with regards to our balance sheet as it stands today.

« In terms of the UEFA monitoring, and you mentioned the word ‘worry’ and that is something that I want to make sure doesn’t go away from my vocabulary because I need to be on top of these things. This is something, the accountability, is something that I take very seriously. From a monitoring standpoint, there are three pillars and we are effectively covered by all three. The first one is overdue payables so we need to ensure that there are no football debts outstanding – transfer fees, contingent transfer fees, what have you.

« The second one is around football earnings. So this is what you would typically define as FFP and what you see down south in terms of Everton and Nottingham Forest and some of the challenges down there. That is in terms of the losses that you make over a period of time so there are – and I won’t bore you with it – a number of different add-backs that you can put in for women’s football, for academy football, for community investments that are allowable investments. You take your number effectively on a profit and loss basis and then add back a number of those investments and you have a tolerable level, ours is five million euros.

James Taylor
James Taylor

« So making sure that we are within that, and certainly in terms of the numbers that we posted last year we were within that tolerable level. We are comfortable with that. That is one that we really need to keep an eye on as we move forward because a club like Rangers, in the macro-environment that it is in from a commercial angle, is different to a Fulham, a Brighton, to anyone down south because of the value of the media revenues that we have here versus the value of the media revenues in England. If we have a good European season, or if we have a bad European season, it can significantly impact on some of those football earning ratios.

« So it is important for us that when we are making investments, when say we qualify for the Champions League, we need to make investments on a sustainable basis. So that if, for example, the season after we go into the Europa League, we don’t have a blow out in terms of our football earnings. That is something we are very close to and on top of.

« The third one, which again I think most supporters will be aware of, is the squad cost ration. This is where effectively you are looking at all of your player costs, your football management costs and associated earnings and looking at that against your revenue. A couple of add backs, a couple of adjustments here and there again, but broadly the way that UEFA are implementing this is over a three-year period.

« This year you had to be at 90 per cent, next year it is 80 per cent and the following season it will be 70 per cent and it will stay at 70 moving forward. Our current ratio is well below 70 per cent so we are comfortable where that stands. This is why revenue growth for this football club has been so important in recent years, it really gives us a platform on which to build, a platform that we can move forward with confidence in terms of signing players, in terms of investing in the first team, in terms of making sure that the product on the park is as good as we can make it.

« All of those, individually, we are comfortable with at the moment. That doesn’t mean to say that we should be relaxed about it. We need to be on top of it, we need to continually assess and make sure that we are where we need to be.

« But from a UEFA standpoint, we feel that as a football club we are progressing. We have got a really good relationship with UEFA, we maintain that relationship with UEFA and I think that is important as we move forward as well. »

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