Rangers are in 'final phase' of financial recovery as club targets Champions League money

Rangers board member James Bisgrove has hailed chairman Douglas Park and vice-chairman John Bennett for their roles in restoring the commercial fortunes of the Ibrox club.

Rangers' commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove (centre) with Castore co-founders Phil and Tom Beahon at the relaunch of the Ibrox club's stadium retail outlet at the start of the season. (Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Rangers' commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove (centre) with Castore co-founders Phil and Tom Beahon at the relaunch of the Ibrox club's stadium retail outlet at the start of the season. (Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Bisgrove, a former head of sponsorship at UEFA, joined Rangers as commercial and marketing director in the summer of 2019. He has helped oversee significant improvement in revenue streams, including a five-year kit deal with Castore, and feels a return to Champions League football next season can help restore Rangers as ‘one of the biggest clubs in Europe’ after repairing the damage caused by their financial crisis in 2012.

“The club is now coming to the final phase of the recovery period,” Bisgrove told football business website Off The Pitch.

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Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

“Where we have been, we had to recover, but we have been incredibly fortunate that we have had a committed group of investors such as Douglas Park and John Bennett who have invested so heavily in the club, which has allowed us to kick on and focus on both domestic and international growth.

“Make no mistake, we still have a long way to go if we want to realise the club's full commercial potential, but I feel that we have executed our strategy in an effective manner and maybe a little bit quicker than we thought.

“But there is no one at this club standing still. I would say that what you have seen lately on the pitch is reflecting what we try to achieve off the pitch as well.

“Firstly, we have to acknowledge the variations in the broadcasting landscape and the very big differences in these revenues. If you end bottom of the table in the English Premier League you will receive around €100 million. If you end up winning the Scottish Premier League you would receive around €4 million. I guess that tells a story about what we are up against, and it also tells us why qualifying to Champions League is so important for us due to the revenues we could receive.

“But we benchmark ourselves to the top European clubs. And, in the short term, I am not talking about Real Madrid and Barcelona, but perhaps the likes of Porto, Ajax and Dortmund. We are not there yet – but we are on the way back as one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”

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