John Bennett has been kicking tyres and James Taylor has been crunching numbers. Between them, and with the help of the Ibrox executive, the deficit will disappear as Rangers move from red into black.

Bennett, the Rangers chairman, urged supporters and shareholders to ‘keep an eye’ on a £10.5million pre-player trading loss when he spoke at the Annual General Meeting in December. In his words, it ‘has to go away’.

Now, in his first exclusive interview since being appointed as finance officer last year, Taylor has outlined how Rangers will move towards break even and self-sustainability as plans are put in place for the next five-year financial cycle.

A small operating profit of around £250,000 was posted to the year ending June 30, 2023 but revenue was down overall compared to the previous period. Commercial incomes, which have hit record levels in recent seasons, will naturally play a part and sporting success remains as imperative as ever for Rangers.

On and off the park, Taylor knows Rangers must ensure they get the best ‘bang for their buck’ and every area – from the first team to the academy and women and club operation - will be looked at. The days of £10million losses must come to an end sooner rather than later.

“There are a number of different facets around how we make that go away,” Taylor told the Rangers Review. “I think you will see across various different football clubs that that is a challenging target, to be clear, but I think it is one that we should set ourselves and that we believe as an exec and a board that we can deliver against.

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“It will likely take the first half of the strategic cycle to really deliver on that and deliver on that consistently but we do thing that we are on the right path. The changes that we have made in the first four or five months, we are seeing the outcomes of those. But it will take a little bit of time to make sure that we have that sustainable number moving forward and making that £10million go away.”

That process will be one of ‘cost optimisation’ as Rangers move towards a sustainable, self-funding business model that does not rely on external investment from Bennett and his band of backers. The support that many have given is considerable and it remains crucial and the position, when compared to clubs in England or on the continent, is ‘enviable’ for Taylor.

The main concern for supporters is, of course, what money is put on the pitch. A summer spend of more than £20million continues to be questioned but further funds have been set aside for the acquisition of Mohamed Diomande and potential move for Oscar Cortes.

“In terms of the cash position, again we have made a number of sales in recent years and you referred to the timing of transfer fees, whether it be three or four instalments or whatever it may be, and again that is no different,” Taylor said. “We have still got, as we mentioned, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey just recently.

Rangers Review: SNS

"Again there are funds there that we will look to utilise and build the squad with. While we recognise it in one year, the cash benefit comes through a number of different years. As I say, it is important that the football board and the finance world are fully joined up and I think we are beginning to see the merits and benefits of that football board as we move forward.”

Given the myriad of financial issues that plagued Rangers for so long, there is arguably not a fan base in Scotland that is more in-tune with the money machinations at their club. That burden is carried by the investors as well as the executives.

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Taylor confirmed at a recent fan forum event that Rangers had no issues in terms of their compliance with UEFA regulations, which have evolved from the Financial Fair Play rules that many would have become accustomed to. On the three measurables – overdue payables, football earnings and squad cost base – Rangers are operating within the allowed parameters.

“All of those, individually, we are comfortable with at the moment,” Taylor said. “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.”