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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 14:46 UK

Rangers owned Sir David Murray hints at new signings

Rangers owner Sir David Murray and manager Walter Smith

By Douglas Fraser
BBC Scotland business editor

Sir David Murray insists "limited funds" are available for Rangers boss Walter Smith to purchase new players.

The former chairman, who controls 90% of Ibrox club, told BBC Scotland that directors are planning to help the club through its wait for a buyer.

He said the sale of his stake is the remit of chairman Alistair Johnston.

Murray insisted it was "obvious" that Smith will require investment after reducing the squad to ease the club's finances with a reduced wage bill.

The delay in Murray selling his stake in Rangers continues, while London-based Andrew Ellis carries out background research and mulls over a bid reported to be worth £33m.

Murray was commenting as he filed the accounts of his company, Murray International Holdings, which control of more than 90% of Rangers as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Murray's company reported a £175m loss, mainly through write-downs in its property portfolio, and also through the price of metal falling sharply during the 17-month accounting period to the middle of last year.

Rangers suffered a £12.7m loss and saw its debt rise to £31m during the year to June 2009.

There's no truth to the bank wanting to ring fence the season ticket money

Sir David Murray

However, Murray is confident it will turn a profit in the current year and next, having just re-qualified for European competition next season and Smith will be in a position to add players to the Ibrox roster.

"There are limited funds available to strengthen the team, which is necessary, and Alistair Johnston and the board are drawing up a business plan for that," said Murray.

Murray has denied there was any cross-guarantee of funding between Rangers and other parts of his business empire. However, he has had to disentangle the cross-guarantees used between other divisions.

Rangers debt levels are being reduced under pressure from Lloyds Banking Group and are expected to be closer to about £20m by June.

The former Ibrox chairman firmly denied reports that the bank is insisting on using ticket sales revenue to pay down any of the club's debt.

"There's no truth to the bank wanting to ring fence the season ticket money," he said.

Responding to reports that Rangers are under investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, the former chairman said the club would respond robustly.

He added: "Lots of football clubs and other businesses are in a similar situation."

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see also
Lloyds in lifeline deal with MIH
30 Apr 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Rangers investigated on tax issue
28 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers chair hopeful on signings
27 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers can handle debt - Smith
06 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers boss open to fans' buyout
29 Mar 10 |  Rangers
Rangers enter talks on takeover
08 Mar 10 |  Rangers

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