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Rangers Shares Begin Trading As Club Floats

(c) Sky News 2012

Rangers Football Club say they raised more than £20m from their listing on the stock exchange, as shares begin trading.

Fans of the Glasgow club - who were Scottish champions a record 54 times - contributed £5m, while £17m was raised from large institutional investors.

Rangers' manager Ally McCoist said he was impressed by the backing of fans, and vowed to spend any cash he receives wisely.

"In the lead-up to Christmas, when finances are tight at the best of times, in a recession, for our supporters to go into their pockets and come up with that money is another incredible show of support for this football club," he said.

"The one thing the investors and, certainly, the fans deserve is for their money to be used wisely."

The club's shares will be traded under the ticker RFC on the smaller Alternative Investment Market (AIM), part of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE.L - news) .

Shares were offered at 70p, valuing the club at £45m, and opening up at 75p.

Rangers' return to the stock market comes after they were demoted earlier this year following the collapse of their former parent company.

Chief executive Charles Green, whose company bought Rangers for £5.5m in June, said the listing was an important step to ensuring the future success of the club.

"We are delighted to see our plans for bringing Rangers back to its glory days coming to fruition; a key part of which is its listing on AIM today," he said.

"The response from investors and fans alike has been tremendous and we are very proud to have such loyal supporters."

He added: "With a settled squad, led by manager Ally McCoist, the club has made a strong start to the 2012/13 season and the Rangers brand and facilities provide tremendous opportunities for commercialisation and expansion."

Mr Green was listed as the club's main shareholder with a stake of almost 15%, which will now be diluted - although he said he did not plan to add to his shares.

The owner of Newcastle FC and Sports Direct chain Mike Ashley was the third largest shareholder with 9% before the issue of extra shares, behind a consortium called Blue Pitch Holdings.

Mr McCoist had almost a three per cent stake before the issue and said he planned to buy more, although his shareholding will be diluted.

:: Rangers chief executive Charles Green will be on Jeff Randall Live from 7pm

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