Rangers – What Now?

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The end of Sir David Murray’s
reign at Ibrox was in sight around 2006. Speculation grew as his silence
increased, and 5 years later he found a buyer for the club. In those preceding
years, his media appearances, formerly plentiful, screeched suddenly to a halt.
No more interviews with any of
the TV channels, very few interviews with press journalists, and it was left to
club CEO Martin Bain to effectively run the club both inside and through the
media. There is no question that he was thoroughly chastised for not defending
Rangers very well at all. Only on one or two occasions did Bain actually
release statements on the behalf of the club and the near-incredulity from fans
that the club was defending itself told its own story. On the 16th of September
2008 Bain did so, focusing on the criticism the famine song was receiving:
            “Clearly some supporters feel aggrieved that
a song they believe to be no more than a tit-for-tat ‘wind-up’ of Celtic
supporters should be singled out in this way. In recent times, the absence of
sanction or attention directed at any other club supports the contention this
is very much a one-way street.”
A rare moment of the club fighting
back, something fans appreciated given how silent the chairman had become. Once
Murray, Bain et al were gone from the picture however, the new owner Craig
Whyte became more obsessed with defending himself
than the club; when the BBC uncovered his murky past he ‘banned’ from them
from Ibrox in October 2011:
            “Rangers Football Club is withdrawing
all co-operation with the BBC as of today. The decision has been taken due to
the repeated difficulties the club has encountered with the BBC this
season.”
Of course they were not actually
banned, they were just being ignored. Contracts are contracts. And while the
disgracefully edited video regarding Ally McCoist was certainly nothing to do
with Craig Whyte, he nevertheless defended himself as opposed to defending the
club. After that documentary ‘the Inside Story’ which was purely focused on
Craig Whyte, the alarm bells were certainly starting to ring and Whyte knew it.
Once Whyte was gone from the club
himself Charles Green took over. And after some initial scepticism from a large
portion of the fanbase the Yorkshireman won supporters over; mainly because at
last here was true leadership. After around 6 years of dreadful captaining,
Rangers finally had a leader who was willing to speak up for the club. He said
what he thought, he put his neck on the line and he found himself up on more
than one disrepute charge as a result.
But fans finally had a voice –
someone, who might not have been born under a lion rampant, but who became
adopted and one of them. And he was loved for it. For a while. For a while
Rangers had a man who would not take the SPL and SFA’s ridiculous flak lying
down – who had no interest in self-preservation and every interest in
supporting the club and its fans. A sacrificial lamb of sorts, but one with its
own sword too.
But then support started to wean.
After tapes recorded by ex-owner Whyte were published by the Sun, supporters’
trust in Green started to slide. Despite the complete lack of proof or tangible
evidence Green had done anything wrong, fans were incredibly quick to believe
Whyte’s evidence. Green even admitted he had swindled Whyte to gain control of
Rangers – and instead of many fans being pleased this businessman had saved
their club by whatever method, they rounded on him for his ‘dishonesty’. Some
even compared the two men as kindred spirits.
Then there was the quite abysmal
racism nonsense in February this year:
            “I was brought up in a mining community
where whether someone was black, white, Catholic, Salvation Army, Protestant
made no difference. When I played at Worksop
Town, the other striker
was ‘Darkie’ Johnson. Now if I say that today I could go to jail. You know,
Imran will come into the office regularly and I’ll say, ‘How’s my Paki
friend?’”
Clearly Green is highlighting
here how terms acceptable decades ago are not tolerated now. How it did not
matter in the past who you were or where you came from, everyone was treated
the same. But that the world is different now. This is not racism, and if it is then so is this article for publishing the
quote – just using the term in an educational, illustrative and non-malicious
manner is not racism. But bewilderingly many Rangers supporters decided that it
was and used it against Green. Not long after, he stepped down – having lost
the support of fans he had given so much to, including the life of their club,
he was nigh-on stabbed in the back and kicked out by both them and the club.
So, where are we today?
Rudderless and leaderless, that sums it up. With interim CEO Craig Mather doing
absolutely nothing so far to show he is a worthy successor on any level, the
club bumbles from one PC shambles to another. Chairman Malcolm Murray having
been more or less outed as the ‘mole’, while drunken videos of him are released
on YouTube, as the current CEO broods quietly. The boardroom histrionics are
absolutely horrific – the honest truth is that while the club tries to rebuild
on the park in earnest, off it Rangers FC are falling to pieces.
The club is alive, but it is
currently on life-support. The infighting within the hierarchy, the daily dose
of chaotic news from up the Marble staircase highlights the sickening parade of
lunacy this club is currently going through.
How many fans now regret turning
on Charles Green? He was a blowhard, and provided the occasional verbal
faux-pas, accepted. But with the club being so silent on the current state of
flux, someone needs to speak up. No one does.
The malaise as it stands is
affecting the uptake of season tickets. A hardcore of die hards will still buy
theirs, and that is to their credit. But the majority are holding off. No one
even knows where their money is now going, nor who will be running the club in
a month’s time. To add further confusion, Paul Murray and Dave King have come
back for what seems like an 8th time to threaten a takeover, while the club has
no idea if it will be in the Second Division or not.
Meanwhile, at least we signed
Cammy Bell!