Who Runs Rangers?

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During Sir David Murray’s tenure
at the Ibrox chair, particularly towards the end, accusations were being made
that the club was too silent. Gone were the media bravado and regular
interviews in the Mint’s office, replaced by relative quiet sporadically interrupted
by the occasional statement from CEO Martin Bain.
The lack of the club standing up
for itself was something of extreme irritation to fans who desired defence in
face of a considerable deal of adversity. When Charles Green took over last
year, fans, after initial dubiety, warmed to him hugely. The man was a
straight-talking Yorkshireman with every desire to fight publicly for his club.
He might not have been born under a Rangers crest, but he had every desire to
battle in its name.
For one reason or another,
covered in previous blogs, Green stepped down in February, leaving the door
open for a new era of leadership. With him gone, an opportunity was there for a
replacement who could suit the wildly-opposing worlds of football and finance –
Rangers and business. In other words potentially a supporter of the club who
could be able to run it as well.
With my heart doing all the
talking I proposed Walter Smith – zero business experience but an attempt at
giving the club some identity back. I was, rightly, scorned by all and sundry
as it was a silly notion but one borne from desperation.
The chance was there for the
right man to be installed, but instead of a permanent appointment Rangers
supporters were given an acting or ‘interim’ CEO in the guise of Craig Mather.
A director of Rangers, Mather’s calling was mostly a sports management company
called ‘Simply Sports Management’:
            “Craig is a highly motivated
businessman with a proven track record of launching successful companies for
large corporate entities and PLCs. He brings both business qualifications and
extensive corporate experience to Simply Sport Management.”
Promising enough stuff on the
surface, and a clinically successful businessman is certainly not the worst
place to start. On Rangers Mather has said:
            “I met Charles Green a while ago and we
have a few common contacts. He put the idea to me, and I’ve always been a lover
of football. I’ve been to a number of the Old Firm clashes and I remember going
there as a younger boy and having goosebumps listening to the roar, and I
couldn’t imagine that it would never happen again.”
He also tried to bridge the
emotion/business gap by stating, at the time of his investment, that it was
’emotional’:
             “It’s the first emotional investment I’ve
made. It’s long-term – who knows what’s around the corner.”
So on paper a sports management
guru with focus on youth development who has always been a ‘lover of football’
and has a manufacturing company as well boasting a figure of £17M turnover with
over a hundred staff seems, in theory, not the worst CEO Rangers could be
endowed with.
Unfortunately his tenure has been
littered with bad press and a complete lack of public statements reassuring the
fans to the contrary. If there was not Malcolm Murray and the nonsense
surrounding him, there was the Imran Ahmad controversies. The ‘mole’ saga was
frankly ridiculous and the complete absence of comment from the top during a
very messy period following Green’s departure alienated supporters.
Every day seemed to be a new
downpour of dire press, with the Whytesnake rearing his ugly head to add insult
to injury. Still Mather nor anyone else spoke.
It is fair to say that rather
abhorrent month or two does seem to have faded and that is a relief, with more
positive stories about decent signings filling the back pages instead. Sadly
these have been countered by the rather poor revelation that Alloa Athletic and
not Rangers will be representing Division 2 on the new SPFL board, a ridiculous
concept proving the biggest club in the country is being deliberately
overlooked when it comes to having a real voice. The right to vote has been
returned to the club and it was on that Mather focused and not his club’s
complete absence from the board:
            “This is the status Rangers should have and
we look forward to playing a full and leading part in the rebuilding of
Scottish football.”
In a very watery statement Mather
provided no objection at all to Alloa being allotted representation and not
Rangers. This is no dig at Alloa, they are an honourable club; but if Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee Utd
have seats on the board as the 3 biggest clubs in the SPL, then it is frankly
bewildering the largest club is blanked entirely.
His tenure is an extremely
unconvincing one. Some supporters are enjoying his ‘dignified’ approach while
others are aghast at the lack of apparent and cohesive strength in his
leadership.
Furthermore with Walter Smith
being appointed non-executive chairman, the former manager’s new position
increasingly appears to be nothing more than a symbolic attempt at appeasing
the fans – he quite simply has no clout and is not able to do anything from a
non-executive position. So there is no real leadership from him either.
I personally remain unconvinced
overall and I hope either Mather steps his performance up somewhat or is
replaced by someone who can.
Rangers deserve that.

3 COMMENTS

  1. not sure whether the no news is good news regarding Rangers
    With so much happening in the passed and the Whyte saga still lingering on you can only feel uneasy with the fact that anything that does get published regarding Rangers always leaves the support wondering what on earth is going on behind the scenes
    The fans deserve all the facts
    My only interest is that who ever finishes up running the club will be doing so for the betterment of Rangers and not just to line their own pockets
    if not it should be kept in mind Rangers and any other football club will only exist if the fans give it support
    give the fans positive news and they will back the club
    I also find it hard to accept that Mr. Whyte is still walking the streets
    He should have been locked up and the key handed in to Ibrox for safe keeping

  2. Mather has been positive without being aggressive, dignified without being apologetic, and consequently has given the press and bloggers nothing to be critical of (whereas by constantly engaging with the sleaze-merchants we only lend them credence and publicity. I don't have anything against Green, but I think Mather's approach has been far better for the club in that respect, and I don't see any need for the Rangers support to fill the gap of criticism by attacking him.

    As for the SPFL Board position, we're expected to move up the divisions every season, so not only would us having the place of any of the lower league clubs be unrepresentative, but it would be unnecessarily disruptive, as we'd have to be replaced next season anyway when we're promoted. Apart from anything else, the SPL/Les Gray cabal will control anything the Board does at this point. If we get representation on the Board it'll be when we're back in the top flight and it means something.

  3. Alloa are a Div 1 club and have not been placed on the SPFL board instead of Rangers. Perhaps you mean Stenhousemuir.
    I do agree with your sentiments regarding Mathers silence and I, as most Rangers supporters, find this as frustrating as you do.

Comments are closed.