War of the Rangers – Time for a Ceasefire

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My last three entries have been
quite enjoyable to compose. Three entries ago was focused on a very positive
pre-season, and how Rangers fans had a great deal to look forward to. Two
entries ago a close analysis of our bright young starlet in midfield Lewis
MacLeod. And my most recent focus on Rangers’ global brand, while the
conclusions and research made for grim reading, it still nevertheless felt
quite nourishing to look at something a little different.
The reason I am pointing these
articles out was they highlighted the strides this club has made in recent
months in progression from the negative days of yore, and frankly came as
something of a relief to create.
The very beginning of August saw
that fragile house of cards tumble down horribly and lead to in-fighting among
Rangers supporters on a new scale. The divisions among the support are now on
an unprecedented level and all those months of steady growth and preparation
for the new season have been undone by huge events at Ibrox, events which have highlighted
and furthered the painful fractures this support currently suffers.
Before I go any further, it is
essential to note I am not trying to highlight and perpetuate the divisions
worse than they already are. This is merely an analysis of what ‘is’ and why it
got to this point over the weekend.
Four significant events took
place on over the past 4 days and they are chiefly responsible for the current
war in the boardroom, in the media, and among the supporters.
1: The return on Friday of ex-CEO Charles Green in a ‘consultancy’
role.
2: The ‘requisition’ threat by shareholder Paul Murray to overthrow
the existing board.
3: The horrendous display and defeat in the League Cup to Forfar on
Saturday.
4: Ally McCoist’s staggering post-match comments laying into
newly-appointed Green.
First off Green’s return was
initially greeted with caution from the wider fanbase. Some supporters were
very pleased to see the appointment, while others could not have courted it
with a bigger red rag if they had tried. Charles Green, while yours truly is in
favour of his general association with the club, is nevertheless a hugely
controversial figure particularly relating to how he departed his seat as CEO.
However, that initial caution when he was appointed as ‘consultant’ on Friday has
grown into widespread contempt from both those who condemned him during his
original spell and those who ‘sat on the fence’ on his return. Most of this ire
is based on portions of the following quote:
            “This year is a different year. He has
had a pre-season and he has been able to sign players. Ally has got to win the
league – and got to win a cup. That’s the stark reality of life. Ally is a fantastic guy. He is brilliant
with the players, fans and media.
But first and foremost, a manager has to
win matches and has to win competitions. He knows he has to win the league and,
in my opinion, has to win a cup as well. If he doesn’t do that, he has a
problem. What is happening now is not what Rangers need. Rangers need
stability. If I can help with the stability, I will.”
The section in bold was ignored
by…pretty much everyone to tell the truth. Including McCoist himself, but
more of that later.
Then to further muddy the waters
at Ibrox on Friday the board released a statement indicating a requisition
notice from Paul Murray:
            “The board of Rangers confirms that, on
1 August 2013, it received a notice requisitioning a general meeting of
shareholders. The requisition puts forward resolutions for the removal of Craig
Mather, Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart as directors of the company and the
appointment of Paul Murray and Frank Blin as directors of the Company. The
board is verifying whether the requisition is properly constituted and further
announcements will be made as appropriate.”
In simple terms a mutiny, and an
apparent attempt to get control of the club without investing in it. This has
further divided supporters; those who believe Murray and his associates are
absolutely the right thing for the club and will ‘cleanse’ the soul of Rangers
believing that those presently inside Ibrox are ‘crooks’ and ‘scoundrels’, and
those who are aghast that Murray, whose offers (in conjunction with the Blue Knights) for Rangers when the club was near-extinction were considered derisory, conditional and insufficient, has now re-appeared just
when it was starting to offer some semblance of stability.
Then that horror show at Station Park followed. Put out of the League Cup
by Forfar Athletic after extra time as a result of an apparently dreadful
display. I say ‘apparently’ because once again Rangers failed to provide any
live broadcast (video or audio) of the match, even for overseas viewers. The
stream was apparently ‘pulled’ due to unknown reasons.
Then lastly Saturday’s abysmal
afternoon being completed by Ally McCoist rounding off a truly woeful weekend with
the following post-match rant:
            “If it (Charles Green’s pre-match
comment) was a threat, the self-acclaimed straight-talking Yorkshireman should
know that boys from the west of Scotland
don’t scare easily. If he does come back, I’ll certainly go and pick him up at
the airport. I won’t have a problem doing that. It’s just more hot air and it’s
what we’ve come to expect from Charles.
He’s just a devious man
. I was appalled by his comments. The self-acclaimed
straight-talking Yorkshireman has let himself down again. His contempt and
total lack of respect for my players, this club, our support and Scottish
football is appalling. He’s an
embarrassment
. And after giving him that endorsement, it would be crazy of
me to say, ‘Welcome back, Charles’. Our players picked up the newspapers at
breakfast to be reminded they’re the worst team in Rangers’ history. That would
be bad luck – to have the worst team in history and the worst chief executive at the same time. Instead of concentrating on
the match, the boys’ minds were elsewhere worrying about their jobs. Because if
he’s said we go if we don’t win a cup then the players are under threat too. As
team talks go, it was one of Charles’s best yet. I don’t think it’s surprising
that Charles has surfaced again when we’re at our most vulnerable on the park.
We were at our weakest because we can’t play our new signings. And the biggest
thing of the lot is that Charles has turned up just as 34,000 fans have bought
season tickets. Coincidence? Perhaps not.”
Having highlighted earlier how
Green complimented McCoist as a man and manager, it seems absolutely
bewildering that McCoist has laid into him in such a truly aggressive manner.
Green merely said what many Rangers fans would agree with – that we need a
piece of cup silverware, or at least a very productive run in one. Yes, it was
not his place to say it, I accept that. But it did not make it less wrong.
McCoist’s response was…understandably pulled by the official site.
All these elements have mixed
together in a horrendous salad bowl of division. After the dark days of last
year the weekend’s events have seen fractures among the support widening and a
war among the boardroom and staff.
I wish I could propose a
solution. I hear suggestions that once the club is winning after the embargo is
lifted this nonsense will be forgotten. I sincerely hope us supporters (and
indeed the club) is as fickle as that idea suggests and we can forget this
horrendous episode.
I have had no joy compiling this
piece and I will not pretend I have answers. The one positive thing from this
weekend was Craig Mather finally leading the club as CEO and releasing an
aggressive statement condemning those who are trying to overthrow the board. No
matter whose side you are on, it was a pleasure to see the boss of the club
finally showing leadership and strength. I have heavily criticised Mather in a
previous entry, so I am giving credit where it is due and praising him.
            “Again there are those attempting to
bang down the doors simply because they feel they should be inside before any
others and for no good reason other than self gain and arrogance. It doesn’t matter to them that they have
not invested or helped the club, or that they failed to make even a remotely
credible attempt to save this fantastic club in its darkest hours. Not a single
one of them stepped forward willing to invest their own money. Yet now they
think they can waltz into the club
. This club needs commitment and unity.
It does not require the type of people who stood back and did nothing when
Rangers were in trouble. Now, as Rangers has been climbing on to more solid
ground and as the fans are heartened by what they’ve seen, these men emerge
from the shadows with empty promises. They
should be ashamed. It is surely no coincidence that they waited until the signs
are positive and strong.”
Whether you agree with what he
said, at least he said it. At least Mather stood up for what he believes in and
defended the club. That is the kind of leadership this club has missed since
Green stepped down, and maybe, just maybe Mather really is the right man to steer it through this extremely difficult
period.
It would be productive now if us
supporters can stop warring with each other and let the club do what it has to
do. We will always have different opinions but fighting with each other over
them achieves nothing but playing into the hands of our enemies.
We are the People.
Let us prove it.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Oh no not the old "our enemy's" paranioa? get a grip man.. Green,. Mathers etc are from the same stable, there eating from the same trough ,,Ibrox its called and they are filling their belly's nicely with our cash. Wake up for once and see the true picture thats unravelling at our club.
    We are on route to admin unless we the support act now ,,, they are robbing us blind you must have been first to get damaged as you are living in "brigadoon"

  2. Charles Greens return to Ibrox and comments were at best untimely at worst false he stated if he had been there we would not have had the signings that Mather sanctioned did he mean we would be watching the same dross as last year because none of the duds drafted in then have attracted any interest in the transfer market Green should do the job he created for himself and leave the job on the football side to the men hired for that, strange that his return coincided with the sales of season tickets it would probably be best for peace and all at Rangers if he was bought out because his gob is dangerous

  3. Ally I'm afraid your rant just sounded like diversion tactics and excuses, having a go at green for slating players then stating on the official page that at least eight aren't Good enough as your "we have eight players in the stand who would play" comment shows.
    This was a massive own goal!

  4. The end game is to have rangers men running our club. I am not sure who they should be ( or who they should not be !
    The unpleasant bit is washing all our laundry in public – it should not be a pantomime for those who don't support us at all.
    Despite the fans continuing to support the "brand" it is the rangers shareholders who did invest in the club and have seen their net worth drop by 50% in less than a year, that I feel sorry for ( not necessarily CG who really just awarded himself shares, when he made the decisions ).
    If we do suffer another false start and enter admin ( no idea how likely it is, but think unlikely ), it will be harder again to convince the market to fund us a second time.

    For the sake if our club, hope that thus infighting stops

  5. Sadly I cannot help but feel that this is all going to end very, very ugly. Green is the X-factor here….like you said it was a relief to simply focus on football as Rangers prepared for this season. Then within 48 hours Green managed to create a clusterf***. McCoist is clearly fed up & has drawn the line in the sand. Should he have publicly blasted Green like that — of course not – it showed poor leadership for sure…but it's a sign that a man who has given his heart & soul to the club for four decades is finally at his wit's end.

    Now with rumors of Walter Smith stepping away & the very good chance that McCoist may be on his way out (under the guise of his spotty resume as manager but more because of the stand he has taken against Green & Murray).

    I agree that Rangers may need to reset things in order to move forward —- but it is depressing that in all this mess – Charles Green is more likely to be at Ibrox in a year while Walter Smith & Ally McCoist may be gone. Discouraging to say the least.

  6. There are more questions than answers and even the answers have to be queried.

    Paul Murray's back at the top by 2022………………Celtic will have the DECIMA under their belt by then and heading for 12 IAR.

    There's a number being quoted on a number of TIM sites, 278k a month going out via DD to places unknown. No one at the club has denied that the claim is false, probably because the next question would be …..what's it for?
    Given the magnitude of the amount, 3 million plus per year, is it some deal with Ticketus, or a lease/rental deal for the stadium to owners unknown.

    Is this the real reason that the stadium cannot be used as security for loans?

Comments are closed.