Why Rangers’ Board is not Rangers’ Problem

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On Saturday the 26th
of April, Rangers had their final home fixture of the season. It was the match
where Stage Two’s completion would be presented by way of a silver championship
trophy to Captain Lee McCulloch, something rounded off nicely by a convincing
3-0 win over visitors Stranraer.
Our guests also gave us the
respect of a fine guard of honour to greet the Champions, while their
supporters joined in on two minutes to applaud the late Sandy Jardine, for whom
an emotional powerful and impeccably observed minute’s silence had also taken
place prior to kick off, and we thank our visiting fans for their dignity.
Unfortunately, a day which should
have been of both celebration and mourning, on entirely football levels each,
was once again mildly upstaged by the sideshow of the board, and in particular,
supporters’ distaste for its members.
Even on such a potent and
powerful day for all that is good about the club, politics could not be put
aside for 90 minutes. “Sack the board” emanated from sections of supporters
throughout the match, and during what was supposed to be a moment of
celebration where the trophy was presented was embarrassingly upstaged when
fans booed the board when they were shown on screen.
This seems to prove,
categorically, that politics have become more important than football now,
because even on a day of this one’s gravity opinion about the boardroom was
apparently more important than honouring Sandy Jardine, and being presented
with a league title.
Even the day after Jardine’s passing,
the brief ceasefire drawn up at the breaking of the news had ended, and it was
immediately back to point scoring and boardroom warfare rather than continuing
to honour the great man.
Before I continue, I have been
accused of being pro-board. Anyone who knows me knows this is nonsense. I am
not pro-board. However, what I am is pro-reason and so many critiques of the
board are absolutely ridiculous, and borne out of football hate rather than
rational and objective criticisms of those who run the club.
They are far from perfect in
there, I do not disagree there. But it bewilders me when I see one set of rules
for them and another for…well…everyone else.
Let me provide you with my
logical and rational rebuttal for a great number of the criticisms the board
get, and why I feel the poison against them has abandoned all reason. If you
disagree, that is fine, I respect that. This is just my view.
Sandy Easdale is a crook, a spiv, and a gangster.
Ok, let us look at this. Yes, he
did spend some time inside for VAT fraud, no condoning that. But he has served
his time, carried out his residency at Her Majesty’s Pleasure and has not done
anything illegal since. Meanwhile, Dave King is lauded by many as the Messiah
yet his tax evasion case has been dismissed completely, despite the fact it is
on record as the biggest tax case in South African history. Oscar Pistorious’
lawyer, Barry Roux, managed to get it settled out of court and King stumped up
700M RSA compared with the requested 2.8B RSA. So, some Rangers fans want this
man in control of their club, a man who I have on authority lied about the £18M
story being false. But they do not want Easdale.
As for spiv, does anyone actually
know what that word means? To define spiv exactly means someone who wears the
suit but is not worthy of it. Who contributes nothing to the organisation and
is just a charlatan. Well, Easdale is a huge shareholder, and has invested
somewhere around £1.5M+ in Rangers. Yet, somehow being a major shareholder is
not enough. Well, not if you are called Sandy Easdale. Mike Ashley has around the
same level of shareholding as Easdale yet is never mentioned in any negative
light at all. The argument there would be that he is not on the board. Well,
guess what, neither is Sandy Easdale.
Let us be honest, Rangers
supporters just do not like the Easdales, and no matter what money they bring
to the club they will never be accepted. That is supporters’ right and they are
entitled to it, but it adds a further problem.
This board are liars, cheats, thieves, and a disgrace to the club.
Ok, I am not going to deny
Wallace has told a porkie or two. I will not deny that for one second.
Personally I feel some of his dishonesties have come from an altruistic basis, with
supporters suffering enough over the past two years. The desire not to spread
panic and alarm is one of his job descriptions. Others do not share my view on
that and I respect that. However, SDM told more than a few porkies in his time
too but it was not until 9IAR was over (and the DA era to an extent) and things
started to slide a little on the pitch that these ‘lies’ and ‘porkies’ became a
problem. Success on the pitch meant these things did not apparently matter. But
lack of it meant they did. As they do now by this board.
But then the problem then lies in
the inalienable truth that ‘this board’ has undergone more changes than
Roseanne Barr in the past two years. So which board is it exactly that many
supporters hate?
Wallace and Easdale are the new ‘bad guys’.
Which brings me to the above. Two
years ago the board was Charles Green, Malcolm Murray, Ian Hart, Phil Cartmell,
Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart. Now it is Graham Wallace, David Somers,
James Easdale and Norman Crighton. Yet the current incumbents are just as
loathed and despised as the first post-admin board ended up being. It started
out as Charles Green being the bad guy, once he was gone Stockbridge became the
big enemy. When he left it was Jack Irvine and Media House regarded as the poison of the club, then Wallace ended that partnership. So then Easdale started to occupy that dubious slot,
and when Wallace himself was originally appointed I tweeted it was only a matter of time before he
too was a spiv. And here we are, with Easdale becoming public enemy number one
Wallace is slowly joining him.
Requistioners wanted Wallace.
Which brings me deliciously to
this one. The four requisitioners, that is, Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Alex
Wilson and Scott Murdoch themselves wanted
Graham Wallace as CEO! Paul Murray is on record as thoroughly endorsing
Wallace’s credentials:
“One of the problems is that if you’re
in a voting minority on the board there’s no point being there. Graham Wallace
is a credible, competent guy and if he’s sitting there trying to get things to
change and he doesn’t have the votes on the board, then how do you change
things?”
So, the man who lost to Wallace
among others on the board fully endorses
his character and professional competence. Let us not forget Wallace presided
over Man City’s title-winning season. The man is not a crook. His CV is pretty
impressive, yet Dave King, the man who backed Murray, slanders him at every given chance
and is trying to crush the club’s coffers with this absolutely ludicrous season
ticket scheme. A scheme, thankfully, which is not getting a huge amount of
support. Anyone else see the ridiculous hypocrisy here?
In short, Wallace is now a spiv,
liar and crook, despite having the
endorsement of the man who many fans wanted in power. So, which is it?
How can the board possibly accept bonuses?

Thorny topic this for
cash-stricken Rangers. How can a Rangers board possibly justify giving
themselves thousands of pounds in bonuses? That is the question the Rangers fan
asks his or herself. First off, while Wallace did not explicitly deny the board
will get bonuses, he also did not confirm they would either. This is a tabloid
case of ‘assume the worst and get website hits and newspaper sales’.
The second, and more curious
aspect is the board would not be the only employees to get bonuses. The players
(and coaching staff) get win bonuses every match! In Lee McCulloch’s
autobiography he states a figure of around £400,000 was owed to the squad by
Craig Whyte for the 2010/2011 title win. So around 30 players would get about
£13,000 each. While the numbers are not as high now, players still get win
bonuses per match and another for winning the league.
So, it is ok for underperforming
players to get thousands in win bonuses but not the board, despite it being a
fairly standard law in corporate governance?
For me no one should get bonuses
while the club cannot afford it, and that includes players. But, and here is
the brutal sad truth – every player, member of coaching staff and board member
has a contract entitling them to that bonus. It is standard football practise.
But thanks to politics and Rangers’ situation it is the board who get blamed
for everything.
We want Dave King.
Or Paul Murray. Or no one. It
seems that anyone who is not Dave King or associated with the requisition group
is a spiv, a crook, a charlatan and unacceptable to the club. The only guy who
is not associated with this lot who would be accepted is Walter Smith, and he
tried once and is not going to try again. His strength is beside the pitch, not
in the boardroom.
So…there you have it. The
mangled, rambled mess of a situation we have at this club. The funny thing is
no other football institution goes through this level of excruciating scrutiny,
where every penny has to be accounted for otherwise someone is a crook, or
faceless ‘evil’ is pulling the strings.
But…at least we won the league!

36 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent, well written piece. I must admit Im not a fan of the Easdales. I just don't like them. They are not at Ibrox for their love of the Club. Why did they not offer the their slice of the 1.5m loan interest free? Why see it as an opportunity to make money from the Club? and/or have certain assets as security. As for Graham Wallace I have no issue with him and would like him to continue, I agree with all that you said of him. Its fair to say that the majority of the support are struggling to trust ANYBODY which is totally understandable and lashing out at the easy targets. The support at the moment wont settle until they see a board made of guys like , Walter, John Greig (Real Gers men) with King, making all the right noises. As they know they could trust them. Its so bloody hard to trust people you don't know, with something you love so much gieven all that's happened. My ideal situation, I would like to see in the close season would be to see the Easdales removed and have the remaining Board members strike a partnership with Either King or McColl. I want to see an end to all the 3rd parties involved i:e Blue Pitch/ Margherita etc. Just a credible board containing moneymen, with Rangers at heart.

    • I don't understand how you can say you don't like the Easdales (unless you know them personally). As far as I can See they've not done a lot wrong and their slice of the loan (£500,000) IS interest free.

    • Kenny

      The Sandy Easdale loan is interest free. Why shouldn't the guy look for security – half the fanbase (allegedly) want to withhold their season ticket money and this was not unforeseeable. Not asking for security would leave the lender open to criticism for being so daft that he wasn't fit to be a director. In all honesty, could Walter and John Greig actually contribute to the running of the club? Did John Greig prevent Craig Whyte from wrecking the club? King is a shady character to say the least. Where was he when the club was in admin and up for grabs? Why does nobody ever mention the £11M he got back from David Murray and was taxed on as part of the SA tax investigation? Jim McColl is as far from being a football man as it is possible to get. During his brief involvement, he was horrified at the abuse he and everyone else was getting. Too soft and too naïve. Also, his own investors won't let him get involved as he has his own business problems to sort out.

      If you want tough negotiators who will make sure the club get value for every pound spent and who will put a stop to the largesse of the past then you need Sandy and James Easdale. What is not credible about guys who have built a local business worth 10s of millions and who call a spade a spade?

  2. How can you possibly say that Dave King's scheme has no support ?

    The web site availability will not be there for another week, so obviosly can't be measured at this moment in time !!!

    London Wall

    Little wonder the entire Rangers Support is so fragmented with statements like this.

    London Wall

    • DK and his motley crue dont speak for me and never will, they are actively seeking to kill the club!!

    • DK is actively seeking to kill the club, well that's strange, because I see 50 million reasons why he is not. At least he a real Rangers man at heart

    • Well, sorry, but I can't see the 50 million reasons. King talks a good game, but so far, if he has got the money, he's keeping it to himself. His and the rebel's antics could destroy Rangers. Aye, he's a real Rangers man right enough.

  3. I just cant take a word you write seriously you say you are not pro the board but every article you write is slanted twards the board we are not all wrong in our criticism of a board that has gone through almost £70 mil in just 18 months

    • Willie what I cant understand it is not this board that has spent the the £70 mil it was Green and co, so I will be giving the club my season ticket money i dont want to see the club back in administration.

    • Another administration together with the 25 pts deduction for next season will kill us once and for all.I fear we will not even exist by end of next season never mind get promoted and win the Prem in 2017.I fear the real reason the board would not offer Ibrox or MP as security for the credit card company is because we don't even own them.The only blue nose we have left at the club and he is leading us all up the garden path.A little bit of a concern Ally?Really?

  4. good to hear somone speaking a bit of sense about graham and sandy these guys have promised the fans the spl tiltle and champions league football in three years time but this guy king is trying his best to ruin it stick by ally and buy season tickets if your a real fan

    • Totally agree with you about the season tickets. If a large number of supporters fail to renew and fall for Dave King's hair-brained scheme to withhold the money, there might not be a Rangers for much longer. In their short-sighted obsession with the board, some people can't see the damage they're about to do. Real fans should, at least for the time being, put their feelings about the board aside and do what's best for RANGERS. They should buy the tickets now and if they want to, can argue about the board again next season. Right now it's important that we get our priorities right. It's Rangers that need the money, not the board! Sorry to be so dramatic, but as Rangers supporters, this could be the most important decision of your supporting life. Buy your ticket, argue later.

    • FFS its Rangers that are needing the money, yes very true but it's the board that are spending it.

    • @Anon 11.46
      If you believe for one second that Wallace and the Easedales can deliver Champions League football in three years you REALLY need your head testing! They couldn't raise £1.5million without borrowing it from Laxeys at a ridiculously extortionate rate of interest PLUS taking a security against Rangers assets so where on earth is the investment to get us to the CL going to come from because the 'update' on the famous 120 day review does not give a single concrete idea of how they will raise this promised finance but all the time there are punters who belive their BS our club is in REAL danger!

    • That's right, Rangers need the money and the board spend it. That's how business works.
      Would you rather King spent your money without spending1 penny of his own money???

    • Rangers need the money and the board spend it. That's how business works.
      Would you rather King spent your money because he hasn't spent 1 penny of his own so far.
      Too date I have only heard of about 2 people who are not renewing their season tickets. Don't back King he only wa

  5. I just cant agree with you that you are not pro the present board every article you write you fail to criticise them but try to justify the gross mismanagement
    almost £70 mil gone in just 18month yet you fail to criticise them

  6. Sandy Easdale is neither a HUGE nor MAJOR shareholder in Rangers. He, along with his brother own circa 6%.

    And furthermore, the vast majority of that investment went nowhere near Rangers. It went into the pockets of the shareholders he purchased them from.

    Stick to the facts. It helps.

  7. Get real sir. Politics have been more important than the game for the last 20 or 30 years. Your column is well worded and gracious, but how can you say the financial abomination its not the boards fault. Are they not in charge? Who's fault is it then, if not theirs?
    How can a sum of nearly £70 million be squandered in 18 months without the fans looking for answers.
    You have me worried if you can try and justify and defend this regime.
    We need new people in charge with high ambitions for the club, not nameless shareholders who seem to be settling for 2nd best. The other team in our city seem to be able to do it with all the same restrictions that our club face with regards to plying our trade in a footballing backwater. What difference is there between them and us……………… eh let me think, more TV money, more fans, less wages to playing staff? No, they just have better people in charge, looking out for their team.

    • yes 70 million lost by Green and Mather. another point that is well overlooked and a point that was raised in the buisness review, if you care to thumb through it.

  8. I very much doubt that anyone will ever be accepted by these idiots unless they get a glib and shameless liar on board along with maybe a couple of other liars too.

  9. At Ibrox on Saturday it was if I'm not mistaken when the Easdales appeared on the screen that the booing started. They are not on the board as you said but you also said when the board appeared on the screen the booing started.

  10. But, and here is the brutal sad truth – every player, member of coaching staff and board member has a contract entitling them to that bonus. It is standard football practise. But thanks to politics and Rangers’ situation it is the board who get blamed for everything.

    I THINK YOU ARE AT THE WIND UP…THE BOARD FROM LAST YEAR APPOINTED WALLACE..THEY DREW UP HIS CONTRACT…THEY INSERTED THE BONUS PLEDGE..HE HASNT EVEN BEEN IN HIS POSITION FOR 6 MONTHS!!

  11. You can't equate bonuses with players to that of the board. The players contracts are historically based on results on the pitch and correctly so. Win a game, league, cup and get a bonus.

    The Chief Executive should get bonus for results off the pitch related to his duties. i,e posting a profit, rising share price, increased turnover. The issue before was certain executives were paid 100% bonus for winning the league irrespective of the financial performance. It would appear this is happening again.

    You also assume that those that have concerns over the board are automatically backing Dave King or the previous requisitioners. That doesn't have to be the case.

    The business review was hugely disappointing and the whole loan agreement was handled pretty poor. It is not unreasonable for fans to have reservations over the competence of the current incumbents. .

    • Why can't you equate player's bonuses to that of the board? This is the way it's done at every club. Why would Rangers be any different? As for the business plan, it's a sensible, realistic plan which should help get us back to where we should be and is only hugely disappointing if you were dead set on being hugely disappointed anyway.

  12. once again u hit it on the nail allthese would be rangers men slagin of the guys who put there cash on the table king said he will not put a penny into our club but wants the real fans to stop buying season books well this is one teddy who will as for the union of fans have u seen them i wouldent let let them run a bus so back super ally with ur cash then we will hear the championsleague music

  13. Back super ally with your cash and buy season books? Are you serious? Think. Who does Ally back? Friends of the club (king, gough etc ) or faceless greedy bar stewards margarita , blue pitch etc. Get real.

    • The season ticket money is not just for Super Ally OR the Board. It's for RANGERS. If you starve "the Board" of money, it's Rangers FC that will suffer. People should think seriously about the consequences to Rangers (not the Board) of them not renewing their tickets. They can criticize or demonstrate all they want, but there's a line to be drawn when their actions are actually going to damage the club. Maybe irreparably.

  14. The current Rangers board IS the problem because they have been put in place by Blue Pitch, by Margarita Holdings and by Laxeys
    – none of whom give a flying f*** about Rangers FC and are only
    involved for how they can screw as
    much cash out of our club one
    way or the other and anyone who
    doesn't recognise this really
    doesn't, I'm sorry to say,
    understand what is going on at our
    club!!

    By the way – whilst I will always
    disagree with this blogs obvious
    pro-board stance I respect the fact that it actually allows dissenting opinion unlike Merlin who is obviously a paid poodle of a corrupt board!

    • The trouble is you're so obsessed with getting rid of the Board, you either can't see or don't care how much damage Dave King and the rebels will do to the club by advising people not to renew their tickets. Also, as far as I can see "Merlin" does allow dissenting opinion. There's more honest, sensible and open debate on his blog than most others. It's anti-board ranters like you who make unsubstantiated accusations about corruption that aren't welcome.

  15. I have no great interest in Scottish foot ball but the current situation with Rangers, the Board and the fans reminds me of Fred Shepherd's time as chairman of Newcastle. He ridiculed the fans for paying £50 for shirts that cost £5 to produce and stated that if he put out 11 monkeys in black and white shirts the fans would still turn out. Until there is genuine fan involvement in the running of the club then businessmen are going to look on it as a cash cow to be milked for all it's worth.

  16. If Dave King is the True rangers man he claims to be, why did he advise all creditors to reject the CVA pre liquidation, I'm not pro board and actually think the easdales are not right for us, but the worst thing in our history is being liquidated, as we will never live this down with our enemies, so why would any loyal rangers fan wish this upon the club. Im sick to death of all this infighting, when it is blatantly obvious that a divided Rangers will never challenge the Mhanks again, we claim to be the people, but all we are to our enemies is clowns!

    • If the board aren't the problem why don't we know where the money went…are you saying they don't know. Who actually hired Graham Wallace. Who are Blue Pitch and Margarita Holdings. Why was the Charles Green bid a closed shop. Who holds the title to the deeds of Ibrox and Auchenhowie. I'd support the board in a heart beat if they told us.

      I'm not anti Easdale though……they put their money in and are supporters, and are successful businessmen.

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