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WATP_Greg

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Everything posted by WATP_Greg

  1. As long as its going to buy shares I'm happy - need all we can get right now. Think the board will have something up their sleeve
  2. I assume they are trying to cover current share price. RF do 700 IPO shares in exchange for a Club 1872 membearship which is worth £500 - and thats to cover the expensive IPO price
  3. RF alone are at 5500+ already and the last average I seen (admittedly prior to the upsurge) was £10 per month - so at those figures RF is 600k PA. If RST are similar then thats over £1m per year from a small amount of the fans alone - If we could double or treble that then we are talking serious impacts and benefits to the club imo.
  4. Rangers Fan Ownership - A Pipe Dream No More by Alan Clark | Deputy Editor When the dark clouds of insolvency fell upon Ibrox in February 2012, some commentators believed it was the Rangers supporters' best chance to save their Club. Whether you agree with that belief or not doesn't really matter - there can be no doubt that a chance was missed to rally the support into a fan ownership scheme, even if it didn't end up with the scenario of fans bringing the Club out of administration. There were many reasons around that frantic period as to why that didn't happen, but that is firmly in the past. We are in the present and looking towards the future. This is where the Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First come in to play. In years gone by, supporters of the Gers will recall conversations with their fellow fans on fan ownership. It has grown quite considerably in the last few years - with the issue of supporters having a substantial stake in their football clubs growing across other leagues - as well as Rangers' financial troubles. I'm sure many fans reading this will nod their head when they think about the amount of times someone had the view that fan ownership, specifically at Rangers, was a pipe dream. A non-starter because "we are too big", "we have too many fans", "nobody will ever agree" or simply that "we'd be better off with someone that has money". That is not the case now. There will be many that are still sceptical or indeed opposed to the idea of Rangers fans holding a major stake in the Club and having a say in the boardroom activities. But, put simply, enough is enough. The support put their trust in Craig Whyte when he took over from David Murray in May 2011. He failed them. The support put their trust in Charles Green when his consortium bought the assets of the old company and moved them to a new company to exit administration in June 2012. He failed them. Various chief executives, directors, finance directors and consultants have come and gone on the board since then, and guess what? They've all failed them. The utter incompetence, mismanagement and selfish acts of those who are supposed to be custodians of a 143-year-old institution has staggered many - and now the supporters are mobilising. Membership of the RST and sign-ups to its BuyRangers direct debit scheme were extremely low a few months ago - and it was the same with Rangers First. But recently, there has been an almighty spike in fans signing up to do their bit for fan ownership. There have been a few reasons for this, all interlinking to provide a 'perfect storm' for both groups and their shared vision of a Rangers owned by the people that matter the most - the fans. Firstly Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor combined as the Three Bears to buy out the shareholding of Laxey Partners - a significant purchase that got people's attention. They have been in discussions ever since about providing a loan to the Club to solve the impending financial crisis - as a standard loan or as a debt-for-equity arrangement which would see them participating in a new share issue, thus increasing their stake further. As we know, they haven't been successful yet and it looks like Mike Ashley may be about to provide another loan. Which takes us to the second reason - the fact legal documents have been lodged to give Ashley security over Ibrox and Murray Park. Fans rightfully reacted in absolute anger at this. Ibrox Stadium should never be sold, leased or used as security in a loan (especially to someone like Ashley). There was a protest before and after the abandoned game with Hearts last Friday night, which was incredibly well attended and showed that at last, the support has unified. They want this board gone, Ashley's influential tentacles gone...and the stadium properly protected. Thirdly, there has been an unprecedented surge in sign-ups to both fan ownership vehicles from former players. The likes of Jorg Albertz, Davie Weir, Claudio Reyna, Richard Gough, Tony Vidmar and Nacho Novo have joined one group or both groups. As has prospective director Paul Murray, former requisitioner Scott Murdoch and even runner Lynsey Sharp. This obviously created a lot of press coverage and interest - with the likes of Sky Sports News now regularly mentioning the two. There was even - for the first time ever - a dedicated slot on television for fan ownership discussion at Rangers last night. STV Glasgow aired a show with our very own Chris Graham of the RST, Richard Atkinson representing Rangers First and Stephen Morrow of Stirling University. All this exposure adds up. Today, Rangers First's contributor stands at 5,300. It might not seem much to people racking their brains about how big a support Rangers have - but when you consider it was under 1,500 only four or five months ago - and how quick it has grown in the last few weeks, it is significant. The same goes for the RST's membership and sign-ups for BuyRangers. Membership is around 4,300, with sign-ups to BuyRangers at a similar level. Combine both groups' figures and consider the praise that the Foundation of Hearts' figures receive for their fan ownership quest (they have around 8,000) and you begin to see something emerging. The Twitter following for the RST stands at a whopping 37,200, whilst Rangers First have an impressive 25,900. Of course, many users will follow both accounts, but nevertheless it shows the interest even just on that one social media location. The key is turning these followers into contributors, reaching the passive online users and in particular the offline supporters - the high-profile additions mentioned above are exactly what will attract these fans. Both groups are over the one per cent barrier in their shareholding of Rangers International Football Club plc and this could be vital at the upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting. A combined two per cent is good base to build from and will likely increase should the momentum keep going. It's striking to see what impact a former player backing a scheme with their money can do to fans sitting on the fence - and same goes for more negative actions or words, like Charles Green's bizarre bedside chat with Jim White. Owning five per cent of the company gives the right to call an EGM and the power a shareholder possesses only increases as their percentage of shares grows - there is more at ten per cent, 25 per cent and the golden 51 per cent, for example. It doesn't have to be 100 per cent fan ownership - in any case both the RST and Rangers First have never stated their desire for that. That is an important point to make when stating the case for fan ownership. Credible business people with significant wealth will be needed to make this work, but as a team with the fan ownership groups, not either/or. The EGM vote will be an extremely tight call going by current calculations and assumptions of both sides of the boardroom battle. The numbers held by these groups may not seem high, but they could prove crucial in getting the motions over the line and finally ridding the Club of the incumbent board of directors. If it proves the case that the voting rights held by these two groups was pivotal in the outcome of the motions (don't forget all the individual fan shareholders who bought in at the IPO and since then too) then it will show that fan ownership (or fan influence, if you prefer) is truly on its way. Don't be fooled by there being two separate groups. They may have different methods towards getting their aims but those goals are shared - a voice for the Rangers support and an element of decision-making via a substantial shareholding in the Club. The wheels are firmly in motion on this matter and perhaps if there is ever to be a silver lining in this whole complete mess that the supporters have had to go through for several long years - it's that a strong appetite for fan ownership emerged and ensured that never again will Rangers Football Club be abused in the way it has. Because the fans will have the power to stop it.
  5. From the Evening Times: Rangers Fans Step Up and Pay D-Day is approaching for Rangers fans as the fight for their club reaches its defining moment. The Light Blue legions have decided it is time to step up and pay and Chris Jack speaks to Ross McAdam of the Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First director Ricki Neil about the surge in support for fan ownership amongst the Ibrox faithful How many new members have signed up in the last few weeks and what do you think is behind the recent momentum? RST: Almost 1500 since the New Year. Our membership is now over 4000. In the last week alone, several individuals have invested over £1000 each in BuyRangers. I think there have been several reasons for the great increase. Firstly, fans have been encouraged by the recent share purchases by Dave King and The Three Bears, of course George Letham is an RST board member and George Taylor contributes to BuyRangers. Fans see how important it is for change at the EGM and are determined to help see it across the line. Buying shares is the only way to do this. Having many influential figures such as Richard Gough, Paul Murray, Lynsey Sharp and even Salim Kerkar signing up hopefully inspires fans to join. RF: Close to 3000 members, each paying monthly into our fund to buy shares collectively, to give us a total of over 5000. We were experiencing regular growth each week but on the day that Messrs Taylor, Park and Letham bought significant shareholdings it seemed to fire some sort of starting pistol, encouraging those that could afford just a few pounds rather than hundreds of thousands of pounds to join http://www.rangersfirst.org and get collectively buying shares. Was the news about Mike Ashley's security over Ibrox and Murray Park the tipping point for many fans? RST: Absolutely, you just have to look at the numbers who were outside the front door of Ibrox before the game on Friday night. We have been used to setbacks over the past few years but the thought of Ibrox being used as security when there is an offer from others not using Ibrox has broken a few fans. There was a great feeling of unity before and during the game on Friday and the increase in BuyRangers membership has certainly demonstrated that this is the case. RF: For some it was certainly. For others it was the bell for the final lap of the fans race to control our club, a sign to get in the sprint finish and really up the pace of spreading the word about RangersFirst. Do you think more fans are now taking an interest in off-field matters and have found their voice? RST: In recent years most have fans have taken an interest in what has been going on off the field. It has been impossible not to as there is usually a new story every day. Some of the card displays have shown that fans do want change and these have definitely had a positive effect but hopefully more are realising that the most effective way to ensure change is by purchasing shares. We offer a great scheme to do just that. The power lies as a collective. RF: What has happened recently is more fans have realised that their small contributions through our collective purchase of shares model can actually empower them to make a difference. The fans have gone from having to watch all this happen to the club, with no legal power to change it, to realising that actually we can, when gathered together, make a real difference and have a real voice. Why has this not happened until now? RST: The recent share purchases from the Three Bears and Dave King have shown people that buying shares ensures power and change. Many fans have never been convinced about greater fan involvement but with the recent history at Rangers, hopefully more are seeing the benefits it can have. RF: It is all to do with empowerment. RF has empowered individual fans, small groups of fans and Supporters Clubs that we actually can do something about it. How many members, and how much money, can fan ownership schemes realistically attract? RST: It is difficult to put a realistic figure on this but if the 200,000 Bears who travelled to Manchester in 2008 paid the minimum £5 per month, that would be £1million per month which at the current share price is 4 million shares a month (5% of the company). Greater fan involvement is no longer a pipe dream, it is now a reality. RF: This month alone so far we have raised over £100,000. As for the future, realistically you have to compare our club with others doing similar things. Hearts have 8000 members in their scheme, contributing £1.4m per year. Can we beat that? Of course we can. Bayern Munich have 200,000 members, can we beat that? That might be a bit more of a challenge but we welcome the chase. With the General Meeting coming up, what will you be doing to make sure fans have a vote and use their shares? RST: Firstly, we would encourage all fans to sign up to BuyRangers and ensure we can purchase as many shares as possible before the EGM. We will be polling our members in due course to see how they would like us to use the shareholding. We will also be taking proxies from fans as we have done at the past two AGM's. We would encourage all fans with shares to ensure they use them. RF: When the resolutions papers are published we will poll all of our members on how they want our block of shares to vote, we will also be issuing information to help folk fill in their own forms where they own shares directly and we can also take proxy votes. We will also be seeking more information from those standing for board positions. Joining the board of Rangers should be an honour and we would expect new board members to want to communicate with our members. We really hope that, going forward, Rangers can become an example for forward thinking engagement between its owners and supporters and that supporters will be invited to participate in the direction and running of the club. Could the votes of supporters tip the balance to oust the board? RST: Without doubt. It is believed the fans individually own around 10% which could have a massive say in the outcome of the EGM. We will be purchasing more shares in the very near future as well so the more people who join BuyRangers will allow more shares to be bought. With the Three Bears and Dave King owning around 35% and the Easdale block & Ashley owning around 35% it is essential all fans use their vote. RF: By all accounts they could, of course it will be unclear until the day just how close the voting could be, but certainly ignoring the shares held by fans groups and by small shareholders (circa 12%) would not seem wise. Is fan ownership, or greater fan involvement in the running of the club, realistic at Rangers? RST: Definitely. We have a fantastic relationship with many of the high profile Rangers fans seeking change at the club. George Letham is a RST board member and BuyRangers contributor and George Taylor and Paul Murray contribute as well. John Gilligan, who has been proposed to join the board, was former Vice Chairman of the RST and is still a member. Having such a good relationship can only strengthen the fans' position in having a greater involvement. RF: Of course it is. Every Club in Germany from the smallest to Bayern Munich have the Fans voice at the centre and, while not 100% comparable, it has done them no harm. Will there come a time where BuyRangers and RangersFirst join together? RST: We are willing to work with all Rangers fans to benefit Rangers. At present, the two schemes are being reasonably successful but there is still much work still to do. Hopefully both schemes continue to prosper. RF: We are a member driven organisation and nothing will happen without our members wanting it and voting for it.
  6. I think the line in the sand moment was security on Ibrox - since then the support has been overwhelmingly together
  7. So far I have seen Do The Bouncy raise enough for two life membearships' in RF as did Gers Forum (who done that in 2 days). For obvious reasons RF isn't brought up on FF and Rangers Media someone started a thread but there was a couple of misconceptions then an admin closed the thread. I would hope that someone can start a RST life membership collection on FF and hopefully get money for shares that way.
  8. I would be shocked if it was as low as 5500 unique members - i would think 7-8k personally. I agree the unity has been impressive - and long may it continue. Both vehicles will benefit the club so its pleasing to see
  9. Between both RF and RST we have over 9.5k Gers fans helping out - hopefully break 10k soon!
  10. Its quite good. Think I still hold the record for the biggest single contribution when we used it to book a room for Big Amo here just before christmas - £40 I think it was. Was chuffed with that!
  11. Rangers First pass 4500 contributors You can also help RF by using their firefox toolbar or their Chrome Toolbar Brilliant stuff today! Between the two we are now passed FoH
  12. RF's average contribution I think is just above £10 - although that was before the large upsurge in membership I am not supportive of the vehicles merging (not that I believe they can).
  13. They will be buying but I have no idea how many shares we are looking at - looks like it will be quite a few
  14. Honestly, really chuffed with the progress, Got massive support from former players today. Gough, Reyna, G.Smith, Weir, Vidmar all great stuff to add on to the support they already had from Jorg Albertz, Alex Rae, John Brown, Graham Roberts, Derek Parlane, and Mark Walters. That and to add the name of King to George Taylor, Jim McColl and even Lindsey Sharp its all positive PR for RF at the moment.
  15. Its been a good day for RF with Richard Gough, Claudio Reyna, Nacho Novo all taking out life memberships and Dave King indicating his support for it then hopefully we will see a massive increase in membearship. And we need all the shares we can get
  16. Richard is a top guy - We spoke to him today and he indicated he wanted to back the fans. We have a chance now to try and fix the club - we need to take it. Join up to BR or RF but join up please - we need the voice
  17. Stop making up a strawman of what RF are about. Members of RF are some of the people taking up the fight but that doesn't mean that RF as an organisation has to be calling for anything other than people to buy shares collectively. The shareholder route is the route through which RF will get change. RF have 3500 people who are currently actively contributing to helping Rangers fans get a say. No matter what you think those who aren't prejudiced will I'm sure see that as a good thing.
  18. I think thats an over simplification. BR you can potentially get your money back at the discrection of the board iirc - I'm not clear though on whether BR would have to sell shares to refund you. Similarly to RF I've seen it said that if you lapse being a member of the RST then you are no longer eligible to vote with BR Its true that RF is pure donation system with all monies received going to buying shares in Rangers until RF get ACT (no membership fee) with one member one vote no matter how much you put in. in the future, if the 'membearship' vote on it, then RF can use the money collected in any specific way that is voted on to benefit The Rangers Community. I think the continuous nature of having to be a contributing member helps RF be more sustainable. RF also has an asset lock that ensure that the money that 'membears' are putting in will always be there to be used to benefit the Rangers Community. At this stage though we need fans buying shares so I'm happy with anyone choosing either.
  19. Demonstration outside Ibrox: Rangers v Raith Rovers Sunday 8th February (Scottish Cup) We are looking at a demonstration outside Ibrox for Sunday 8th February prior to the home match against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup. The reasons for this are that we feel that today’s news of using Ibrox as security is a watershed moment. This is where a line in the sand must be drawn. We would hope that all supporters and supporters group could agree with the sentiment behind this and would give their support and endorsement to it. This is not about boycotts, dividing the support, or anything other than an act to show how important Ibrox is to Rangers and our support. The demonstration is specifically about using Ibrox as security for a loan funding for anyone. We feel Ibrox should be asset locked away for the supporters. We are holding a meeting on Monday night to discuss this and if you want to attend (as a representative for an organisation, supporters club, or as an individual) then please contact us at info@thelouden.co.uk or message us. This is a positive action to show how much we care. We all love our club – lets show it. The Louden Tavern
  20. He has an undertaking with his investors to only invest where he would spend their money and I believe the funds are are for in shipbuilding and the like (not Football clubs). At least thats my understanding of it.
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