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  1. http://www.rangers.co.uk/images/FansBoard/Minutes/RFB_Minutes_080115.pdf
  2. THE tax office has been criticised after saying it cannot give the cost of its five-year chase of *Rangers in one of the biggest tax claims it has ever pursued. Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs has said it would cost too much to find out the costs. The development has been described as "extraordinary" by Rangers fan groups which have accused HMRC of wasting public money in its "witch-hunt" in pursuit of a "phantom tax debt". HMRC has confirmed it will contest the decision of an upper-tier tax tribunal to uphold an earlier ruling on what is known as the Big Tax Case. That ruling said Rangers' use of employee benefit trust (EBT) loans to players and other staff was legal, and payments were not taxable, as Sir David Murray's Murray International Holdings, which formerly owned Rangers, has maintained. But the tax office is known to want to pursue the club as a matter of principle, and there is a *procedural hearing on its latest appeal on February 3. Many believe fear of the tax case led to Lloyds Banking Group *insisting £18 million in club debts were cleared, leading to the sale to Craig Whyte, liquidation, and eventually Rangers playing in the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League. If a fresh HMRC appeal succeeds, it will have no bearing on today's Rangers but fans have called for a Government inquiry into HMRC's handling of the case. Chris Graham, of the Union of Fans, the Rangers supporters *coalition, said of the HMRC response to queries over the case's cost: "This is extraordinary. Lawyers are *meticulous about things like that, they clock all the time they spend on a particular client. "There are question marks over why they are continuing to pursue this when we know they have been offered to settle." When asked what the costs were to date of pursuing the tax case HMRC, a representative said: "HMRC holds information that falls within the scope of your request. However, we estimate that it would exceed the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) cost limit to deal with it." That limit, he said, was the cost of one person working for three-and-a-half days. He added: "Normally, HMRC would explore with you how you might be able to narrow or refine your request so that it did not exceed the FOIA cost limit. However, in this case, I cannot see any scope for doing this. "Even if we had been able to find and extract all the information in the scope of your request, we would never release anything which could be linked to an identifiable person; be that an individual, company or any other entity." HMRC says EBTs were used by more than 5000 UK firms, including football clubs in England. The Rangers case was seen as a way for the tax office to claw back many millions of pounds from their use. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/taxman-will-not-reveal-cost-of-rangers-case.26228807
  3. rbr

    Rangers first

    Great day for the Rangers first schemem , now sitting at over 2170 members , superb , hopefully this is just the start , I know there is an off line campaign starting soon which has been funded by separate donations.
  4. I didn’t think it was possible for the Rangers support to be more fractured and lacking consensus than we were in the first half of this year but rather depressingly we’ve managed it. In the maelstrom of a referendum on Scottish Independence the boardroom turmoil that has dominated the forums, social media and old fashioned conversations took a back seat to Loyalism, Unionism and the bogey man topic of Nationalism. Such is the ineptitude of our board, they missed the opportunity to bury some negative news in amongst the fog of the ideological war that raged throughout the month of September but I digress. Being a pro-Independence Rangers supporter these last few months has been a real challenge. I’ve been confronted by many fellow fans on social media and called everything from a “timpathiser”, (whatever that is) to a Nazi and Quisling. One particularly poorly adjusted and misinformed fellow told me I was a “traitor to Rangers Loyalist Unionist roots…” The idea that a Rangers supporter could support Independence just would not compute for many and my follower count on Twitter tumbled dramatically, I won’t lose any sleep over that however I must admit to now facing somewhat of a crossroads. Do I plod on attending matches listening to chants about where people like me can “stick your Independence” and the Loyalist songbook which was given an airing in George Square on Friday night amidst scenes of thuggery and hatred? Do I carry on turning a blind eye to the continual linking of Rangers Football Club to Loyalism and The Orange Order just as I have done for many years? The thought of turning my back on the club I’ve supported since I was five years old and which has provided myself and my (now deceased) Father so many happy memories makes me physically ill. The thought of a future devoid of one of the precious few constants in my life so far is unthinkable and so that is not a road I’m willing to go down just yet. So what are my options? I could become the archetypal armchair fan and refrain from discussing football matters on social media but we are in an age where it’s almost impossible to avoid. I could fool myself into thinking that it’s not so bad and the majority of my fellow fans are reasonable, open minded individuals but I’m not capable of cognitive dissonance on that scale. It seems that the core of our support are labouring under the misconceptions that being a “real” Rangers man means that you must also be many other things. I’ll use this juncture to clarify what I mean by “core of our support”. There are probably thousands of Rangers supporters (I don’t like term “fan”) who are feeling similarly disillusioned at the moment and those are probably a large percentage of the several thousand fans who’ve been missing for the last few home games joined by those who are boycotting, suffering from boardroom related malaise or simply disillusioned with how we are playing. What’s left are a core (match attending group) and of those I’d estimate that 75% fall into the category as described previously in this article. There’s also a large group of fans who, for one reason or another don’t regularly attend matches and again I’d estimate that a large percentage of those are politically and ideologically aligned with their brethren sitting in the stands. I’m conscious that I’m in danger of pigeon holing large swathes of people here and would only offer the fact that this is how I see things in basic terms. I’m sure there are reasonable folks in amongst the core who do not fall into any of my hastily preconceived notions and that I do not think the situation has reached the point of no return just yet and this leads me to the only other option I feel I have left. I’d urge everyone who considers themselves to be a Rangers supporter to distance the club from toxic and divisive affiliations. To seriously consider for a moment that we are in real danger of losing thousands of people like me who feel marginalised by their fellow bears and more importantly that we are in danger of losing the next generation of season ticket holder who have shown throughout the referendum run up and beyond, that they are increasingly well informed and turned off by Northern Irish politics, by far right-wing rhetoric and the kind of vulgar displays of aggression that we’ve seen both online and in the streets of Glasgow from both Unionists and Nationalist factions. Next time you’re attending an Orange parade maybe leave the Rangers merchandise at home, remove the Loyalist symbolism from Rangers flags and banners, try not to marginalise your fellow supporters who don’t care about that kind of stuff really, that’s all. Is that too much to ask? For some, what I’ve asked is probably tantamount to singing rebel songs in a tri-colour but to me it’s just common decency, something that has been eroding away for many years and something that the gallant pioneers probably had in abundance. Try to be a bit more like a Moses McNeil or a Tom Vallance and live the values which built the very thing that we all hold so dear. If we want a positive future for our club we all have to sow the seeds of that starting from now after all, we share much more in common than we do which divides us. I’ll remain a supporter and will try to live by my own code, respecting others right to support the club any way they choose but speaking out against intolerance, negative affiliations and polarizing attitudes. Let’s see if we can build a stronger and more together support from the rubble. The alternative I’m afraid would be a very dark period in Rangers history. It’s only a matter of time before we will be back attempting to compete with Celtic. It may be only a matter of time before we see major boardroom change. Do we really want to be facing these challenges with a support that can’t agree on what colour the sky is? The answer is obvious to me.
  5. I had a very good meeting today with Arnold Black, who wrote the article that was published recently about a membership scheme. I proposed this some years ago at the Club’s AGM and it was also discussed but not pursued (because we were promoting the share scheme) when I was Secretary of RST. Arnold is of the opinion that fans should put their support behind any current or new director who promotes a membership scheme. In order to get a scheme off to the best possible start we are of the opinion that all season ticket holders (next season) should be automatically enrolled as club members.* This would guarantee more or less 35,000 club members with little or no effort on the part of the club. Arnold’s thought is that there should be no membership fee for those enrolling this way at least in the first season; my own feeling is that at least a nominal amount (to be deducted from season ticket monies) or an additional £10 fee (to be added to the season ticket price) should apply; otherwise everyone would have to be granted free membership. Whilst free membership is sometimes attractive (as with the FC United of Manchester model) it artificially inflates the true membership numbers. Realistically, however, going forward the fee would need to be at least £5 per month or say £50 - £60 pa. We take the view that an initial worldwide target of 100,000 members and £1,000,000 - £5,000,000 a year is not unreasonable. This could be ring fenced for special projects within the club. Possible benefits of membership might be: • Discounts from Rangers’ sponsors and suppliers • Offers from the Club e.g. discount on Rangers TV • Membership Certificate, badge etc. • Priority/Discounted Ticket purchase (Note that in some countries e.g. Boca Juniors in Argentina, only members can buy tickets or certain categories of tickets). • Meet players and other exclusive events • Monthly prize draw • Discounts in restaurants etc. • *In future you might have to be a member to buy a season ticket. The proposal would be that the members would elect a Supporters Board (as in the Hamburg model) and that that Board would elect one or two members to the Club Board.
  6. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/272-rangers-being-held-hostage-stockholm-syndrome It’s been a stressful week for those interested in the well-being of Rangers Football Club. Not only does the club admit to the Stock Exchange that if the latest share offer is under-subscribed it will be unable to pay its creditors; we have key board members who represent the interests of the vast bulk of existing shareholders conceding that his and our CEO’s intentions are different, confirming a split at board level. Meanwhile the negative detail of each onerous contract placed upon the club are drip-fed to concerned fans on a week-to-week basis: from retail deals where the money is yet to be released to our struggling accounts to stadium naming rights which appear to be the result of self-interest rather than good value. Never has it been more obvious that our club is being held hostage to the whim of chancers. Yet, bizarrely, almost in a comedic fashion, we have some fans absolving these people of blame. Wikipedia describes Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, as ‘a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.’ The syndrome itself is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, Sweden, in which several bank employees were held hostage in a bank vault from August 23 to 28, 1973, while their captors negotiated with police. During this standoff, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, rejected assistance from government officials at one point, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. Ok, I’ll admit at the outset the analogy is a bit strong but if we examine the last few years – from the excesses of Sir David Murray to the actions of Craig Whyte right through to the present day incumbents, there are examples of the above. These include the eyes-wide-shut worship of Murray onto the lauding of Whyte’s supposed net-worth despite all the evidence to the contrary at the very outset to some fans insisting the ‘current’ board are not to blame for the club’s position now. Indeed, not only do we have bloggers continue to suggest Charles Green remains interested in the well-being of the club but we have various fans eager to hold their own as culpable in Rangers’ problems. Apparently it’s Dave King, the Union of Fans or Sons of Struth’s fault that the club cannot pay its bills. Similarly, possible investors such as Dave King who has proven his good intentions to the tune of £20million previously are mocked and pushed away. Conversely, some supporters are eager to extoll the virtue of Mike Ashley’s ongoing involvement despite many Newcastle fans being desperate to rid their club of him. He’s a billionaire they cry – without acknowledging the reason for his success is the kind of questionable retail and naming deals he strikes with clubs such as ours. Let’s be clear: the future of the football club is again in serious question and the danger should not be under-estimated. There has been a shortfall of at least 12,000 season tickets and it’s this lack of working capital that is directly impacting upon the club’s ability to trade. Thus, those that suggest the fans are to ‘blame’ for the financial problems are at least partly correct but the reasons are worth examining as well as the club’s inability to address this serious problem. Never has it been clearer that our money runs the club year on year – not Sir David Murray’s, not Craig Whyte’s and certainly not the anonymous investors currently in control of it. Therefore, engaging with the support should be a priority for any regime looking to make a success of the club. For all his faults, Murray realised this and while he was by the dominant partner in that relationship, we did have a nominal seat at the table and aside from a few small issues (comparatively speaking anyway!) crowds were always high and only his cowardice led to the Whyte debacle. Yet even in the dark days of that era attendances didn’t drop and after administration we had capacity crowd after capacity crowd. The same can be said after we fell to Division Three – our support did not dissipate and our loyalty should never be questioned. Not by anyone – least of all our own. Unfortunately the last year or so has seen attitudes change: not due to fans becoming lazy or greedy but because of a combination of factors. Firstly it become clear that much of the substantial monies raised in backing the Charles Green ownership were wasted and his associates less than ideal custodians of the club. In the face of this criticism, board changes were made and supposedly extensive reviews into the business carried out but the paucity of these contributions didn’t provide much solace. A poor quality (or at best inconsistent) product on the park wasn’t helping but promised changes highlighted in the review to address this have not been forthcoming. Thus, reluctantly, and by way of protest, many fans chose to withhold their investment and, if we’re brutally honest, that’s understandable. Generally, the last year has seen fans become ever more frustrated with their club and increasingly obvious evidence that the incumbent board – or more accurately the decision-making investment groups – cannot turn things around. Not just in terms of the £30million investment talked of in their empirical reviews but the kind of credible and transparent leadership required to rebuild trust in the boardroom and entice fans back to Ibrox. With almost 250 staff members and overheads of aging stadiums, training grounds and dilapidated white elephant buildings, is it any wonder a new administration event looms large on the horizon? Consequently, where does that leave us? Well, I’d suggest we have two distinct pathways ahead. One: if as seems likely, the share offer is subscribed enough to defer our problems to another day; we’ll have the fait accompli of 75% share-holding levels for approval of AGM/EGM resolutions related to the sale and/or leaseback of club assets ¬– such as the Auchenhowie training ground which has consistently been ignored by club representatives when talking about such revenue sources. Or, two: investment groups are able by way of this issue to consolidate their holdings enough to enable a sale to other interested parties. Now, I won’t try to predict the outcome but I’m certain both the existing ownership and the likes of Dave King and/or Mike Ashley will have planned for these eventualities over the last year. The events of the last week won’t be a surprise to them. What is easier to predict is that without one of these outcomes an insolvency event is inevitable as things stand. However, misguided suggestions that this may be an agreeable solution make me uneasy. For example, will onerous contracts be removed by this process, would ownership be guaranteed to change after it and what of the club’s league position after the fact? We don’t know so, simply put, no-one should look at administration with anything other than horror. On the other hand, neither should fans be emotionally blackmailed into providing what appears to be an ever-more toxic board and ownership with a mandate to stumble on in charge. The time for making excuses for these people has long gone. There is no defence of Charles Green and, whether he’s still involved now or not, his associates on the ‘current’ board are equally tainted by their deficiencies. With that in mind, what options are available to fans? Not many is the desperate answer. Yes we have worthy share initiatives like Buy Rangers and Rangers First but with further financial uncertainty abound, can we really expect fans to invest in shares after the events of 2012? Even so, we absolutely must consider such projects with an open mind but with the greatest will in the world, they’re arguably not a short term solution. Nevertheless, possibly buyers engaging with these groups going forward would go a long way to cementing the fans’ contribution in a better future. Indeed, it’s only through that kind of undertaking that we may finally achieve the kind of bond between supporters and ownership that has been missing for so long. Unfortunately, such a positive conclusion seems difficult to attain. The coming weeks and months will define the future and it may well be beyond the fans abilities to impact upon this. Nevertheless, neither should we be held to ransom by people who will never understand the love we have for our football club. We have a choice and while I’d never begin to tell my fellow fans what to do, at some point we have to stop identifying with people who don’t share our love for our club. In that sense Stockholm syndrome is not a workable survival strategy – it just prolongs our inability to escape from the status quo and it’s that kind of clarity every fan needs for our battles ahead. Either that or be held prisoner forever.
  7. Amidst all the doom and gloom highlighted in Blueflag’s “What’s Next?” thread, we still have The Second Semi Annual Gersnet Dinner (with Special Guest *Star*) to which can look forward. A reminder of the story so far. The official result of the official poll for the Dinner - time of year - was a draw: Early Season - August/September 4 votes 40.00% Autumn – October/November 4 votes 40.00% In the posts on the thread some specific dates were highlighted: Frankie had weddings on the 8th and 9th of August; JC said that he is doing the deed on the 24th August and then off for a European road trip for 10 days so anytime after about the 6th Sept suits him fine; SC said not Aug 20 – 23 or the weekend of September 19th when he’s getting married; some suggested avoiding the September weekend as well, 27/28 September; GS commented that if we have something reasonably early we can perhaps then have crimbo drinks; and STB pushed September/October time from the start. All of which shows how difficult it is to get a date that suits everyone. Whilst it did seem reasonable to go somewhere in between the two winning time zones, which would have argued for September or October; the fixtures weren’t kind to us in that respect with only two home games over the two months: 27 September 2014 v Hibernian (September weekend, see above) 18 October 2014 v Raith Rovers We then have two home games in November 2014: 8 November 2014 v Falkirk 15 November 2014 v Alloa Athletic (may be postponed if Rangers have players in the Scotland squad) which dates are within the poll result. (I personally cannot make any arrangements between the beginning of October and mid November but that shouldn’t stop you going ahead in that period if someone else wants to take over.) In a further poll: the winner by a short head 6 votes (46.2%) was 27/09/2014 v Hibernian; and in second place with 5 votes (38.5%) was Christmas/New Year Only two other options received one vote each: 15/11/2014 v Alloa and End of Season None of the other options received any support. BT Sport then knocked out 27 September and I suggested either: Dec 6th v Cowdenbeath - easier from a restaurant point of view (and less likely to be moved perhaps); or Dec 20th v Livingston - slightly more attractive fixture, but last shopping weekend before Christmas and might be difficult for restaurants. In the subsequent thread TB rightly said that “Most decent restaurants are in full "Xmas special menu" mode by the 6th December, meaning busy restaurants with overpriced menus. Any restaurant not busy or overpriced at this time of year probably isn't up to much.” He was supported by four others (two of whom were at the first dinner). At the same time 75% of those voting opted to go back to Malaga Tapas. Based on the above, I have had a discussion with Cristobal the owner of Malaga Tapas, who appreciated our custom for the first dinner and the guys who have been back in since. He makes the point that because he is not in the city centre he does not feel under the same pressure as city centre restaurants to provide a Christmas menu or indeed to provide it at or from a certain date. He will do so subject to demand but he always wants to accommodate his regular customers and would never say it’s Christmas Lunch/ Dinner or nothing. In other words he will give us what we want when we want it. Therefore my suggestion is that we go ahead on the 6th of December. I don’t feel that there is anything to be gained from yet another poll so what I would ask is that folks post their agreement or otherwise in this thread asap and I’ll act accordingly. Oh and no speculation on the identity of the mystery guest, please, all will be revealed along with the detailed arrangements once we finalise the date.
  8. I've seen it at Ibrox for a couple of seasons now. I don't think it's appropriate. Please desist.
  9. RFC Maybe we can talk about this without any unecessary snyde remarks about the board?
  10. After a successful meeting with Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland today it would appear that subject to a few little details our application for a procession to Ibrox on the 19th July will be passed as acceptable. We will require the following volunteers from within the support to fulfil some council requirements. - Experianced marshals - Volunteer marshals - First aiders - Expectant numbers. I would love to hear from pipe or accordion band with a repertoire of Rangers songs In their play book. If you can help with any of the above or will be in attendance can you please let me know on this post or via PM Thanks Craig SoS https://www.facebook.com/SonsOfStrut...al_comments=14 L
  11. According to the Sun website: Club bow to fan pressure over stadium RANGERS fans are set to record a victory in the battle to safeguard Ibrox. Sunsport understands that the under-fire club board are set to give fans’ groups assurances that the club’s home won’t be sold off. The agreement will only be a short-term fix — but the board are hopeful it will spur fans on to buying season tickets for the Championship. Only 17,000 have been sold as fans attempt to put cash pressure on the club. Around 3000 fans marched to Ibrox yesterday to voice their concerns about the running of the club. Ex-stars John Brown and Nacho Novo lent their support and Novo told the crowd: “This club means everything to me and you mean everything to me. “Thank you all for coming out and staying united as we try to safeguard the club we all love. “I’m from Spain but this is where my heart is and we have to stay together to make sure this place we love stays part of Rangers. “This is about every supporter who wants to see the club prosper. This is a special club and Ibrox is a special place.”
  12. Looking forward to reading and reviewing this book in the coming few weeks: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Under-Union-Flag-Bissett/dp/1910021121/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404410171&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Born+Under+a+Union+Flag%3A+Rangers%2C+Britain+and+Scottish+Independence I know Ally and Alan (and the other contributors) have worked hard on this so it should be an interesting read and useful accompaniment to the Referendum debate.
  13. GRAHAM WALLACE says Rangers now has a solid base from which it can move forward with confidence as it looks to grow, prosper and thrive more as time goes on. Wallace has spent the weekend in Toronto at the 2014 NARSA convention, where over 1,000 Light Blues fans have been in attendance. The chief executive took questions in an open forum yesterday afternoon following the association’s annual general meeting. A number of issues were raised with him and Wallace is keen to reassure Gers followers a path to a brighter future lies ahead. He said: “It has been interesting talking to a different cross-section of fans in Toronto as it was an opportunity to hear at a really detailed level about some of the issues they have. “Almost since the day I came to Rangers, we’ve been operating in an environment where there have been consistent questions about the financial stability of the club. “I’ve repeatedly come out and said there’s no threat of administration and we’ve built a very solid base now which we’re moving forward from. “The fans should take reassurance and comfort from that. We are moving in a way that allows us to grow and develop the business. “The long-term financial stability of the business is well in hand and we are in a good place now. Fans should be confident and comfortable with the club’s long-term stability. “The club needs them to survive like any business does and we are absolutely hoping they will stand behind and support the club the way they have in recent seasons. “In the vast majority of areas, I think we are moving in the right direction and it is business as usual at the football club. “The fans are looking for a degree of confidence that their club is stable, it’s being properly run and we are in a good position financially. “We are now in our best position financially in my time at the club so that’s positive and we are placed very well for the start of the forthcoming Championship campaign.” Wallace admits there is still considerable work to be done as Rangers bid to make up for what he feels has been a missed opportunity to rebuild in a better way since administration in 2012. But he is sure a lot key moves have now been made which will allow the League One title winners to make more notable strides from now on. He added: “I’ve been in position now for a little over six months and in that time it has been extremely challenging. “There have been so many legacy issues we have had to deal with and we spent a considerable period of time looking at the condition and the state of the business. “We had to map out what we think the club and the business is capable of doing over the next several years. “We have done a tremendous amount of groundwork and we’ve addressed a significant number of issues. “In April, we published our business review. That gave fans a sense of what we inherited but more importantly, a sense of the vision of where we think we can take the business. “We have made significant strides but it’s not an overnight journey and what we are looking for now is to move forward again. “We want to go through our pre-season routine into the new season and really push on, starting to make a huge difference in the areas we’ve identified.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7029-a-base-to-grow-from
  14. GRAHAM WALLACE believes Rangers are now moving closer to the successful establishment of their first fan board as the club activates in its biggest supporter engagement initiative. The Ibrox chief executive will tonight return to the UK from Toronto, where he has spent a couple of days talking to Light Blues followers at the 2014 NARSA convention. More than 1,000 of them have been in attendance and Wallace feels it has been important to reach out to them as he seeks to build bridges and create a better, sustainable future at Gers. He addressed around 900 attendees at the gathering’s Grand Banquet yesterday and hopes his visit there can help develop a stronger relationship going forward. Wallace said: “We have recognised right from day one we had a big job to do in terms of trying to improve engagement with the club’s fans. “Several months ago we launched our Ready To Listen fan engagement survey and that was really just the first step. “We’ve now gone through another two subsequent steps in terms of narrowing down areas of interest to the fans so we can fully understand what matters to them. “We are currently moving into the third phase which is a set of detailed focus groups that involve people sitting round the table and looking at specific issues. “It’s all designed to move us forward to the creation of our first Rangers fan board, which will be an official board that will act as the body to represent the fans with the club. “We’re looking at the constitution and composition of that because we want to get a wide spread of Rangers fans engaged in talking to the club. “Like anything else, these things take time to work their way through and particularly at a level where what we’re dealing with is not just a simple scenario. “There are many issues dear to Rangers fans’ hearts. We’re trying to engage with them in a way they’ll say they can see progress and I think we have made a number of steps forward.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headli...edging-closer? There must be fans who actually swallow this bullshit.
  15. Being said on FF and Twitter that VB met with the board the day after the UOF meeting. Somers and James Easdale also attended. Why would the board meet with such a small unrepresentative group? As is being said on Twitter most supporters clubs have more members.
  16. @Chris_Jack89: Sandy Easdale has threatened legal action against Craig Houston over an online petition. Story in Wednesdays @TheEveningTimes #Rangers
  17. Here is an Email we have just sent out to 30 odd supporters clubs: Hi, I am a volunteer with Rangers First, a community involvement and fan governance vehicle set up in order to help the supporters gain transparency and a voice in the club. Our first objective is to obtain a 5% shareholding in the club in order to get us on our way to achieving authoritative transparent consultation (ACT) with the board of Rangers Football Club. RF is an apolitical organisation that is only interested in the betterment of The Rangers Family and is not seeking to divide anyone. All fans are welcome who believe in fan involvement at the club. Rangers First is a Community Interest Company that is government regulated to ensure that all proceeds go to benefitting The Rangers Community, all membership donations (from £5 per month) initially will go to buying shares until our goal of 5% has been met and ACT has been achieved. Subsequent donations will be used at the discretion of the membership as RF is a member led one member one vote democracy. If your supporters club or organisation would like to hear a presentation on Rangers First at your venue of choice, we would be happy to accommodate you. I believe that RF is a fantastic vehicle that will help the Rangers Support and the club and I would like the opportunity to let my fellow Rangers Fans hear the facts and decide if it something they would like to get involved with. All information on Rangers First is available at http://www.rangersfirst.org - If you know any supporters club that would like to hold a presentation please let us know. Thanks
  18. “If you’re prepared to accept mediocrity because our owners are greedy fair enough. Me, I intend to do everything I can to root them out.” A quote from Gunslinger. So what are we doing as a support to root out the directors? I believe the answer is “Not a lot”. Let’s look at the two lots of people a majority of the fans want rid of – the Shareholders and the Directors. 1. The Shareholders There are 2 main ways that the shareholders can get to go or to lose control: a) Someone buys their shares – there is currently nobody who wants to buy their shares. Dave King has said he won’t do it. There are 2 fans’ vehicles for purchasing shares, both of whom are a long way away from getting enough cash to make a meaningful investment. They also both have the dilemma of raising cash and then deciding whether to use the cash to pay existing shareholders and therefore not a penny goes to the club, as happened recently with BuyRangers, or wait until there’s a share issue at some future point. They also run the risk of their shareholding being diluted. Let’s say they get 1% of the shares and then there’s a rights issue. They could find that their 1% has been reduced to 0.5% or even lower. Perhaps it needs yet another calamity like an administration to change the mindsets of the fans to fan ownership as they have consistently shown that a vast majority are not there yet. b) There’s a share issue of some sort, which dilutes their control in the way mentioned above. However what happens if they are the ones to put in the cash? They could increase their shareholding percentage. Dave King has said that he would be willing to invest, but only under certain circumstances. Are the current shareholders likely to structure an issue that sees them losing control to King? Very unlikely. Is King willing to invest that level of cash and not have a level of control? Very Unlikely. All of King’s actions seem to be aimed towards trying to force the existing shareholders and directors out without him having to spend any cash in doing so. He has built up a degree of animosity between him and the board and as such he has made it less likely that the board will turn round and make it easy for him to get control. The existing shareholders generally want an exit strategy and nobody is offering them one and they aren’t going to effectively have their shareholding become worthless. 2. The Directors Most Rangers fans are not impressed by the current Board, but nobody has offered any alternative since the Paul Murray faction got voted down at the AGM. Nobody has set out any level of vision for the future and King suffers from this criticism more than most. He has not set out detailed plans or any level of alternative. King set up his Ibrox 1972 Ltd company, asking for the club to give it security over its biggest assets. Does anyone seriously expect a quoted PLC to give security of its main assets to a third party company that apparently doesn’t have a season ticket holder or Rangers shareholder on its board or as a shareholder? There is no connection between this company and the club. As it stands, there’s no connection between the ownership and control of Ibrox 1972 Ltd and the support either. It’s almost as if King has come up with a vehicle that makes it impossible for the club to grant security, not that they would do it anyway. Perhaps that’s what King is hoping for? Many fans are not buying season tickets, partly due their opposition to the board and partly due to the fare on the park. For the fans who fall into the former category, is them withholding season ticket cash really going to chase out the directors? I really don’t think so. Why should it? Are the really just going to resign and walk away or are they going to carry on running the company in whatever financial situation it Is in? I would argue that it is the latter and they will continue run the club as best they can, with the lower income and therefore lower quality on the park. Many are there to do a job (presumably to the best of their ability) and less season tickets makes it more challenging but it is not a reason for them to resign from their job. Are the shareholders going to insist on a change of board due to lower season tickets? Unlikely, given that the gave the directors a vote of confidence at the AGM even after the club had spent the £22m from the share issue in 9 months. If they still retain the shareholders’ support after that then season ticket holder revolt isn’t going to make much difference. There is also the situation where Sandy Easdale controls the votes of over 26% of the shares and it means that he only needs 24% of other shares to get his way in most matters. The fans who are not renewing their season tickets have my admiration for the sacrifice that they are making and I understand their frustration as they want to do something and not renewing is something. However it doesn’t mean that what they are doing will result in a change or will make any difference to the positions of the directors. Even if the season ticket boycott did force a change in directors, would it change the overall way that the club is being run? Again, very unlikely. So what is the best hope for a change? We can only hope that Dave King has a change in heart and does decide to buy out the existing shareholders because otherwise I just don’t see a way out of this mess as we fans appear to be powerless against shareholders and directors who have no interest in engaging with the support and taking actions to keep them onside.
  19. “We note the latest attempt by this board to mislead and hold Rangers fans to ransom. Their latest “give us your money or the seat gets it” ultimatum is just another in a long line of misjudgements this board has made about the mood amongst the support in general. The fact that those now in the crosshairs of this board are a lifelong Rangers fan who has ploughed millions of his own money into the club with no return, an iconic captain from one of the club’s most successful ever periods and a group of Rangers fans attempting to secure the home of our football club, says more about this board than we ever could. There is no attempt to deprive the club of funds. This is made very clear in the security proposal and the board’s ham fisted attempt to misrepresent this is one of the few transparent things they have done since coming to power. No money will be taken from fans unless security is granted and we are of the opinion that the board’s reluctance to discuss granting security may well rapidly change. Our public comments about Mr Wallace are not personal but have been based on his binding pronouncements on matters of huge importance which have been at best misleading, broken promises for engagement with fans, attempts to blame fans for the current precarious position of the club and a complete lack of any progress in bringing much needed investment into the club. We welcome the fact that the entire board have now publicly taken responsibility for all of these actions. Once again we see meaningless sound bites with absolutely no substance to back them up. The result, no doubt, of the expensive PR man hired by this board with more urgency than a Chief Scout. What “significant progress” has been made? How will this “bright future” we are promised come about when the investment committee have failed to secure a single pound of investment? Rangers is certainly “dear to all of us”, the Rangers support. We have no idea why this board would attempt to claim the same when there is not a single fan amongst them. We do not believe that Rangers fans will fall for this again. We’ve seen it far too many times in the past two years. “ - See more at: https://www.ibrox1972.co.uk/statements/#sthash.5zQnzija.oJfk0OFG.dpuf
  20. Thought I would put some more into what I have posted, I have nothing to gain or lose I suppose by posting on this board and dont want to hassle people, if the admin of the forum would like me to stop posting then they can private mail me and let me know. What I am saying is that I know 100% Dave will make a move in the next 7 days which will be to try and seize control of the club, you as fans will ultimately vote with your feet so to speak but Dave had to and has given this current regime all the time and met all their request made to him and to us as fans. I know this because I know this, you can believe this or you can ignore this, either way, I thought it would do no harm by posting the fact that Dave will be making substantial moves next week in order to be in a place to be the new majority owner come the summer. No ego, no nothing. its all about Rangers and where we should be, either follow or dont.
  21. Supporting Rangers has never been quite so difficult. Doesn’t matter if it’s new beneficial club owners from one year to the next, executive directors that are replaced quarter by quarter or turgid on-the-field performances which would struggle to excite the most positive of football fans, it’s not easy to find a bear without a sore head nowadays. This headache soon becomes even worse when you try to examine the minefield that forms our supporter group landscape. Let’s go through them for clarity – take a deep breath: a) The Rangers Supporters Association – the oldest group which represent a range of RSCs all over the world. Nowadays, pretty small, perhaps old fashioned and primarily scoped to deal with ticketing issues you’ll nevertheless find their latest secretary Drew Roberton commenting in the media on a regular basis. b) The Rangers Supporters Trust – an independent group formed in 2003 mainly working towards fan ownership via share purchasing; the RST account for up to 2000 members. Their chair Gordon Dinnie is also often credited in the media on their behalf. c) NARSA and ORSA – two foreign associations which look after the interests of the North American and Oceanic RSCs respectively. It’s not often they’ll be quoted in the media but they do have lots of members with a fair amount of clout behind the scenes. NARSA especially have a solid historic relationship with the club. d) The Rangers Supporters Assembly – the original umbrella group which encompasses all of the above (and more) and was setup around ten years ago. Since then they’ve really struggled to capture the imagination of those they insist they represent (including season book holders). President Andy Kerr remains vocal in the media and usually aligned with a) and b) above. The future of the organisation within the club since the 2012 administration is unclear. e) Sons of Struth (SoS) – a more recent phenomenon is two fans that have been at the forefront of various protests against figures at the club. Most controversially, their spokesperson Craig Houston was threatened with legal action by club director Sandy Easdale for defamatory comments on a social network page. This has prompted much comment which we’ll explore further below. f) Union of Fans – even more recent is this new umbrella group which is made up of a), b), d), e) and the two Ibrox singing sections. Again, this group appear most concerned with the short-term future of club and their statements are geared towards this political aim. Spokesman Chris Graham is a keen blogger on the club and is featured regularly on two popular websites. g) Buy Rangers and Rangers First – not to be outdone, we now have two share vehicles specifically interested in achieving fan ownership via the purchase of shares as part of government backed schemes. The former is organised by the RST while the latter is a new development also promoted by Supporters Direct. At first glance both appear attractive to the interested supporter. h) Rangers Fans Fighting Fund (RFFF) – set up in 2012 this fund was put together to raise money for the club post-administration. Despite having Assembly and official club connotations, the Fund has been blighted by a lack of communication and transparency. Indeed, its website is no longer available and uncertainty remains with respect to the £500,000 surplus in its account. i) The Rest – as well as the TEN groups above, there are a variety of other clusters of fans which one may or may not perceive as ‘formal’ groups. These are often backed up with websites/blogs and can be made up of thousands of shared members; though usually these can be concentrated down into smaller lobbies of key opinion formers from group to group. It’s difficult to recognise all such bodies in a formal sense but there’s no doubting their contribution can be worthy. The above really is quite incredible when put down on paper – even with what I’d concede is a very superficial outline of each group. Quite simply, there’s no wonder confusion and division exists when we have so many groups all competing against each other. Despite regular assurances to the contrary (and so-called umbrella groups speaking for all), the chances of genuine fan unity and convincing representation remain as far away as ever. This is confirmed by the most recent issue which has caused further splits in the support. As touched on above, the Sons of Struth has been one of the most prominent groups of late. Despite only being made up of two individual supporters with no formal constitution, their stadium protests and media profile have resulted in much debate over recent months. Undoubtedly in my view their lobbying of Rangers and its support has contributed to the decision-making of the club hierarchy – even if I may also disagree with their methods and words from time to time. This is especially disappointing when using (or allowing) derogatory language to make their point. As someone who has experienced legal contact in such matters previously, there’s a fine line between fair criticism, unfair falsehoods and petty name-calling. Therefore, it was no surprise to see the main SoS figure Craig Houston served with a legal notice by Sandy Easdale to desist from such alleged behaviour or face a £200,000 court action. At this point the debate became polarised with those generally supportive of the SoS eager to source funds from the hitherto inactive RFFF to help Mr Houston in his defence against Mr Easdale. However, this suggestion seemed at best unlikely and at worst flawed given the RFFF monies were primarily setup to be used for the club only (despite some cash being used to pay small oldco debts such as Dunfermline Football Club in 2012). With that in mind, even those who had sympathy with the SoS predicament felt it was best a separate fund was setup should legal action go ahead. Hence, it was a great surprise to many bears when the RFFF subsequently voted to put the decision to a general vote of fans rather than immediately reject the suggestion. Despite this curiosity it could be argued this was perhaps the most reasonable course of action. After all, while many fans didn’t agree with this non-club appropriation of funds, what should happen if another more popular non-club opportunity arose: should it be declined automatically or debated by the fund contributors? Furthermore, the volunteer RFFF committee were put in place to act on our behalf so it’s difficult to argue with the democratic process being followed – even if the lack of clarity surrounding the decision (and RFFF work generally) is of valid concern. In any case, no matter our thoughts, the reaction has been furious from some quarters with one website and NARSA both calling for the resignation of those who voted for the issue to be decided via a ‘general meeting of fans’. Suffice to say the response to that has been equally negative with all sorts of insults permitted in some online communities. Once again the fan-base is split – often based on their website or group of choice rather than actually examining the issue without prejudice. Indeed it’s this kind of division that is now becoming very difficult to ignore when looking at most issues related to the club. Rather than such subjects being analysed with balance and in unison, we have some coming to most debates with a pre-determined opinion already in place. Quite simply if person/site/group A says one thing, you can be sure person/site/group B will say another and vice-versa. Such disagreement may actually be healthy in some respects but when it is increasingly accompanied by the kind of nonsense we usually see for those hostile to our club then such puerile debate just becomes counter-productive. Is it any wonder our club and fan-base have been taken advantage of in recent years when we can’t agree on the most basic of issues? Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution to this ongoing tribal warfare. Existing ‘umbrella’ groups have tried and failed for many years to capture the imagination of the widespread support while those not already interested in such ‘political’ matters won’t be swayed by a long list of fan organisations they may struggle to identify with. In addition, resignations, fall-outs and abuse appear to tarnish any good work such groups do. Meanwhile, a club fighting with itself on a month-to-month basis appears to have neither the will nor the way (not to mention the funds) to put in place a new scheme which can accommodate fans of every possible background. Yet, in my opinion, if such a group is to be successful, from the club it must come. It needs that formal official status, along with the backing of high-profile relevant figures, to take fan representation from social clubs and websites to the boardroom. However the only certainty is that when such a proposal does see the light of day, it may be strangled at birth by a minority of people who will always insist upon throwing out the baby with the bathwater for the most ridiculous of arguments. In the meantime, the moderate (and usually silent) majority can only hope for better. And until we concentrate ten bizarrely disparate groups into one then that day may be a long time coming. What part will you play in achieving that positive change: are you part of the problem or the solution? Will the real Rangers support please stand up?
  22. Taken from FF The RFFF voted today that in the event of litigation against Craig Houston, arising from content on the Sons Of Struth Facebook page, a proposal to provide financial support will be taken to a general meeting of fans.
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