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Why entrust Rangers to people who don't share our values or dreams?


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Rolling Stone magazine has an article this week entitled "Marx Was Right: Five Surprising Ways Karl Marx Predicted 2014". Being an American magazine Rolling Stone is taking a risk with this because for many in America being labeled a Marxist is career suicide, the phrase is so loaded as to be used purely as an insult now.

Yet the article points out that for many people capitalism doesn't work very well and one of the 'people' it doesn't work for is us, the Rangers support.

 

The opposition to 'fan ownership' puzzles me. I suppose for those under 30 brought up on a diet of Sir David's largesse, of the rise of the mega-clubs like Man Utd, Barca, Real Madrid and now Chelsea, Man city and PSG and the creation of the G14 organisation then money is everything, only those with the deepest pockets can succeed. That's how football works, isn't it?

 

But I'm 43, I watched clubs like Nottingham Forest, Malmo, Red Star Belgrade and Brugge contest the European Cup Final, I know that football isn't all about money and the club with the most money doesn't have to always win.

Football has changed though, and today the club with the most money usually does win, in every league we're now seeing that. TV rights, sponsorship, endorsements and countless other 'income streams' help fuel this. Add in megalomaniacs from Russia or Malaysia or much nearer to home and the clubs run with some sort of fiscal responsibility are left behind, derided even.

 

But here's the thing, it's unsustainable, Marx predicted this and he was right. All of these business bubbles burst eventually and this one will too. They are "chaotic by nature" and one which is as unrestricted as football currently is will crash and burn eventually, nothing is surer. Have a look at some of the ticket prices being charged in the EPL this season. Have a look at the debt being carried by football clubs all around Europe. Tell me that's sustainable, tell me that someone bigger will come along and pick up the cheque. Yeah right, go read an economics book or two. We're the guys who'll be picking up the 'cheque'.

 

I'm not a Marxist. Professionally, when I'm not wasting my time on football forums I help grow those capitalist bubbles and i've seen a few of them get too big and go pop now. Too many of us judge 'success' on how much profit a company makes, not on how good its product or services are, how well it treats its employees and customers and how well it's prepared for the future. Time and again we fall for this, short term gain over long term stability seems to be what we desire.

 

So look at football clubs. History tells us they can disappear, no matter how unlikely that might seem, they can and do. It happens when people no longer care about them, so it is in the interests of all football clubs to ensure people keep caring. The best way to ensure that is to involve people in them. If football supporters become nothing more than 'customers' then eventually we'll start to behave like customers. As anathema as this might sound it is starting to happen now. Already English sides (and they and the already bankrupt Spanish sides are the driving force behind this) are seeing more and more of their tickets being sold to 'football tourists' rather than supporters. London clubs in particular are seeing this phenomenon but it is also happening in Manchester too. That's helping to drive the price of tickets up and force 'supporters' out.

 

That the concept of fan involvement seems alien to us is puzzling to me. But then how many of us are actually involved in anything outside of our work or family these days? How many of us are on the PTA of their children's school, how many of us are involved in youth organisations on a voluntary basis, how many of are in trade unions or are members of political parties or help out at the local bowling club? Tell you what I bet it's a hell of a lot fewer than did in the 70s and 80s.

The whole concept of taking responsibility for our community assets has been diluted now. My father was born in an Ayrshire mining village which consisted of three rows of houses, it was tiny. Yet it had a Junior football team an amateur football team, three Friendly Societies, a quoiting club, an ambulance corps, a juvenile football club, a brass band, a dramatic society, and a phonetics class.

Today, in the Glasgow area I live in my daughter's Brownie group can't find enough volunteers to staff their troop. Don't get me wrong there's no shortage of parents who want their daughters to join, just a shortage of parents who are willing to give up any of their time to help out.

 

This is the same. Too many of us want someone else to run Rangers. Too many of us want someone else to carry that burden, hopefully someone very rich too. We can blame factionalism in our support, unhappiness with how the RST has been run, personalities involved in various groups or find reasons to explain how fan ownership can't work. But then we can't complain when things go to hell. Can we really complain about the people running our club if we aren't willing to do it ourselves?

 

How do we judge success? What do we want from Rangers? Do we care what the share price is?

 

The football bubble will burst, nothing is surer, economics tell us this if we care to look. When it does there will be casualties, the clubs who are stable both fiscally and politically will be the most likely to survive that. So I'd argue it is in our best long term interests to own our club, to have a say in how it is run, to be keeping a watchful eye on things. Remember, no one else cares, nobody else gives a damn about our club, only us. Why entrust it to people who don't share our values or dreams?

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Think anyone can understand the ideal of fan ownership but frankly I don't trust our support to make something like this work

 

I think it would be extremely difficult if we went to fan ownership overnight, but if we took a number of steps aong the way, starting with fan representation then it may have a chance.

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Fan ownership is unlikely in the short to medium term but I think it is a laudable long term aim.

 

Improved influence should be our short term outlook but as long as we insist on shooting ourselves in the head then how can we expect anyone to take us seriously.

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Why not start here? We need a focal point for any shareholdings and for that you need to feel you belong and that you have a communication channel. Online forums seem ideal places for this - they even have built-in voting systems.

 

I think there is a problem where people don't like putting their money into something and then losing control of how it is used, and that seems the biggest hurdle for the RST.

 

I think what we could try at Gersnet is have a bunch of us buy up some shares from a few hundred to a 1000 each - and at 27p a share (plus a £12 set fee so 326 shares for £100) it's a good time to do so. We then elect a representative from on here and proxy our votes to them. Then try to grow it from there. If other forums do the same, the fans' shareholding would start to increase.

 

The premise is to do block voting and so sort out the general feeling of the shareholders, have a few votes and then trust the representative to honour that. The trick is to go with the majority and not throw the dummy out if that's not 100% what you agree with. The strength is in the numbers.

 

But the beauty is that if you're really unhappy you can remove your proxy at any time and possibly join another forum. You are in control of your shares, always own them and can also sell them if that's what you wish.

 

To create an avalanche, you can start with a snowball... It's all about starting a culture.

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The culture has already started.

 

BuyRangers has around 2,000 people already signed up.

 

That's where my money is invested - and I won't be spending a cent on any other scheme. As previously stated, we have the tools already in place to work towards fan ownership so let's use them.

 

Incredibly, we now have two singing sections - how many investment groups does the support actually need?

 

Answer: one.

 

Let's work together on this - not as forums and groups - but as Rangers fans with a common goal.

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Why not start here? We need a focal point for any shareholdings and for that you need to feel you belong and that you have a communication channel. Online forums seem ideal places for this - they even have built-in voting systems.

 

I think there is a problem where people don't like putting their money into something and then losing control of how it is used, and that seems the biggest hurdle for the RST.

 

I think what we could try at Gersnet is have a bunch of us buy up some shares from a few hundred to a 1000 each - and at 27p a share (plus a £12 set fee so 326 shares for £100) it's a good time to do so. We then elect a representative from on here and proxy our votes to them. Then try to grow it from there. If other forums do the same, the fans' shareholding would start to increase.

 

The premise is to do block voting and so sort out the general feeling of the shareholders, have a few votes and then trust the representative to honour that. The trick is to go with the majority and not throw the dummy out if that's not 100% what you agree with. The strength is in the numbers.

 

But the beauty is that if you're really unhappy you can remove your proxy at any time and possibly join another forum. You are in control of your shares, always own them and can also sell them if that's what you wish.

 

To create an avalanche, you can start with a snowball... It's all about starting a culture.

 

I hereby put myself forward... :)

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