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The old man shuffled in the large leather chair, one of those traditional ones designed to encourage good seating posture rather than slouching, pushing his steel rimmed glasses onto his forehead he took what he hoped would be another sip of inspiration from the lukewarm tea on the table, just for a brief moment he thought about undoing his top shirt button and loosening his tie to provide relief from the late afternoon sun beaming through the office window and which was taking its toll – but that would just not do, “standards, standards, standards” he muttered to himself, the presentation was tomorrow and the speech had to be finished, so reaching for his trusty pencil and notepad he collected his thoughts and began scribbling…

 

 

 

“I have been lucky — lucky in those who were around me from the boardroom to the dressing-room. In time of stress, their unstinted support, unbroken devotion to our club and calmness in adversity eased the task of making Rangers FC the premier club in this country.

 

 

To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”

 

 

Our very success, gained you will agree by skill, will draw more people than ever to see it. And that will benefit many more clubs than Rangers. Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us. We will never hide from it. Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure, and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. No matter the days of anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be overcome. That has been the philosophy of the Rangers since the days of the gallant pioneers.”

 

 

I have spent my whole life in awe of that speech. The utter selflessness at the heart of it, the appreciation and acknowledgement of the work and dedication of others, the dismissal of the importance of the individual and the emphasis and focus on the dedication of others around him merely serve to underline why this man has left such an indelible stamp on our club. It speaks of a football club with a sense of direction, where the people at the very heart of it share not only a common vision but realise the necessity of working together with shared values to deliver that vision.

 

 

We have fallen, fallen a long way from that sacred trust, taken there by men with little concept of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, men whose importance of self, of ego, was the very antithesis of everything Mr Struth stood for. It has opened a revolving door of charlatans, of profiteers, with no interest in preserving the shrine other than seeking to exploit the faithful who still come to worship.

 

 

In these days of anxiety, amidst the clamour of boardroom battles, of money men and PR gurus, of percentage shareholdings and damaging headlines, one group, to the exclusion of all others, has sought to uphold that sacred trust and remain true to the concept of the Ibrox tradition.

 

 

Disengaged and disempowered from the powers and processes which govern our club, and in the face of considerable, or as some hoped, insurmountable adversity, we have strived and endeavoured to keep the flames of that sacred trust burning. We conquered the insurmountable, breaking attendance records along the way, we laid waste to the false accusations of “glory hunters” at the Gayfields and Station Parks of this world. Borough Briggs and Ochilview had to be postponed as the manifestation of “unstinted support” and “unbroken devotion” descended upon them.

 

 

Who are these people ? Go look in the mirror you will see them there, staring right back at you – we are the people.

 

 

We are the people and this is our time. It’s time for those who have proven themselves in the face of adversity to no longer be disempowered or disengaged. We are the rightful sentinels of that sacred trust, do we honestly believe that anyone else could protect it better ? If you do then stop reading now.

 

 

Rangers First, Buy Rangers and Vanguard Bears all offer a means of achieving that goal via their various fan ownership models.

 

 

The choices we face are simple but critical nonetheless. Who do we trust most to decide the destiny of our football club, to safeguard all that we cherish and value ? To run the club in a way which upholds the traditions spoken of by Mr Struth all those years ago ? Who would ensure that every single decision which is made, is done so solely in the best interests of Rangers ?

 

 

Or should we continue to fracture as a support, tearing ourselves apart doing the bidding of masters who offer no guarantees, in the hope of some scraps off the table ? Isn’t it about time we either sat at that table ourselves or had a considerable say in who does and the decisions they make concerning our club ?

 

 

I am under no illusions – it will not be easy. There will be considerable challenges ahead, without doubt considerable adversity as well, but only a fool would bet against a Rangers support united in purpose and vision – it’s probably what those who wish ill will against our club fear most.

 

 

Our club is once again in need of “gallant pioneers”, men and women who will remain true to the concept the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, and the reward is ensuring that sacred trust is preserved for generations yet to come.

 

 

“No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”

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Very well written mate and I doubt many bears would argue with it.

 

It's a shame some fans want to focus on division but the work of the FO schemes is one small tonic in the face of what seems to be constant bad news. As I highlighted a while back, perhaps the most constructive first step would be for each of these schemes to form a cohesive voting bloc for a few main aims and AGM resolutions? That would then allow other shareholders to proxy their votes to this bloc without aligning themselves along the disappointing forum/website/social media/fan group battle-lines.

 

The clock is ticking on such a strategy though.

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As per the conversation last night.

 

A few thoughts that come to mind........

 

- I think you need a couple of people from each group to all sit down and attempt to get the ball rolling.

 

- There also needs to be a will and a recognition that Rangers FC is the common cause and that self interests be left at the door.

 

- Anyone who has had previous issues might want to step back from 'frontline' in the general interest (this should be self-policed from within groups and not become a matter for any joint meeting)

 

- No-one from or with connections to the club should be involved.

 

In the common interest members could be canvassed regards the forming of one new group that incorporates all, disbanding the current groups. Complicated, controversial, difficult and risky business to say the least but do the groups (or people therein) prioritise the group or the club.

 

You'd also have Toxic trying to plant moles and/or looking for 'agents'.

 

Nothing lost by trying to set-up a meeting but you must have any such project driven by all sides from the very beginning.

 

Is there a realistic, practical and viable 'road-map' towards goal ?

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As per the conversation last night.

 

 

 

In the common interest members could be canvassed regards the forming of one new group that incorporates all, disbanding the current groups. Complicated, controversial, difficult and risky business to say the least but do the groups (or people therein) prioritise the group or the club.

 

You'd also have Toxic trying to plant moles and/or looking for 'agents'.

 

Nothing lost by trying to set-up a meeting but you must have any such project driven by all sides from the very beginning.

 

Is there a realistic, practical and viable 'road-map' towards goal ?

Why would the eleven year-old RST want to scrap itself to accommodate a group, RF, which is less than a year old and doesn't share its aims?

 

Vanguard Bears? What are its aims?

 

Remember, if all three groups were scrapped to create a new one, how long would it take for the new one to splinter? How long would it take for another new group to appear? This is the lesson here. Give it five years and we'd be back to more than one group - and that's why it is pointless dissolving what we already have. It will happen all over again.

 

The groups should try to co-operate but while I am happy to invest in a group that is intent on Rangers becoming a fully fan-owned club, I wouldn't waste my money on a group that was prepared to settle for less. That's why I'm with the RST.

 

Cooperation is desirable, but not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The lesson is that we are not the people at all. We are the peoples.

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I don't think we need to scrap any groups or schemes. It's healthy to have a choice (within reason).

 

However, as much as is possible, these groups need to work together for the greater group. Fan ownership can be set aside from some political issues so we could start by ensuring those three schemes agree shared aims and goals for the shorter term. A cohesive bloc in that respect would go a long way to achieving 5% in a much shorter time-frame than the status quo.

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Another fine article, D'Art.

 

The natural way forward is embracing the FO schemes and tonight's meeting should have that loud and clear. Although I suspect all manner of proposals put on the table will be aired, discussed and voted upon.

 

Although I favour positive action in the form of cold hard cash doing the talking, I wouldn't rule out other actions to challenge the current incumbents.

 

Sports Direct/Ashley:

Banners and chants inside Ibrox will not hurt Sports Direct. Newcastle fans are evidence of that strategy failing. However, If we can enable enough bodies to disrupt trade over the course of a few weeks with media exposure, their share price might fall and its owner will perhaps be forced out into the open. 50 bodies on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon will create the sort of headlines retailers hate, especially in today's corporate social responsibility world. Maybe a joint venture with Newcastle fans can be arranged? Then again, Geordies from what I've read are delighted at the thought of Ashley dropping their club for ours.

 

McGills:

Again, banners or chants won't hurt these guys. The Easdales have stopped attending away games because they don't give a hoot, nor do they wish to have their ego dented by chants for 90 minutes. Flash mob protests outside their depot would disrupt trade and create a big enough story to make them think. That said, Sandy Easdale has yet to demonstrate any empathy towards supporters' feelings so would it have the desired effect? Only one way to find out.

 

Attending games:

The controversial strategy that splits the fan base. Following Rangers is the life blood of most supporters lives. It is what motivates them. For that reason I don't think anyone is in a position to criticize the sacrifice of not renewing....or indeed taking up their seat in Ibrox. However, I'd like to see a mass walkout during the first half or supporters protest outside the main stand for the duration of each home game. For that to succeed it requires big numbers. We're not known for taking such steps in a big enough numbers.

 

Institutional investors:

Their offices are in London and may as well be on the other side of the planet. Logistically any meaningful protest with large numbers is out of the question. London based bears have tried but their too small in numbers to have any real effect. Plus, they've shown any real desire for fans wishes. We can hurt their ability to communicate effectively by mass emailing their websites. Together we took down D&P's communications for an afternoon, we can do it again but don't stop.

 

Fan investment schemes:

Money talks and collectively the support can buy up a significant percentage where we can challenge from inside the Blue Room. We have two main offerings here, the VB one I admit I know very little about, so I'll look at BuyRangers and RF. Both have the same aims and structurally are the very similar. Indeed, the RST owns its own CIC and have yet to put it into play. The message from tonight has to be along the lines of get involved with one if you can afford it. Even if bears can't afford to get involved they can buy scarves, tops or donate that helps raise funds for acquiring shares.

 

The s p i v s will only ever relinquish control by selling up and making some money. Sooner or later we will have to bite the bullet and accept that. Though I think we have and has King where I've been told his bids were knocked back in favour of premium prices more than double the market price.

 

Any strategy coming out of tonight needs to consider out diverse fan base. Get backing fan ownership but the more extremist element will also want to demonstrate outside of bus depots and retailers. A strategy for the many.

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Why would the eleven year-old RST want to scrap itself to accommodate a group, RF, which is less than a year old and doesn't share its aims?

 

Vanguard Bears? What are its aims?

 

Remember, if all three groups were scrapped to create a new one, how long would it take for the new one to splinter? How long would it take for another new group to appear? This is the lesson here. Give it five years and we'd be back to more than one group - and that's why it is pointless dissolving what we already have. It will happen all over again.

 

The groups should try to co-operate but while I am happy to invest in a group that is intent on Rangers becoming a fully fan-owned club, I wouldn't waste my money on a group that was prepared to settle for less. That's why I'm with the RST.

 

Cooperation is desirable, but not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The lesson is that we are not the people at all. We are the peoples.

 

I appreciate most of that, Hildy.

Hence my.......

Complicated, controversial, difficult and risky business to say the least and........

 

Is there a realistic, practical and viable 'road-map' towards goal ?

 

A well written blog is fine but a realistic, practical and viable 'road-map' towards 'the goal'...... is what is really needed when touching upon this otherwise the sceptic's will simply say it is a non-starter and there would be little to suggest that they were wrong.

 

 

We approach another stage change in the ongoing spi.v process, I think we'd do well to concentrate more on that for now.

 

That doesn't stop others developing any project and coming back with solid proposals.

Edited by buster.
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I appreciate most of that, Hildy.

Hence my.......

 

 

A well written blog is fine but a realistic, practical and viable 'road-map' towards 'the goal'...... is what is really needed when touching upon this otherwise the sceptic's will simply say it is a non-starter and there would be little to suggest that they were wrong.

 

As we approach another stage change in the ongoing spi.v process, I think we'd do well to concentrate more on that for now.

 

That doesn't stop others developing any project and coming back with solid proposals.

The lesson for fans is that we easily splinter and factionalise. It has happened before and it will happen again and it may even happen - not because of what might be termed policy differences - but because of personality issues.

 

If we truly were a united support, we could make do with just one fan forum, but we have several, and look at the disparaging comments people make about some of the others. Harmony and unity? Let's not kid ourselves. There is animosity, suspicion and distrust within our ranks.

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There's nothing wrong with options when it comes to fan groups or websites. It's natural to form mini-communities on shared interests.

 

However, we have to remember the main shared interest is Rangers FC. All too often, some fans forget that, for the most part, we'll agree on most of the main issues facing the club and fans. Consequently we just need to work on finding that common ground and not allow the smaller side-issues stop us from working together where and when we can.

 

Do we think Celtic fans all love each other? No way, in fact, many hate each other more than we do. However, they have shown they'll put personalities aside for the greater good. We need to learn that lesson.

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The lesson for fans is that we easily splinter and factionalise. It has happened before and it will happen again and it may even happen - not because of what might be termed policy differences - but because of personality issues.

 

If we truly were a united support, we could make do with just one fan forum, but we have several, and look at the disparaging comments people make about some of the others. Harmony and unity? Let's not kid ourselves. There is animosity, suspicion and distrust within our ranks.

 

Until I see something more detailed and an initial willingness for all to sit down and talk then the actual situation and history would suggest scepticism well justified.

 

I simply reserve or park my scepticism to see if anything was to happen but meanwhile concentrate on the present reallity and prospects ahead of the stage change in the spi.v process.

 

IMO we shouldn't base or invest great hope in X unless we reach a stage where it becomes realistic and viable. That certainly isn't to say that efforts shouldn't be made towards it, more to encourage them, so they may be able to reach what could be termed as 'realistic'.

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