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Empty seats tell story of Rangers' fatal rift


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I thought this was quite well written from Chris Jack regarding last night's crowd.

 

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/empty-seats-tell-story-of-rangers-fatal-rift-186382n.25722001

 

 

 

Just not the one that Rangers are used to, it being made up of row upon row of empty blue plastic seats.

 

The famous old stadium, which has hosted the most memorable days and biggest names in Gers' illustrious history, was a pale shadow of its former self last night. Much like the club, really.

 

The visit of St Johnstone in the League Cup quarter finals should have been the biggest match of the season so far for Ally McCoist and his players.

 

Instead it was a sideshow to the latest developments in a saga that has seen a cast of characters come and go, and all of them failing to appease an angry, weary fanbase.

 

The 13,023 who did turn up saw Rangers book their place in the last four but it was the thousands who stayed away who gave the clearest indication of where this club is now and where it could be going.

 

There were no packed stands housing a throng of supporters all wearing their club colours, no scarves held aloft or banners on display.

 

Instead, each empty seat told its own story.

 

Rangers fans have been through the wringer like no other support in recent years and many can take the pain and suffering no more.

 

For years, football was the antidote to off-field fighting, boardroom battles and one cash crisis after another. But not now.

 

The Light Blue legions will never turn their back on the team but many will no longer fund the regime. Mike Ashley's power grab has proven to be the final straw for those fans who voted with their feet last night.

 

A protest from the Sons of Struth saw a group gather at the front door before kick-off to vent their fury then head home just as the action got under way the other side of the iconic red brick facade.

 

It took until the 17 minute mark for dissent to emerge from the stands, fans in the Broomloan Stand chanting that the board don't care about football or fans and that their club was in the wrong hands. A chorus of "Sack the board" followed.

 

HOURS earlier, the Union of Fans had issued a hard-hitting statement that raised more questions.

 

But with Ashley pulling the strings, they're even less likely than before to get any answers or have their fears addressed. Outgoing chief executive Graham Wallace had claimed he was "ready to listen" to supporters but there is little chance of the new board - now minus him and Philip Nash - adopting a similar motto.

 

The man who effectively took control of Rangers with a £2million loan was not at Ibrox last night but Sandy and James Easdale were.

 

As was Derek Llambias, the man Ashley has hand-picked to be his eyes and ears on a daily basis at the club. Yet Sandy Easdale claimed yesterday afternoon he did not know who Llambias was working on behalf of.

 

The relationship between those sat in the directors box last night and the majority of fans has plummeted to new depths. It is probably irreparable.

 

The supporters have seen the heart and soul slowly ripped out of their club.

 

In their eyes, those who currently make their way up the marble staircase are not befiting of the position. They are not Rangers men, not fit to wear the club tie. They are more tracksuit and trainers than navy suit and brown brogues, if you like.

 

The corridors that were once walked by the likes of Struth, Symon, Waddell and Smith have a very different calibre of man treading them these days.

 

The fact that John Greig, the Greatest Ever Ranger, continues his self-imposed absence from Ibrox should tell the fans all they need to know. There is a different feel around Ibrox these days, with bonds between the club and supporters broken.

 

Tough, personal and even emotional decisions are being made by thousands as they stay away. It is not what they want to do but it is what they feel they have to do, the only option left to them.

 

It is their club and they will get it back. They were at Ibrox before these owners and this board and they will be here long after them. It may seem they have lost the battle but the war goes on.

 

In the meantime, tens of thousands of seats will go unfilled, hollow words will be treated with contempt and suspicion and distrust will reign at Rangers.

 

THERE are already plenty of Sports Direct logos plastered around Ibrox and there will be more to come if Ashley and his associates have their way.

 

Rangers is no emotional investment for Ashley. It is business and cold, hard cash and the the billionaire owner of Newcastle United is determined to make as much of it as he can in Glasgow.

 

Sports Direct's Head of Brands, Barry Leach, joined Llambias in the directors box last night and it is surely only a matter of time before Ibrox is renamed.

 

That move could drive more fans to make the tough call and refuse to follow in the footsteps of their team on a weekly basis.

 

It remains to be seen what impact, if any, these protests have on Ashley, the Easdales et al, especially when they have become accustomed to taking their share of fire.

 

It leaves Rangers again stuck in a rut, running out of cash and with no long-term plan. The future is bleak.

 

It will continue to hurt the supporters and make them feel anger and helplessness as the latest crop of suits in the boardroom put their plans into action.

 

No-one likes them. They don't care.

 

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Sports Direct's Head of Brands, Barry Leach, joined Llambias in the directors box last night and it is surely only a matter of time before Ibrox is renamed.

 

He's also a director of Rangers Retail Ltd (RR) and has been since the outset (August 2012).

 

He's one of the directors that have decided not to declare a dividend and release monies (profit) from the retail operation to the 51% that Rangers have in RR. Thus making it easier for Ashely to grab power in return for....not a lot.

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He's also a director of Rangers Retail Ltd (RR) and has been since the outset (August 2012).

 

He's one of the directors that have decided not to declare a dividend and release monies (profit) from the retail operation to the 51% that Rangers have in RR. Thus making it easier for Ashely to grab power in return for....not a lot.

I honestly thought it was Phill Jupitus. It made as much sense as anything else.

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On the face of it: The same stuff we've been fed too for weeks now, spiced up with crowd figures. If people of the media brigade like to point at these figures, what stops them from doing the same with those from the Scumhut? The latter will sure be full to the hilt tonight. Yep, I know that some already prepare to hit their keyboards with lines like: "WTF has their attendance figures to do with us, that's their problem and we should solely concentrate on our stuff!" Fair enough if some like to live in a Rangers-centristic world, at least the journos do and shall not, which is the point. Here they once again utilize something very much expected to regurgitate the same liturgy.

 

Now, this all is not to say that they don't have a point or shouldn't make another story out of it. They sure have. Yet, they might - for a change - also e.g. note that so far we have next to no ideas of Ashley's plans (apart from the common hardcore capitalist mantra by fangroups and Magpies alike), no statement on his behalf etc.. Then we might actually have some NEWS.

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Chibmark ,

I think you've hit upon the two aspects that I think I'm ( maybe unrealistically) optimistic about . Ashley's too big to be a grubby wee carpet bagger like Green , he'll want Rangers to run at a profit so there will be some cost cutting but I can't see him being bothered to sell off assets that are down the back of the settee money levels to him . So his best way of making money is making us successful , not paying lots of money to diddies on and off the park and promoting our brand . So he'll get rid of the free loaders and incompetents and get new players /managers in . Then you won't be watching pish and paying for Jack Irvine , Nash ( fill in your villian) .

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