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"The intention will be to settle the absolute minimum with creditors before they can cash their chips and make money off the ground, most supporters thus feel the club may as well go bust so that at least a phoenix team may be able to take the stadium. But the incumbents have a history of doing this at other clubs and are well connected. The club has had 4 chairmen in 6 months as they pass it around dodging winding up orders and pesky owners and directors tests, I'm sure they'll come through this somehow still in possession of whats left of the club.

 

A friend of mine is a Darlo fan, watching his team cease to exist was pretty tough but in the end he was relieved when their farcical former incarnation came to an end. I don't think it's an easy task to come back but enough teams have to show it can be done."

 

 

For fans of a certain age, Ronnie Radford's 'rocket' speaks of an entirely different world of football. Mud bath pitches, genuine cup shocks, a pitch invasion not immediately followed by FA investigations and/or police reprisal, even the flared trousers of the kids take the viewer back to an era when daytime TV was more Open University than Loose Women, Mash and Fray Bentos was an aspirational dinner, and football was a stable certainty, with even the most badly run club more or less safe from extinction if they had any fans at all.

 

Sadly for Hereford, the times have seriously changed. Banned from any and all football activity by the FA owing to failure to complete paperwork - rather than the various questionable practices by various questionable owners, the usual 'Al Capone' approach to oversight taken by enfeebled football authorities - the present era of free ownership by speculators rather than fans has led to an on field decline and a boycott by the vast majority of supporters, dismayed at the hollow shell their beloved club has become - this sounds familiar to the Rangers fan. It's come to the point where the FA ban is hailed as good news, at least to this Guardian commenter:

 

"This news has been welcomed by myself and 90% of my fellow Hereford United fans. The club's demise this season has been heart-breaking and the response from the authorities has been either non-existent or completely toothless until now. It's good to see that the FA have finally acted but it's taken far too long."

 

Late Friday has brought the news that, owing to the owner being stuck in traffic with a guarantee of funding, the club has in fact been wound up. It's the sort of farce that Bears are all too familiar with, and sends out the message that, should your owner be incompetent enough, extinction is all too possible.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-30542821

 

 

Why football authorities are so slow to protect their game is mystifying. Hereford might not be up there, financially, with Chelsea or Man City, but in football the whole is very much the sum of the parts, a lesson forgotten too easily by too many. Trying to sell a top league with no substrata will not be so easy as it might sound: if we have no Hereford, before long we have no Chelsea, at least not as we know it, for we lose the FA Cup, the League Cup, eventually losing entirely the interaction between 'giant' and 'killer'. If you have a lack of clubs who can aspire to the Premiership, the Premiership ceases to be aspirational.

 

For some, replacement with an UltraEuroSuperLeague sounds very appealing, but shrinking the game to a super elite is no basis for a sustainable future. Lose the Body of the Kirk & you must reinvent yourself: and re-invention comes with no guarantee of success, as the Church of Scotland could attest.

 

And just as important as a coherent national structure is a coherent model of ownership. Like much of Britain since the 70's, football has seen a decline in any form of social responsibility and a lurch into unfettered capitalism. Allowing teams to be owned by anyone who happens by with a chequebook - or whatever they have now - then belatedly issuing punishments which further damage the club rather than the dodgy owner is not common sense or natural law but it's symptomatic of Britain nowadays.

 

You can see this kind of withdrawal from the social sphere all over the UK. The choking of funding to local government has seen the loss of effective town planning, resulting in ugly, empty and unattractive urban centres people would flee if only they could. In 2014 Britain, absolutely nothing is sacred, nothing is off the table, and mere football clubs going to the wall not just possible but starkly likely.

 

"The club is still in the hands of conmen with another date at the High Court coming up on Monday (the 7th time...or is it the 8th...or 9th) that the club has been back there. Winding-up orders have been staved off due to the mysterious shifting around of funds by even more mysterious 'investors' and the involvement of shell companies."

 

Iffy owners and bizarre financials have become part and parcel of the game, from Premiership to Pontins League, if that still exists. A big name is no guarantee of safety: in Scotland, Rangers currently tick most of the nightmare boxes Hereford were opening, like some nightmarish advent calendar, while the Scottish FA veer between anger, contempt and hamfisted appeasement in their attitude to the various owners who take the stage, but never actually achieve anything that might either kill or cure the Ibrox side: they, too, have adopted the light touch which in actuality is the expression of their powerlessness, so desperate are they for the financial benefit the club brings to overlook financial lunacy.

 

This is not mere arrogance: the League Cup in Scotland, without a real sponsor for several seasons, suddenly gets one at this year's semi-final stage, with a much needed six figure sum going into the game. I'm sure the fact that one semi-final features Rangers playing Celtic is complete coincidence.

 

Aping the attitude of Hereford's owners, Rangers treat their paying customer with total contempt. Last week, Rangers board member Mr Sandy Easdale took the opportunity to berate fans for not celebrating hard enough that naming rights to Ibrox Stadium, originally 'sold' to Mike Ashley of Newcastle Utd fame for the princely sum of £1, had been reclaimed. That this secret and stupid deal was rescinded only after a fan outcry apparently bypasses Mr Easdale; they should celebrate that the club was dragged into acting in the best interests of itself.

 

His words: "We've gotten these (rights) back and the fans haven’t celebrated enough on this topic."

 

The expression 'beyond parody' comes to mind.

 

On the pitch the team is terrible. At least when Hereford's 'owner' Andy Lonsdale did the dirty on Feltham FC, by dumping rubbish on their pitch, he wasn't paying the rubbish £10,000 a week.

 

[http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bedfont--feltham-president-plays-7296079]

 

There is an alternative to this ongoing horror story, though. It's nihilistic, dangerous and offers no guarantee of success, but at least it - unlike the present conditions - does have a potentially positive outcome.

 

"Follow my team AFC Wimbledon and start again. You won't regret it and you won't feel like your being shafted each week by a rich owner with no understanding of a clubs place in the community."

 

I find it astonishing that, as a Rangers man of 30 years and more, I can contemplate the death of my club, on the basis that the present incarnation is so hateful that either a rebirth, or nothing, would be preferable. It's certainly a scorched earth policy, but there have to be limits: currently Ibrox stadium is fast approaching decrepitude, a state of affairs completely unacceptable at a club where 66 people died in the 1971 disaster. Money comes in and disappears. Chairmen come and go, directors likewise. Majority shareholders emerge, only to retreat to offshore shadows.

 

There seems no future. At a recent fan board meeting, one representative delivered an excoriating warning to the club that their attitude and provision toward disabled fans will see them barred from competing in UEFA competitions unless a serious amount of money is invested, now.

 

Setting aside the grim mirth that the idea of the present Rangers team competing in Europe occasions - frankly, Hereford would probably put up a better showing - what UEFA decrees now, domestic bodies follow sooner or later, and Rangers will not be 'Ready', mocking the club's increasingly ironic motto. Rangers are so far from any kind of stability it's not true, and it's sad to see a club so far away from an even keel still spout the same rubbish about business reviews, plans going forward, all in it together, Champions League: the bullshit merchants of Glasgow are no more believable than their Wyvern equivalents in Hereford, just less honest.

 

Coming back from the position Hereford and Rangers find themselves in is not easy, nor is it guaranteed, so I expect many if not all Rangers fans will consider a course of voluntary self-destruction, with only at best a 50-50 chance of a rebirth afterwards, insanity. Well, I'm certain I don't want to see the current mess go on any longer, and I'm selfish enough to believe that if it's not good enough for me, it shouldn't be good enough for anyone else. But I don't know that I've ever been entirely sane on the subject of my team: it was always about love, not reason. At present I am in the cowardly position of having little feeling for what is currently calling itself Rangers, but not having the guts to call for a completely new start, irrespective of history or heritage.

 

"We're all hoping the end might, finally, be in sight."

 

Whether the end turns out to be a new beginning, though, that's another question.

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Edited by andy steel
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We desperately need to gain the upper hand and get on top of the situation in any ways we can because the growing widespread apathy mixed with downright defeatism will ultimately kill us off even if the crooks, conmen & their cronies don't manage it.

 

Our fans shouldn't EVER subscribe to giving up on the Club and/or accepting a new club, it's not even an option.

 

Rangers currently isn't what it once was, but it WILL return to the top.

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Food for thought certainly. A clean slate is a tempting proposition so disillusioned am I with the the current circus. Something to truly believe in again would be a joy. I have always admired AFC Wimbledon and continue to wish them well. They have a soul - our's has long since been obliterated.

 

Do you know something? I'm not even sure it hurts me any more when we lose. It enrages me yes but does it hurt like it used to? I'm really not sure it does.That's how bad it has become. There was a time when if we lost I would avoid the newspapers, the telly, everything because I just couldn't take it. Not any more, my expectations are so low.

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We desperately need to gain the upper hand and get on top of the situation in any ways we can because the growing widespread apathy mixed with downright defeatism will ultimately kill us off even if the crooks, conmen & their cronies don't manage it.

 

Our fans shouldn't EVER subscribe to giving up on the Club and/or accepting a new club, it's not even an option.

 

Rangers currently isn't what it once was, but it WILL return to the top.

 

I admire and envy your positivity, but the question has to be asked: how?

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Food for thought certainly. A clean slate is a tempting proposition so disillusioned am I with the the current circus. Something to truly believe in again would be a joy. I have always admired AFC Wimbledon and continue to wish them well. They have a soul - our's has long since been obliterated.

 

Do you know something? I'm not even sure it hurts me any more when we lose. It enrages me yes but does it hurt like it used to? I'm really not sure it does.That's how bad it has become. There was a time when if we lost I would avoid the newspapers, the telly, everything because I just couldn't take it. Not any more, my expectations are so low.

 

Many fans aged over 40 will easily recall the grim days of the mid 80's, when the team, if not as bad as now, was pretty rotten and suffered 'humiliations' quite regularly. I could take that then, and I could take a crap team now. What I can't handle is the rotten, mutated, hideous entity running the place in the worst possible manner, embarrassing anyone who claims a connection with Rangers.

 

I can take us losing: I can't take us losing our dignity. Fans of other clubs would no doubt derisively claim we never had any, but that view, which insists all Bears are in there with the LUMPS, is far from the real picture. It used to be about friends, family & football for me: I don't see how we can get back to that.

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We desperately need to gain the upper hand and get on top of the situation in any ways we can because the growing widespread apathy mixed with downright defeatism will ultimately kill us off even if the crooks, conmen & their cronies don't manage it.

 

Our fans shouldn't EVER subscribe to giving up on the Club and/or accepting a new club, it's not even an option.

 

Rangers currently isn't what it once was, but it WILL return to the top.

 

people better start coming to terms that NO ONE will be able to remove Mashley.

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We desperately need to gain the upper hand and get on top of the situation in any ways we can because the growing widespread apathy mixed with downright defeatism will ultimately kill us off even if the crooks, conmen & their cronies don't manage it.

 

Our fans shouldn't EVER subscribe to giving up on the Club and/or accepting a new club, it's not even an option.

 

Rangers currently isn't what it once was, but it WILL return to the top.

 

 

 

I wish I had your confidence. Seems very unlikely the way things are going. I wonder how many Leeds fans still think they will.

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Many fans aged over 40 will easily recall the grim days of the mid 80's, when the team, if not as bad as now, was pretty rotten and suffered 'humiliations' quite regularly. I could take that then, and I could take a crap team now. What I can't handle is the rotten, mutated, hideous entity running the place in the worst possible manner, embarrassing anyone who claims a connection with Rangers.

 

I can take us losing: I can't take us losing our dignity. Fans of other clubs would no doubt derisively claim we never had any, but that view, which insists all Bears are in there with the LUMPS, is far from the real picture. It used to be about friends, family & football for me: I don't see how we can get back to that.

 

For all it's faults, Rangers in the bad old days of the 80's was still a great time to be a Teddy, and I look back on that time with great fondness as the support still had a togetherness about it. The mass introduction of season tickets by SDM put paid to that. Many who had been going for years, home and away, were priced out and drifted away completely, while groups from supporters buses who had stood together were scattered to all corners of the stadium. This was a studied move to bring about the gentrification of football; the astronomical rise in what money can be made from the punters; and the inevitable opportunity for other speculators to rip the heart out of the club.

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