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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11315517/Rangers-are-facing-an-impending-crisis-on-and-off-the-field.html

 

Rangers go into 2015 in a state of crisis greater than anything they have faced since they began their attempt to march through three divisions and regain top-flight status in Scotland. The weekend defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road not only effectively ended their frail hope of challenging Hearts for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, it also confirmed that the Ibrox side are in poor shape for the play-offs.

Rangers trail Hearts by 15 points and to put themselves in a position where they could be promoted without having to take anything from their final fixture – against the leaders at Tynecastle – they would have to make up more than a point per game on Robbie Neilson’s players throughout the second half of the season. The evidence of the league meetings with their most likely play-off rivals – Hibs and Queen of the South – is that Rangers would struggle in a play-off sequence against them.

They have been beaten home and away by Hibs 7-1 on aggregate and if the games against Queens had been a two-legged tie, the 4-4 score would have seen Rangers lose on away goals. Of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance – a dictum that applies in football as it does to the stock market – but Rangers are in disarray in both arenas.

Kenny McDowall, having been told that he will replace Ally McCoist as manager until at least the end of the season, uttered a harsh truth after the 4-0 weekend defeat by Hibs. “At the moment I am just going to have to work with the squad that is there. I can’t just invent players,” he said.

Derek Llambias has not yet cut the playing strength in his drive to reduce the £8 million annual deficit at Ibrox but a dozen or so players are out of contract at the end of the season and have no idea whether or not they will be offered continued employment. It can be argued that this should be a motivational tool and that those footballers should be performing as though their careers depended on the outcome – which, in some cases, will be true.

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However, when Terry Butcher warned Hibs’ below-par players last season that they would have to step up or ship out, the result was the collapse which saw the Easter Road team relegated. There has been no indication that McDowall can add to his strength during the January transfer window and, in any case, the fact that Rangers have the highest player salary bill in Scotland outside Celtic hardly suggests Llambias could make a case to Mike Ashley for greater funding in that department.

In any event, Ashley now has troubles of his own at Ibrox. His long-term strategy of making the club dependent on his funding – emergency loans secured on assets – has given him control of a compliant board but the grand plan has run into obstacles. Llambias told the club’s Fans Board that it would be “very difficult” for the directors to regain the trust of the support.

Yet at the subsequent annual general meeting David Somers, the Rangers chairman, produced an ill-judged display of bluster that has wholly alienated him from the fans. The outcome was cemented by The Telegraph’s disclosure of an email in which Somers pleaded with an Ashley representative to keep the Newcastle owner’s takeover process on course – in the face of a competing £16 million offer by Dave King – so that he could remain chairman.

The AGM also featured the bizarre spectacle of club directors proposing an open share issue of £8 million and then voting against it, a tactic that can only be explained by a mistaken belief that the Scottish Football Association would grant Ashley his request to exert complete control at Ibrox by increasing his shareholding to 29.9 per cent. The SFA’s refusal to do so has generated a challenge to Ashley’s hegemony from the consortium of wealthy Rangers supporters – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – who have proposed an offer to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million.

The question for Ashley is whether he maintains his own percentage stake by putting more money into the club – and having to agree to the consortium’s demand for board seats – or find some way of presenting alternative funding which would dispense with the need for the share issue.

Either way, the immediate outlook for a dysfunctional club is turbulent. Ashley and Rangers must answer SFA disciplinary charges that he has extended his influence beyond the terms of the written undertaking he gave. And – perhaps most ominously of all – in five weeks Rangers face Celtic in a Scottish League Cup semi-final. That is a prospect which – after Saturday’s collapse – has Ibrox fans fearing the damage that could be inflicted by their greatest adversaries.

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im seriously starting to question wether the board actually realise that there is a football team attatched to the business they bought into!

 

I fear that there is far to much for the current board to hide to let outsiders into their cartel. nothing more than removing the lot of them will do the club any good, not even the 6.5 million investment being offered at the moment will bring about the change we need.

 

And i fully expect them to block that investment at every turn.

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