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While it's far too early, and things remain far too murky, to even whisper about some kind of bryter layter for Rangers, we can probably all agree that last week was the first time in, oh, three years or more when hopes were raised without being swiftly crushed again.


The temptation is to rush headlong into dreams about good things happening next: Ashley snapping his fingers, tearing up his contracts and ruefully reflecting he'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling Three Bears. Somers getting unceremoniously booted down the marble staircase and out onto Edmiston Drive. Easdale...well, hate crime laws are very strict in Scotland, so suffice it to say a more appropriate position, like sweeping out one of McGill's garages, would suit him better. It's hard to believe no-one in his circle has made him aware that his ongoing connection with Rangers is only making his public persona even less popular than it was previously, but it seems self-awareness is not a strong suit among Rangers board members, who have only stopped short of signing and appointing Ched Evans as clup captain in their litany of grossly self-destructive moves.


But, in all truth, self-awareness is not a strong suit among fans, either. Even allowing for the natural, emotional response to all that has gone on in recent years - to defend what we perceive as the club, and to reject those who bring bad news as enemies or traitors - we've not covered ourselves in glory, Never mind what fans of other clubs say or think, they are (or should be) irrelevant to us, and we have to come to terms with ourselves and our club in our own way. Disharmony has been the prevalent key - if we actually do agree that the last week has been good it is a rara avis indeed, a very occasional visitor to these shores.


Everyone has their own pet theory about why our fan base failed to act collectively or effectively during our - and I use the present tense, since we're far from out of the woods - predicament. In that use of the expression 'fan base' there lies the nub, for although we have the numbers we really don't have the unified power of a fan base,we have lots of fans who have different priorities. I've complained about people adding things onto Rangers often enough and won't repeat those arguments now, since there are more important matters to hand. But it's worth remembering that if we want people to stand shoulder to shoulder, the more colours we add to the strip, the less appealing it's likely to be.


Keep it about The Rangers and only The Rangers and I fail to see how any Bluenose could possibly object to any fan body, or at least do so in any credible manner.


Anyway, as fans we stand revealed as having serious self-identification issues. We've welcomed in, at first with some enthusiasm, then with more caution, and finally with dull, numb acceptance, a series of cheap tricks, none of whom have been able to replace Sir David Murray, who was not exactly the ideal partner himself. Beaten and battered, you can find fans who yearn for a strong owner, fans who want complete OMOV fan ownership, fans who have no clue, and all points between. Asking such a constituency to come up with a popular plan which will garner universal support is, to put it mildly, wildly optimistic.


Maybe the shareholders who have emerged in the last seven days will turn out to be our Mr Goodbar after all, a strong reliable type who will do right by the club and us. Plainly a little bruised myself, I'm not even close to giving anyone one iota of trust until they've emphatically earned it.


If we do emerge from these sick years with a club still intact, I hope at some stage we do the introspection thing, and come up with a different identity to the one which has proven next to useless over the last years. People who could have stepped up and helped us when we desperately needed them too have avoided us with a barge pole: no use denying it, we see people with Rangers connection investing in other teams. No doubt some will feel too attached to change, but if you survive a life threatening illness, the least you can do is examine yourself to see where you could maybe do better, should the worst happen again.


Time enough to worry about that if there's nothing more pressing to be getting on with. And that day, sadly, is some way off yet. The best we can say is, at the end of each week, we're still here.

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My general knowledge always takes a pounding (this is NOT a gay reference!) when I read your pieces Andy.


Thank goodness for search engines! :D

Edited by Zappa
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