Rangers Fans: Another Vote is Taking Place
- 17 September 2014
Another vote is happening this week that has gone almost unmentioned on Twitter, the newspapers and social media. It should be of relevance to all Rangers supporters, and the talk of the support, but has the ignominious honour of completely disengaging the support even before it has even finished. I am talking about the vote for the Rangers Fans’ Board which closes on Sunday 21st September.
This is not a tirade against the people who have stuck their head above the parapet to offer themselves as candidates, but are we really to believe Davie Weir, Alistair Kellock and the Reverend Stuart McQuarrie sifted their way through applications from fans and came up with the shortlist? It is my guess that the shortlist was drawn up by an employee/s of Rangers FC and presented as a fait accompli.
I know of two people, one of whom was a Director of a FTSE500 company, and one who still is, that didn’t make it onto the list of candidates. I would have thought those people would have been perfect, imagine all that business experience for absolutely nothing, helping any business. I also know there are many people who applied who may be seen as agitators and, surprise, surprise, none made the list.
But my main gripe is this: What power does the Fans’ Board have? Absolutely none. They can moan about anything they want, any of the time, to the Rangers employee plopped in front of them over a cup of tea and a custard cream with the odd back slap from CEO or even the manager, but fundamentally, if they disagree with the Board, what can they do?
They may well be consulted on what kind of strip we play in next season or what kind of crisps they sell in the snack bars, but will they get answers to pertinent questions? For example, meeting one, one of the elected members asks just what is Sandy Easdale’s relationship with Rafat Rizvi? The employee of the board refuse to answer them so what do they do next? Boycott the custard creams?
The answer is, short of resigning from the Fans’ Board which will make absolutely no waves amongst the wider Rangers community as the majority are completely disengaged with the whole process, nothing.
Those of us who renewed season tickets, boo or hurrah as appropriate, were automatically enrolled in a scheme called the founder members’ scheme. One of the main selling points of this ridiculously named scheme was the ability to vote for the fans’ board but in addition we get certain “benefits”. However, on reading about these, the one that struck me the most was the benefit that wasn’t included and is normally a given in all these sort of schemes, a discount from the club shop.
At the time I did think it odd but unfortunately we all now know the reason, the board couldn’t sanction it as Mr Ashley had taken control of all Rangers shops, three cheers for cockney Mike!
It is interesting to note that season ticket holders are free members of the membership scheme for 2014/15 season only. I wonder how long before the club starts charging you £24.99 just for the right to buy your season ticket or even a single ticket and £14.99 just for your child to buy their season ticket or single ticket. I’d bet less time than Neil Lennon takes to find an English Premier League club willing to take him on.
The Rangers Fans’ Board might be quite a nice gig to sit on, who wouldn’t get a wee bit excited about telling your colleagues ‘I’m off to Ibrox for a meeting’, walking through the main door and walking up the marble staircase. But sadly, other than that, these fine people who have put themselves forward are wasting their time.
They might not know it, they might have been hand-picked not to cause any trouble, but unless they have the significant backing of
- a wedge of cash they are willing to invest no questions asked
- a significant loan at favourable rates secured against Graham Wallace’s parking space
- a block of shares totalling 5% or over
they will never get the answers to questions they ask about any of the real issues that affect Rangers Football Club.
If Scotland has been swept up in voting fever in recent weeks, the Rangers fans haven't and yet again the board have failed to actively engage the silent majority many of us hope will be turning out to vote on Thursday.
Graham McLaren is 47 years old and hasn’t slept for a month due to a vote (he’s not telling you which one) and can be followed on request @gazborangers where he normally talks about fan ownership, but more recently just retweets the Daily Telegraph all the time.