The Possible Dream: Fan Ownership
- 29 October 2013
Scenario one: It’s the 24th of whenever 2013, Paul Murray, Scott Murdoch, Malcolm Murray and Alex Wilson have failed in their bid to be put on the board at Rangers at the much delayed AGM and the bad/good guys, depending on which side of this lunatic spectrum you fall on, have prevailed. Three strikes and you’re out Mr Murray we need to move on.
What now? Do we sit back and wait and see if the doom prophecies are true or someone on the board produces the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and finds new backers? Do we let the board sell and leaseback the assets after a failed round of funding being supported by city or the fans due to the level of mistrust? Do we just sit and bitch at each other on twitter and actually contribute the square root of Craig Whyte’s wealth, zero?
Scenario two: The good guys/bad guys have won. Dave King rides along Edmiston Drive on his Springbok weighed down with Rand closely followed by Cash McColl and their trusty retainers the Blue Knights plus one. What now? Do we get fobbed-off with a membership scheme allowing you a discount off a Rangers garden gnome in the club shop? Do we get fan representation in the form of a Director hand-picked by the board? Do they lose interest when their other business interests start going down the Swannee and Rangers are the last thing on their mind?
I’ll tell you what we do, for either scenario, we buy the Club.
Impossible you say, really?
If Hearts or Dunfermline fans had been as negative/apathetic/disinterested as many in the Rangers support appear to be, Foundation of Hearts would not be the preferred bidder to take their club out of administration and Dunfermline supporters wouldn’t own their club. Neither would fans of Portsmouth, Stenhousemuir, Clyde, Darlington or many others I’ve never heard of like Eastbourne Borough!
I would hazard a guess that if all their supporters decided to visit Ibrox en masse there would still be enough room in the Director’s box for the requisitioners and the current board to trade insults and flick bits of pie at each other.
Look at the numbers, Foundation of Hearts have 7,500 members all paying on average, I would give an educated guess, £18 per month, that’s £135,000 per month and £1,620,000 per year straight into the Club’s coffers and that figure is the icing on the cake of season ticket sales etc. Their average attendance was 15,300 last season.
Let’s apply that level of uptake (49%) to Rangers. Average attendance so far this season has been 43,000 supporters. Ok so 49% of that is 21,070, yet again we’ve beaten Hearts already! I digress. Let’s say Rangers fans were a tiny bit more generous than Hearts fans and paid £18.72, the date of our founding.
So that’s 21,070 members all paying on average £18.72, that’s £394,430 per month.
£4,733,164 per year, I’ll let that sink in, £4,733,164 per year. Unreal £4.7 million pounds per year!
In two years that’s £9,466,329, three years £14,199,492 it is absolutely mind blowing and that is only with 21,000 fans doing this. Ah, but we’re not going to be able to buy the club from the administrators, we’re not in administration, the board are doing a splendid/rubbish job (delete as appropriate).
This is where we have a massive advantage over Hearts, Dunfermline and any other clubs previously mentioned: our shares are listed on the AIM so anyone can buy them! On current prices after one year we could own at least 13% of the stock in Rangers, year two 26% etc etc.
If we got really organised we could realistically demand a Director or two on the board and have properly run elections for these posts and ANY member could put themselves up as a candidate. You could be the head honcho in the Blue Order or even an ordinary season ticket holder as long as you were voted in by a majority of the members.
The potential for a scheme such as this knows no bounds. Guys who can’t buy season tickets because of location can have a say in how the Club is run. NARSA and ORSA members could all join and even Bears living in Baku or Timbuktu. If guys from these places got enough votes they’d could sit on the board alongside Bears from Glasgow, Belfast London or wherever you are from.
What do I get for my £18.72 I hear you ask? You get a restful night for the remainder of your life knowing you have secured Rangers for your children and your children’s children.
It really is the possible dream; anyone can buy shares in Rangers, if only there was such a scheme in place.
Graham McLaren is 46 and taking a self-imposed twitter break, when he’s back he can be followed @gazborangers.