Introducing The Rangers Standard

2012 should have been a year of celebration for Rangers Football Club and its fans. Be it the 140 year anniversary of the club’s formation, the 40 year anniversary of our glorious Cup Winners’ Cup Final win in Spain or even the 10th anniversary of The Blue Order – our intimate, though always vocal, singing section – the milestones are as obvious as the general lack of fanfare about all of these important dates.

Unfortunately, with (sometimes literally) all the news being about the club’s recent boardroom mismanagement, celebration isn’t at the top of many people’s lists when it comes to discussing Scotland’s most successful club.  Indeed, one could argue that the bulk of contemporary debate regarding Rangers has been generally negative so it was with this partly in mind that the Rangers Standard was born.

Let’s be frank here: the club’s reputation is at an all-time low.  No matter what we Rangers fans know about the club and no matter how successful it has been, all and sundry are taking their chance to kick us when we’re down. And, if we’re genuinely honest, it isn’t easy to make an off-the-cuff defence of the many negative issues thrown our way.  However, Rangers remains a proud club and our support as passionate as any in the world. We’ve had many challenging times before now and even more difficult periods in the past so we can recover. Moreover, this situation could be seen as an opportunity to examine every nook and cranny of the club to see where we can improve certain aspects of its wide-ranging footprint. We propose to do that on this website.

Of course, the Rangers online community is already a busy one and an exciting place to be involved in. Many websites and forums have been established for over ten years, while even the newer ones have scores of loyal followers.  Meanwhile, the increasing influence of social networking via Facebook and Twitter ensures the reach of such communities has never been broader. To be clear, it’s not our aim to undermine the very sites most of us already partake of but merely to offer a new project aimed at promoting positive and innovative thinking about the club and its role in Scottish football and society.

As our mission statement outlines (link) our goal is a simple one: to explore a variety of subjects linked to the club via challenging, high-quality debate. This means a different approach from existing platforms which we hope will compliment other websites (rather than compete with them).

Our concept will take the format of inviting articles from a wide array of relevant sources. Potential guest contributions have already been sought from academia, journalism, published authors, authority figures and respected Rangers community figures. Alongside our experienced regular writers (link), we hope this will ensure the kind of informed debate that can sometimes be missing from both the unofficial and mainstream media.

In addition, we will also invite non-Rangers fans to contribute. Not so these people can have the kind of un-challenged assault we often read and hear in Scotland’s media but so we can listen to what they have to say and to give them an opportunity to react to our opinions on it.  Such engagement is vital to what we’re trying to achieve here. We don’t want another forum where people can say what they like without fear of dispute; we want a forum where the debate is what one would expect to find in the real-world.

To that end, as our site guidelines highlight (link) all contributions will be moderated and the debate focussed entirely on the articles that are written. All forum posts will be moderated to ensure their relevance and only each article will be discussed on our site. We’re not looking for generic discussion as places already exist for this. We want our members to be willing to stand up for their opinions in an open, accountable way so will also be encouraging the use of real names rather than anonymous contributions.

Suffice to say, the Rangers Standard is a little bit different from the norm. If you’re interested in submitting articles please get in touch (link) or even if you just want to interact with those who do, you can register for our forum here (link).

2012 may not have been the celebratory anniversary we might have thought it was going to be this time last year but it’s arguably the ideal juncture to analyse how the Rangers community develops from here and how our future might be shaped by the concerns, hopes and visions of committed supporters.

This is time for fresh thinking. Our club needs to not only be defended but to ensure it moves, together with the fans, in a positive direction.