Rangers fans hold the key to the future

Posted by John Gow

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesRangers fans, shown celebrating the Third Division trophy with Ally McCoist, should organize so their wishes are considered in the board room.

"What's going on?" is the common cry from Rangers fans recently as they attempt to wrap their heads around the ongoing turmoil in the boardroom. At the turn of the year, most supporters assumed the problems within Ibrox had gone – but they were mistaken.

Former chief executive Charles Green, with a little help from Craig Whyte, managed to talk himself out of a job. Commercial director (although not board member) Imran Ahmad left in mysterious circumstances after allegations he leaked information to a football forum.

Now we have a vote of no-confidence against chairman Malcolm Murray, which he seems to have lost, but is ignoring anyway. All this with the rumour that Walter Smith is sick of what is going on, and has thought of resigning.

At the moment there are only questions, and very few answers. Those who tell you they know exactly what is happening are probably not telling you the truth. There are no 'saints' in this battle and there are media people releasing stories which seem more like public relations for certain interests than journalism.

And in the middle of this are the supporters who are lost between warring factions with their rumour and counter-rumour. After the last two years, it's an unnecessary hardship for Scotland’s biggest and most passionate support who have stood by their club as they were condemned to the fourth tier.

It’s a desperate situation, and the reaction from many has been to use faith over reason. A large section are clamouring for a saviour who will solve all the problems on offer, instead of getting together and asking everyone involved difficult questions.

To give one example, Green, the man recently rebuked for alleged racist remarks by the SFA and who embarrassed himself and the club in a hard-hitting interview with Scottish Television's Peter Adam Smith, is according to some, one step from sainthood and will return to save the day.

Putting faith in any single person, including Smith, is folly. If the recent years have proven anything it's that personal interests of influential people at Ibrox, is nearly always incompatible with the best interests of the club.

Sometimes it’s deliberate and sometimes it’s well-meaning mistakes, but there is no one out there with all the answers. Thinking that businessmen with money invested in the Light Blues will put the Gers before their own profit is naive.

Believing solely in ‘Rangers men’ who rebuked the fans when they complained about the direction of the club in the last decade is also unreasonable. There is every chance they could blow it again.

So what's the answer then? If the supporters don’t know where to turn or who to trust, then wouldn't it be best to just pick one faction and take a leap into the dark?

Maybe, but without sounding like Tony Blair, there is a third way for the fans. Don’t pick a side and instead put Rangers first together - now.

This might seem like an obvious and glib point -- but has it been tried? Can the numerous Rangers groups and forums honestly say they have put the club first before proving that they are right and others are wrong in how they view the club and situation?

For such a huge and loyal fan base, the Rangers support is remarkably fractured and it's why the different boardrooms over the years hear a squeak from them, and not a roar. It's impossible to hold anyone to account if they don't care about your reaction.

Yet, those who fill Ibrox every second week are the club. Not Walter Smith, Malcolm Murray, Brian Stockbridge, Charles Green, Imran Ahmad, Zeus or anyone else.

The fans have the power to get answers to the alleged financial difficulties, personal battles within the boardroom, and whether the Gers have any sort of football strategy. They have the power to keep others in check.

All it would take are the fan groups and forums to put aside their issues and jointly demand they are heard together. A realisation that they are Rangers and not anyone else would be impossible to ignore, and would be a game-changer.

It's easily done, but from a support conditioned to following someone in charge, not asking difficult questions and arguing amongst themselves, it would require a new way of thinking and acting.

The door to making decisions about the club's future is currently closed to them, but they hold the key. It only requires turning it together in the same direction once, and it will open.

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