12 April 2013

Charles Green: Time to Live and Learn?

by Andy McKellar | Deputy Editor
Ever since Charles Green brashly bulldozed his way into power at Rangers Football Club I think it is probably fair to acknowledge that the Scottish media haven’t exactly been short of material with which they could fill their considerable column inches. The Chief Exec has blustered and boasted his way into the headlines on an all too regular basis and it would appear that he is certainly a man who says what he likes and likes what he says.

His straight-talking, no-nonsense approach was warmly welcomed by the Rangers supporters initially and his willingness to defend the Club and tackle the football authorities certainly did little to harm his flourishing reputation at the time. The last couple of weeks however have been a complete and utter Public Relations disaster, most of which has been unnecessarily self-inflicted by our very own CEO.

Green has always been outspoken but I rather think that the good work carried out earlier in the season was sufficient enough to paper over the cracks. The immensely successful Initial Public Offering for example was a remarkable achievement and there is no doubt that this provided the man from Yorkshire with some room to manoeuvre. The honeymoon period though seems to be well and truly over and there are now some very serious questions being asked about his suitability for his role and growing suggestions that he should be removed from his position.

If I may reluctantly borrow a suggestion from Tom English, it is that it has certainly been necessary for most Rangers fans to have a thesaurus at hand in order to find as many alternatives as possible to avoid the repeated use of the word “cringe” when Green has opened his mouth recently. From the ridiculously foolish comments about his “Paki friend” to the murky and concerning Craig Whyte 'revelations' in addition to the train wreck of an interview on STV, it has been uncomfortable viewing for everyone connected with the Club, something which was highlighted by Walter Smith’s recent comments to the Scottish media.

I have been more than a little critical of Charles Green in recent weeks and have been joined by a growing number of fans who have watched on in bewilderment as he has stumbled from one calamity to another. If Smith’s comments are anything to go by then it would certainly appear, in his own understated way, that he too has become embarrassed by the actions of the Chief Exec and will seek to have serious discussions with the Rangers’ board in the near future.

My own opinion however is that Green should be given an opportunity to learn from his various mistakes in recent weeks. There’s no doubt that his actions have reflected very poorly on himself and on the Club and indeed that he should know better however I feel this should be something that we are all looking to move on from as soon as possible. I’m hopeful that people such as Smith, and perhaps Malcolm Murray, will leave Green in no doubt that he simply must conduct himself in a far more professional manner that is befitting of our great institution.

If nothing else Green should at least be given enough rope with which to hang himself, if I may reluctantly use such an ugly phrase. If he fails to display any marked improvement in his dealings with the media and in his general conduct then, yes, he must be removed as the Chief Executive. Ally McCoist last week spoke of the standards set at Rangers by the likes of Bill Struth. Nobody should be allowed to tarnish that, not even a man who helped rescue and rebuild us from the depths of despair in the summer. There’s an old cliché that no man is bigger than the Club and it’s about time Green remembered that.

Although my own opinion is that Green should be given a chance to learn from his various errors, some are not sure as to whether that luxury will be afforded to him. His relationship with Malcolm Murray has been reported as being anything but warm and there can be no doubt that other directors and shareholders will have been left shaking their heads in recent days and weeks. Smith has stated that he will be asking various questions at their next board meeting and I sincerely hope that he is furnished with the answers required. A failure to do so by Green may well cause huge unrest in the background at Rangers and, to be perfectly honest, that is the last thing we need at the moment.

It is very difficult to see the near future being anything but negative with so much media attention and uncertainty stubbornly lingering. If Charles Green indicates that he is unwilling to keep his mouth shut and that that he will continue to say whatever he wants when he wants, there is every chance that either he will not be in position come the start of next season or that there may well be some resignations from the Rangers’ board. Either way, neither will reflect all too positively on the Club.

The best possible solution for Rangers Football Club and its supporters has to be a realisation on the part of Green that he has embarrassed our institution and must mend his ways immediately. The blustering and boasting has been useful up to a point however lately it has become wearying and somewhat predictable. There are serious issues which require to be addressed at our Club such as the scouting system and our youth development, not to mention the need to improve our first XI for the upcoming campaign ahead. The fans want to hear about our plans for those things, not the repeated fantasy of moving to England or the forming of a link with the Dallas Cowboys.

It has been suggested by many that Charles Green is a bit of an attention-seeker, someone who thrives on being in the spotlight and who rather enjoys the image he has created for himself. There’s probably some truth in that however perhaps he should consider hitting the headlines for all the right reasons and not those which we have all had the misfortune of witnessing recently.

Green has made no secret of the fact that he is here to make money however he has the chance to leave a lasting legacy at Rangers that is worth far more than any monetary value he will ever receive for his shares. This period of our history will always be remembered for its unique nature and I’m sure his part is something that he would love to be remembered for.

I’d suggest that Charles Green takes a few moments before Saturday’s match to stroll around our famous stadium, taking in the history and tradition that surrounds it. He should walk into our trophy room and look at the portrait of our greatest ever manager and ask himself whether or not he is maintaining the standards that Bill Struth set for this proud institution. If he is deluded enough to believe that he has then I’m afraid it is time for him to be removed. If not then it’s about time he started acting like the CEO of Rangers and not like some egomaniac who puts himself before the Club.

It’s over to you, Charles. Rangers will move forward with or without you. It’s your choice whether or not you wish to be part of our great history. Time to prove you are worthy of the position you hold.