31 July 2013

What would make a good season?

by Garry Carmody | Contributor

There’s nothing quite like a convincing opening day of the season to get the juices flowing.

Add to that an enjoyable and confidence-boosting pre-season and minds start to wander for Rangers fans. With a league title win seen as inevitable, the Bears start to ponder what else can be achieved. Should the Ramsden’s Cup victory be a certainty? Should a League Cup or even a Scottish Cup extended run be beyond us? And does the possibility of winning one of them exist?

Follow We Will: The Fall and Rise of Rangers, a review

by Andy McKellar | Deputy Editor

Order at Amazon.co.uk
The Rangers story is a tale which captured the attention of the nation and far beyond as a proud institution was brought to its knees by the reckless financial mismanagement of its supposed custodians. Our plunge into administration prompted one of the most unimaginable and turbulent few months in the Club’s history which unfortunately evoked an ugly and bitter response from jealous rival supporters and so-called neutrals alike.

Hyperbole and exaggeration became common place and facts played second-fiddle to fiction when it suited the agenda of those reporting on our trials and tribulations. Credit was naively afforded to anonymous bloggers and Rangers-haters as the mainstream media played catch-up with the daily disasters that seemed to befall our club. Rangers were cheats, tax-dodgers and a blight that Scottish football would do well to rid itself of.

This is what we were told. This was the narrative that accompanied our struggles.

30 July 2013

A 63-year wait to see the Rangers - one Kiwi's story

by Gordon Glen Watson | Guest Contributor
Laurie - mum to me.

A wait of 63 years to visit Ibrox is almost over for New Zealander Laurie Watson.

She married David Glen Watson, an ex-British serviceman from Glasgow in Auckland, New Zealand, shortly after the end of World War II and didn't take long to realise that Rangers FC would also be a part of the nuptials.

"David was passionate about football and about Rangers in particular and he brought that love of the game with him to New Zealand," Laurie said. David Watson started a number of football clubs in rural New Zealand including Glen Carron FC, Dannevirke United and Kiwi Thistle FC.

He also pulled on the boots for a club with a familiar name: Rotorua Rangers. Laurie followed her late husband wherever his work on the railways took him and was soon playing football herself. Six months pregnant with myself, she once conceded seven goals before half-time in a women's game only for her grumpy husband threaten to drop her.

That was until she told him she was pregnant.

28 July 2013

One year on

by Peter Ewart | Contributor

Bears heading for Livingston’s Almondvale ground (ssssh don’t tell the BBC) for the season opener against Albion Rovers will do so with the club in very different circumstances than this time last year. 

For a start we’ve had a pre-season. Some pretty decent work seems to have been put in. Firstly the trip up north with a training camp, followed by games against Brora and Elgin. There followed a scorching trip down to Bristol, where the support was absolutely amazing. Two games on the continent v Gutersloh in Germany and Emmen in Holland gave some of our European legions the chance to see the club, as well as some decent away days for the diehard faithful.

24 July 2013

SPFL: The Revolution That Never Was

by Andy McKellar | Deputy Editor

The Scottish Professional Football League: the future of our national game. This is the end result of weeks and months of laboured endeavour as clubs gathered and put together a rescue plan to halt our acceleration down the slippery slope of mediocrity and beyond. At a time when we should be celebrating the beginning of a new chapter in its history, we instead find ourselves watching on, rather embarrassed, at the lame rebranding efforts in the knowledge that nothing has really changed at all. This is the latest entry into the peculiar diary of Scottish football.

Neil Doncaster is rather shamefully still the CEO despite his best attempts at appearing like an incompetent buffoon. The board is weighted heavily in favour of the top-tier with the same people who performed so admirably in building the toxic brand of the SPL. The league structure is unaltered. There is no sponsorship. There is a reduced broadcasting deal, hidden under lock and key. Welcome to the exciting, new SPFL.

23 July 2013

Bears on tour - the Emmen photo blog

by PamelaRFC | Guest Contributor

On a day in June, I got a notification from the FC Emmen website that they had a pre-season match scheduled against Rangers. 

Yes! I bouncey-ed through my house with happiness. Before I got the time and chance to get to Glasgow - they were coming to my country! On Twitter I kept asking Rab Boyle and Andrew Dickson: "is it confirmed yet?", a million times. Finally it was definite, Rangers came to Holland on the last day of their German/Dutch tour.

On Twitter more Bears said they were going so I got all excited to meet them in person. This is my photo blog.

Finally we reached Emmen after a few hours driving. First we took a look at the stadium to see if - possibly - there was any activity already, but no. 12:00 it was still quiet. Let's go into town then.

In town, Emmen centre was coloured blue and orange. Songs were sung out loud, and the local pubs must have been happy with the amount of booze they sold. I was happy to finally catch up with fellow Gers fans and talk about the team, and the Laudrup and Gazza era.

A rub of the Green

by Garry Carmody | Contributor

When Charles Green entered the fray towards the end of the prolonged administration period, he was a figure shrouded in mystery. “Who is he? What business does he have with our club?” was the cry. It didn’t take too long for those questions to be answered.

He was a brass, bold Yorkshireman; a tad in ‘yer face, but likeable all the same. “You won’t always like what you hear from me but you’ll definitely get the truth” – a statement that Green faded in and out of sticking to. 

He is a figure that couldn’t be subjected to a much wider varying opinion – some think the perfect solution is to have him back tomorrow, whereas others think it is possibly the worst thing that could happen to Rangers at this time. It is a subject that there would appear to be no consensus on, and one that has been brought back under the microscope since Green himself has expressed his desire to return.

19 July 2013

Toxic Thommo's back; back again

Andy McGowan has found one of our friends popping up again - it's Alex Thomson from Channel 4. Guess what? He wants Rangers punished. McGowan dissects yet another C4 blog on Rangers.

New formation throws more questions than answers

by Jamie Currie | Guest Contributor

The nine months ahead could be make or break for many Rangers fans when it comes to Ally McCoist and his position as manager.

He still has some room for manoeuvre with most of the light blue legions, after all the trouble the club has been through in the last 18 months to two years - however there is showing loyalty then there is blind loyalty.

The Rangers legend has now come out saying he's settled on two systems for next season; 4-4-2 the traditional system and the slightly unorthodox 4-1-3-2. In which the latter of the two is to be his primary choice of formation.

16 July 2013

Unite behind McCoist

by Mark McDougall | Guest Contributor

Last season was one of the toughest any Rangers fan has had to endure.

Playing in the Scottish Third Division started an exciting journey for Rangers fans, visiting grounds and towns they never had to before. Getting back to the top as quickly as possible was – and is still – the main objective but many Rangers fans felt that if they could help clubs who didn't kick Rangers when the club was at its lowest, then that was an added bonus.

Rangers fans were united as one as the club began this journey. All too quickly, the enthusiasm began to fade and with that, the unity of the fans began to end. Arguments between different fans group began and slowly but surely, the unity was gone.

Football vs Finance: Striking a Balance

by Andy McKellar | Deputy Editor

The destructive and disastrous tenures of David Murray and Craig Whyte propelled financial discussion to the forefront of sporting debate in Scotland as our proud institution was brought to its knees and subsequently banished to the Third Division. A new but largely undesirable emphasis was placed on balance sheets and boardrooms, replacing the natural focus with events on the football pitch, and the appreciation for financial prudence at Rangers has probably never been more intense.
There was hyperbole, ridiculous exaggeration and some downright lies peddled in relation to the financial situation at our Club as we were accused of being everything from tax-dodgers to the biggest cheats in British sporting history, but I don’t wish to dwell on that too much for fear of this article becoming no more than a childish rant. There are however lessons to be learned from our recent history and the need for change is something that we must openly embrace, even if it is initially rather uncomfortable.

13 July 2013

Mather he will, Mather he won’t

by Peter Ewart | Contributor

Mather he will, Mather he won't...be the best CEO the club has had but now that the board and the club has made its decision, and will have had input from the major individual and corporate shareholders in RIFC plc, now is the time to give him a chance and back him fully in the role.

In his interview with RTV today Mather says a number of positive things including; bringing stability, new arrivals settling into the squad, a vision for an all-through approach to age levels in bringing youth through, watching the pounds and pence, sponsorship and sticking up for the club against whomever.

Was there an element of trying to keep everyone happy? Of course there was, but treading that delicate path is a big part of any chief executive’s role. You’ll never keep everyone happy all the time, but can you get the whole organisation pulling as a team – that is what we need now.

12 July 2013

Meiklejohn - the tale of an overlooked great

by Ross McAdam | Contributor

A discussion over who is the 'Greatest Ranger' always provokes an interesting debate amongst the Rangers support. I asked the question on Twitter recently and had names such as John Greig, Ally McCoist, Willie Waddell, Walter Smith and Bill Struth suggested to me. 

Personally, Bill Struth would be my choice but in this article I’m looking at one of Struth’s stalwarts, David Meiklejohn, who I would argue was a large contributor towards Struth’s early on field success.

04 July 2013

Traynor/McCoist: A nagging doubt

by Garry Carmody | Contributor

From a period of deafening silence over the past few weeks, Rangers finally pulled the curtains back and allowed the fans to have a look inside. Yesterday, our Director of Communications, James Traynor, sat down with manager, Ally McCoist, in as close to a "no holds barred interview" as we are likely to find.

A whole range of subjects related to McCoist's tenure were discussed. From centre backs to dealing with constant slander and venom being aimed at the club, most fans appeared satisfied as to what was asked, and what was revealed. I would include myself in this in the most part, it was something the fans had been crying out for, and Rangers answered the requests well.

The one part I was particularly looking forward to was the discussion of McCoist's football philosophy and his hopes and aspirations for his future as Rangers manager. The question was needed, but did the response really answer the question?

03 July 2013

Traynor/McCoist: A new Super Ally?

Andy McGowan breaks down the big moments of today's interview from RTV: Traynor v McCoist.

The long and winding road...

by Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

I get a lot of emails, messages, tweets, etc. from members of the Rangers community and abroad. Mostly abroad. They can't help themselves.

One underlying current, or at least one persistent message, is that of me trying to advance an agenda, typically one that is "anti-Rangers" in some fashion or another. Whether I'm critiquing tactics or team selection or signings, whatever the case, if I do levy a criticism it will surely be met by some sort of implication that I am trying perpetrate an anti-Rangers agenda in one fashion or another.

And I guess that's fair enough since it's invited. The whole point of the CRO and what we do–or at least what I tell the lads to do–is to facilitate a discussion. Stirring the pot's not always the worst thing to do, especially when you have empirical data to carry on the spoon you're stirring it with. I may dive head first into some rants but there's typically a pretty sane argument behind them.

02 July 2013

Transfer report card so far

by Ross McAdam | Contributor

Pre-season has begun with the first friendly for Rangers coming up this weekend. Ross McAdam takes a detailed look at the additions made to the squad, as well as the departures, and assesses the expectations for the coming season. 

01 July 2013

10 things we could have got for the price of Goian

by Andy McGowan | Contributor

After years of financial mismanagement the modern Rangers fan must be more than a football supporter, after all Rangers is more than a football club. We must be the inquisitors as well as judge, jury and executioner. It is our job not only to support the team on the park but keep the club honest in its dealings off it. I am sure some fans will totally disagree with that but then again those are probably the guys who rounded on guys like me for ‘not being proper Rangers fans’ when we questioned what the fuck Craig Whyte was doing three months in.

As responsible fans it is our duty on this occasion to ask why Dorin Goian was released on a free and not only that given his full £430,000 a year wage for his trouble. There is (according to the Herald) a lot of interest in Goian from clubs in England and in Turkey and Romania so presumably not only has the club thrown away £430,000 but they’ve given up any chance of a fee for the player. At worst surely he should have been loaned out and the club save almost £500k. 

So with another £430k sneaking out of the coffers it is our jobs as modern educated Rangers fans to ask – What could we have gotten for that sum? Let’s see just what the club could have had for that sizable chunk of cash.

New season, new optimism

by Jamie Currie | Guest Contributor 

With the new season just around the corner and the squad back in pre-season training, I can't help feel optimistic about 'Stage Two' of the journey back to the pinnacle - where we belong. Then again I'm a glass half-full kind of guy.

Season past admittedly for most of the support it was rather new to us; in the bottom tier, new away days, breaking the monotony of the usual run-of-the-mill SPL season after season stuff, a fresh start and a chance to rebuild from the bottom up and reshape the club.

In all honesty like many I personally feel that ship has sailed. Many of the players younger and the more experienced guys' attitudes were unacceptable and the levels of performances were to be kind (bar the one League Cup tie against Motherwell at Ibrox) embarrassing for a Rangers team. Without doubt the fans were the real stars of last season breaking all sorts of attendance records and being as loyal as ever, for my money it's a credit to every one of us.