27 September 2013

Sack the Board

by Peter Ewart | Contributor

Success is an integral part of our long and prestigious history. The bar is set very high and the standards we expect of our managers, coaches and playing staff are exceptional. The pressure and expectation on them, even in the third tier of Scottish football, is immense and many of us, myself included, are critical when things are not up to scratch on the park.

It is about time such high standards and expectations were applied to the those that sit in the Boardroom.

It should be an absolute privilege to sit within the corridors of power at Ibrox — the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. Lately those within those corridors have treated fans with disdain whilst taking our money off us at every turn. Season tickets and the fans have stepped up and paid and what have we got in return?

This is not McCollCo or MurrayCo versus the current Board. This is about whether you want Rangers Football Club run into the ground once again, or whether you want a Club run properly with the focus being success on and off the park, with a long term plan, transparency and openness with the fans; not threats, deflecting and diversionary tactics and avoiding answering any questions.

Base your judgments on the performance of the current Board. Let’s run the through its achievements.

They have bought a car park, Edmiston House and opened a 250 capacity bar, allowed the a excessive playing squad and its substantial wage bill and paid off player after player, many only shortly signing contract extensions.

If you bought shares, Imran is claiming five percent of what you paid for them. Oh, and five percent of the cash you spent on your new replica shirts.

They have taken the fight to the BBC. And yet the BBC have ended up with exclusive after exclusive to this day. They have put us on the front pages of the press more than the back pages, truly a soap opera.

They have taken inflated salaries and in some cases 100 percent bonuses out of our Club, and not based on business success. They have handsomely rewarded themselves in a year where we have hemorrhaged cash.

They have saved us £80k by avoiding an EGM. And spent how many times that on re-hiring MediaHouse to muddy the waters, not to mention lawyers fees over the past week.

Lately they have been chasing round Rangers forums and websites removing material they did not like and threatening legal action against the people who produced it. Maybe that’s their idea of interaction with fans. And all the while enemies outside the Club have continued to peddle lies and slander Rangers and its fans without fear of challenge or reproach. Hell, they give some of them exclusives now. Allegedly.

I appreciate people want evidence. Entirely understandable. Look at what is happening in front of you. We are going to have to go and uncover the truth — it will not come to us. We cannot just wait and see. 

Our Board has thrown money at PR and spin in an effort to take the limelight off themselves. Believe me, if the accounts contained good news, we would have seen them long ago. People delay bad news, not good. By the time even part of the truth on Craig Whyte had been uncovered we were in administration. There can be no repeat. The time to act is now.

The accounts, if they ever come, will be a historical snapshot of how things were at the financial year end. It will not tell us where we are today. This Board has no good news to report or they would have reported it. 

We have had no clarity, no plan for the future. Instead we have seen the Boardroom lurch from one crisis to another. They have been entirely reactive with no sign of strategy or competence. The current Board will make anyone else the story so long as their abject failure is not in the spotlight.

More worried about football? The squad size has been a massive concern. From where we have come from, through administration, it seems no lessons have been learned. It seems Ally would sign any player he can given the chance. Some might say incoming transfers could be yet another smokescreen. 

Have we wasted a chance to put a pure footballing strategy built around youth at the centre of the Club? Unfortunately it looks like we have. But the football, as has been so of then the case in the past 20 months, is unfortunately secondary once again. The squad getting out of control is just another consequence of the chaos and upheaval present in the Boardroom. Leadership of any sort has been lacking.

And to the gravy. Time to confess that I have vested interest in all this. I want Rangers Football Club, our football club, to go through the necessary recovery and make our way back to the top of Scottish football where we belong and back into Europe. That is what I stand to gain. That is what we all stand to gain. There can be no faith in the current Board to get us there. £40m+ gone in a season in the third division? Mr Stockbridge even tells us the IPO money is gone. In The Sun as well. Tell The Sun, but not the fans when he was sat in front of them the first week in August, certainly not the Stock Exchange. It perfectly sums up our current Board. You couldn’t make it up. 

With the money gone and a burgeoning expensive playing staff there isn’t much for an investor to look at it terms of assets. That is unless of course you look at the Crown Jewel that is Ibrox, and Auchenhowie too. Do everything in your power to protect the family silver. Ensure that Ibrox remains within Rangers Football Club for the generations to follow. Is that scaremongering? Look at the actions of a Board openly willing to take on dissent amongst the Club’s support yet allow its most vile and persistent attackers to go unchecked. They are beyond the point of caring, which is why time is of the essence. Action is needed now. 

Momentum is a wonderful thing. Let’s use it. I get the impression that finally—finally—the fans might just be acting upon what we have been waking up to for some time and mobilising themselves to properly challenge the shambolic regime in charge at Ibrox at the minute. They call it "unruly behaviour," they threaten us with days in court, but they have taken us for mugs once too often and now is the time that the process of change begins. 

Stand up for your Club. Remember what an absolute powerhouse the support of Rangers can be. Support the team, not the regime. Sack the Board.