20 February 2014

Jack Irvine - Spinning Out Of Control

by Garry Carmody | Contributor

It was in such an incredibly twisted comical manner, you’d have imagined it was the beginning of a worn-out, sadistic comedy.

Once again today Jack Irvine made himself the story; and once more Jack Irvine proved why there is no place for his presence at Rangers Football Club.

When Graham Wallace addressed the thousands of fans that attended the RIFC plc AGM in December, he pleaded for 120 days to allow his plans to unfold. It was an unenviable task, and despite a few teething problems since, the fans have allowed Wallace the space to go about his work. With his impressive CV it was difficult not to allow him the time, and this was only bolstered by his removal of toxic figure - Brian Stockbridge.

Today saw Wallace unveil the next stage of his plans to steer Rangers back on track. “Ready to Listen” went live on rangers.co.uk today with the intention of engaging the opinions and concerns of fans – many of whom have been completely disillusioned with on-goings at Ibrox. Despite a few visible flaws, it was a more positive and hands-on approach to engaging fans than we have seen for quite some time. Was it aimed towards getting the answers the board want to see? That is for the cynics to discuss, and only time will tell on that manner.

As this went live, as almost by fate, one of the main problems that currently exist at Ibrox reared its head. As Graham Wallace was quoted as saying, “We value their (the fans’) input and we are ready to listen”, Jack Irvine, whose company are contracted to Rangers, issued a quote that left a rather bemused look on this fans’ face.

“It is ludicrous for fans’ organisation to be making this claim. They have to get a grip on reality.”

Would you like to speak realities, Jack? It is six days removed from the two year anniversary of Rangers plunging into administration. Two years since one of the darkest days in the club’s history. Two years since the “that can’t happen to us, can it?” whispers came to an end. Two years since Craig Whyte’s tenure, aided by Mr. Irvine’s Media House company, completed the pillaging of a once fine institution. Two years since nothing was off the cards any more.

Yet since then, has anything got any easier? Rhetoric, spin, and a culture of waste and empty promises have become recurring themes since Charles Green’s consortium arrived on Edmiston Drive. More directors have left with a shamed reputation than those that have actually offered something worthwhile to our club. In the revolving door of off-field staff, what has followed is a trail of cash that would shame the most ardent capitalist entrepreneur. 

A highly successful £22 million IPO offering of 14 months ago is now a distant memory – the money has flown out a rate that no fan could have predicted. Alongside this, at each point each financial prediction has been wildly erroneous - why on earth should fans have believed the now disgraced ex-Financial Director, Brian Stockbridge that £1 million would be left by April? In fact, the recent news of loans being given to the club by Laxey Partners and the Easdale brothers proves that once more was very wrong.

So let’s discuss realities, Jack Irvine. At every stage in previous years the fans of Rangers have been deceived – sometimes outright lied to. Money has been made off the back of these lies, and trust broken to an almost irreparable level, and Media House’s role plays a pertinent role in that breakdown between fans and the club. Does Irvine believe that a way of gaining fans’ trust is to insult us further? Despite his intentions, I do not believe Jack Irvine is naive, leaving his comments all the more bizarre.

The board may be shifting towards a more professional look with the places of Graham Wallace and Phillip Nash, but today, the reminder of what Jack Irvine thought of the Rangers support was brought back to the surface.

One can only wonder about the timing, and how that will reflect when fans reply to the questions asking about fan engagement and the club’s PR work.

Time to get a grip on realities, Jack – there is no place left for you at Rangers Football Club. Please keep spinning your way out the door.