23 October 2014

The Rangers Badge Mystery

by Alex Oliver | Contributor

Dave King’s statement tonight launched a scathing critique of what he believed to be obstructions in his attempt to seek control of Rangers Football Club. 

Something which jumped out at me more than anything was the following part: "...given the present concerns from supporters that Mr Ashley is using his shareholder status to put pressure on the board to alienate the rights and trade mark of the club in favour of his personal interest." 

It got me thinking, something in this area has changed since the beginning of the season. The observant will have noticed the 'scroll crest' has now taken precedence over the traditional 'Ready' crest. 

Given all that has gone on and various whispers of image rights and naming rights being sold for a pittance, it would surely be naïve to suggest that it is simply re-branding. I have collated several examples of where things have changed.


Scoreboard. 


Exhibit A (Rangers vs Stenhousemuir, September 2013)


Notice the crest?

Exhibit B (Rangers vs Dumbarton, 2014)


Okay. That’s one minor detail. But there is more. Rangers recently launched a membership scheme. The logo used?




At the start of the season, I moved seats and was consequently issued a new smartcard. My old smartcard was issued in 2006 and was used up until the conclusion of last season. 


It is important to note that my new smartcard is for Bar 72. As such, the design is updated every year and I will be issued with a new smartcard each season. Regular season ticket holders keep their smartcards for a number of years. 

I am informed that some new smartcards still retain the 'Ready' badge - whereas others are now as above. When the Club begin to issue new smartcards on a wider scale it will be more apparent… 

Matchday programmes



The above is a programme cover from the game against Berwick Rangers in the Ramsden's Cup last season. Notice the 'Ready' badge in the top left corner. Now compare it to the programme below. 


 

The second programme is from our last home outing against Raith Rovers. Every other programme this season has had an identical layout. The 'scroll' crest. Not the 'Ready' crest. 

I have noticed throughout the programmes this season the lack of the 'Ready' crest. I've gone through the above programme several times and I have not seen it. This includes the Club's own advertising for various things such as tours, hospitality and Rangers TV.




The icon used on the Club's social media channels is also the 'scroll' crest. Previously the Club opted for the 'Ready' crest. The now dormant @RFC_Hindi account still displays the 'Ready' crest whilst the other accounts have been updated to show the 'scroll' crest.

There is certainly something interesting going on. It appears to run far deeper than simply rebranding. A football club does not need to rebrand. Moreover, a football club cannot rebrand in the conventional sense as one can in other industries. 

The 'scroll' crest, with or without the five stars has, until very recently, been pretty much reserved for our strips. Whereas the 'Ready' crest appears just about everywhere else. Questions have to be asked why that has suddenly changed.

Have the rights to our badge been sold to a Charles Green or a Mike Ashley? Is it a matter of the 'scroll' crest has been sold to someone and they are milking us dry for its use? Depriving us of royalties? Or is the opposite the case? Has our 'Ready' badge been sold and we're reducing the damage?

It is imperative that this issue is addressed. It is absolutely essential that we, the fans, know who owns the image rights to our football club.

The Club must respond to these concerns shared by many fans. The Club must answer the simple question. 

Who owns the royalties to the Club's badge(s)?