11 April ~ Rangers seemed on the verge of a takeover last Tuesday. So the chairman of the Rangers Supporters Trust was asked by Sky Sports News for his opinion on the tenure of the possibly soon to be departing Rangers owner Sir David Murray. His answer was that the first ten years of Murray's tenure were regarded as successful because we won nine league titles in a row and raised our profile in Europe. The last ten years weren't very good. I'm paraphrasing here because, at the time, I was busy trying not to throw my William & Kate commemorative wedding mug of tea through the screen.
The Rangers Supporters Trust are organised and enjoy great media contact because every journo wants a readily available voice of the fans. Every other club in the UK seems to have a trust these days but most for far better reasons than Rangers. The RST don't speak for the majority. If our dissatisfaction with the way things are going is as marked as Trustees would have the world believe, why are there 45-50,000 at every home game?
Murray has owned Rangers for 22 years. In that time we've won 15 league titles and surrendered two others only on the final day of the season. We've finished lower than second once. Our "European profile" peaked just three years ago when we reached our first UEFA final in almost four decades and in that final Walter Smith – appointed for a second time by Sir Dave – lost to Dick Advocaat, another manager Murray had brought to Ibrox. A Treble (including the ultimate domestic wish fulfilment of securing the SPL title with a 3-0 win at Celtic Park), a Double, record Champions League victories and the first post-Christmas European qualification in nine years were all secured by Advocaat,
That "last ten years" also coincides with the explosion of the internet as a way of legitimising the kind of delusional ingratitude that used to stay in the pub after a rare Rangers setback. Creating an extra tier of consultation between ordinary fans like myself and the team seems to be the main task at hand for the RST. The noise they've created in recent years has resulted in "Murray Out" banners at games, along with flags declaring that failure to field Kris Boyd would mean we won nothing. You can ask Middlesbrough about Boyd – if they remember HIM – but I now ask myself what someone has to do at Rangers to avoid not just the chagrin of the odd reactionary punter but a concerted media campaign to have them removed from the club.
This organisation, barely in its tens of thousands when it began having its first schisms, does not speak for me or for most members of the Rangers fanbase. Most of their wailing has taken place around our financial downsizing of the last few years but Rangers are too big to ever go away and are on the brink of our eighth major trophy in the last 4 years. Yet all the outside world will know now is that those Rangers fans haven't been able to enjoy any of it. Because their Supporters Trust chairman was just on the telly and he seemed utterly miserable and decidedly ungrateful. Alex Anderson