Statements were damaging club's image
22 April ~ On Friday Charles Green announced his resignation as Rangers chief executive. The single biggest shareholder and head of the consortium which bought the club's assets after last June's liquidation, he will leave the club entirely next month. The news came one week after Rangers International Football Club plc announced they were launching an independent internal investigation into Green and commercial director Imran Ahmad. Both men are alleged to have direct links to Craig Whyte, the previous owner who drove Rangers into liquidation.
It's Whyte himself making these claims, by bizarre desperate leaks of clandestine recordings and photocopied Companies House documents. But it's Green's overall behaviour which lends them an air of veracity. Since appearing from nowhere last May, sporting a club tie and referring to Rangers by the first-person plural pronoun, he's cut an untrustworthy figure. More startling, however, was that so many Rangers fans eagerly declared him the perfect figurehead to relaunch the club. The desperation was understandable – the money Green fronted was the only reason the club was able to revive itself in time for this season – but not so the instant admiration.
The scattergun outlandishness of his statements almost perfectly echoed those of Whyte, the most hated man in Rangers' history. The trauma of liquidation apparently induced mass amnesia. Green's tabloid-friendly jabs at Scottish football's governing bodies, rival club chairmen and Celtic were lapped up by a support which felt angry and dispossessed. Claims that Manchester United told him we were wanted in the English top flight soothed the egos of punters suddenly relocated to the Scottish Third Division.
But "bluff, straight-talking Yorkshireman" Green went beyond the merely fantastical. Claiming Rangers weren't allowed to re-enter the SPL because of sectarianism among rival clubs was especially insulting coming from Ibrox, where a Roman Catholic player wasn't knowingly signed for most of the 20th century. He only apologised for his recent racist description of Ahmad after engaging in the "political correctness gone mad" argument.
Manager Ally McCoist – the man who actually sustained the entire support through 2012's financial meltdown – was until last week seen to be losing a civil war with Green. He won the Third Division before April, with a hastily assembled, transfer-embargoed squad. Yet the knee-jerk element within the support jumped on a few bad performances and Green started manoeuvring. He'd sacked the club physio, chief scout and highly paid striker Francisco Sandaza on the flimsiest of excuses. McCoist's backroom staff were next in the firing line.
It's therefore a relief for those who hold the club's image dearer than balance sheets and on-field blips, to see Green ousted instead. The prime reason was not, of course, his behaviour but a plummeting share price and looming season ticket renewals. The "cleansing" and "stability" McCoist wants could be difficult. Nevertheless the support should now conduct its own internal investigation into how carefully we invest our future trust.
Nottingham businessman Craig Mather – who recalled Old Firm "goosebumps" rather than goal scorers over a very public pint in a Rangers pub last summer – is current favourite to succeed Green as chief executive. The club needs corporate operators if it's to return to past glories. From now on, however, they should only talk business. Former manager Walter Smith – currently a non-executive director – is the figurehead who embodies the brand image to the best satisfaction of its customer base. Alex Anderson