THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

2 November 2009 ~ Rangers haven't bought a player since August 2008. This, along with the fire-sale attitude towards our current top names back in January, clearly meant we were skint. Everyone realised this – players, fans, journos, directors and toddlers with nursery school-level numeracy. However, according to the Scottish media and the Rangers Supporters Trust, this fact of life only became common knowledge last Saturday evening. Then, in answer to innocuous post-match questions on the current difficulty of his job, Walter Smith casually mentioned Lloyds Bank was authorising the club's spending (a claim subsequently denied by Rangers and Lloyds).

We're around £30 million in debt. The SPL is too small to make that ignorable but Rangers are too big for it to threaten the existence of the club or the ownership of Ibrox. It suits the bank to implement a plan to recoup their dough from one of the biggest fansbases in Europe. Never mind the "social dimension", terminating a cash cow like Rangers would be gross financial negligence by any high street bank.

As soon as Madjid Bougherra scored a glorious solo goal at Stuttgart in the transfer boutique shop which is the UEFA Champions League, you knew one third of the debt could be written off with one January 2010 transaction. Various known businessmen wait in the wings, ready to buy us when the price is right and when our current owner believes they have the best intentions of the club at heart. We're safe.
 
Yet I get in the car last Monday, switch on the radio and there's a familiar Trustee voice doing his usual: "demanding answers" and threatening another institution. The Rangers Supporters Trust, responsible for many creditable campaigns – none more so than that against the BNP's matchday presence around Ibrox – often seems run by people who are using the size of the club they support as an excuse to harangue and be seen as powerful over multimillionaires and their corporations.

That could be Sir David Murray and Rangers FC or the Lloyds banking group and its representative currently on our board (aka "the enemy within", according to an RST-inspired a banner at Tannadice yesterday). Rangers haven't lost a domestic match all season or a domestic away game for a year. We're four points off the top with a game in hand. Four weeks ago we beat leaders Celtic with our reserves. But the Trust insist we're in a terrible state. And they want to threaten the bankers who hold the keys to our current finances. Clever.

Every Scottish club is ultimately at the beck and call of the financial institutions that are reining in their customers' spending at present. Every Rangers fan during the high-spending Ibrox campaigns at the turn of the century was urging chairman Murray to fork out even more millions on even more Tore Andre Flos. Yet suddenly, according to the tabloid media, I'm surrounded by accountants not football fans. Suddenly balanced books are more important than silverware.
 
The Rangers Trust has around 10,000 members. When we reached the UEFA Cup final in 2008, up to a quarter of a million supporters made their way to Manchester. That's the level of the RST's grassroots representation but their main mouthpieces are media savvy and attention hungry so will provide readily controversial, anger-filled quotes to order. Off mic, when they're not employing lip-readers to confirm Celtic players use sectarian language, the Trust launches a self-pitying campaign against our ex-chairman and current owner, entitled "We Deserve Better". That whinging, self-pitying rag was arguably the most un-Rangers banner ever unfurled by home fans at Ibrox. Yet it was a sure sign that one of the key positives of the Rangers support's persona – staunch loyalty – was under threat, ironically, due to a body of fans attracted to the club by our consistent success under David Murray.
 
The Trust, spawned by the Follow Follow fanzine and a cynical determination to go from bar room to chatroom to boardroom, is too small and too self-serving to manage a Socio-style take over of Rangers and become the very thing they usually claim to despise – another sphere of power separating fans and club ¬– but they're loud enough to scare away potential investors, prospective owners and the one man who gave Rangers the greatest period of sustained success in our history.

Before 1986 Rangers played to 10,000 crowds at home games and went nine years without even a top-two finish. Upon Murray's takeover in 1988 we hit nine straight titles, got to within a goal of the Champions League final, developed Ibrox into a UEFA-graded five-star stadium and reached our first European final in 36 years: there's rarely been fewer than 40,000 at a home league game in the last two decades. Where did these extra 30,000 people come from?
 
Like an obese man losing too much weight too quickly, the overhanging useless folds of skin created by such a rush to health between 1985 and 1988 has made Rangers unattractive to some potential buyers. The skin flap which is the Rangers Trust came about because so may people with no real emotional investment in the club – the kind of investment built up through following us in our lean years – regarded League titles and European success as their starting point of loyalty. Now that they're only getting these glories every second season they want answers. When, in reality, they are the only reason there are any question in the first place. Alex Anderson

Comments (31)
Comment by AMMS 2009-11-02 13:42:16

I don't believe the Trust have anything like 10,000 members. As Rangers fans we are hard-wired to fall out with everyone, especially ourselves, I understand after much blood-letting a couple of years back they are a fraction of that size now.
I'm not sure it's fair to blame them for speaking to the media, as long as people understand who they represent I've no real problem with it. The 'we deserve better' was an appalling misjudgement on their part and only reinforced the image they have of living in a FF messageboard echo chamber bubble.
All that being said I still think their was little innocuous about Smith's comments last Saturday. On the contrary I think he engineered the whole thing for reasons altogether still unclear to me at least. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me....
Lastly the team Murray took over were a damn sight better than the ones we watched in the first half of the 80s. I take nothing away from what he achieved however the revolution was already in full swing when he came on board.

Comment by AMMS 2009-11-02 13:48:53

Oh and one last thing 'Glasgow' Rangers, ahem, I think you'll find it's just Rangers if you don't mind, (although I did smile at the badge so I won't launch a protest movement).

Comment by Analogue Bubblebath 2009-11-02 14:33:20

"Four weeks ago we beat leaders Celtic with our reserves."

Three of that team (Smith, Naismith and Little) could be called reserves. The rest were all regulars.

"got to within a goal of the Champions League final"

Not true -- even if Rangers had managed to beat CSKA Moscow, they still needed Marseille to lose to Brugge, which was never going to happen.

On the main thrust of the article, I could never understand why Rangers bought so many players in the 1990s under both Smith and Advocaat (the latter tends to get all the blame but the former was culpable too). Each summer they would have about six or seven new signings when they only required two or three -- in most of these years they would still have been well ahead of the competition even if they hadn't bought anybody.

Senseless.

Comment by Analogue Bubblebath 2009-11-02 14:36:18

David Edgar's a maniac by the way.

Comment by Steven_Weir 2009-11-02 15:56:42

Alex - massive touch of the green-eyed monster, eh? Many times you wrote on your blog about how you wish it was you the media came to, how it wasn't fair. Interesting you couldn't bring yourself to even mention the RST's spokesman by name....

Now you come on here and whine about others taking a course of action. You may disagree with it, but at least they get off their bottoms and contribute to the debate rather than sit on their collective archies talking about everyone else.

Finally, in all of this, it's interesting you felt the need not to have a go at the people who got Rangers into this mess, but the people who are trying to help them out of it (whether you believe in their methods or not.) As for 'self-pity' the RST were, oh, about five years ahead of everyone when they said the club was on the road to meltdown. They were pilloried, laughed at and abused.

Now the club IS in meltdown, you - a fan - takes a potshot at...other fans! Brilliant! And as for suggesting the people involved in the organisation are Sounessites, well - that's just sad.

You could have saved yourself a lot of typing by simply putting 'I want more attention paid to ME!'

Still, I daresay over the next few weeks, as the RST continue to be involved in what is actually happening and you are writing snidey articles about fellow fans, you can cry yourself to sleep at night in your re-inforced bed.

Comment by Steven_Weir 2009-11-02 16:01:21

Oh, and no offence, but
a) "Rangers haven't lost a domestic match all season or a domestic away game for a year. We're four points off the top with a game in hand." Small potatoes when we could go bust and

b) why should we pay any attention to someone who for years stuck his bulbous head up the Chairman's bottom, ignored all the warnings about the mess that was unfolding and allowed gross financial mismanagement to leave us in this perilous situation?

Comment by Steven_Weir 2009-11-02 16:24:32

And - and I promise I'll shut up after this - can I ask why, when the statement you refer to was a JOINT statement from the Supporters Assembly (who actually headed it and were responsible for the content), the Supporters Association and the Trust do you only attribute it to the Trust?

Jealousy is an awful thing.

Comment by Alex Scott 2009-11-02 16:47:13

The piece by Alex Anderson is at best staggeringly ill-informed and at worst wilfully deceitful. Most importantly, the key issue is that bankers are imposing drastic cut-backs not primarily because of the £30 million owed by Rangers FC but because the group of companies owned by Sir David Murray is in massive debt – the club is only a small part of a failing business empire. Murray was forced to stand down as Chairman 2 months ago and Lloyd’s bank now effectively runs the club.

The Rangers Supporters Trust has repeatedly warned of financial mismanagement by the Rangers board – barely 6 months after what should have been the most lucrative season in the club’s history the club attempted to sell top-scorer Kris Boyd in the January transfer window to ameliorate cash-flow problems. The RST’s view of the incompetence of the Murray-led Rangers board has been completely vindicated and those – such as Anderson and much of the Scottish media who delighted in taking pot-shots at the organisation – have been left with egg all over their faces.

Alex Anderson also attempts to smear much of the Rangers support along with the RST with his barb about crowds at Ibrox prior to 1986 (incidentally, the average attendance in 1985-86 was 25,146, not 10,000). I can assure him that older members of the RST were most certainly following the club during the lean years of the late 70s and early 80s – with some of us having lived through the Jock Stein era too. He also forgets that 80% of Ibrox was built before David Murray arrived. Incidentally, it should be pointed out that David Murray’s initial period as Chairman was highly successful and there can be few complaints – criticism of him stems from the years of reckless spending in the Advocaat era and his subsequent performance, which has allowed the club’s enemies within politics and the media to blame it almost exclusively for the social problem known as ‘sectarianism’.

The RST is a democratic, voluntary body whose primary aim (like all other supporters trusts) is that fans have as much say as possible in running the club. Real Madrid, Barcelona and all German clubs seem to have no problem whatsoever with this principle. Rangers supporters have the power to achieve this aim; we deserve so much better than Alex Anderson’s ad hominem attacks and self-indulgent twaddle.

Comment by TheBearNecessities 2009-11-02 16:57:51

The manager said that the bank are running the club and the bank have denied it. But the bank did appoint on of their employees onto the Board at Rangers a couple of weeks ago. It's clear the bank are making the big decisions at ibrox, and it's also clear that the tabloids are trying to sell papers by exaggerating the clubs problems.

So, with the bank taking control of the club, the Trust (along with other supporters group) have issued a statement about the bank to warn them about who they are dealing with here and that they won't get away with selling all our best players or our training ground.

I don't understand what you think is wrong with a few of your fellow supporters getting together to try and fight for what they beleive in? They beleive that they 'deserve better' so they are entitled to campaign for better!.

Tell me, what is your real problem with this organisation? I don't think its leaders are just power hungry, but even if they were, then what does that matter? Are you accusing them of being rangers fans, who wan better for the club, who are enjoying being on real radio etc? so what, even if that was true, what is their crime exactly?

I love Rangers and am really proud of these fans that got together and created the trust in their own time, because they love the club. I think it would be great of rangers was owned by the fans and I wish them all the best in this aim.

Comment by Bearwood 2009-11-02 17:40:05

"the Rangers Trust came about because so may people with no real emotional investment in the club – the kind of investment built up through following us in our lean years – regarded League titles and European success as their starting point of loyalty."

Other than jealousy and resentment, Alex, what exactly do you base that on?

I've been a Rangers fan for four decades (coutn them) and am currently the Chair of the Rangers Supporters' Trust. I make an 800 mile round trip to Ibrox regularly. Your 'argument' is utterly laughable.

"Now that they're only getting these glories every second season they want answers. When, in reality, they are the only reason there are any question in the first place."

You should be on stage.

I want answers because my Club had it's most lucrative season ever in 2007/08, is the nation's Champions and Cup Holders, playing in the Champions League....yet is £30m in the red and being run by Lloyds.

If you're looking for fans who are part of the problem rather than the solution, check your bathroom mirror.

I'm guessing you'll find someone there who defines 'loyalty' as tugging their forelock, not asking any questions and letting a rich man take Rangers Football Club to the brink of ruin, whilst those of us seeking involvement in the running of our Club were dismissed by oxygen thieves like yourself as cranks and militants.

You should hang your head in shame rather than take petty shots at people who've done more for Rangers and the Rangers support in a week, than you've done in your entire lifetime.

Comment by giopeople 2009-11-02 18:32:05

Alex,

I'm at a loss to understand where you are coming from with this. If you think selling off our best players, losing in Europe to a team from Lithuania, being £30m in the red due to complete insanity ie £2m for Jasper Christensen for almost no return and many others like this are just as damaging as Tore Andre Flo, being labelled 'Scotland's Shame' by a support that within 5 minutes of unveiling that banner were throwing coins and phones at Rangers players with no response from Rangers or being compared to Nazi's by broadcasters who are free to come and go at Ibrox is good enough then clearly we've different opinions of where Rangers FC should be. We Deserve Better.

Giopeople

PS I've been there since 1984 Aged 8 thanks.

Comment by Steven_Weir 2009-11-03 10:06:52

So I think we're all agreed, deluded ramblings of a bitter egotist who cares more about himself than the club he professes to support?

Cool.

Not surprised to find you prostrating yourself here Alex, let's face it, you'd chop off your and eat your own genitals if you thought it would get you a 6 second soundbite on regional radio news.

Comment by Hofzinser 2009-11-03 11:30:40

You forgot to add a cretinous little sideswipe about Alex being overweight in that last comment, Steven. Probably just an oversight.

"Not true -- even if Rangers had managed to beat CSKA Moscow, they still needed Marseille to lose to Brugge, which was never going to happen."

If they'd scored one more goal in either of their matches against Marseille then they'd have won the group - I assume that's what was meant by the comment.

You're right about David Edgar, though. The man's an utterly ludicrous buffoon.

Comment by AMMS 2009-11-03 12:43:59

You can accuse the author of this piece of a lot of things, but not caring about Rangers is certainly not one of them.
The author makes a very valid point regarding the hysteria of the last 10 days or so. Little has changed at Rangers since last January, Walter's comments were not news to anyone with even a passing interest in the club.

Comment by Alex Scott 2009-11-03 15:54:37

“Little has changed at Rangers since last January…”

Last January David Murray assured fans that Rangers were not a “selling club”. He also said that there was no pressure from the banks to sell players. The line sold to the support by a compliant media was that the “economic recession” meant a pruning of the squad.

The situation was far more serious than that because of the huge debt accrued by Murray International Holdings. Since January, Lloyd’s have swallowed HBOS, David Murray has tiptoed out the door and Donald Muir was appointed to the Rangers board last month with the remit of recouping as much of Lloyd’s money as possible. We may quibble about exactly what is meant by the phrase “running a football club”, but this is exactly what is happening with Rangers now. Martin Bain does not take any important decisions; these are all left to Muir.

In short, very much has changed within Ibrox since last January. Moreover, there has been a sea-change in the media’s willingness to analyse the financial background involved. Incidentally, the prospect of administration was introduced at the first board meeting attended by Muir.

Comment by Steven_Weir 2009-11-03 16:02:13

Hi Hofzinser/Alex. You're fat, too. As well as an attention-whore who has one hell of a cheek accusing anyone of wanting limelight.

At least the RST actually manage to get some. You're not even good at it.

Comment by AMMS 2009-11-03 17:11:11

Mr Scott, it was very public knowledge last January that Rangers needed to sell players, and weren't too fussy about which ones either. You may have bought a line about not being a selling club but not many others did. It has been abundantly clear for everyone that Rangers had/have financial problems. That these haven't been alleviated by Champions League football is a concern for all of us, however it was clear as far back as May that winning the league didn't change the fiscal 'policy' we were living under, which basically meant no signings only sales. If this wasn't the banks policy then it was a strange one for the directors and manager to come up with.
Murray hardly tiptoed out, it was pretty public from where I was sitting. The fact that Lloyds want someone on the board with a history of turning businesses around is not a surprise either, and perhaps we should welcome him. What power Mr Muir wields is moot, there is still a board and any decisions need to be ratified by them. So far we have only Smith's outburst and various whispers to base all of the past 10 days events on. I have a huge fondness for Smith however his outburst was calculated and deliberate and I've yet to see a credible reason for it.
From what I read had the RST been offered a board where Murray had been removed and Bain made impotent most of the RST would have jumped at it until very recently.

Comment by immortal7 2009-11-03 17:34:06

Good old Fat Eck, taking pot shots at Bears who spent the last 5 years asking why we were sailing full speed ahead towards the Lloyds Banking Group iceberg.

I've always wondered about your slavish adoration of SDM..... put into context with your desperate 'look at me I'm dead intelligent' Spiers-lite prose and latest Times 'Philosopher of the Day' quotation, I have a sneaking suspicion your desperate to prove just how cosmopolitan and non-bigoted you really are. Does coming from Ayrshire really give you that much of a chip on your shoulder?

Let's face it Eck, when it comes to sneering at fellow Rangers fans who are just too lumpen to 'get' your wit and searing insights, you're right up there with that other simpering buffoon Graham Spiers. Ironically enough, he also has zero credibility with any Rangers fan who has spent any time off of his knees in the last 10 years.

As for the abuse directed at David Edgar, let's just agree to disagree, I'll be going with the opinions of Sky, BBC, STV, Setanta, Real, Clyde, PA, Reuters, the Herald, Sun, Record, Mail, Express and every bear I've met and canvassed in countless pubs all over Scotland & Europe.

I love the fact you play the 'I was there in 1982' card, yet stand four square behind the man who has decimated almost everything the institution stood for in those days. Under SDM, we are as close as we have ever been to 'just another team who play in Blue'. No wonder you hate Rangers fans who love the fact we are 'More than a Club' - they can see right through you.

You sir, are a twat of the highest order!

Comment by cessnock 2009-11-03 18:17:15

Now where do I start with this drivel? As a founder member of the RST, this will do for starters:-

“Rangers Supporters Trust, this fact of life only became common knowledge last Saturday”

No. It became obvious last season, and even before. Hence the “We Deserve Better” campaign by the Trust

“knew one third of the debt could be written off with one January 2010 transaction”

The same was said when we sold Hutton and Cuellar for big money. Will we have to sell a player for 10 mil every year to keep us going? Some astute management there by Murray. Or is it because Mr Murray is such a top business brain that he has run his entire business empire into the ground, and has been a lame duck for the last eight years?

"demanding answers“

Yes, Alex, like you say, When we can’t buy a player in two years and sell every saleable asset, we definitely demand answers all right. No apologies.

“are using the size of the club they support as an excuse to harangue”

Don’t the Celtic fans do this? And Man U?

”Rangers haven't lost a domestic match all season or a domestic away game for a year. We're four points off the top with a game in hand. Four weeks ago we beat leaders Celtic with our reserves“

Being quite near the top of a Mickey Mouse league is reason to say all is rosy in the garden? Were you on the moon during our last two Champions League matches?

“Trust insist we're in a terrible state”

I wonder how they came to that conclusion? If only they could see we’re just a couple of players away from winning the Champions League!

“Every Scottish club is ultimately at the beck and call of the financial institutions that are reining in their customers' spending at present”

But they can all sign players within reasonable budgets. We couldn’t even give our captain a new contract last summer, and our management team can’t be extended beyond January. But we don’t deserve better according to some.

“one of the key positives of the Rangers support's persona – staunch loyalty – was under threat”

Not staunch loyalty, you are advocating blind loyalty. Leave that to Celtic fans. It served their previous board well, and allows the current one dine out on their support.

“consistent success under David Murray.”

Probably the best one yet! Presumably you define consistent success is sitting watching Celtic wrapping the league up by Christmas in 5 of the last 8 years?

“the greatest period of extended success in our history”

Seems your copy of the Rangers history books have some chapters missing; the ones that cover the years from 1920 to 1965?

“Played to 10,000 crowds and went nine years without a top two finish”

Maybe if there was a Trust in operation in the 1980s things would have been put right sooner. And BTW, most of 5 star Ibrox was built before Murray arrived, as was the guts of the team that was successful in the late 80 and early 90s. Things were put right under the ownership of Lawrence Marlborough and the chairmanship of David Holmes

“our first European final in 36 years”

20 of those years were spent under Mr Murray’s ‘stewardship’, throwing money about like confetti and loosing to the likes of Sparta Prague, Gothenburg, CSKA Sofia, AEK Athens, Auxere, Strasburg and Zidkov. There were some good times though, we beat Maritimo on penalties!

“no real emotional attachment to the club”

Mr Anderson, I will not lower myself to a better-fan-than-you tit for tat with you.. But how dare you insult me and the thousands of others who suffered the rubbish in the 80s, and are suffering through this rubbish now. I’ll take no lessons from anyone who equates decent honest Rangers fans to “overhanging useless folds of skin”

Oh, and BTW, next time you hare having lunch with your good friend Sir David, ask him how the plans are coming along for the super duper hyper casino / leisure complex / prime housing development / museum / hotel / 70,000 seat Ibrox stadium.

We deserve better all right. Better fans than you, Mr Anderson!

Comment by Alex Scott 2009-11-03 19:17:35

AMSS,

You seem to be riding two horses here. On the one hand you seemingly accept a picture of a club in trouble yet on the other you comment about the “hysteria” following “Smith’s outburst”.

According to the official line, the squad was necessarily being reduced because it was far too large. There was also an implicit desire to reduce the debt. Clubs (in common with other businesses) will from time to time enforce cut-backs with no prompting from a bank; neither David Murray nor any other Rangers figure had mentioned anything about the role of the bank. Indeed, only two months ago Alistair Johnston denied that the bank had any say in running Rangers.

Now, you may not have accepted the official line – and neither did I. However, this was what the media fed to the masses and this is what (dare I say it) the likes of Alex Anderson have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

To reiterate, Lloyd’s Bank is aiming to recover as much of its money as possible from Murray’s business empire which is 100 millions in debt. Rangers FC is but a small part of that empire, although it certainly possesses a few realisable assets. Donald Muir is not at Ibrox to turn the business around; he is there to make money for his bank. Walter Smith clearly felt he had to go public on an issue where he felt people were being misled.

There would be absolutely no point in the RST accepting a seat on the board at present and there is little prospect of it being offered. Given new ownership which will hopefully include a sizeable shareholding by the support, then I am sure that position would change.

Comment by AMMS 2009-11-03 20:56:29

Mr Scott
I'm unsure why you feel there is a contradiction in what I'm saying. My issue on the 'hysteria' is that it seems to have erupted since the Hibs game interview Smith gave to Radio Scotland. I listened to that interview and other than my surprise at Smith's candour I didn't feel he was telling me anything I didn't already know. In fact my first instinct was that it was a skilful deflection by Smith from what should have been a public roasting following the Unirea game. As it was all, and the two points dropped against an admittedly decent Hibs team, was forgotten by a pretty compliant media who had given Smith a fairly easy ride during the interview too. Our money troubles are well documented and have been for a while. I understood a repayment plan had been agreed last year, if the bank have changed this then I've still to read that. I don't expect the board to discuss things like that publicly however for both the club and the bank to have denied what Smith inferred can't be ignored.
You may well be right in your belief that Muir is nothing more than an asset stripper, but, with respect, you've no more evidence of that than I have that he isn't. Put simply I don't know, and neither do you. As I've previously stated I've enormous respect for Smith however I've never thought he was a business genius. He can clearly manage players but boardrooms are a different matter.
Whatever problems Lloyds have with Murray's business (which again is conjecture) Rangers are still a strong going concern. Our debts remain manageable for a business of our size, to change that makes very little business sense, even for a banker.

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-03 22:03:54


media whore adds a post to make his feed-back look larger:

Slagging a body of Bluenoses and getting slaged back - I'm not "happy" about either scenario but it's only fair. No complaints about getting back what I gave out. However, when I'm saying "don't worry - Rangers will be okay" and there's such an URGE to scream "No - we're all doooomed!!! We MUST have no light at the end of the tunnel", then ye kinda see where I'm coming from.

However, the fact no one is exactly screaming agreement with me is pretty sobering. I'm even more depressed than i was before I let rip. If it's only me that's disagreeing with them then the RST must be right.

@AMMS: fair dues, Sir - and I appreciate your later attempt to convince these folk I'm not John Reid in disguise! - I heard an RST rep on the radio a few months ago claiming they had 10,000 members. I take yer point on Walter doing it on purpose - perhaps it was the sickening "Smith, yer a joke" comments after the Unirea home game which convinced him he'd better put things in perspective. Some people clearly have a problem doing that

Oh yeah, Marlborough and David Holmes got the ball rolling okay and when David of Murray took over the squad was in place but he kept it going for nine titles on the bounce and a few more. That's the hard bit.

Yup - I just want to say that The Trust do not represent me. Judging by the reaction I think the point's been made.

And I wholeheartedly apologise for the "Glasgow" prefix. Inexcusable. I threatened to boycott buying WSC for three weeks of every month and - suprise surprise - it was soon gone. We deserved better.


@Analogue Bubblebath : If we'd scored one more in the previous game, against Marseilles in france, we'd have guaranteed ourselves a spot in the final. And if you buy 5 or 6 players, it keeps the one or two you really need on their toes.

We lost three key players on the eve/day of the last OF derby, lost a replacement within a minute and Boydey before half-time. Short of tying one hand behind McGregor's back ...

And don't slag David Edgar - he's an articulate guy who means well. I don't agree with him but, having seen your Mr Reid on Friday, there's a lot to be said about how ye present an argument :-)

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-03 22:05:23

@ Steven_Weir : Jeezus! Green eyed monsters, jealousy, attention-seeking and media whoring certainly feature large in yer posts, Steven. Judging me by yer own fixations at all? The 20 posts my wee rant has received (most of them from yourself it's worth noting) must surely have the Daily Record and Rupert Murdoch shi**ing in his shoes. I wouldnae even have bothered if WSC hadn't asked me for an opinion on the "crisis at Rangers". Compliment to the Trust that they were the second thing on my mind.

Does the way your theme has been taken on down this thread - and your insecure school bully mania to get everyone to agree on how to treat me ( "Please say he's a fat egotist") - not worry you that there's a tiny bit of a herd mentality amongst Trustees? Are you trying to say that the Rangers fans who think differently from you/for themselves are (a) in the minority and (b) only doing it "for attention"?? Thank gawd most Bears have some perspective. You should get some - it's nice, and it'll make you proud of the club you're supposed to support rather than porud of a meltdown you predicted so vociferously you played an active part in bringing it about ... just so you could be right?? I support Rangers to leave my ego at home - they ARE my ego.

who enjoys this kind of abuse? Not me. It's necessary to speak up when something i love is being contorted - yes, i know that';s how you feel too - but if this is what being "the centre of attention" is all about then it's little surprise a natural coward like myself so bad at it. The reason i didn't mention the name of the Trustee i heard on the radio was OUT OF A BIT OF PASSING DECENCY! Christ! Much as I resent the RST's main thrust, i'm not gonnae name names other than my own when I'm having a pop.

Joint statement? fair enough - but I'm only riled when I hear certain RST statements as I feel it's they who're pro-active in the more Un-Rangers modes of "changing things". I once got myself marched round the track at parkhead because I thought I was doing something for the good of Rangers. Something so militant I'd be loved by all bluenoses. It was, of course, very un-Rangers. I learned that and didn't do it again.

yeah, I used to do a blog - I think there's a few of them on the internet - and I once did a wee pamphlet about the 1972 Rangers team. One night there was a guy on radio Scotland talking about Rangers 72 and I went onto my wee blog greeting to my mates about how I thought I was the expert they should be consulting - openly drawing attention to the fact I have no media contacts and that doing something "for the love of it" just made me a skint bore. That you (a) remember that, (b) took it so seriously and (c) extrapoltaed it into a personality for a man you've never met - a personality which would make him easier to write off, is all a bit scary.

But thanks for reminding me why I don't stick my head above the parapets anymore.

Yes - I definitely am fat. 22 stone and counting.

PS - you DON'T have to pay attention to me. Like I say, think for yerself ... even in front of an audience - i dare ye...

PPS - I love/anally head-butt Sir Dave of Murray because I support Rangers and under him Rangers won nine-in-a-row and so much more. I love Goram, Gough, Brown, Laudrup, Novo ... ANYBODY who does well for Rangers. Am I foreheading/fisting them too? I understand you think SDM's done badly but when we stop admiring our football heores, what the hell is the point of football?? When we start actively gunning for people who brought your club the best years of your fan's life ... well, ye can forget it.

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-03 22:06:27

@ALEX SCOTT: Mr Scott, "staggeringly ill-informed" I can do - I'm here to be corrected - but "Wilfully deceitful"? Please!

I TOTALLY AGREE that Rangers are suffering because Murray International Holdings are suffering but that's my point! EVERYBODY's taking a hit financially right now - John Reid's attention-deflecting rantings last Friday made it crystal clear Celtic are next to be shaken and their punters are already up in arms about a lack of investment in the team. My point is no-one at Ibrox has been any more negligent than anyone else in Scottish football - we're just a club who deals in bigger sums, is doing more to sort it, and earlier and are suffering more coz we have bigger ambitions than most clubs in the world but from within a smaller domestic infratsructure.

My point is we don't NEED to be demanding heads roll and threatening boycotts of banks - the fact we laid on another Double six months ago depsite all the cut-backs is something to cheer, surely! If we'd spent all the 2007/2008 money we'd be in more debt and that'd be moaned about - but we kept it, won the league and are still being slagged by the Trust!!!

One of the problems with money right now is down to the collapse of Setanta, which Murray predicited before the deal was signed and he was out-voted by the other SPL clubs.

He's stepped down - what the Trust wanted - and now we're onto the next guy, Mr Lloyds/HBoS. He's the "enemy within" all of a sudden when, surely, if we SDM did so much mismanaging, we should just be happy he's gone, present a welcoming front and get the next billionaire custodian in!!

I don't think the Trust are ridiculed at all - rather I think the media use them to ridicule Rangers. And while I love being amongst Rangers fans, it's Rangers FC I support!

I take yer point about the crowds in 85-86 being pretty healthy but to say I'm trying to "smear" anyone by use of the fact our crowds were GENERALLY WAY LOWER in the 79-86 period is way off. I'm saying why was there no RST in those days? - when we were in a TRULY dire state? We had all the financial stability in the world because we wouldn't break the wage structure - remeber John McLelland refusing to lift the League Cup in 84/85 because we wouldnae give him a wage rise? -The internet is certainly one reason for the RST appearing this century but I'll be honest, I have a real "they don't know they're born" attitude towards anyone who prodces a "we deserve better" banner/slogan/campaign - and all AGAINST the club.

I did say "The Rangers Supporters Trust, responsible for many creditable campaigns" and I'll put any RST member who was there in the Jock Stein and "new Firm" days into the bracket of orgainising the creditable stuff. I have total respect for anyone who stuck by The Gers through any hard period and I can't blame them for becoming so passionate about the club they become involved in a group which gets it wrong - but we'll be heading back to small crowds and no titles in 9 years if we don't get any real investment because the loudest group of fans is determined to stick it to ANYONE who can't spend without selling and win without spending.

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-03 22:07:19

@ALEX SCOTT, PART 2!

Yeah - i'll be honest - in some ways I actually preferred the vibe in those league-less days. There were always moans - but that's what supporting Rangers is all about: no mawkishness - but you knew everyone who'd bothered to turn up was willing us to better things rather than trying to take control of the club as if they were liberating some evil totalitarian state. Democracy in fitbaw is bad but - come on - we wurnae Tsarist Russia.

80% of Ibrox was built before Murray arrived? Okay - corners filled in, big screens installed, seats changed to all blue, enclosure seated, club deck erected, pitch dropped a few levels, smart card ticketing and new turnstyles installed and - most important - the all-blue running track and the bus shelter technical areas are but SOME of the improvements overseen by Murray so maybe 80% is a bit much but - you misunderstand me - I just see ALL of Ibrox, old and new, as having been built by RANGERS and the people who were good for us. Murray did enough to prove he was as good for us as Marlborough and Struth. That's why it's called Murray Park (Alan Hutton got us 9 million back on that investment and, of course, was still a bad move).

The RST is a democratic, voluntary body - yes. So am I. As such, we're open to criticism and allowed to respond. Socio-style fan investment/membership fees works ON the field in Spain and Germany because it's augmented by huge TV revenue off it but we already own rangers because if we walk away from the ground and turn off our TVs, Rangers dies. This is what worries me - Murray, King, hamilton - they will all be Rangers fans if they pump their money into the club but we seem to think they don't count when, of course, that's the best way for us to be run: daily democracy in football admin is like daily democracy in a dressing room - great idea but bound to failure. Especially so if the body politic is consumed by the need to continually attack the institution it loves, rather than support that club through the bad times after its given us so many good times.

Right - I have to go - I will come back on Thursday and try to answer more points (if that doesn't sound too ego-maniacal!!) and the fact I want to take on every worthy point in every post is why I can't rspond to everyone here. But I hope you see that I mean to.

(i also predict we'll beat Unirea 3-1 - just to confirm my "twat" credentials)

Comment by Analogue Bubblebath 2009-11-04 01:58:05

"John Reid's attention-deflecting rantings last Friday made it crystal clear Celtic are next to be shaken and their punters are already up in arms about a lack of investment in the team."

A look at Celtic's actual accounts for the past four or five years would swiftly disabuse you of this idea.

They're not near-skint, they're just miserable tight-arsed fuckers.

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-05 19:51:26

@Analogue Bubblebath: LOL. Fair dues. Sorry to be so curt before but I need people to call me a "media-whore fat wanker" before I feel I'm involved in a worthy debate. And you just won't bite, damn you!!!

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-05 20:15:03

@Hofzinser: Stop being me!! :-) You're confusing Steven! I'm off to phone regional radio news for a 6 second sound-bite about your attention-whore-impersonating ways, Hofzinser/me - if they're not interested I'll ask them if they'd like a story about a man eating his own genitals ...

I'll do it. Oh yes, indeed. just watch me, I will!! then I'll sell my story to the Daily Record :"MY INSIDE-DAVID-MURRAY'S-ANUS HELL!

"Curvy blonde Alex Anderson - 21 - may look like he has the world at his feet but for 20 years he was trapped in the unseen back passage of corporate success.

"'People think life up Sir David Murray's bottom wuld be glitzy and glamorous but I can tell them it's dark, brown and really quite stuffy'...

"' It was okay when rangers were winning nine-and-a-row and he was dating that burd who did the news on STV - he was relaxed and easy going - but when his newspaper failed and Kaunas scored that late winner he began clenching quite a lot. Luckily teh Rangers Trust came along and scared me right out of him."

"'I don't regret what I did - it was the nineties after all - but I don't want to go back inside ... I hear Dave King's quite regular ... but if the Rangers Trust get all their members on the board at Ibrox I'll have to think again - I'm a one-bum-at-a-time kinda guy ... '"

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-05 22:59:43

@TheBearNecessities: very reasonable, well-put and convincing argument and I appreciate your manner - you make me look like the hysterical one, which a few of the posters on the same side of the argument as yourself have singularly failed to manage. But I insulted them, they retaliated - no problem.

Thing is, it's ME who feels insulted by certain actions of the Trust. It's me who sees THE TRUST as the splitters. That's my REAL problem with the RST. I hoped the main rant at the top of the page made it self-evident but, as you're asking a fresh question, I'll explain further: And I'll explain my "motivation" TO you but it's for EVERYONE ON THIS THREAD's benefit.

Basically, I think The Trust are breaking away from what I always regarded as The Rangers Way. Being worried about the future direction of your club I have no qualms with - we can't help worrying - ; being depressed that we're not performing I totally understand - Sorting it out amongst ourselves rather than blaming outsiders, I DEFINITELY agree with. But dragging the whole world in to assist in this petulant, wimpish, "it's-jist-noh-fair" show of self-pity and disunity goes against every fibre of Rangers. As does veering completely in the other direction and demanding heads must roll. No matter how reasonably Trustees put their points to the media these are the crux of so many of their arguments (and, by the way, I admire anyone who can talk articulately on TV or radio. Ye'll never "hear" my voice because microphones freeze my brain. but the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Sun etc are not gonnae waste any time shafting those RST boys if they feel that's a better story. If nowt else, I admire their bravery gettin intae bed with those tabloid scumbags but, in so doing, they might be getting caught up in the perpetual NEED for hysteria which these rags induce)

The minute someone starts greeting about what they "deserved", in football, I know the objectivity's gone out the window. Their club's self-respect usually isn't too far behind.

Results - both on and off the pitch - are such an unreliable thing for most clubs. We've had so much success for so much of our history that I think we've failed to remember one key aspect of football fandom: The only thing you can 100% guarantee is how you behave, how you represent yourself and thereby your club. It's easy to be modest in victory but it's in defeat, or other "crises", that fans get the opportunity show their real class. Don't moan - get on with it.

When you start to see every failure to get what you want as the need for an internal cull, externalised through the very media you've used to make it happen, then it's more than the club's stability which goes: It's the very character of that club. Especially ours.

Rangers don't whinge - we just take it on the chin, get on with it and fu**ing WIN next time. Bill Struth, Jock Wallace, Walter: Praise the opposition, say we weren't good enough on the day, only have a go at officials once a year so people will know it must be true - and always assure the fans because you know that we'll bounce back. If we don't win next time we still keep our cool. Yup - it's about dignity for me. If that's a cliche, I'm sorry - it's one I prefer imeasurably to the "show me a bad loser" garbage spouted by teams with no manners. God knows I'm an undignified individual but, like so many of us, I lose myself in something magical at Rangers, knowing it can provide me with class in its institution which I singularly lack as fat, old Alex.

PART 2 to follow ...

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-05 23:01:43

... @TheBearNecessities:PART 2:

Maybe I'm actually a more bitter fan than any of yer guys on here would actually realise, by sticking to a code of fairness and dignity which ensures that even when ye lose ye stil win, but I prefer to think that I'm just very proud - as much about what Rangers are NOT as what we are. I see Sir Alex Ferguson whinging and griping as if there's been a mass murder in his family every time Man U as much as dop a point. Yes, it's very effective at creating a media fog which, in the long run, wins Man U a few more points per season and keeps them at the top of the pile - but it's a disgusting way to behave. It's anti-sport. It's ungentlemanly. It's embarrassing.

When Rangers lose a game, we lose that game - end of story. Other clubs change the subject ... and end up losing so much more by doing so. Rangers take responsibility - we do not deflect blame - we don't talk about who is cheating us and who is attacking us unfairly: we just get on with being BETTER - and that is not always about results on the pitch or in the balance books. It's called rising above. That's my Rangers. Frankly, I would rather we were at the foot of the third division, being US, than winning the Champions League being just aother whining corporate sell-out. The first rule about being "More than a club" is that you never say you're "More than a club".

You just fu**ing ARE.

When we're accussed of sectarian behaviour I don't go off whinging about Aberdeen fans singing worse. There's no point. If it's true I say "yup - that happened" and INSTANTLY you've shown up those who do worse but never fess up. You've shown you take responsibility, you've shown you simply PITY those who throw insults at you. That makes you MORE THAN A CLUB.

When we lose to Kaunas in the most humiliating defeat of our European history I say "fu**ing terrible" and am unavoidably gutted. But I also say "well, the same people had us in our first European final for 36 years just 3 months earlier. The bravery they showed in 2007/2008 was way more than we could ever have expected - so now that they've felt the effect of the longest season in the history of Scottish football teams and seriously under-achieved in Europe, they deserve our loyalty: Last season's achievement would be empty of it didn't buy those players, management and directors another season at least." And - whaddayaknow! - they went on to win the league and cup double in "disastrous" 2008/2009.

Showing gratitude and repaying loyalty - That's what makes you MORE THAN A CLUB.

And when a chairman brings us more SUSTAINED success than we've ever had before - nine straight titles for the only time in our history - wiping out a record held over us all through my childhood and teen years, and takes us closer than anyone else to achieveing the one other silverware milestone which would make us as great in terms of trophies as we are in terms of character (marseille velodrome, 1993) - I say that one decade of dreams made true deserves another decade of returned loyalty.

When that second decade provides another five league titles, a run to the knock-outs of the UCL AND a UEFA Cup final, all against a background of him spending more when we wanted him to and spending less when we wanted to yet he still laced that "fan unrest" with domestic cups and great nights against Parma, Villareal, Stuttgart, Barca, Porto ... I think, "yeah - we really are spoiled - the least we can do is keep some perspective".

When we DON'T maintain that perspective - when we start "chairman out" campaigns in a season in which we win the double - you really do fear we might soon CEASE to be More Than A Club.


PART 3 DIRECTLY BELOW ...

Comment by Alex Anderson 2009-11-05 23:02:50

@TheBearNecessities:PART 3:

My "REAL" problem with The Rangers Trust is they're making a huge club seem very, very small, just at the point where we've realised so many of the dreams which had tortured us since - well, since we sacked Scot Symon in a similarly hysterical fashion. The inability to take a short-term set-back and see the long-term picture of world class stadium and training facilities, european finals, Champions League presence, 40,000 at every home game, Nine-in-a-row become OUR record and Hampden visits at least twice a season is what eventually scares away potential buyers. The future - which, for a support of our size will NEVER be going out of existence - will be uncertain in the current WORLD WIDE financial climate, yes. But hounding our Murray, hunting down Donald Muir and threatening boycotts of the very banks we need to keep onside ... it just strikes me as a massive miscalculation at best, a suicidal blood lust at worse.

I never thought I'd see the day when our on-field results are so irrelevant to one such vocal body of fans. "small potatoes compared to the existence of our club" someone said in relation to my pride in us being undefeated away from home for a year - and that unintentionally sums it up: Trustees are creating a world OUTSIDE the football because - goddammit! - Rangers keep winning trophies, beating celtic and remaining undefeated away from home. Where's the "disaster" in that??!! The football - the very reason we're all here - has become a side show unless we're losing and that's where my suspicions start.

I never thought I'd see the day when an indisciplined and disruptive Rangers player was preferred over a Rangers manager. I never thought I'd see the day when a Rangers manager only got six months. And I never thought I'd see the day when a legend was brought back to replace him, got us to a European final, finished first or a damned-close second in every domestic competition in two years and was still being abused as "clueless" by the very people who wanted him back and admit he has no money to spend by moaning about that too!!!

Kids today - humph! But it's a sign that if you continually demand only what you don't have and ignore what you do, you'll eventually have nothing. And, as I say, that nothing will be because of perpetually angry or worried culture within areas of our support - which has given rise to The Trust. I'm sure, among its many well-meaning members, is a group of people who can't live with the fact that supporting a football team is indeed an act of blind faith. That simplicity is the beauty of it. When you make it more than that then you ruin the entire experience. Furthermore you end up living a life of permanent suspicion and - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - "knowing what's REALLY going on". I get enough of that at my work and in real life. The scary thing about football is that the game itself IS the agenda. Perhaps some people are embarrassed by the simplicty of what takes up so much of their passion and concerns - I'm not.

The very fact I had to explain all that is a worry in itself.

That'll have to do me for now. Unfortunately, Rupert Murdoch hasn't phoned me back and so I must continue with the day job and that requires some sleep ... because I can't afford the cocaine. In the meantime, there's an article by Ian Plenderleith on this very site called "losing a few games is not a crisis" - I'd recommend you click on it up the top right of this screen under "new on WSC" and get some more of my perspective. Thing is, we aren't losing games - and it's STILL a crisis at Ibrox.

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