What Price a Heritage?

What is it that constitutes the heritage of a football club and what price do you place on it?These are big questions that each and every Bear would do well to consider during the coming festive season, for it would appear that our new CEO may have decided on a price tag.Ethos and Heritage are the twin pillars upon which all great institutions build their history. To develop them they must be nurtured and cared for, it takes time to build them, but they are precious and fragile they can be irreparably damaged by a moments carelessness. They define the real value of an institution and they are beyond mere monetary consideration.Ethos is intangible, yet it is the very essence of belonging. It is what draws people together in a common cause. It unites and in unity lies strength. In recent years our ethos has come under concerted attack by our enemies. They have been joined in this by morally bankrupt journalists and politicians, blinkered, unbalanced and cast adrift in a sea of subjective ‘political correctness’. These are people with no conscience, so embittered in their hatred of Rangers that they turn a blind eye when footballers, that many will see as role models, align themselves with terrorists and murderers. With enemies such as these we must be particularly careful to defend our culture and ethos.

If ethos is our soul then heritage is the physical embodiment of our club. It is the traditions, the history, the folklore, the trophies and the buildings. They have been earned and developed through the hard work and devotion of our predecessors and handed down from generation to generation over 140 years since we were formed by the Gallant Pioneers. We are the current custodians and it is heartening to note that we have stood firm against those vested interests who on the one hand profess that our history ended with the crimes of Craig Whyte, yet who still seek to re-write our history by contrived accusations based upon charges that have already been dismissed by a First Tier Tax Tribunal.

Since his takeover Charles Green has made great strides to repair much of the damage left by his immediate predecessors and for this I am, like most bears, extremely grateful. Sadly he is now risking his personal heritage to our club by promoting the rebranding of Ibrox, purely for commercial reasons. It is of concern that a commercial justification (if ever one could exist) for this has not been forthcoming. We are told that ‘some’ of the money raised by diminishing our heritage to future generations will be available to spend on the playing squad, yet we are also told that the overall levels of funding available for sporting purposes are to be constrained (quite rightly) to financially prudent levels. The suspicion must be that the vast majority of any monies raised by rebranding Ibrox will leave the club in the form of dividends to select investors. There is no basis to believe that this disregard for our heritage will significantly enhance the teams competitiveness either at home or abroad. In spite of his ‘everything is for sale’ pronouncement he has not indicated that spending on the squad will increase as a proportion of revenues if he succeeds in growing these. The prospect is that individuals get richer whilst the team treads water.

I have heard some bears express concern that if we allow Charles Green to sell naming rights that we will lose out to our enemies as they will immediately negotiate a better deal by leveraging their status in Europe and, temporarily, in a higher league. This is not a fear I share. What I fear is that they would consider the sums of money involved to be relatively trivial and deliberately choose to do nothing,

Think about that.

Mr Struth knew the importance of ethos, heritage and tradition. It resonates in one of his most famous quotes.

“To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”

We must strive to ensure Charles Green FULLY understands the significance of those words and that he does not allow us to become the generation that fails.