For those wondering there is no event of significance related to the opening title. I just felt it was a period of time which allowed for a review of events and responses concerning our football club i.e. what has happened and how have we as a club and support responded and adapted to such events. Furthermore, have actually learned from such events? Its perhaps worth mentioning that in this writer’s eyes knowledge is useless if you cannot make the necessary changes to respond to that knowledge and the challenges it may present.
In the midst of our crisis our support demonstrated a unity rarely seen in recent times. We focussed on a single goal – the survival of our club with all other distractions cast aside. But with the danger averted have we fallen back into our old fragmented ways ? I sometimes wonder if our “No Surrender” mentality is sometimes more of a hindrance than a help. I admire the no compromise default position of our Vanguard Bears towards the enemies of our club, but perhaps in the wider Rangers community, and towards our own whose opinion perhaps differs, perhaps seeking some kind of compromise would do our club no harm. A case in point would be our 2 fan ownership models – The RST and Rangers Unite – both trying to sell the alien concept of fan ownership to a Rangers support who for generations have been conditioned by a sugar daddy model of ownership. Can’t they at least find common enough ground to amalgamate into one body and increase the likelihood of success rather than fail to find compromise and be forever destined to wander in a wilderness as far away as ever from achieving their dream? The relationship, or often lack thereof, between our various Rangers online forums would be worthy of a book in itself.
(It is matter of considerable regret that this blog will not be posted on the Follow Follow forum. However I discovered recently the extent some will go to suppress opinion which does not fit in with their own and I cannot, sole in conscience, contribute to a website which stifles debate and discussion amongst Rangers supporters because it expresses a view some disagree with. Apologies to the many fine Bears on that forum)
Furthermore the latest bout of boardroom musical chairs at our club with factions within the Rangers support choosing sides, and as the recriminations continue. Rangers forums are awash with the latest tales from our varying factions or “The blogger wars”. Now I don’t know who is right or wrong in all of this but there is one thing I do know with absolute certainty – every minute they spend hurling accusations against each other is a minute the enemies of our club are granted a reprieve and allowed to slip away quietly under the radar.
The Scottish Press appears still, to be very unfavourable towards our club. You could be forgiven for thinking they had missed the three legal rulings which found in favour of our club. The fact that the evidence has been stolen in the tax case they have drooled and salivated over for some time, has barely raised a whisper. The individuals at our football authorities who have lied, usurped the most basic fundamental of our society, demonstrated considerable negligence and who were accused of being “corrupt” – remain in position, We have failed to make an impact on how our club is perceived in the press. The consequences of the fragmented nature of our support was confirmed to me when visiting one Rangers online forum to discover that in complete isolation they had organised a boycott of a certain newspaper. How much more impact would that boycott have had if it had been shared and honoured by the wider Rangers community ?
We seem also to have made little impact in the political arena, with the Rangers support still being deprived of answers due to Government authorities hiding behind poor and inadequate excuses and politicians failing to hold them accountable.
But we have to take some of that blame ourselves. We have failed to develop our ability to lobby politicians to organise effectively and in unison against the forces of the press and media. Its fine letting off steam on a Rangers forum but you are very much preaching to the converted. Martin Luther King didn’t change America and the wider world by convincing those who agreed with him – he did it by convincing those who didn’t agree with him.
But its not all doom and gloom. The Rangers Standard project celebrated its first anniversary recently – I hope its the first of many. In it’s time it has drawn criticism, and I would be the first to admit I have not agreed with every article which has been published on their site. But I really get what these guys are doing. When I was in the Marines I served in various theatres of war. In Norway I donned Arctic camouflage, in Northern Ireland I wore urban camouflage – in short I tailored my appearance for the battle environment. That’s exactly what these guys have done. They need to be seen to be beyond reproach and not be sidetracked by issues, nor leave themselves open to the malicious kind of lies we have seen the enemies of this club are more than capable of. They are out there challenging unfair and negative media representation levelled against our club and one only has to see via social media how they engage and at times leave certain individuals within the press, struggling to justify what they have written.
But this is not just a review – its a challenge. Because there are people out there in Rangers organisations, admin on forums, posters on forums, bloggers etc. who could help improve the situation by keeping the no surrender mentality for our enemies whilst adopting a more conciliatory attitude towards those, for whom like themselves – Rangers is their passion.