Hearts & Minds

“Not the Rangers way” was the cry; as our previous boardroom turned our club into both a media circus and a laughing stock with their behaviour and antics. Leaks, accusation and counter accusation characterised this troubled period. For us, who as Rangers supporters, expect all connected with our club to behave to a certain standard, it was indeed a most unedifying sight to behold.

Whilst the “generals” in this battle certainly have not changed, both the battleground and the “support units” most certainly have, with Rangers bloggers entering into the fray as the theatre of war shifts from the tabloids to the internet. You know how the saying goes – “Hearts & Minds” – it would appear some believe ours are up for grabs to the most persuasive bidder. A considerable irony in all of this was that these same bloggers ravaged our old board for washing its dirty laundry in public. We appear to be missing both a goose and a gander.

“Tweet” sounds such an innocuous word, yet the tweets being exchanged via twitter are anything but that. Perhaps a 140 character barb would be a more apt description, as both sides, sadly appearing to have unlimited energy for the task, trade those barbs according to whichever faction they happen to be in. Particularly unsavoury were the attempts by either faction to claim the moral high ground by playing the race card against the enemy. The problem was there was no moral high ground to be claimed – both the comments of Charles Green and Jim McColl were in themselves particularly vulgar, with perhaps surprisingly the latter managing to outdo even Green in the vulgarity stakes.

The old adage that “truth is the first casualty of war” has certainly held true. In the midst of all this carnage is a support rightfully concerned about their club and looking for answers and information. For those of us who don’t have a source inside the club, or access to powerful players in this game we are all left totally bewildered by it all. With both sides being so deeply entrenched perhaps the casualty which is the truth has been lost from sight, obscured by a fog of egos, spin and recrimination. Along with truth, objectivity seems to also have fallen in the heat of battle.

Bloggers such as I, started writing to counter and challenge some of the media lies, imbalance, and, on occasion, downright harmful articles about our club. It was a war against lies and misinformation. We strived to give the Rangers support a different angle from the hateful one being taken by so many of Scotland’s press.

But in every war there is always collateral damage. Perhaps the lasting indictment of this conflict will be that the Rangers support will have to return to the Scottish press to glean objective, agenda free information, with regard to what is happening at our club.

Confessions of a fence sitting blogger

I have a confession. The last time our club was in crisis I backed Craig Whyte. Not backed because of information I had to hand – because there was insufficient available – but based on instinct…a hunch. I got it wrong big time. (Those who tell you “confession is good for the soul – are lying – for I feel no better for that confession) Post Whyte I vowed I would never make the same mistake again – hence why I have been sitting on the fence in the latest power play at Ibrox.

I felt that once again a sufficiency of information was unavailable to allow me to make a decision on something other than instinct. So while not keeping myself exactly quiet, I have refused to allow my support to be pledged to anyone. And it’s been an interesting, even at times amusing exercise.

The sight of my fellow blogger John DC Gow, who for terms of simplicity we will say is in the McColl camp, jokingly imploring Graham Spiers to write an article in praise of Charles Green – knowing that with his standing within the Rangers support, Spiers backing anyone would be the kiss of death had me in fits of laughter.

Then there was Jim McColl’s statement, which received the climax building drum roll, only to end up reminding me of a scene from the Wizard of Oz – the bit where the 4 intrepid adventurers reach the Emerald City pull back the curtains and disappointingly declare… “Is that it?”

Please don’t think these 2 examples are an expression of favouritism for the Green camp – I can assure you they are not, but for an old fence sitter like me they provided brief moments of amusement in an otherwise sad chapter.

My mother never used to swear. Ever. But she used the word “vulgar” as a substitute. In fact its use was almost ubiquitous. If someone was crass – my mother would say he was vulgar. If someone was arrogant – my mother would say he was vulgar. If someone demeaned and constantly belittled people – you guessed it – my mother would say he was vulgar. Every time I hear Charles Green speak – I’m reminded of my mother.

Sitting atop my fence I have watched fascinated as both sides exalted their champions. I realised quite quickly that I was comfortable in my neutral position – when people are citing blogs they ridiculed only yesterday, or newspapers which were previously accused of anti-Rangers bias to champion their particular cause then you quickly realise that neither side has a sufficiency of information to deliver a knock out blow.

But it’s time for us to leave the light heartedness behind and become very solemn. Because 3 sources have suggested that our club are on a fast track to a financial abyss. And we as a support have no way of determining whether these allegations are factual or erroneous. Something of a deja vu moment.

People keep telling the Rangers support to be “vigilant”with regard to their club. But how can you be vigilant when you are excluded from the very processes and information which would allow you to maintain any semblance of vigilance ?

I’m not going to say “this has to change”. Because it wont. We have to force this change by whatever means necessary – no matter who has control of our club by the end of, what I suspect may be a very long game of poker. Perhaps the necessary militancy involved in achieving this may seem unpalatable to some.

But for me nothing can more unpalatable than our support, the life blood of this club, its very heart and soul, frantically thrashing around in the dark searching for answers to ensure her survival and well being.