It is perhaps a Godsend that the behaviour of our online Rangers communities do not appear to impact or reflect on the ability of the Rangers support to “Follow Follow”. Thankfully the support which embarrassed, and continues to embarrass Scottish football with it’s attendance figures, which caught the imagination of the world with it’s steadfast devotion to a football club, appears to remain unaffected by the schisms within her online communities.
Whilst it undoubtedly raises a question of the significance of our online communities and how reflective they are of our support in general, I’m afraid the exploration of this subject must wait for another day as there are more pressing issues to concern ourselves with.
The emergence of the Sons of Struth campaigners gave rise to the question asked in the title thread. Through no fault of their own (in fact they deserve immense credit for how they have, with diplomatic aplomb, handled the minefield which is the fractured, divided and partisan inspired Rangers online community) their emergence has proved to be a “proving ground” for everything which is wrong with our online communities.
On the various websites which carried their threads, as well as on social media, sadly the usual battles, accusations and counter accusations came to the fore. It’s perhaps pertinent at this point we highlight the 3 main objectives of the Sons of Struth campaigners :-
- Keep the stadium in the club’s name to avoid Coventry situation
- Have clear accounts which prove the proper running of the club
- Have a board that keep the club off the front pages and who themselves are beyond reproach
If there is a bear anywhere in the world, never mind within the online Rangers community, who does not aspire to the 3 aforementioned objectives for our our club – them I am yet to meet them.
Sadly, despite the universal agreement with the above objectives, our online communities find the energy and time to fall out with each other – is it any small wonder our club is in the mess it is today, being raped and savaged by so called “businessmen” and the media ? We appear to be too concerned fighting amongst ourselves than fighting the battles we really need to be engaging in. Can the real enemies of our club really wait until tomorrow whilst we fight amongst ourselves
It manifests itself in whole Rangers communities being stereotyped into one particular box, often “evidenced” by a single post by an individual which, as if by magic, suddenly represents the views of hundreds, often thousands of other posters who may not even agree with the original cited post.
Personal animosity, historical feuds, bitternesses and hatred have all been done to death. Even the Rangers bloggers appear to have acquiesced to the hate fest, giving rise to what some have referred to as “The Blogger Wars”. At a time when hate filled individuals and even some of the mainstream media are determined to kill off our club – you would think our energies would be more productively spent tackling the enemies of our club.
Perhaps what is particularly sad in all this is that the Rangers online communities also represent what is best in our support. 90 minutes on a Saturday is not enough for us – quite simply we eat, sleep and breathe Rangers FC. That kind of devotion represents considerable and mammoth energy with potential – the potential to effect change for the better. It is however completely neutralised when it is spent focussing inwardly on the things which divide us rather than the issues which unite us.
If this online Rangers community is to fulfil its true destiny then it must change, because at the moment the schisms, historical feuds and bitternesses are holding us back from unleashing that potential on the real enemies of our club.
If the Sons of Struth campaigners achieve nothing else (and I sincerely hope that’s not the case) then educating the Rangers online community that there is real need for change, will be a considerable achievement in itself.