“The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old.
Rebellion, rapine hate
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate”
I don’t think regular readers of this blog would describe me as what the media refer to as a “pop-pom cheerleader” of the various factions vying for control of our club. I’ve never seen the attraction nor sense of writing a blog to further the endeavours of rich businessmen who can afford their own PR machines.
I’ve been highly critical of Dave King’s strategy to gain control of our club, and I stand by such criticism to this day. When I wrote my open letter to him, I envisaged King riding in like the 7th cavalry, scooping up shares to gain control of our club. Thereby uniting a fractured support, and thus enabling us to get behind our club where together we could build a stable future for her. What we got of course was something completely different which has only served to exacerbate such fractures.
Furthermore, contrary to some reports, Mike Ashley is not the devil incarnate. He is a powerful, ruthless and opportunistic businessman who appears to maximise to his full potential, the misfortune and weakness of others. Sentiment does not appear to come into it – just ask the employees of USC.
Alarmingly, our football club appears to be the latest victim of Mr Ashley’s growing business empire and he has been assisted in this to the full by a thoroughly incompetent, self-serving and shambolic Rangers board. Having comprehensively failed to balance the housekeeping budget they have then compounded the problem by rejecting all offers of outside investment thus leaving our club on the equivalent of a life support machine – relying on short term cash infusions where only the good grace and will of the donors prevented us from going under, as this shambles of a board failed to meet the repayments within the agreed time period.
While the Man who would be King issued sound bite statements to the press, Ashley continued to increase his powerbase within our club, but of course every power grab carried a considerable financial caveat. Our retail, our historical assets, even our very trademark were considered fair game. Where there were dissenting voices within our boardroom, people who dared to highlight that such deals were not in the best interests of our club – Ashley eradicated them. Messrs Wallace, Nash & Crighton – RIP.
A number of leaked e-mails demonstrated that the remnants of the Rangers board appeared to be more concerned about preserving their places on the board rather than pursuing the best financial deal for the club.
Further confirmation of this was provided courtesy of Colin Kingsnorth of Laxey, who clearly felt it was appropriate to call time on this acquiescing of power to the Ashley Empire.
The consequence of course, is that we now have a Rangers board dominated by Ashley men. These are the same men who control the destiny of our retail, our historical assets (with the exception of Ibrox – for now) our very trademark. I will ask you a simple question.
When it comes to a crucial vote in our boardroom whose interests will these men move to protect – Rangers or Sports Direct?
The situation is beyond dire but it is still salvageable. Dave King has called for an EGM which will present us with the opportunity to replace the current board. I’m not being melodramatic when I say the destiny and future of our club is in the hand of shareholders.
Furthermore I will not mislead you. I’m convinced Dave King does not have the financial muscle which the Ashley Empire has at its disposal. If we vote to remove the current board and replace it with a Dave King one, I believe our club will be on its knees for a longer period.
But I’d much rather be on my knees under my own strength, striving and aspiring to restore this club to its former glory with every part of the body working together to achieve that aim, than be on my knees bended in servitude and reliant on the quick fix solutions of others at a cost which threaten to take away my very soul, my very heritage and my identity,
What answer from the North?
A resounding “Thanks, but No thanks Mr Ashley”