“We can’t speak for Mike Ashley. SD has a football priority going forward and affiliation with 5 different clubs: Oldham, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Rangers (was this correct?). Their model is taking over as many retail operations in football clubs and putting them ‘into the SD machine’ for ongoing retail revenues. I believe they can help Rangers sell more shirts overseas than we could ever have done on our own.”
(Derek Llambias : Rangers Fan Board Meeting Q & A Wednesday 11.02.2015)
The latest Rangers Fans Board Minutes have caused a particular furore, most notably Mr. Llambias’ opening comments where he savaged the Fans Board for their previous conduct and emphatically laid down the “Llambias Law” for the future. Which is quite peculiar considering he was entirely responsible for the previous failings – having provided the fans board with the wrong date for the EGM, and given them permission to go public with that date, Mr Llambias was “too busy” to make the effort to contact them in order to alert them to his previous mistake. It was the ultimate act of contempt towards a group of bears, giving of their own time, freely, to improve things for both club and support.
Mr Llambias won’t need repeat his previous warnings to Newcastle fans – we not only understand but can see for ourselves “Just how fecking horrible” he can be.
It’s a pity much of the focus and debate from aforesaid minutes centred on the publishing of a “not for minutes” comment by Barry Leach. The real gem is the response from Mr Llambias at the top of this article. It explains much of the motivation and expectation behind Sports Direct growing influence within our club. Rangers FC, “the most successful club in the world”, are now just another addition to the growing portfolio of football clubs acquired by Sports Direct for the purpose of printing money via shirt sales. We are now one of the cogs, along with several other clubs, in the conveyor belt which prints money for the “SD machine”.
With no disrespect intended to our fellow “cogs” perhaps we should cherish that title “the most successful club in the world” while we can, I have a suspicion it may not be that enduring under the Sports Direct regime, as none of our fellow “cogs” have a list of trophy honours comparable to ours. If the EGM does not rid our club of the Sports Direct influence, then we had better prepare ourselves for a considerable downsizing in ambition.
Contrary to those who would have you believe otherwise, Mike Ashley hasn’t caught “Rangersitis” nor has our beloved club managed to reveal a previously hidden altruistic side to his nature, his taking on the SFA over the ownership wrangle is not motivated by an inner desire to restore Rangers to former glory, it is quite simply to make money. And making money is something Mike Ashley is particularly good at. There is absolutely nothing wrong in cherishing a hope or a desire that despite his previous very public and less than wholesome business conduct, somehow and for some reason Ashley will treat Rangers differently. Perhaps the employees at USC thought the same.
Duff and Phelps again – these guys sure get around.
Of course the argument persists “that for Ashley to make money Rangers have to be successful”. Would any of you class Oldham, Sheffield Wednesday etc. as “successful”?
Furthermore given the nuts and bolts of the Rangers Retail deal, and its considerable bias towards Sports Direct, the requirements of that margin of success is not such a necessity as some would have you believe. Yes they need to sell shirts to make money – but they do that already with clubs whose ambition, expectations and success benchmarks are a lot less than what we have at Rangers.
The evidence is there staring you right in the face in the form of actions, statements and previous history.
I’m convinced the “SD machine” and its visions and expectations for our cub are entirely different from that which we as Rangers supporters harbour.
On the 4th March do the decent thing for our club and “rage against the machine”.