Club 1872 Election

My first ever column for the inaugural issue of WATP magazine was an article criticising Alistair Johnston and his calls for Rangers supporters to “police” and remain vigilant with regard to new owner Craig Whyte. There is nothing wrong with fans exercising vigilance, in fact I wholeheartedly support such a notion, the problem was that Johnston had been part of a board who had failed to give the support any measure, means or method of exercising any type of effective vigilance. In short he was asking us to perform a role he and others had failed to equip us for.

The events and the aftermath of February 2012 will live with all of us forever. Even now several years on, it is hard to express in words the feelings and emotion of that time. The nights, where sleep was impossible just seemed to go on and on, accompanied by all night vigils glued to both television and internet searching for a glimmer of hope amidst a sea of all consuming darkness. One feeling towers above all – the feeling of being utterly powerless. We owe it to our club, ourselves, our children & our children’s children to never be in a position where we as a support feel powerless again.

I have been blogging and writing about Rangers online and in printed media for nigh on 23 years now but have never felt the necessity to stand for any of the various groups or fans organisations, predominantly as I felt it would be impossible to be objective writing about an organisation of which I was a member. I hope the fact that I intend to deviate from the norm to stand for the Board Club 1872 affords you a measure how important and vital I view this organisation for the future – irrespective of whether I am successful or not. We have a blank canvas to shape, mould and ensure this body becomes the supporter’s organisation which our support deserves.

Club 1872 needs to fulfil its initial aims and visions of being the independent body which speaks on behalf of the whole Rangers support, which has at its disposal the means of exercising effective vigilance not just in respect of this board but successive boards in the future. This is the legacy we must leave for our children – that the protocols and processes in place are not just tokenisms but allow us as fans to have complete and absolute confidence our club is being run correctly.

It will come as no surprise to any of you who read this blog regularly the importance to which I attach a robust defence of this club and support. Dignified silence was not only utter folly, it was a complete abdication of a responsibility clearly laid out years ago by John Allan.

“May all who look upon the old club with a friendly eye stand prepared, by precept and example, to protect it’s interests and it’s good name”

It is time for us to stand prepared and let our voice be heard.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the best to my fellow candidates.


Rangers Forever


Iain Leiper (D’Artagnan)

The mighty gavel of IPSO

Like a mighty gavel thundering down on the bench, the IPSO ruling on the Daily Record story produced by journalist Jane Hamilton was as powerful as it was damning. For those who have not yet seen it in full it can be found here:

Perhaps of particular significance is the very detailed “Remedial Action” which IPSO attached to their findings and which subsequently appeared in the Daily Record. I will leave you all to draw your own conclusions on that one.

The entailment of the findings, and any disciplinary action deemed necessary by either the Daily Record or Police Scotland, will of course rest with organisations which both our club and support have little or no influence. And it’s at this point I would stress caution.

Perhaps some of you will remember the fabrication of a story in respect of another group of Rangers supporters – Vanguard Bears – and on this occasion also IPSO were involved and ruled in favour of the complaint raised.

The same Neil McKay is now The Editor of the Sunday Herald – it seems this breach of editorial guidelines did his career no harm whatsoever.

If these series of events has not convinced you that our club needs a powerful, effective supporters organisation capable of responding to slurs against either our club or support – then frankly I don’t know what will. What a lot of you won’t know however is that following the publication of the Hamilton story elements of the Club 1872 working group were working tirelessly in the background building an irrefutable case proving, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Hamilton’s story was total fabrication. And I know this because I was contacted personally and was able to furnish them with some details to further their objective.

One is left to ponder if the same tawdry procedures, failure to adhere to normal editorial guidelines, and other failings highlighted by IPSO would have been present had this been any other group or collection of people other than Rangers supporters.

No-one needs told what the potential consequences were of this fabricated story and the impact they could have had on retrospective investigations into the Cup Final aftermath. The seriousness of this matter, the attempts to lay blame with the Rangers support for the failing of others, should guide our board into an appropriate response, considering all the circumstances, to the newspaper in question.

The back of the camel is already broken – this incident should prove to be the final straw.