During the last 25 years or so , as either a member of various Rangers forums, a shareholder at AGM, supporters groups organisations or latterly as a director of Club 1872,, I have witnessed Rangers supporters attempt to hold various power brokers on a succession of Rangers boards, to account.
Whether it was Murray, Whyte, Green or the current incumbents, there was always a common denominator – such an interrogative process always took roughly the same format – a series of well designed and researched questions to which the interviewee would respond with a series of answers. In terms of establishing the truth it is a pretty flawed format, particularly without access to some of the processes or information which would allow us to determine the veracity and integrity of the answers provided. As passionate and concerned football fans trying to gain insight into how their club is being run this flawed process adopted by Rangers fans is probably no different from that adopted by concerned fans of other clubs the length and breadth of the country.
There is one critical difference however which is a game changer – Rangers fans are not just concerned and passionate supporters – they are the second largest shareholder in the club via the Community Interest Company, Club 1872. This is both a relatively new and unique situation and one which all parties involved need to take time to re-assess and consider. Fans have bought into the concept in order to both protect the club and have a real say in its direction – that is not achieved by the flawed and ineffective question and answer processes aforementioned. Nor is it achieved by Club 1872 directors taking members concerns to Stewart Robertson on a regular basis. Perhaps when those concerns become tabled motions requiring a boardroom vote then we will be heading on the right direction.
Last week, along with other Club 1872 members I was asked to cast votes in respect of the forthcoming AGM. Such a request came at the conclusion of one of the most shambolic managerial appointments in the history of our club and one which had both sporting and financial ramifications. One or more of the names in front of me vying for re-election to the board, was responsible for this shambles, but exactly who I did not know. As those responsible had neither the honour to tender their resignations for such a serious error of judgement, nor were the rest of the board committed enough to previous pledges and assurances regarding transparency, I was as a consequence completely deprived of the necessary information required to allow me to make an informed choice to both protect and safeguard my club.
Furthermore, such a catalogue of failings as described aforesaid meant that I could be actually endorsing and enabling the directors responsible for this recruiting disaster aforementioned, ironically at a time when the club are going through the recruiting process once again. Faced with such a dilemma and set of circumstances, I came to realise I was unable to satisfy the obligation to protect and safeguard the club. In essence, in its current format, Club 1872 is just not working. That is not a criticism of either the concept nor the current directors, but it is, most certainly, a criticism of the current Rangers board.
They have failed to acknowledge Club 1872 as either an equal or significant partner in matters concerning the club
Their method of engagement with this new power base has not evolved, relying on draconian question and answers sessions as a means of “positive engagement”
The tragedy is that in such a comprehensive failing the Rangers board have collectively negated Club 1872’s mission statement of protecting and safeguarding the club. You cant safeguard a club with question and answers sessions – some of us have learnt the lessons the hard way.
The whole relationship between the club and Club 1872 needs to be re-established, re-assessed, and within the club itself, there needs to be a considerable degree of realisation that there is a new power broker at the table. How the club accommodates this newly established seat of power will be both interesting and challenging. Club 1872 based on its % shareholding merits a seat on the board of the club, whether that will be truly effective in allowing it to fulfil its remit of safeguarding and protecting the club remains to be seen. This will be a considerable pioneering undertaking for all involved, but it as an essential journey which both the club and Club 1872 must embark upon in order that the latter can serve its purpose and obligation of protecting the former. The current status quo offers a situation which is neither effective or tenable.
Whatever is decided upon one thing is abundantly clear – we as fans, with a considerable balance of power at our backs, will no longer be satisfied with token and ineffectual question and answer sessions. This new balance of power needs to be accommodated within the club structure in such a way that it can fulfil its remit of truly protecting and safeguarding the club.
In essence we no longer deserve better, we now have the power to insist upon it.