For There’s Not A Team Called The Glasgow Rangers –Might JUST Be The Answer

Another day breaks icy cold and slippery sloped before a ‘vital’ SPL encounter with Hibernian at Ibrox.

Normally, a Saturday 3pm fixture resulted in the excitement of waking up, eating your breakfast – unhealthily fried- and reading the paper for any team news for the day ahead. There wasn’t a day went by that some footballing controversy wasn’t in the papers, usually irrelevant but not to those of the opposite persuasion  outraged as they flicked from the back page headline to the no doubt Heinz blotched page where the story unfurled.

Those days are gone.

There is often a need to romanticise football in Scotland, the World in fact. Nostalgia plays a large part as even the most mundane of characters wax lyrical about the goal they witnessed the previous week, such guile, such craft.

Those days are gone.

Today football is a minefield of politics, economics and powerful lawman ship just to negotiate your way through the waves of woe and financial incrimination.

The problem is widespread. In England, we have over £1Billion being pumped in by Sky TV to finance the English Premiership – the self-proclaimed ‘Best league in the world’. A rather fetching title – one that hardly fits the product at times. With the exception of perhaps Arsenal, the remaining teams in the division are either crippled by debt, paying out far more cash than they bring in or owned by megalomaniac billionaires that use the club as a real life ‘Football manager’ – throwing in endless amounts of their own cash to finance their own ego. When things are going well – no one asks the questions. Chelsea, Man City – two clubs financed by such lavish wealth yet not once has the general public or English media raised the question: What if they just walked away?

Of course, physically walking away from ownership of a company is not particularly easy, then again – if you live in the Middle East or Russia perhaps it may just be. The more appropriate question is: What if they just stop pumping in their cash? Even with TV revenue and other sponsorship/season ticket money – neither of those clubs could afford to maintain paying the wage budgets that they currently do. It is financially impossible. Unless yet another rich businessperson decides to talk over the club then the club is on the road to abominable ruin.

The other clubs, the Bolton’s of this world – they are living on the cusp of a wave. Reliant almost entirely on large TV deals to finance their existence.

Many of such clubs could perhaps, just for once, poke their eyes north and take one look at Rangers Football Club.

In a different way, Glasgow Rangers have lived out with their own means to finance the success that the club naturally have had in the past twenty years.

At first, and arguably their most successful period this was funded by the millions of Sir David Murray. Not unlike the Man City model he self-financed the club. To the tune of millions. Nothing wrong with that….it’s lucky or at the period of time it is. In later years, and through a not quite as successful period the club attempted to chase its tail: it allegedly decided to partake in tax avoidance to fund their lucrative deals for, some may argue, substandard foreign imports.

A nice sum up of the case is available here, as there is no point me covering ground already well covered by others….I am not the cooncil.

The outcome is where we are today, a club with an undecided future. The entanglement of creditors, potential creditors and legal enwranglment is a headache to most in the profession let alone the everyday fan. Let’s remember, it is the fan that will ultimately suffer in such circumstances. For many, their club is their life. The bragging rights, the celebration the euphoria. Football is such an important part of people’s lives, no matter if they support the Old Firm, Barcelona or Partick Thistle. Football affects people.

The everyday fan has religiously paid their season ticket cash, up front – to their club for many years on blind faith. Many of them making other sacrifices in order to feed their addiction. In such a circumstance it is hard not to sympathise for people whom, through no fault of their own, now need to try and comprehend the legal minefield that their club is involved in. Why? Because if they don’t then the everyday workings of their club become a complete mystery to them. Especially those that are only old enough to remember the glory days of past.

As a fan, I understand the history of the club. I understand the need and the desire to hold on to that. As someone that understands law, business and the current situation facing the club – I beg to differ.

Personally, I fear the worst from the impending Tax Tribunal. On the other hand I find myself ‘hoping’ for the worst. WHY? Well, because, if Rangers are faced with a crippling debt, completely unmanageable then inevitably the club will be dissolved. All assets sold and all reliabilities gone, forever. That is the beauty of limited business.

I struggle to find even ONE fan to agree with me on the matter, but for me it makes sense.  A new club, Rangers by colour, Rangers by Geography, Rangers by nature. But with a more realistic approach. Let’s not pretend otherwise, any new Rangers would command the brand loyalty of the current team. Whilst Celtic exists in Scottish football there will always be a need and a desire for a Glasgow/South-Side/Lanarkshire/Scottish….Rangers.

There is no stopping the club playing at Ibrox, after all who is going to realistically buy the stadia in such times of austerity. If Craig Whyte has his in his plans then the only realistic bidder for the stadium and surrounding area would be himself. Remember Ibrox, or the front of such is a listen building, so any plans for re-development would be rather more difficult than simply wiping the land. Also, Ibrox is based in…let’s just say….not the most desirable area of Glasgow and development I would not imagine on the forefront of any potential buyers plans.

The players – well….are any of them really a massive loss? A new Rangers would need to be financially manageable – with a good, sensible wage budget. I’m not sure than any of the current crop, on their large salaries would fit the mould so to speak.

The ideal would be, with the large amount of season ticket holders Rangers would invariably maintain, coupled with other sponsorship and commercial interests the club should still be able to attract and pay players to not just compete, but easily dominate the rest of Scottish Football with the obvious exception of Celtic.

As things stand, steps back are going to be taken anyway no matter what. Would it not be better to take a step back with a clean balance sheet then move forward fighting the quicksand of survival for what? Five stars above your shirt?

Not in my book.

All of Rangers current problems are related to their finance, both on and off the field.

The shouts from the stands are the same every week, “X isn’t giving 100%, and we need a new winger/defender/striker”.

In the past week there have been approximately 10 trialists at Rangers. Whilst I do not condone the panic signing of someone that is rubbish my fear is that, even if Rangers were o unearth a gem there would be no further signings. Trialists leaving after a day? Of course they are, they come to Scotland and find out the possibilities of Rangers and steer well clear. Who wants to sign for a club where an 18month contract could be terminated after only 3 months? No one.

The sad fact is I do not think Rangers would have the cash to offer a deal at present anyway. The trialists are to show or to front to the majority of supporters that it is business as usual at Ibrox and we are just being unlucky in our quest. I doubt this very much. To me, it is an attempt to paper over the cracks and barge the door before the inevitable. Survive another day without backlash.

The current crop of players, are they shirking their responsibilities? I wouldn’t say so. I would say you have a team of players that are living in fear. Davis, Edu – the rest of the squad. One serious injury for them with the prospect of no contractual security could mean a long time without a club and therefore wage-packet. Whilst I fully appreciate that those guys probably won’t struggle short term with their finances they will still want to maintain a playing career at a reasonable level. It’s very hard to catch the bandwagon the further away it gets, and an injury may just do that for you.

Of course they are half hearted; it’s more a case of self- preservation than desire.

Jelavic has a virus? I somehow doubt that personally, I would say it is more a case of Jelavic needs to be sold before the deadline on Tuesday and no chances can be taken regarding his fitness before then.

The truth is, or more to the point –my fear is; that failure to sell Jelavic for cash before the January deadline could result in the catalyst for Rangers demise.

It is with a heavy heart that I raise the entire above subject, but with an acceptance that it is the most advisable way forward. Yes, I over simplify the process of restarting the club but as simplified as it may be – it’s still the final outcome.

Division 3, no Europe for 3 seasons minimum, so what? It is a small price to pay for a lifelong membership of following your team and your dreams.

But Celtic will win everything? So what, it’s happened before with Rangers there and it will happen again. Celtic can only defeat what is in front of them and more power to them if they enjoy a period of success. After all, their club seems to be financially stable and with a loyal fan base: good luck to them.

In an ironic twist of words to the Rangers support, our time will come…again. It’s about patience, perhaps this time though we will do it without crippling our very being. The club, and its support – could only be strong for it.

I doubt many will agree…….

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8 Comments on “For There’s Not A Team Called The Glasgow Rangers –Might JUST Be The Answer”

  1. Eddie Rice Says:

    I came across your blog by accident and I have to admit that I would never have thought that I could ever like a Rangers fans blog. Being a Celtic fan I tend to seek out the thoughts of “my own kind” when it comes to football and the misfortunes of RFC.
    You deserve great credit for the story you’re telling and I hope your fellow fans are taking note of what is about to befall their club.


  2. Your points are pertinent & you put the case well.

    I think the worst thing that could happen, if all we read is true, is a cobbled together rescue package which allows Rangers to stagger on & raises the hackles of of other teams supporters because of “special treatment” to Rangers & a continuance of the” we arra Peepel & YOU can’t do without us” attitude

    I watched the Celtic v Falkirk game today & for me that is the way forward, not only for Rangers, but for the rest of Scottish Football.

    Falkirk were great, mostly Scottish & AFFORDABLE, Elvis has & is doing a great job there.

    I agree, a 3rd Division restart, slate wiped clean, affordable Scottish talent & rebuild, living within your means.

    It may benefit the REST of the SPL also because it has been pointed out by several people, elsewhere, that before the phoney money days, Aberdeen & Dundee United were strong as were Hearts, maybe those days of locally developed talent will come again.

    Perhaps three years would also allow teams like that to get onto a better financial footing, cut costs etc, this in turn could lead to cheaper season tickets & a resurgence because Scottish Football IS dying slowly at the present time .

    I also fear that Any unfair deal, should Rangers lose the FTT, could lead to a hastening of the game’s demise, if other supporters chuck it, en masse, in disgust at such one sided treatment.

  3. Gwared Says:

    Thank the Lord we now have a common sense approach to the Rangers problem from a Rangers Fan. It’s very easy for us over on RTC to have a snigger but I congratulate you on you efforts.
    Hopefully you will be able to raise awareness among the rank and file as they just accuse us of scaremongering understandbly enough. When I raise it in my Local which is more Rangers than anything else I get met with a blank refusal to even contemplate what I consider to be inevitable.
    With a wee bit o luck we will all be able to turn the clock’s back to a time of financial probity. Please please start asking questions of Traynor and his cronies because they have quite deliberatley deceived the Fans by hiding the Story and the fact it has been brought out on the Internet is nothing short of shameful.

    • Nancy Says:

      i'm pterty sure i would buy some new walking shoes, i've had mine about 6 years already, haha. and maybe some new reefs also, i love my sandals.


  4. I don’t like to dance around a situation, nor do i like to pretend that something isn’t happening just to make myself feel better.

    Business is business, the sad thing is that so many people (from all clubs) are fascinated with football to an extend they completely forget that football is exactly that, a business. In such a format it is open to the same manipulations as other business, the same loopholes and the same penalties. Brand loyalty or not -if a club is bust it is bust – end of story.

    Personally, as is evident i don’t see any shame in going bust, using the rules to your advantage and starting a fresh. Others are either A) far to proud or b) registered stupid to see this. I see this whole tax scenario as an OPPORTUNITY for Rangers rather than a major set back. Short term yes, you won’t win anything but really….that could happen anyway.

    What people also need to remember though is that this works both ways.

    As for the RTC blog. I have read it a few times, i have also tried to contribute on numerous occasions only to find my views not wanted. I would understand that if i was,as i can only imagine, like the others with their ‘leave my poor club alone’ or ‘fuck off ya timmy’ or ‘leave poor big cuddly rangers alone’ talk. If you read enough of my blog i am FAR from that persuasion. In fact, if anything i back up the vast majority of what the RTC blog says – however, at times i have taken exception to small details that are 100% accurate but the reasoning or potential reasoning for such has been, not twisted, but presumed in a way that it could easily mislead the casual reader into believing something that isn’t factually correct. At this point i would say that this is not particularly the blogs fault rather that of the over assuming reader.I continue to read it at times. It started off with some brilliant information and explained it reasonably well to the general public – recently….i’m not so sure.The general material understandably dried up and i’m not quite sure what direction the blog went in…..a significant level of personal agenda and gripes involved. (and by this i don’t mean against Rangers)

    I would like to guage ideas from other places at times but i simply do not care anymore- so i decided to write some stuff on the whole situation myself, between being publically berated on Kerrydale street as a ‘bigot’ and ‘making up stuff’ when this blog was first started – strange considering – to followfollow.com – where i am 100% banned for….well….this blog.

    Fair to say i have given up on just about every degenerate football fan out there.

    However, thanks for the comments…..i am sure, like myself, you are all interested in the case and Scottish Football. I have a few blogs written on your own club floating about. All comments appreciated.

    enjoy.


    • Sorry, i havn’t done that justice there. The RTC blog is a great blog – certainly not having a go at it. Would hate anyone to think that because i sometimes raise reservations about certain content it doesn’t mean i don’t appreciate it as a whole.

  5. Ricardo Beresford Says:

    A very measured article, I believe that your frank and honest perspective should be shared among your fellow Rangers supporters. If the same candour had been displayed in the media then both Rangers and their support would in a far better place today. I agree that after a short spell in the lower divisions and a european holiday, Rangers will rejoin a more financially realistic SPL on an equal footing. Celtic and Rangers supports should realise that increasingly they are being exploited for financial gain gain by the very institutions they adore. The current woes of Rangers are an explicit demonstration of the lengths these guys will go to in order to take your money. If the footballing or financial press had been a bit more forensic in their examination of Mr Whyte, at the timeof his takeover, today’s story could have been different.

  6. Kalyani Says:

    and done, the one thing im sure we all most detfniiely agree on is the despicable recent over the line hatred IS sectarian and the guilty parties should be locked up for good.


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