By the newspaper coverage of the past few weeks, it seems that Jim McColl and his fellow investors have mounted their trusty white chargers and rode down Edmiston Drive, like glorious and gallant heroes returning to liberate the Ibrox side from forces that they believe would destroy the club, its culture and its ‘Rangers’ identity.
McColl is the front man for the New Rangers Model Army, his fellow investors are his captains while a growing section of the Ranger support make up the cannon fodder used and abused when the need arises.
Inside Ibrox you have King Charles the Green, who has taken up residence initially as the kingdom’s saviour, but now his subjects have grown tired of his rhetoric and that of his captain of arms Imran Ahmad. Who can blame them.
However, just like the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745-46, families are split. One side supports the New Rangers Model Army, while the other supports King Charles. Then there are those caught up in the middle – those who sit on the fence and have to listen to both sides posturing and inevitably getting caught up in proceedings.The real battle is not at board room level, the real battle is that which is happening in the stands as fans split, factions arise and friends now turn to haters and abusers.
This is not some fantasy fairytale, it is life at Rangers Football Cub currently. A tale that has stretched three years and doesn’t look as though anyone associated with the club will live happily ever after, any time soon.
In recent weeks I have seen a growing trend among certain elements of the Rangers blogging community turn on their own as opinion and ideals get in the way of rational thinking. These so-called ‘real’ Rangers men and women have been subjecting – at least one Rangers blogger – to a vile campaign of hate, smears and abuse. Which has led to further hate-filled messages being posted on forums and the blogger’s specific site – with childish insult, racist remarks, wanting said person to kill themselves and even bringing the old sectarian card into play. Not my words, the blogger’s words.
These ‘real Rangers men and women’ have a book to flog, a book that Dr. Gerry Hassan has claimed, has ‘not addressed in any depth or convincing manner are any of the thorny and central questions of the whole [Rangers] saga’. A book that in my own opinion is nothing more than a propaganda tool – backed by and promoted by the club – to ‘out’ enemies of Rangers, re-write the history of several people who contributed to the piece and above all ignore the pivotal point – that it was no one else’s fault but Rangers Football Club.
But what do you expect from a group of individuals who have shifted their stance on Rangers regimes every time the wind blows. At the end of the Murray era – these ‘real Rangers folk’ attacked Murray for running up such a mountain of debt that was crippling the club – yet I doubt very much any of them were asking where the money was coming from during the nine-in-a-row years or during the Advocaat and McLeish era. Why is that? Because Rangers were winning titles and they didn’t care how it was financed as long as they beat rivals Celtic – at all cost.
When Whyte came on the scene, these ‘real Rangers folk’ demanded that Murray sell the club asap to Whyte – a man whose wealth was seemingly off the radar, a man who was a self-confessed Rangers supporter and who said he would spend this and spend that on players. These ‘real Rangers folk’ were hoodwinked not because of documentary evidence but by PR and propaganda rhetoric from Whyte’s camp ably assisted by Jack Irvine. And they fell for it hook, line and sinker – despite the mountains of evidence being published online and being ignored by the mainstream media – who were more interested in protecting their seat at the dinner table than actually doing their job and getting to the truth.
Those publishing the truth, the facts were attacked, abused and threatened – not because they were telling lies – but because what they were publishing was not what those ‘real Rangers folk’ wanted to hear and see. They had been brainwashed by the Whyte regime into believing everything that came out of his mouth or his spokesperson’s mouth was fact – even using the club’s media department to peddle his lies, his rhetoric and yet none of these ‘real Rangers folk’ have apologised to the Rangers family’ – merely saying they were hoodwinked also.
Some of these ‘real Rangers folk’ backed Whyte even after he put the club into administration and the real truth came out in the mainstream bout him. Yet they chose not to believe the increasing number of articles being written about him – why? Because those covering the story were not like them, they were not ‘real Rangers folk’. This period of blind faith and support for Whyte has been conveniently left out of this recent Rangers book that Gerry Hassan was discussing. Why? Because mud sticks and the truth of the support for Craig Whyte is a stain that will never come out – they have changed their clothes but that stain has marked their skin for life. They know, others know it – but a vast majority don’t know it , the majority that are easily swayed, manipulated and led like sheep.
These ‘real Rangers folk’ did not want the American businessman Bill Miller to buy the club – not because he was dodgy like Whyte, but that he was there to make a profit. He was there as he saw Rangers as an investment opportunity – the hate, the bile and the threats that this man received was disgusting to say the least with many of it bordering on racist rhetoric that the SDL and the EDL love to spout at their hate-filled rallies. We saw banners unfurled at Ibrox, we saw articles written telling him to keep his hands off of their club and after all this Miller made the decision to wash his hands of the whole episode – in part because he saw how bad a state the club was actually in, as well as the ‘welcome’ he received.
Cue the reception that Fergus McCann received when he rode into Glasgow town to save Celtic? Was he ‘welcomed’ in the same way? Was he treated in a racist manner for being a Canadian? There is no denying that McCann’s tenure at Celtic – five years in all – was filled with highs and lows – which included getting booed at unfurling the league championship flag. He stated from the outset that he was there with a short-term goal and to make a profit. The Celtic support saw him as saviour one minute and then the anti-christ the next. Looking back now the majority of Celtic fans see McCann as a god-send and rightly so, as he saved Celtic Football Club.
Miller could have been the right man for the job at Rangers – but we will never know as these ‘real Rangers folk knew better and they chose Charles Green. Well they didn’t have any other choice now did they? There were no ‘real Rangers folk’ ready to step into the breach to purchase the club assets from Duff & Phelps – the only ones who did step up to the mark were Green’s consortium. Only when the CVA was rejected, the club put into liquidation and with no creditors to pay off – did these honest, dignified and honourable ‘real Rangers folk’ come on the scene. Guys like McColl, King and Walter Smith – where were they in the clubs hour of need?
Watching on as the loyal Rangers fans they are.
Now that Green has raised his true image for all to see, after the honeymoon period and after seeing off the likes of John Brown and other ‘real Rangers folk’, Green was lauded by the support and ‘real Rangers folk’ for the way he ran a successful IPO [which is more or less gone now], the way he criticised and attacked those who attacked Rangers – deja vu or what? – anyone not blind to his rhetoric knew it was all done to worm his way into the Rangers support. A support who were willing to accept anyone in their hour of need – AFTER the threats of violence and death that Green received and later apologised for mentioning it.
Jump to present day and after the fall out of Green’s racist comment about Imran Ahmad, as well as several ‘real Rangers folk’ breaching the data protection act and then publishing an article based on said illegally gained information – Ahmad departed the club. Smith replaced Malcolm Murray as the ‘dirty war’ was in full flow at board room level and ‘real Rangers folk’ coming down on the side of Walter – a man who does not walk away – yet he walked away to Everton previously, quit and passed the managerial baton onto McCoist to deal with and at a time when the club’s board is at its most dysfunctional and in need of a captain to steer it off the rocks – Walter jumps ship when someone of his ilk should be there as a focal point as a leader, not as the person who bails out when the going gets tough.
At a time when the Rangers support needs to be strong, united and singing from the same hymn sheet – they are at loggerheads, factions are created, abuse and threats peddled towards their own – and that is before they turn their attentions to so-called obsessed outsiders.The McColl and Green camps are using the media to do their dirty work – utilising partisan journalists to write copy that will see them in a good light and the other camp as the villains, likewise bloggers are jumping onto the scene by producing articles that are now denouncing Green, the same bloggers who attacked qnyone who questioned the Yorkshireman’s motives from the outset. How times have changed . In short, the current Rangers farce is looking more and more like smear campaigns that are the norm in US Presidential elections.
It is no wonder that fans of other clubs are looking on with amusement at the goings-on at Rangers, while the Rangers fans and these ‘real Rangers folk’ fight among themselves. Is this the club and the support that claim to be dignified and honourable? They are certainly not acting like it at the moment.
So will these ‘real Rangers folk’ be up to the job? Are they now swarming around the board to get the club on the cheap when others have done all the hard work? With Jim Traynor, Walter Smith and others pointing towards McColl and his cabal as the way to go it is all far too convenient after 34,000 season tickets have been sold. Why not launch such a coup d’etat before?
Afraid that such goings on would damage the season ticket sales? Cash is king at Ibrox, whoever controls the purse strings, controls the club.