Lifted from DoTheBouncy:
The Case for No
–POSTED ON MARCH 23, 2016POSTED IN:MEMBER'S ARTICLES
Rangers First membears are to vote on the biggest decision in its short history. Whether to remain wholly independent or to join other groups as part of Club 1872 CIC. The rationale is that by joining together into one group it would have a greater voice within the club and with the Scottish media should the new group wish to express an opinion.
It also proposes, with members of the new groups consent, to directly fund Rangers through capital projects etc. On the face of its an idea that isn’t without appeal to the majority of Rangers supporters. The rather optimistic projections of new membership surges also make the proposal sound like another decent reason to vote yes to the proposal.
As with most things in life the devils in the detail.
First there’s the fact that the democratically elected Rangers First board, along with their RST counterparts, will cease to exist and be phased out. A new elected board would oversee ALL aspects of the new CIC while RF and RST without any directly elected boards would remain but as subsidiaries with no input whatsoever as independent groups. RF would be the sole share buying entity ( though how this can be legally achieved given many RST members own Buy Rangers shares which are effectively shares in the RST and not RIFC and which can be surrendered and monies refunded to the holder). In the new group the RST would act as spokesmen/women for Club 1872. Both these aspects have cause me great concern but not as much concern as the influence the current RIFC board have over the proposed group. If the endorsement of the club is so potentially important then the question needs asked why haven’t they openly supported RF the way other clubs have done with their share buying groups ? RF went as far as offering RIFC an interest, security free loan which the club not only knew about but were active in developing only to have it ungraciously declined because it came from RF and not the new proposed group. It should be noted that I felt this offer was not in the best interest of RF membears so strongly I resigned rather than have ant part of it.
RIFC have literally project managed the set up of this group while at the same time taking the official line that it is independent from RIFC. The proposal was formulated by Chris Graham , former RIFC director, and James Blair RIFC company secretary and aided by Richard Atkinson.
While there are some fans who have issues with Dave King or the other directors of RIFC I am most certainly not one of them. I think the current board have done remarkably well given the absolute shambles they inherited and will have to deal with for the foreseeable future. My issue is that giving so much control or influence to any RFC board is inherently dangerous no matter how philanthropic they are or seem to be. Many thought Craig Whyte and Charles Green were good guys so much so one was given an honorary life membership of a fan group. Can you imagine what could happen if another Charles Green, Craig Whyte or god forbid Mike Ashley became the leading shareholder with the new group at their command ? No one lives forever and even the most ardent supporter of the proposal must recognise that RIFC is still vulnerable to hostile investors now and in the future. RF was set up to secure the long term future of Rangers Football Club for generations of Rangers fans to come to protect Rangers from these very people.
The spin being put out, no doubt ably supported by professionals, talks of fan unity and bringing the fans together under one group. I believe RF have already done that with membears from RST, VB, UB, TBO, SOS, RSA and many who are members of no groups already working together to safeguard the future of THEIR club while remaining independent to express their POV through their individual groups.
Rangers First works, it owns 3.52% of RIFC stock and is the 8th largest shareholder with funds at its disposal that could take it to 5th. Before anyone says there are no shares available RF were offered 1.2mil well within our price range in Oct/Nov 2015. These were declined on the advice of James Blair and no investigation into their owner or any conditional offer was made. There will be shares out there for sale if RF are prepared to make offers on them. That said it was and should remain RF’s policy to buy direct from RIFC is available and in the past we have not only taken our full allocation but increased our % while directly funding the club. RF recruitment has stalled and to a degree declined in no small part due to the time spent on this fan group but the very support the new group is saying will come from the club could have the same effect in restarting growth in RF again if forthcoming. This along with the mostly new board could offer RF a brighter future.
If its not broke but could be better then improve it don’t ditch it