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Deal or No Deal? A Footballing Farce...


Frankie
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Now, I'm the first to express caution when it comes to believing what you read in the papers - not least when it is Graham Spiers writing about Rangers. Hyperbole, imbalance, mischief and trouble should accompany any by-line when this particular member of the broadsheet (I use the term loosely) fraternity dares to debate our club. However, in his article today, there appears to be a few direct quotes from our current chairman Alastair Johnston which suggests his commentary is, in this case, authentic and worth discussing.

Therefore, it isn't a surprise that the article in question has raised a few eyebrows while once again stirring the ever-simmering pot of ownership suspense at Rangers. Essentially, as many Rangers fans fear, it appears Mr Johnston is concerned about the uncertainty of the Andrew Ellis bid to buy the club. Indeed, reading between the lines, one would be forgiven for picturing Johnson speaking through gritted teeth over the likelihood of Ellis being the next owner of Rangers. Johnston may not be the judge but he's certainly part of the jury which has yet to be provided genuine evidence of a worthy bid for the club.

So who is the judge then and where are they?

The answer to that is initially easy to answer but, as usual, when it comes to the financial background of Rangers, slightly more difficult to put a finger on. Empirically speaking though, Sir David Murray remains the owner of Rangers as he's majority shareholder of the club and majority shareholder of MIH. Thus, he still makes key decisions for both organisations - albeit with an increasing say for the Lloyds Banking Group and with the guiding hand of turnaround specialist Donald Muir beside theirs on the tiller. Is it any wonder the direction seem to change daily?

Therefore when Alastair Johnston takes umbrage about Andrew Ellis not affording him the respect of a meeting to discuss all the above, Ellis can rightly point out Johnston's unimportant position in the food chain. To be fair to our existing chairman though, he is correct to ask why dialogue seems to frighten the Ellis camp. Indeed, every Rangers fan should be asking suitable questions of any bidder. All in all though, once more, there is nothing new in Spiers' article - doubt, cynicism, concern and suspicion are all facets of this issue which until it is resolved will continue to be prevalent; no matter our place in the Rangers family.

To that end, it isn't Johnston's concerns about the Ellis bid that worry me today but the fact our chairman is flying back off to the Land of the Free without making clear our budget and strategy for next season. At the Rangers Assembly meeting of last week, we were told a 'limited', improving budget was likely but we have had no official confirmation of this. During the same meeting the Assembly were asked to convey the message that season ticket monies were essential for club operations. Once again it appears our loyalty is the single most important financial investment into the club. And once again, it appears this call has been heeded with sales currently matching those of last year. So far so good!

Yet, despite this incredible loyalty and act of trust in people like Mr Johnston, his board of directors and Sir David Murray, we're no closer to solving this year-on-year challenge of self-funding. Unbelievably our legendary manager seems no closer to signing a new contract. Worryingly, we have several out-of-contract players about to leave on free transfers leaving our squad more depleted than ever before. Disappointingly, we have even more players whose contracts are running out next season but whose future seems equally uncertain. Frustratingly, we have no way of knowing if any further income will be used to improve our squad for next season. Annoyingly, we don't know if key players need to be sold (or want to leave). Interestingly, we have signed a few unknown young players but our youth system and scouting network appear disjointed and underfunded. Disgracefully, we have a tax 'query pending' which no-one seems to know what will cost us down the line. Laughably, we have an UEFA 'elite' class stadium with huge TV screens which dominant the arena but, erm, don't work.

Are we talking about the operations of the world's most successful domestic club or Fawlty Towers FC? Farcical doesn't begin to describe the status quo.

Now, while Alistair Johnston may be the chairman, it is unfair to suggest he is at fault for all the problems above. However, he is part of the problem as, like many others, he seems unable to provide a distinct path towards a brighter future for our club while asking for our money at the same time. Of course, that criticism should go above him to the very top as it can't be easy to work with your hands tied behind your back. What will it take then to stir Sir David Murray from his stupor? Certainly, continued calls for clarity and leadership from various parties go unanswered so where else can a doubting support go than to the custodian of the club.

Unfortunately for us, he seems to be too busy playing his own money games of which luck is determined by external parties. Has he opened all his boxes already or is the Banker laughing on the other side of the line? At what point do all these people stop making a mockery of Rangers and at what point does the unwavering commitment of the Rangers support get rewarded by treating us with respect instead of disdain?

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Good post again Frankie.

When I heard this on Radio Clyde sport this morning, my first thought was why could A.J. not just have made this statement on the Rangers web site rather than go through someone that he must know is disliked (to say the least) by most Rangers fans. It was in my opinion like rubbing salt into the wounds of the disapponting news he was giving to us the loyal fans who have paid in my case £576.00 for a new season ticket. It is time for the club/SDM to come clean to us on just what the hell is going on at Ibrox. If it is bad news then lets hear it and we will deal (or no deal) with it, the lack of clarity from anyone in a place of power in our club is deafening. :angry:

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Good post again Frankie.

When I heard this on Radio Clyde sport this morning, my first thought was why could A.J. not just have made this statement on the Rangers web site rather than go through someone that he must know is disliked (to say the least) by most Rangers fans. It was in my opinion like rubbing salt into the wounds of the disapponting news he was giving to us the loyal fans who have paid in my case £576.00 for a new season ticket. It is time for the club/SDM to come clean to us on just what the hell is going on at Ibrox. If it is bad news then lets hear it and we will deal (or no deal) with it, the lack of clarity from anyone in a place of power in our club is deafening. :angry:

Like you, I'm puzzled as to why Johnston would use a disliked and discredited journalist to convey this message but I guess doing so means his comments could be considered 'unofficial' opinions as opposed to 'official' input on the club website.

I suspect Johnston may be friendly with Spiers from the corduroy one's golf correspondent work in past years for The Herald which may have resulted in a chat about the situation. I'm also pretty sure Johnston will be as frustrated as the rest of us so perhaps he should use more 'official' means of raising awareness as opposed to going through the media.

The fact the club seem no closer to finding a strategy which can ensure our competitiveness really is strange considering we're all well aware of what is and isn't possible financially. Like I say, the situation is now ridiculous.

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Good post again Frankie.

When I heard this on Radio Clyde sport this morning, my first thought was why could A.J. not just have made this statement on the Rangers web site rather than go through someone that he must know is disliked (to say the least) by most Rangers fans. It was in my opinion like rubbing salt into the wounds of the disapponting news he was giving to us the loyal fans who have paid in my case £576.00 for a new season ticket. It is time for the club/SDM to come clean to us on just what the hell is going on at Ibrox. If it is bad news then lets hear it and we will deal (or no deal) with it, the lack of clarity from anyone in a place of power in our club is deafening. :angry:

Like you, I'm puzzled as to why Johnston would use a disliked and discredited journalist to convey this message but I guess doing so means his comments could be considered 'unofficial' opinions as opposed to 'official' input on the club website.

I suspect Johnston may be friendly with Spiers from the corduroy one's golf correspondent work in past years for The Herald which may have resulted in a chat about the situation. I'm also pretty sure Johnston will be as frustrated as the rest of us so perhaps he should use more 'official' means of raising awareness as opposed to going through the media.

The fact the club seem no closer to finding a strategy which can ensure our competitiveness really is strange considering we're all well aware of what is and isn't possible financially. Like I say, the situation is now ridiculous.

hit it on the head there frankie

either way AJ cant lose here

if this forces ellis' hand then he gets the credit, if it goes tits up, he washes all blame and paps it onto the most hated journalist known to gers fans

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To be honest Jim, I'm not particularly fussy what journalist Johnston uses.

I just want to know why it is taking so long to formulate our strategy for next season. Less talk more action is required. Same goes for Walter Smith and others involved.

:)

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To be honest Jim, I'm not particularly fussy what journalist Johnston uses.

I just want to know why it is taking so long to formulate our strategy for next season. Less talk more action is required. Same goes for Walter Smith and others involved.

:)

only 2 reasons i can think mate

reason 1 for the optimist

we dont want clubs thinking we have some cash to spend, else they slap pricetags like 3.5mill for lafferty type prices on our targets

reason 2 for the wristcutters on here

WE'RE FUCKING DDDDOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

:D

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Both scenarios are as probable as the other to happen although obviously most of us will favour #1 (or at least something in the middle which has been suggested by way of the £5million budget.

Unfortunately, that doesn't account for the inaction on the issue of the players and staff who are out of contract.

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Good post again Frankie.

When I heard this on Radio Clyde sport this morning, my first thought was why could A.J. not just have made this statement on the Rangers web site rather than go through someone that he must know is disliked (to say the least) by most Rangers fans. It was in my opinion like rubbing salt into the wounds of the disapponting news he was giving to us the loyal fans who have paid in my case £576.00 for a new season ticket. It is time for the club/SDM to come clean to us on just what the hell is going on at Ibrox. If it is bad news then lets hear it and we will deal (or no deal) with it, the lack of clarity from anyone in a place of power in our club is deafening. :angry:

Like you, I'm puzzled as to why Johnston would use a disliked and discredited journalist to convey this message but I guess doing so means his comments could be considered 'unofficial' opinions as opposed to 'official' input on the club website.

I suspect Johnston may be friendly with Spiers from the corduroy one's golf correspondent work in past years for The Herald which may have resulted in a chat about the situation. I'm also pretty sure Johnston will be as frustrated as the rest of us so perhaps he should use more 'official' means of raising awareness as opposed to going through the media.

The fact the club seem no closer to finding a strategy which can ensure our competitiveness really is strange considering we're all well aware of what is and isn't possible financially. Like I say, the situation is now ridiculous.

You are probably right about the 'unofficial' side of things, but it is just sooooooooooooooo annoying. No matter whatever happens 'we are the people' :)

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You are probably right about the 'unofficial' side of things, but it is just sooooooooooooooo annoying. No matter whatever happens 'we are the people' :)

Are 'we the people' though?

I agree the fans remain the most important part of the club in a financial sense. CL and player income is also vital but our season ticket revenue has been one certainty over the last 10 years since the SPL became a fiscal back-water. The reluctance of the club to explore ways of making our relationship more formal than emotional is a huge mistake in my opinion. Unfortunately, we've not helped out own credibility in that regard so are just as much to blame arguably. There is not much sign of change either. The fanbase can be part of the solution here but we need someone to buy into what we offer and also examine the way we take part ourselves.

What will it take to get us off this roller-coaster ride?

1. The existing board - most have contributed to where the club is as it stands so anyone expecting them to get us out of our ongoing problems could be waiting a long time.

2. The Ellis bid - we'll know very soon according to what his spokesman said in the ET today. His preference for privacy is interesting (and actually refreshing) but also disconcerting and unhelpful. His bluff has now been called though very publicly. Again, we could be waiting a long time.

All in all, no-one knows how deep the troughs may be but there appear to be more of them ahead than peaks. That alone should be precipitating change but personality clashes seem more agreeable to some than constructive action.

Annoyed doesn't begin to describe the way I'm feeling... :(

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We need an official statement from Rangers clarifying the present position, but it will all become clear once Ellis actually makes a bid or withdraws and more especially when Walter makes a decision to stay or go.

This should be done urgently as there is so much to do to get ready for next season and a tour of Australia too.

If WS leaves does the crisis suddenly get 10 times worse?

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We need an official statement from Rangers clarifying the present position, but it will all become clear once Ellis actually makes a bid or withdraws and more especially when Walter makes a decision to stay or go.

This should be done urgently as there is so much to do to get ready for next season and a tour of Australia too.

If WS leaves does the crisis suddenly get 10 times worse?

Smith leaving would lead to a huge loss of morale throughout the club and possibly lead to player departures - never mind increased supporter friction.

Of course Smith and McCoist will be on decent wages so we could replace them but what manager in their right mind would work without a contract like they do? OK, a few would take it on the off-chance of upping their profile but that hardly represents good value for supporters or career security for players.

The resignation of Walter Smith is a huge issue which would have ramifications for years. Which is probably why he hasn't done so already. Doesn't mean he's not excused for mischief-making though... ;)

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The only explanation I can see for the silence and contracts etc being "on hold" is that the club is waiting for something to happen. Whether that is the Ellis bid or somebody else I don't know, but I can't think of any other explanation for events.

It defies logic that Ellis would still be around if he wasn't interested. Likewise, I can't see why Walter would still be there as he must know by now how things will look next season without a buyer.

A lot of players seem to hanging fire on making decisions too.

Since these people must be a good bit in the know, I can see no other explanation for them all hanging about. Not to mention the daily plea from a Rangers player on "somebody" to hurry up and settle things.

I think AJ is trying to give it another push as clearly their talks with the bank haven't gone well, and next season looks bleak.

If we don't see a takeover, Walter will go and the whole house will come crashing down. Rangers running on a Falkirk budget just won't be stood for.

However, I remain optimistic and confident we will be bought over shortly, which will make all the speculation pointless.

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Great post Frankie, and you are spot on it is a farce.

The way our club have left us fans in the dark is a disgrace, the thing is how much longer do we sit back and continue to let them spoon feed us tit bit's.

I don't know whats worse, the state our club is in or the way we have just stood back and watch it unfold.

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You are probably right about the 'unofficial' side of things, but it is just sooooooooooooooo annoying. No matter whatever happens 'we are the people' :)

Are 'we the people' though?

I agree the fans remain the most important part of the club in a financial sense. CL and player income is also vital but our season ticket revenue has been one certainty over the last 10 years since the SPL became a fiscal back-water. The reluctance of the club to explore ways of making our relationship more formal than emotional is a huge mistake in my opinion. Unfortunately, we've not helped out own credibility in that regard so are just as much to blame arguably. There is not much sign of change either. The fanbase can be part of the solution here but we need someone to buy into what we offer and also examine the way we take part ourselves.

What will it take to get us off this roller-coaster ride?

1. The existing board - most have contributed to where the club is as it stands so anyone expecting them to get us out of our ongoing problems could be waiting a long time.

2. The Ellis bid - we'll know very soon according to what his spokesman said in the ET today. His preference for privacy is interesting (and actually refreshing) but also disconcerting and unhelpful. His bluff has now been called though very publicly. Again, we could be waiting a long time.

All in all, no-one knows how deep the troughs may be but there appear to be more of them ahead than peaks. That alone should be precipitating change but personality clashes seem more agreeable to some than constructive action.

Annoyed doesn't begin to describe the way I'm feeling... :(

You are probably right Frankie, in many ways 'we are NOT the people', I was just trying to lift my spirits after being very annoyed this morning. I was listening to the radio yesterday and a member of the Dun Utd 'trust' who is on the club board was speaking about the club appointing P.H. soon as full time mamager, and I thought how can they have someone representing the fans at board level and we cannot. From my point of view we should have a member of the assembly on our board, someone who most fans could trust whoever that might be.

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