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A New RST?


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I have spent the greater part of the past two – maybe three days in an attempt to understand thepolitics of the whole RST / FF / RM/ GNF / VB issue. I must admit that throughout my lifetime I have been a distant (geographically) but very enthusiastic supporter, and never in touch with the mainstream supporters groups, although I was instrumental in the formation and early organisation of one such SC in my local area. I have been a member of FF since 2006, joining because I had time on my hands in my camp rooms, and it was the one forum that I knew about – and for no other reason. I may just as easily have joined any other forum and enjoyed it as much….it’s just the way I went. My 700 odd messages in that period have mostly been in the last year. I will state that I know personally only one other FF poster, and we have never discussed FF in conversation, so I cannot be regarded as part of any clique, and I have no similar aims to anyone as far as I am aware – I’m just me. No-one set me up to this – I’m just getting frustrated with the lack of progress the RST are making with their agenda. I wholly support the visions of the RST and have been a member for the past two years, building up a humble monthly sum for the RST to invest on my behalf when the opportunity looks a bit brighter. So, that’s me in a nutshell – I’m not brave enough yet to give my name away, and I don’t intend writing a book :D .

In the past three days, just to try to get a view from outside of FF I have joined Rangers Media and GersNetForums and have read their threads regarding the subject and yes, at times I do detect a feeling of animosity toward FF and their close relationship with the RST – and possibly because of their closer relationship with the RST. In the heat of the day, it was a struggle to reach the end of any thread, the comments were coming in as fast as I could read them, but I persevered in the hope that I would reach some conclusion as to where we, as the Rangers Support could go in the hope that some day, somehow, we can set our differences regarding Football Forums aside and really concentrate on what should be a common issue for all to concentrate on – HOW CAN WE BEST ACHIEVE OUR COMMON GOAL OF DELIVERING RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB INTO THE HANDS OF THE REAL ‘OWNERS’ THE SUPPORTERS!

I believe that the start has already been made, by the formation of the Rangers Supporters Trust. Before anyone gets upset, I will agree that some work needs to be done to get the RST into a position where it will achieve exactly what it needs, the wholehearted support of the majority of supporters to go forward and to achieve it’s already well structured plan of deliverance.

So how can we go about this?

Firstly, we need to put to bed the present quarrels and bitching. I believe that the RST have answered the recent questions regarding the accounts adequately, (to which the Auditors have agreed) although even they have admitted that bad practices had been allowed to go on. Although not illegal, these have encouraged this recent feeding frenzy to overindulge in claim and counterclaim simply because of slack management of the financial day to day running of the club. It has done nothing for the reputation of the RST, and it must go down as a lesson learned for all future financial dealings, both inward and outward. They must be seen to be absolutely squeaky clean, otherwise they will never earn our trust. Hopefully the recently recruited CA will add the professionalism that is required to well and truly close that door.

Next, we need to build bridges between the completely unnecessary divides between the various supporters / internet forum groups. I understand that this will be the most difficult task, but I don’t believe that the RST can function from a position of strength whithout a coming together of the mindsets of all of these groups. The present divisions seem to be the restriction that has held the RST back now for too many years, they all know it, but they will just not let go of their own little empires to allow the RST to flourish.

Who can do this?

In my opinion, there is no other choice, this has to be driven forward by the RST themselves. First they need to break down any barrier which may be seen to deter individuals (or groups) from giving them their support, and by this I mean that the RST should not be seen to favour one group more than the other, i.e. it should not make use of FF any more than it makes use of any other forum. A strong RST should be able to create a forum of its own, and I’m sure that, in a new position of strength, volunteer moderators could be found to support it’s running, and it should turn out to be the most used Rangers Forum bar none. That is not to say that the other forums will die, they will be just as necessary as they are now.

As a side issue, why do these forum groups not form a forum users group to encourage regular communication in trying to resolve the cross forum sniping, and to set up rules to disencourage members in participating in such activity. Do it – you are holding us all back! In my brief encounter in another forum I was astounded by the vicious attack on one FF regular who owned up to being such – it was a disgrace coming from not only a fellow supporter, but also several others who decided to jump on the bandwagon.

So what next?

Once this has been seen to be achieved, under the present committee the RST should relaunch its objectives and invite members and non members to an open meeting to discuss a way forward with a spirit of unity – and this point should be stressed. This would need a strong, independent and respected chairperson (would Donald Finlay?) and strict rules to be followed by all in attendance….the opening of the meeting could be used to insist on a code of conduct so that everyone can understand the limitations of involvement. The RST should plan an agenda to discuss targets that they want to achieve at the meeting, but also allow discussion from the floor, from individuals who may see other avenues of approach and perhaps be able to forward new ideas. Bitching about past issues should be quickly stepped on….future, future, future should be the only topic – bar none. The committee structure should be included in discussion, perhaps allowing willing enthusiasts to be co-opted for a certain unity building period, settling back to a more manageable committee number once their troublesome period has well and truly been put to rest – say two years.

So, in theory, if handled properly this should inject a new sense of enthusiasm into the supporters, a new united RST, still under the stewardship of the old committee, but with the next AGM not too far away to give any potential future committee members the opportunity to shine. They should have more willing helpers wanting to get involved in organising information events throughout the country to build again and again on the stronger foundation than existed previously.

Perhaps this is an over simplistic view from someone who does not really understand the politics that goes on in the real world of Rangers Supporters. In my view, it is the logical way to go forward, and I for one am desperate for that to happen before another Mr Ellis appears.

Sometimes I wish I lived in or near Glasgow so that I could get involved in things like the RST, I have a lot of energy for things that I love. However I can now reflect on Mr Edgars experiences and be thankful that I live somewhere safe from threats of death or injury….the Middle East!

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