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Scapegoats & Scaremongering


D'Artagnan
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“People come out and say ‘Ah, it’s not necessary for them to have those players in that division’. But it’s not just the division that matters at Rangers, it’s the fact that you have 45,000 people coming to watch something on a football pitch “

(Walter Smith)

It is particularly difficult writing an article which disagrees with one of your all time heroes but difficult times call for difficult decisions. Whilst Walter's synopsis is a popular ideology it lacks in financial reality. We may well still be Rangers but we are a Rangers operating with with vastly reduced revenue streams in terms of income from season ticket sales, sponsorship and commercial hospitality as a consequence of the league we have been forced to operate in. It's easy to say this is still Rangers if you don't have to, or are not responsible for picking up the bill for operating as in days of yore.

The financial state of our club is once again the subject of much speculation, which has been exacerbated considerably with the news that a 15% reduction in player's wages was muted a cost cutting measure. The subsequent anxiety which this caused amongst our support, and the treatment (perhaps scaremongering) of this story in the media, resulted in the search for the inevitable scapegoat. I'm not convinced that two of the eventual "suspects" put in the frame - Ally & Brian Stockbridge - were placed on the list of potential suspects with reasonable suspicion - or consideration of all the relevant facts.

Let us start with Ally - I'm sure most of us agree that his wage was excessive for our current league position in fact the whole expenditure with regard to the costs of our coaching staff would be worthwhile of critical review. Furthermore as is now common knowledge Ally has agreed to take a considerable pay cut. Perhaps even more unfair is the suggestion that the current squad along with the wages and contracts of some of our players are too high – and it's Ally's fault. This would only be a valid criticism if Ally had negotiated the contracts in question, and the overwhelming evidence appears to suggests this was in fact done by others. The suggestion that Ally should be a scapegoat for our financial woes is further usurped when you consider our playing staff bill as a percentage of our club's overall operating costs.

That is not too say either our squad is too big for the current demands upon us , nor that there are not players on wages which are as unrealistic as our manager's wages were, simply that it is unrealistic to lay the blame with Ally

Brian Stockbridge presents considerably more of a challenge in terms of offering a defence - he is after all financial director of our club. Furthermore he is on record as saying our wage bill was sustainable when quite clearly it is not, not if a 15% wage reduction is being considered as an option. In fact, had it not been for Ian Hart's recent interview, I doubt very much I would be offering any kind of defence.

"Brian was met with pre-arranged costs to do with the takeover of the club and the IPO. The IPO costs were high but, then again, at the time it was hard to get money into a club which was facing administration and then liquidation. The costs were high - probably too high - just to attract that money in the first place. Brian was faced with either resisting these costs, or meeting them and getting on with the job of getting Rangers moving again. They were one-off costs which he inherited. I think some of the criticism of Brian has been unfair. The IPO costs were severe, but they had to be paid, and had already been agreed under the Charles Green takeover. I think Brian took the view that we simply had to pay these costs and move on, just to get the club going again."

Whether Hart's defence of Stockbridge is merited is open to debate – it would perhaps have been more cut and dried if Hart's interviewer had asked more probing questions regarding the remit and expectation of our Financial director.

Whatever your view of Brian Stockbridge, perhaps the question we need to ask ourselves is would the immediate sacking or removal of Mr Stockbridge bring an end to the culture of excess which has befallen our club for far too many a year ? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Some will have already made up their minds about the competency or incompetency of Brian Stockbridge as a financial director, or Ally as manager, and perhaps with good cause. But to lay the blame for our financial woes at the feet of either of these gentlemen is merely skirting over the more serious issues affecting our club. We need to eradicate the culture of excess at our club from top to bottom, from directors to tea lady if required.

Let us not allow the settling of old and tired arguments, or other agendas distract us from the challenging and possibly painful task which lies ahead. We don't need scapegoats – particularly when some of our financial failings are clearly cultural and process driven – we need honest assessment and a willingness to be prepared to accept the necessary changes.

It wont be easy nor do I suspect it will be painless. Our new CEO claims he is up to the task – I hope to God he is right.

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To be honest bb - I think that is another debate. His comments underline a failure by some of our old guard to recognise the different environment we are working in.

Unfortunately Alistair suffers from the same affliction as Smith money solves all, only this time there are no cheques left in the cheque book, only stubs.

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D'Art, personally for me it is not so much the contract or the pay offered, although excessive (as it is a 12 month rolling one). However, I will point out saying something similar to "i didn't look at the figure on the contract" is a bit of a kick in the baws, nobody would sign without knowing what for, but it was put on the table, can't help wondering if that was to make sure he never walked by CG.

Still that aside, my primary concern is the play of our team, players out of position, no real plan B in evidence, formations being fairly static, training routine (as seen recently) and the style of our play to combat teams. That is a manager's job and I expect huge performance for the amount of money at the current salary, let alone the previous one. Yes we are being kicked off the park at times but why the hell have we not logged a complaint with the SFA concerning it?

As far as BS I am happy for GW to decide with his experience and advisor, however it may just be a position that has to be sacrificed, regardless, to appease some fans.

Just my thoughts, always enjoy reading yours.

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Scapegoat or not, sacking or getting rid of Stockbridge before the end of the season is going to be absolutely necessary for Wallace and the other new men on the board of directors, otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult for a lot of fans to give them even a semblance of trust.

Good article though D'Art!

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Scapegoat or not, sacking or getting rid of Stockbridge before the end of the season is going to be absolutely necessary for Wallace and the other new men on the board of directors, otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult for a lot of fans to give them even a semblance of trust.

Good article though D'Art!

"however it may just be a position that has to be sacrificed, regardless, to appease some fans." as expected.

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"however it may just be a position that has to be sacrificed, regardless, to appease some fans." as expected.

It's not just 'some' fans, it's the vast majority of fans. There's been multiple polls on the forums and websites and on average, well over 80% of fans voted that Stockbridge shouldn't be voted back in at the AGM and that's with some trolling tims voting FOR Stockbridge as well. Unfortunately, the shareholders apparently viewed it differently when they voted at the AGM.

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Scapegoat or not, sacking or getting rid of Stockbridge before the end of the season is going to be absolutely necessary for Wallace and the other new men on the board of directors, otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult for a lot of fans to give them even a semblance of trust.

Good article though D'Art!

So its about trust rather than competence ?

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So its about trust rather than competence ?

Where did I say that?

It should be about both and with serious questions marks about his competence coupled with such a large percentage of fans wanting him gone ASAP, then it's incredible that he's even still here.

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Where did I say that?

It should be about both and with serious questions marks about his competence coupled with such a large percentage of fans wanting him gone ASAP, then it's incredible that he's even still here.

Scapegoat or not, sacking or getting rid of Stockbridge before the end of the season is going to be absolutely necessary for Wallace and the other new men on the board of directors, otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult for a lot of fans to give them even a semblance of trust.

I took that it was a trust issue from your earlier answer bud.

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D'Art, personally for me it is not so much the contract or the pay offered, although excessive (as it is a 12 month rolling one). However, I will point out saying something similar to "i didn't look at the figure on the contract" is a bit of a kick in the baws, nobody would sign without knowing what for, but it was put on the table, can't help wondering if that was to make sure he never walked by CG.

Still that aside, my primary concern is the play of our team, players out of position, no real plan B in evidence, formations being fairly static, training routine (as seen recently) and the style of our play to combat teams. That is a manager's job and I expect huge performance for the amount of money at the current salary, let alone the previous one. Yes we are being kicked off the park at times but why the hell have we not logged a complaint with the SFA concerning it?

As far as BS I am happy for GW to decide with his experience and advisor, however it may just be a position that has to be sacrificed, regardless, to appease some fans.

Just my thoughts, always enjoy reading yours.

M

I agree with you there are issues in respect of our standard of play - but this article would be the same if we were playing silky flowing, entertaining stuff - its about costs and culture of spending

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Scapegoat or not, sacking or getting rid of Stockbridge before the end of the season is going to be absolutely necessary for Wallace and the other new men on the board of directors, otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult for a lot of fans to give them even a semblance of trust.

Good article though D'Art!

Nonsense.

This witch-hunt for Stockbridge needs to stop. The board will look at it and if it is merited then they can sack him. He cannot be sacked just to please a few greeting faces.

The way this man has been hounded systematically is appalling.

His sacking is being called for as if doing so would save the club.

If he was sacked tomorrow nothing would change.

Don't forget, his sacking was only called for originally to make a seat available for mini. Prior to that he was OK apparently.

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What Smith negated to say was that the 45,000 should be watching value for money.

He negated to say everything he never said? He negated to say you are as dodgy as a hoose landing on your head. Sober up wee man. Don't try and be a smartass on the reputation of Walter. You aren't in the same universe as the Gaffer.

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He negated to say everything he never said? He negated to say you are as dodgy as a hoose landing on your head. Sober up wee man. Don't try and be a smartass on the reputation of Walter. You aren't in the same universe as the Gaffer.

What a 9 carat tool you are and beelin with it. :pipe::000000082:

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Fair comment D'Art though it's probably more important as to what money comes into the club. Investment , sponsors , season tickets , merchandise , basically anything that can create funds for the club.

I'm saying this , because in a sense , although difficult , there really is no limit to what we can bring in , whereas we are pretty limited on where we can save before it starts to affect infrastructure of the club ie what it has done to scouting .

However , cuts have to be made , and Wallace sounds strong enough to make some hard decisions . Once streamlined he should be in a stronger position to attract that further investment.

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