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Supporters Direct chief calls on Rangers fans to unite and steer club into fan


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Supporters Direct chief calls on Rangers fans to unite and steer club into fan control

1 Feb 2014 07:56

PAUL GOODWIN believes the Light Blues legions could own the Ibrox club within 18 months following successful attempts by Hearts and Motherwell.

Paul%20Goodwin-1453323.jpg Paul Goodwin

SUPPORTERS DIRECT chief Paul Goodwin believes Rangers fans can assume control of their troubled club within 18 months.

Goodwin, the head of SD in Scotland, has long championed the importance of community ownership within our national game.

And he is convinced the Ibrox faithful can overthrow the current regime – providing they mobilise themselves into one powerful movement and start pulling in the same direction.

At the moment there are four main fan organisations – The Rangers Supporters Trust, The Rangers Assembly, The Rangers Supporters Association and the Sons of Struth – with all groups battling for supremacy.

But Goodwin, who helped oversee fan buy-outs at Stirling Albion, Clyde, Dunfermline and East Stirling has called for them to unite as one.

Indeed, given the lack of trust in the current board, the lack of transparency, the current climate of financial uncertainty along Edmiston Drive and the plunging share price, he reckons this is an ideal opportunity to get the bandwagon rolling.

Goodwin said: “I believe if the Rangers fans united, and that is the key, into one cohesive unit there is no reason why they can’t own the club within 18 months.

“At the moment we have 8000 Hearts supporters paying £20 a month as they move towards fan ownership and if you have 20,000 Rangers fans doing the same you can go out and buy shares because it is a liquid market.

“The simple maths say 20,000 fans paying £20 a month would give you £4.8million in a year.

“It just needs the right type of people to pull that together and that is the hard part for Rangers.

“I don’t have any doubt it can be done. SD have been working in conjunction with clubs right across Europe.

“In Greece you have Olympiakos and Panathinaikos and there are plenty of clubs in Spain, Poland and France who are also going down this route.

“Hearts are the biggest we know of in this country going down the route of fan ownership at the moment.”

The Rangers share price has plummeted in recent months, from 70p to just 26p and for just over £4m, fans would be able to command a 25 per cent stake in the club.

And Goodwin insists the Ibrox outfit’s supporters have nothing to lose pursuing the community ownership route having given their backing to the Craig Whyte and Charles Green regimes with catastrophic consequences.

He said: “I believed that Rangers being placed into administration represented a significant window of opportunity to buy the club.

“Of course, as we know, this didn’t happen for a variety of reasons; mostly because for many years the fans had been divided and ruled by previous owners of the club and had been left without a united voice, forced to pick sides in amongst political infighting.

“Time has moved on and Rangers have unfortunately continued to be dogged by further challenges at the back end of the administration process.

“It could have been so different if a credible fans’ bid had been used to galvanise the Ibrox faithful as we have seen at Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Portsmouth down in England and of course at Hearts.

“Rangers supporters in the past have been used to following leaders whether it be Paul Murray, Craig Whyte or somebody else.

“This is breaking the mould and now they don’t have to follow anybody.

“What can the objection be?

“It can give the fans the empowerment to pick exactly who they want to

represent them.

“We have four clubs in Scotland that are currently fan owned and we have another four waiting in the wings – Annan, Ayr, Motherwell and Hearts. It is the way forward because there is no other route.”

Goodwin confirmed he has already spoken with supporters’ representatives from Rangers.

He said: “I have been talking with them over the past 10 days and I will continue that dialogue to see whether there is something we can do.

“There is a real opportunity here and I don’t think there is anything to lose.

“We can advise and consult but it is ultimately up to them.

“Some people have to emerge from the shadows and then we can give them all the support possible.”

Goodwin was speaking at the launch of ‘The Colour of our Scarves’ initiative which has been organised by Supporters Direct to help highlight the issue of sectarianism.

World renowned photographer Stuart Roy Clarke has been commissioned to produce a series of images captured at every senior ground in Scotland.

The project has been funded by the Scottish government and Goodwin is hoping the sectarianism problem can be tackled through imagery rather than words. He said: “We wanted to try to demonstrate through Stuart’s amazing pictures that all fans are the same, apart from the scarves around their necks.

“It is the same emotions that bind us all together and that was the reasons behind the project.

“We are going round every single ground and also doing loads of

workshops in schools and colleges.

“It is becoming less of an issue but you need to keep working at it.”

Clarke, who singled out Aberdeen as his favourite fans to photograph, has been amazed by the reaction to his pictures which will be on show at a touring exhibition around the country over the next 18 months.

He said: “The response has been overwhelming.

“While I like banter and edginess I don’t like hatred so hopefully this project can make a small

difference to a big problem.”

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Did you read it? There is nothing negative about this and he is 100% right.

I never used to think this would work but - if Hearts are/can do that - surely we can do 3 times or more? Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee worked together for 6 years - surely Rangers fans could do likewise!

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How many fans right now will buy in to a single issue organisation set up to buy the club which is listed on AIM and not in administration as Hearts were?

There needs to be better recognition of what Rangers fans would back and what it would take to achieve it.

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For the fans to move forward we need to unit under one fan body and get rid of RST, SOS and others and form a new single body from the ashes of the old

Exactly. This can be done. We need to be proactive in making this happen. Agendas need to be put aside for good. The only agenda should be about putting Rangers on a solid footing and becoming the top club in Scotland once again.

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We should be thinking of ways to make it work rather than reasons that it would not.

People are mate but to compare the situation NOW at Rangers with Hearts is false. It can be achieved but I think it needs to a broader concept than just fan ownership via a community

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In what way is a "fan" owned club better than an individual owned club or a corporate entity?

Before we even think about fan ownership it would probably be more constructive to try and get various factions to at least sit round the same table!

Now your asking for a miracle as well. :-)

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You are so anti board you would follow any pied piper, fans ownership.... No thanks

Anti Board? I have never been anti-board. Oh are you one of those obsessed with rebels and requisitioners. You are aware that the AGM is over with and has been for a long time arent you.

I have always been and will always be on the side of future fan ownership so that no one can fuck us over again. I don't want the Paul Murrays, the Brain Stockbridges, the Imran Ahmeds or Craig Whytes of this world anywhere near our club. A club in our own destiny.

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Wow! The Requisitioners have arisen.

What a piece...".....and he is convinced that the Ibrox faithful can overthrow..."

Unite the fans with a divisive, subversive act. Cringeworthy of Jesuit proportions. He must think we are total morons! Looks like soor grapes mini the poison dwarf wrote the piece FFS!

Go fuck yourself you divisive piece of crap!

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