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Gough and Rae back scheme to hand club's supporters power at Ibrox


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Former Rangers players Gough and Rae back scheme to hand club's supporters power at Ibrox

Monday 10 February 2014

Richard Gough and Alex Rae have become the first two former Rangers players to back a scheme that could hand the club's supporters power at Ibrox.

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Representatives of the club's support have been invited to hear a presentation from Supporters Direct Scotland on how they could set about launching a bid for "greater fan ownership".

SDS has already helped supporters of Dunfermline and Hearts successfully arrange deals to take control of their clubs and believe the Rangers faithful could be the next to grab a greater say in how their club is run.

They will discuss the vision at a meeting at the Louden Tavern, Ibrox, on February 14 and have already won the backing of nine-in-a-row captain Gough.

The former Scotland defender said: "The fans are the heart and soul of Rangers Football Club and one sure way to guarantee that this remains the case at Rangers forever is for the fans to collectively have more power in the club.

"As we are a PLC, fans collectively owning shares is in my opinion one way to ensure this, and the more they own the louder their voice.

"I therefore look forward to hearing what comes out of this meeting on the 14th and hope it move the cause of fan involvement forward at Ibrox."

Former Gers midfielder Rae - who helped the Glasgow giants land the 2005 Scottish Premier League title - has also indicated his support.

"When I go to Ibrox I hear the Rangers fans singing 'Four men had a dream' about the men who founded the club," he said. "Well the many thousands of Rangers Fans can now make that dream a reality again by gathering together with the single issue of collectively owning their club.

"That is why I look forward to hearing what comes from the meeting of the 14th and look forward to supporting the next step."

It is understood that SDS has drawn up a blueprint that will see a Community Interest Company formed which will then collect monthly contributions from fans.

It will be based broadly on the same model which has put the Foundation of Hearts group in poll position to rescue the administration-hit Jambos.

Head of SDS Paul Goodwin spoke last week of how a scheme with around 25,000 supporters handing over around £20 a month would give them £6million after 12 months.

The current Ibrox share-price has fallen to 25.75p - a huge drop on the 70p launch price.

The Foundation of Hearts announced last week it had struck a deal with majority shareholder UBIG to take control of their 78.97 per cent stake in the Jambos. The Gorgie bid is backed by more than 7,500 fans each making a monthly donation.

SDS is also currently working with fan groups and boards at Motherwell, Ayr United and Annan Athletic as they bid help take those clubs into community ownership.

Rangers announced a £14.4million loss for the 13-month period up to June with reports suggesting the club is still losing £1million a month.

The club's AGM just before Christmas saw angry shareholders lining up to criticise the Ibrox board for their handling of the club's affairs.

Last month, the first-team players rejected a proposed 15 per cent pay cut while chief executive Graham Wallace has started a 120-day review of the League One leaders' operations after admitting spending is out of control.

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If some of the players who were made very wealthy by playing for Rangers had got together and bought the club then they could have handed it over to the fans and over a set period of time the club could have paid them back....but no they are all for it when its other peoples money.

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This wouldn't be fan ownership.

This would be fan group ownership.

The fans get nothing for their cash, except that deemed by the folk who run it.

Now this operation may well have good intentions, but as we have already seen, once folk become "fan chiefs" things start to go how they want it rather than what is desired by the folk backing them.

I can't see myself chipping money into somebody elses power trip. I would rather put the money into buying the shares myself.

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They should shut the fuck up and let the real supporters decide. They only come out of the woodwork when they get paid for interviews or a free dinner. WATP

No one got paid anything for they quotes. They volunteered them. No one involved in this scheme/meeting is being paid anything. Infact it is costing us money to host it.

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I back fan ownership so good on them. Agree that the RST cannot be involved though.

My understanding is that when the committee is set up that it will be all professional people involved and that they will be identified at a later date and will be independent of the people involved with setting up the scheme. If my information is correct then I feel you can't really argue with that.

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This wouldn't be fan ownership.

This would be fan group ownership.

The fans get nothing for their cash, except that deemed by the folk who run it.

Now this operation may well have good intentions, but as we have already seen, once folk become "fan chiefs" things start to go how they want it rather than what is desired by the folk backing them.

I can't see myself chipping money into somebody elses power trip. I would rather put the money into buying the shares myself.

I understand there are a number of people who share a similar outlook. In order for this to take off, they will have to ensure transparency, governance and trustworthiness otherwise there can always be questions.

From my understanding, it will be a democracy with one member one vote. The committee will be made up of professional people brought in for their specific skill sets - not just jobs for the boys. If true then I like the sound of that. Hopefully at the meeting they will clear things up and we as a support will have a full understanding of what is suggested.

I would also like to say that this scheme is independent of any fans groups, all Rangers fans are included if they want to buy in.

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