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Today’s Supports Direct Scotland Meeting at The Louden Tavern - Complete tweets


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Today we hosted a meeting with Paul Goodwin and Richard Atkinson of Supporters Direct with regards to the Community Interest Company form of fan ownership and how that applies to The Rangers Support.

We tried our best to “Live Tweet” the meeting. It lasted over 3 and a half hours and as a result of the limitations of the format of our output, some of the points may be slightly truncated. If you would like any more detail on a particular point please ask and we can give our recollections on the point or pass it on for clarification.

We would also like to apologise for formatting – but we wanted to keep it as close to the original source as possible.

Meeting Beginning:

And we are beginning very soon here with the supporters direct meeting #ownyourclub (I'll abbreviate that to #OYC)

The Louden is hosting and we are putting out the ground rules for the meeting

It's not pro or anti anyone except it is being only pro Rangers and Rangers Supporters #oyc

@PaulGoodwin3 is up to speak 1st. Apologises for time of meeting and thanks all who have came

PG is there to outline what SD do and are is going to clear up some misconceptions. #oyc

Slides show - community ownership. Next week is community ownership week. #oyc

PG: allows greater involvement in your clubs. No more you can't know this or that. Greater governance and long-term health in you club #oyc

PG: benefits - greater sense of financial responsibility

Sustainability

Transparency, openness and trust #oyc

PG: fans are Rangers

A quote on screen from Stephen Morrow. Large quote... Basically fans are lifeblood of club and is pro fan ownership

PG: lots of fan ownership throughout Europe - he goes into specifics with Sweden, Germany, Austria, Greece, Spain, Argentina and USA

PG: 33 clubs in England owned by community

PG: they say bigger the club it the harder it is - the main thing you need is unity

Hands over meeting to @rchrdtknsn to begin his section

Richard begins by apologising for all of those who could not come or where not asked. They could only ask who they had contacts for

RA is a volunteer for SD. The meeting will last as long as there are still questions #oyc

RA: It is not SD's job to buy or run Football clubs. SD's job is to engage with anyone who is interested in speaking to them #oyc

RA: I don't have a background in football prior to St Mirren. He was interested in community ownership and that is was his reason. #oyc

RA: started 10,000 hours for St. Mirren. Target was £2m. Long list of problems. Was asked a lot what his agenda was #oyc

RA: St M ended up with 1007 people paying £13.50 a month. Eventually put a bid in of £1.25m. Was rejected

RA: Pars is a bit different in that they went through an admin process. Only got into DDs after club was saved #oyc

RA: pars are at about 1000 fans at £20 a month

RA: Hearts - are sitting at 7600 people paying an average of £15.50 per month #oyc

RA: where do you think Rangers fits into this - they are a much bigger club than Hearts? #oyc

RA: I think Rangers would be 20,000 in comparison to Hearts (there or there about). However Rangers also have a large overseas support #oyc

RA: Rangers have a lot of expats fans that is very large. Could be a large addition - maybe 10,000 more individuals #oyc

Q: how long are you tied in for? ra: answers that you pay until you no longer wish to contribute - rolling direct debits #OYC

Q: what happened to the St Mirren money? A: RA says the money was never taken - contract existed to take but didn't because bid failed #oyc

RA: hearts was different as they received preferred bidder status so could take money #oyc

RA: CIC company allows the marriage of independent, individuals and ltd companies #oyc

RA: Rangers fans are not limited by geography in being a community #oyc

RA hands a man a calculator #audienceparticipation #oyc

RA: let's assume we have 20,000 at £15 per month. That is £3.6m per year. And that's just being as good as hearts

RA: if you can get 100 people owning £100 each 1st step at agm to ask question

RA: 5% is next step. At current prices that is circa £800k. It gets you ability to call an EGM and propose director #oyc

RA: 10% allows you to stop the purchase of all shares to make a company private and some other benefits

RA: 25% you can propose a special resolution #oyc

RA: biggest person investor in Rangers own 5%, biggest institutional investor owns 12% #oyc

RA: if 5% represents half of the season ticket holders then that is a completely different prospect as fans are customers #oyc

Q: is this dependent on share liquidity? RA: yes it's been proven that there is share liquidity over the recent times #oyc

RA: I'm not a closet communist, I own my own company - but football clubs belong to community #oyc

RA: when it comes to fan ownership - I am not too bothered. What I mean by

FO is a scheme that achieves - consultation and transparency #oyc

RA: say aim is to buy 5% but what if money is not just for buying shares. If you give us Consultation and Transparency then could put... (For Example)

RA: remainder into a specific project (ring fenced and contracted etc) such as safe standing or something at the training ground etc #oyc

RA: could be used for better scouting or anything that the fans decide. #oyc

RA: in our case if the club needs more money the club could got to the fans and they could be the institutional investors #oyc

RA: opportunity for a group to engage with the club in multiple ways. #oyc

RA: need opportunity to feed back consultation and transparency information back to wider support. This could allow this #oyc

We are now having a quick comfort break - rolls and sausage. Then we will come back in a wee bit to continue the meeting

Hard work paraphrasing all this stuff I must say - hopefully representing what is being said well enough!

Right @rchrdtknsn is back up and we are beginning again

RA: I'm not saying you have to do anything other than buy shares with the money raised but a CIC allows you to put the money elsewhere

RA: by suggesting that there is more to fan ownership than just buying shares but I am not suggesting that you part with money easily #oyc

RA: will deal with what a community interest company actually is. #oyc

RA: 3 types - owned by shares, owned by guarantee and plc. They have to invest in their community #oyc

RA: anything you can do with normal company you can do with a CIC but with certain caveats. 7 cooperative principles allow more transparency

RA: virtually every other sport in Scotland other than football is run with this model #oyc

RA: 20,000 members would have one person one vote #oyc

RA: one member one vote is the principle. Amount of money put in doesn't matter #oyc

RA: there are vehicles within the CIC to include high net worth individuals. Though i think they aren't that important #oyc

RA: CIC is a holding company - influence depends on number of shares in club. #oyc

RA: CIC is about getting professional people to run the club while fans engage in a transparent process #oyc

RA: you may have to pay more for shares but buying up shares will ensure

the transparency that would ensure the club is run correctly #oyc

RA: could negotiate with institutional investors to provide a dividend for them in return for their proxies #oyc

RA: CIC model allows you to something with the current 12% that are owned by the fans. Could get proxy for their vote #oyc

RA: the harsh reality is that we have it within your own hands. I don't think the divisions in the Rangers Fans are that big #oyc

RA: other clubs are every bit as bad - difference is scale. Massive press coverage at Rangers #oyc

Some good positive comments from the audience about doing something productive

RA: look at Green Bay Packers and their successful model for fan ownership

RA: Rangers could be the biggest members club in the world #oyc

RA elections for CIC should be as wide and transparent as possible. Doors should always be open and allow all members to know as much as possible

RA highlights Portsmouth's fans group raising money from loans with a coupon rate of 2% in order to purchase shares #oyc

RA: if the money is waiting there ready to buy shares as and when they become available - that's possible #oyc

RA: power isn't just in the shares it is the fact that you are 20,000 people #oyc

RA: I think that if this does not come about just now then it will be the next generation before the opportunity comes again #oyc

RA: you need to utilise all tools at your disposal to achieve what nearly everyone wants #oyc

Q: anything to stop expats getting involved. A: no. Go card less for EU and paypal for WW #oyc

Q: could we do kick starter? A: this method is cheaper and is still crowd finding #oyc

RA: also essential difference between crowd funding to CIC is legalities #oyc

Q: what is differences between trust and CIC? A: Many differences - mainly flexibility in where money can be spent and can be used

Q: re RST - RA: RST are not against this and are bound to work to together under co-op principles #oyc

Q: how will votes work re: agms. A: it is flexible, could be per proportion or vote as block. Depends on set up of CIC. #oyc

Audience Member: impressed with removal of factions and makes point that if we could pull together 20,000 people then current fan SH would get involved

Another audience member pointing out that he doesn't care about factions and that we should unite

Another audience member. Fan ownership is about accountability. He believes fan ownership will bring accountability

RA: this only works if significant interest comes to CIC. Fans need to get behind it to assert transparency #oyc

RA: the revenue to potential from this to your club is massive. Rival clubs will not be able to copy you #oyc

Audience member 3 different structures used Gers Save, Buy Rangers and CIC. The biggest advantage of CIC is that it brings everyone together

Audience Member: it's either going to fail or be a massive success. And if it is a success it could snow ball and be larger than predicted

Q: would there be a cut off date for people to invest in CIC? A: no

RA: how to finish presentation... My observation is that this will work if you go for it #oyc

RA: how do you get this off the ground? This is how I would do it... #owc

RA: CIC is set up by a person. Would Nominated person is a solicitor

RA: 2nd member would be a corporate member and would be SDS and would only be there while no shares are sold #oyc

RA: 3rd member would be 'working party' with no actual authority. #oyc

RA: working party would help drive it forward but they would have no part in actual CIC unless democratically elected once a certain size

RA: everyone is invited but everyone is on the same level #oyc

Q: any member could stand to be on CIC board? RA: yes #oyc

RA: there will be info on SD website on how to get involved and for people to put information in to hear more #oyc

Q: how it is marketed going forward is important to make sure that there is no perceived agenda

RA: solicitor and SD will ensure no agenda

Q: does this offer flexible ways of raising money? A: yes, if for instance you wanted to sell a scarf then you easily could #oyc

Q: we can use the money for whatever the membership wanted. A: yes #oyc

RA: having the profits from this CIC group going into the club gives you great power

Q: is there a draft constitution available and ready? A: yes and the working group would be able to look at it - at their 1st meeting

Q: how can we prove to others that you have no agenda RA: I'll give whatever legal commitment thats necessary to ensure fans are comfortable

Q: what is SDS role A: to build capacity for fans to be able to set up fan ownership #oyc

Q: do SDS get any money. A: SDS get no money (unless CIC joins then £100 for joining) #oyc

Audience member: for those that want to do something about this go out and do something. For those that don't please allow them to do so

Audience member: silent majority is the key thing #oyc

RA: you have to start with the people you know - you have to start somewhere #oyc

RA: i would like to hear the minority opinion as most that have spoken have been positive

Audience member : speaking of membership model that he looked at and proposed. Biggest complaint was fan unity. - speaking in details

audience member continues: short term look to buy shares medium term fund scouting/youth development.

Other audience member reiterates the importance of getting a larger shareholding to allow such developments.

Q: if RFC need money short term where would that leave CIC? A: Cic can be set up within 72 hours -could be done quicker than new share issue

RA: Go to http://www.scottishfans.org/rangers

Result of meeting has been agreed as unanimous support of taking this idea forward #oyc

Thanks for a cracking presentation from @rchrdtknsn it has been really interesting

End Meeting

I went to this meeting with an open mind and came away convinced that this could work. I was heartened by the unanimous support from all who attended the meeting.

I would like to thank everyone who came. Their behaviour was impeccable – just as you would expect from Rangers Supporters.

I would also to thank Paul Goodwin, Richard Atkinson and the rest of the SDS team for putting on a fascinating meeting.

Also, thanks to you for taking the time to read this.

The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium – More Than A Pub

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It's not a bad idea IF structured properly. Devil is in the detail buddy and that will be published soon.

It's a bad idea no matter how it's structured

The problems will still exist even if it's structured as professionally as possible

I hope it never happens

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It's a bad idea no matter how it's structured

The problems will still exist even if it's structured as professionally as possible

I hope it never happens

Explain why. In detail mate as that's the only way it can be resolved. What are your concerns?

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Why don't you get involved from the start mate, try to influence how it progresses and have your concerns aired and hopefully addressed?

There's absolutely no point tbh mate

In response to you and the Taverns question

We are too divisive a support to be self run. You's see the uproar between fans the minute some dick from RST, Sons of Struth or Assembly is on tv talking nonsense

How will it being run professionally even matter?

You will still have it full of handwringers calling the shots while the good guys such as VBs for example are left to the side

Who would decide who's elected to make the decisions? We've seen first hand what sort of lies and propoganda from the rebels recently can do to turn the average match day goers opinion when it comes to something they want - how will this be any different in a run up to Election Day?

We will never settle and move on and this will prove it and eventually drive more fans away from the club than it attracts

We can't agree on the manager, the board, the groups, the song book, the players or the colour of our socks Ffs

What we need good honest businessmen who are good at what they do to run us

Not fans especially on emotive subjects when we think with our hearts rather than our heads

I'll repeat I hope it never happens as it will be the beginning of the end IMO

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Good ol' 1st Jan. As constructive and forward thinking as always.

Heaven help us if him and his ilk get their way. Doesn't bear thinking about.

Straight back to the stone age for Rangers.

Blouie I've been as constructive as possible

You honestly trying to say everything will be hunky dory if we ever get fan ownership?

I might be Stone Age but your a mug in that case

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It all looks & sounds good, but we are not a very unified support, & disagree on almost everything, as 1st Jan stated, I'd like something like this to get going for Rangers, but what about those that can't put £20 per month into the kitty, would they be 2nd class supporters? I've never been a season ticket holder, because I've not really been in a position to afford one. In the 1970's, when I followed home & away, it was only the Main Stand that had the season ticket holders. Since I moved here, I've only been to a few games per season, & all at Ibrox, apart from a couple at the piggery, & the odd cup final, does that make me less of a fan?

Now we want fan ownership? I'm not sure that it will unite the Support, in fact, I think it will divide the Support, & could have far reaching ramifications. But that's just me....

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It all looks & sounds good, but we are not a very unified support, & disagree on almost everything, as 1st Jan stated, I'd like something like this to get going for Rangers, but what about those that can't put £20 per month into the kitty, would they be 2nd class supporters? I've never been a season ticket holder, because I've not really been in a position to afford one. In the 1970's, when I followed home & away, it was only the Main Stand that had the season ticket holders. Since I moved here, I've only been to a few games per season, & all at Ibrox, apart from a couple at the piggery, & the odd cup final, does that make me less of a fan?

Now we want fan ownership? I'm not sure that it will unite the Support, in fact, I think it will divide the Support, & could have far reaching ramifications. But that's just me....

A recipe for civil war......I could never see it working
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Don't understand why everyone would need to get on?

Were not going to skip down the street holding hands, all you have to do is cast your vote for what you believe is right.

Heard all this crap when the reqs were up for the agm, "they will never abide by the vote blah blah blah", turned out to be complete crap made up by real handringers who always want to emphasize our differences.

If the fans who lost the vote at the agm were able to accept the decision which they clearly have then that's all that is required. If you don't like where the money was going then you stop your DD simple.

Some people just want to make up reasons to dismiss anything that could take the club forward out of nothing more than fear of the unknown.

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Don't understand why everyone would need to get on?

Were not going to skip down the street holding hands, all you have to do is cast your vote for what you believe is right.

Heard all this crap when the reqs were up for the agm, "they will never abide by the vote blah blah blah", turned out to be complete crap made up by real handringers who always want to emphasize our differences.

If the fans who lost the vote at the agm were able to accept the decision which they clearly have then that's all that is required. If you don't like where the money was going then you stop your DD simple.

Some people just want to make up reasons to dismiss anything that could take the club forward out of nothing more than fear of the unknown.

But people don't believe it will take the forward mate

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But people don't believe it will take the forward mate

I don't think that's totally correct.

I would suggest, based on nothing more scientific than the posts on this forum over the last year, that the support (RM at least) is probably split 50/50 on whether we want this or not.

My personal opinion is that fan ownership could work BUT needs to be spelt out in great detail exactly what is going to happen if this and if that so as to raise no ambiguity. I also would hope that divisive persons are kept well away from any involvement in the running of such a scheme. In that I would include all current fan groups as each one is seen, by a large group of people, as being divisive. I know some fans groups do good but for the sake of this model we would need a complete new approach. Oh and keep the email server more secure :). If it was to be championed by anyone current fans group, any one individual who does not have a majority backing or anyone that is seen currently as being divisive or agenda driven, it will not work.

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There's absolutely no point tbh mate

In response to you and the Taverns question

We are too divisive a support to be self run. You's see the uproar between fans the minute some dick from RST, Sons of Struth or Assembly is on tv talking nonsense

How will it being run professionally even matter?

You will still have it full of handwringers calling the shots while the good guys such as VBs for example are left to the side

Who would decide who's elected to make the decisions? We've seen first hand what sort of lies and propoganda from the rebels recently can do to turn the average match day goers opinion when it comes to something they want - how will this be any different in a run up to Election Day?

We will never settle and move on and this will prove it and eventually drive more fans away from the club than it attracts

We can't agree on the manager, the board, the groups, the song book, the players or the colour of our socks Ffs

What we need good honest businessmen who are good at what they do to run us

Not fans especially on emotive subjects when we think with our hearts rather than our heads

I'll repeat I hope it never happens as it will be the beginning of the end IMO

Well put mate and couldnt agree more. I wouldn't rule out fan ownership completely but I wouldn't want to even think about it till a good 10 years down the line. We need stability and strangely enough I think fan ownership would bring the complete opposite right now.

Im enjoying thinking about the football for the first time in 2 years, things have settled down a wee bit and I dont want anything to disturb that.

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