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Rangers will count the cost if fans' faith begins to falter Richard Wilson Sport


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Rangers will count the cost if fans' faith begins to falter

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Richard Wilson

Sports writer

Sunday 23 February 2014

It has been a week of financial intrigue at Rangers, but then that has become a familiar state of mind for the club's fans.

The chief executive Graham Wallace tried to assure supporters that administration will not happen, after speculation that paying the wages might become a problem, then it emerged that a loan of up to £1.5m might be made by Laxey Partners, the largest single shareholders, and two directors, James and Sandy Easdale. Nothing is finalised, but the sense remains of a business that is attempting to find a way through troubling times.

Wallace has always been clear about the need to cut costs, because they are higher than the income streams. Yet no significant savings have been made, leaving room for anxieties to grow. There are legitimate questions, though, such as what terms a loan might be made on, how many shares will be returned as part of the agreement and if other shareholders or individuals have offered additional funding. Dave King, the former Rangers director, also wants to invest in the club, as part of a fresh share issue.

With a fan survey launched last week - and taken advantage of by gleeful Celtic fans - the Ibrox board has also begun the process of trying to win round supporters. Wariness remains the instinct of many Rangers fans, given events of the past two years, and some are cynical that a membership scheme will be launched, to raise more income, regardless of the outcome of the survey. In a matter of weeks, a third aspect will enter this mix of finance and politics, with season ticket renewals sent out.

Any loan, or future income forwarded from Rangers Retail, the commercial agreement with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, will only tide Rangers over to season ticket income. This, under the assumed current business plan, will appear to provide the bulk of the budget for running the club. Prices will inevitably rise, with Rangers set to be playing in the Championship, but there is also the expectation of a fall in renewals, with some fans continuing to be uncertain of the board. It is an awkward situation, and one that Ally McCoist finds himself in the middle of, since the manager has been expected to back the renewal campaigns in each of the past two summers.

"The most important thing is we do get season tickets," McCoist said. "I would hope that the openness of Graham and the board will mean the supporters will have a far better idea in terms of making their minds up. All I can do is pass on the knowledge that's given to me. I am aware more than ever of my responsibility. There will be things I don't know, which is the norm at most clubs."

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The root and branch recovery should have been well under way by now, we are heading sideways at best treading water, the fan frustration is mostly to do with missed opportunities when there was a blank canvas to start again, and I believe still scoutless, that's just careless.

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The root and branch recovery should have been well under way by now, we are heading sideways at best treading water, the fan frustration is mostly to do with missed opportunities when there was a blank canvas to start again, and I believe still scoutless, that's just careless.

The fan frustration is more to do with what happens on the park, not in the boardroom

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The fan frustration is more to do with what happens on the park, not in the boardroom

I meant right through the card not just the boardroom, if any one trusted person can harness the fan power as one heading forward it would be awesome as a force, as a fractured splintered support its a constant battle to stand still and not head backwards, we need an honest version of CG, if such a character exists.

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I meant right through the card not just the boardroom, if any one trusted person can harness the fan power as one heading forward it would be awesome as a force, as a fractured splintered support its a constant battle to stand still and not head backwards, we need an honest version of CG, if such a character exists.

The Tweetwankers will trust no one going forward

Well no one except perhaps the Murray clones

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So let's see, if customers stop buying a 'product/service' the 'business' will suffer.

Very good Richard I expect next you will be providing evidence that yes the 'Kennedy's Are afraid of Guns' and the 'Pope is Indeed a Catholic'.

Insightful journalism at its finest.

Whole article stinks of Mini-Murray and/or Al K. Murray

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An what is the cost the journalist refers to? I mean the real cost - not just money (it's always about money isn't it?).

What about the effect of a more than marginal decline in STs and worse than that decline in Support turning up at Ibrox every other Saturday and the effect of reduced numbers travelling to away games? A struggle to maintain the stadium infrastructure? A constant (mainly) 3-way contest between spending whatever money is generated maintaining a stadium, spending money on non-player wage bill, spending money on player wage bill. A much reduced budget for players could be inevitable and with that a slowing down of progress maybe even stalling for a few seasons and at the same time watching one league title and CL place after another being gifted to an unchallenged Celtic. That spiral encourages fans to stay away and so the descent into middle ranking mediocrity settles in. We become just another ordinary club in the eyes of the media and in the eyes of the football world. The Scottish Leeds or Notts Forest. Is that what he means about counting the cost? Days where the Saturday football results are announced as Rangers 0 - Morton 2 on a routine basis (I'm old enough to remember these types of days).

I think it all hangs in the balance. One part is the 120 day review. Ridiculous really. 120 days needed to review the workings of a football club? Seems exessive to me. 120 days if you are taking over a national or global enterprise with large staff numbers, IT systems to merge, billing and sales systems to rationalise, back office functiions to rationalise, large numbers of complex contracts to review and rationalise. But its Rangers - a football club - and with so much strutiny having been done by so many on the books and contracts and so on you would think that most serious and competent business folk would get that sort of review done in at least half that time. 120 days was just about buying time. Buying time for team to bag the title and to claim a spot in the Championship and to maintain a sense of progress. Oh and to avoid spelling out the nasty news and its aftermath of what cuts and where during the period when the team was trying to win promotion. 120 days? It begins to look more and more like a convenient management-speak tactic to buy time they didn't really need.

Must not forget the football though. It's meant to be about football is it not? A few flattering performances and a spin from the Management team and players that they have turned the corner and that performances will improve and that they are not complacent and that they have a desire to get the title won quickly and that they have the players who should be dealing with the opposition convincingly. Guff. Too much talk and smiley faces on training pitches and not enough delivery on a consistent basis of the sorts of performances that the squad should be capable of. Underperforming from Management and coaching right through the team. I think one of the players (Law) said yesterday something along the lines that that sort result / performance had been coming citing the Brechin and Arbroath games. Well if he could see it coming then presumably the Manager could see it coming. Or maybe he didn't (or can't). What happens on the pitch may be much more of a driver in determining the real cost - reduced Support for the team as fans stay away to support from a distance. They may not walk away. But they may just stand still and watch from a distance until a grip is taken and performances start to improve on a consistent basis.

Lets not forget the active harm lot either. They are still there. So is Doncaster and Regan. And what of our Board and the Manager on this point? Silence. We suffered immense harm. A huge weakening with evidence of a strong recovery from that (financially and football-wise) still flattering to deceive. Of course that is most probably a problem to face in the next few years and a 'not today' problem. Today's problems - it seems - are about counting the cost.

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I'm happy to give Mr.Wallace his 120 days to sort the business out,I think he is the right man for the job.

On the pitch is a different matter.The Fans,the paying public if you like,need to be entertained and they're not.

Tin hat on here but in all honesty,I really don't think we're that far away from a team to 'walk' the Championship.Yes we have some dead wood and players not up to 'Rangers standard'but we are a work in progress.

For me our poor performances are down to attitude and application.We are not playing with pace,we are predictable and one dimensional going forward.Maybe we have progressed a bit from the days of HOOF?

I think the day is approaching when the Board are going to be forced to make a decision on our future management team (sadly),as I had hoped Ally would make good in management but football is a tough business and to pay the bills we need bums on seats.

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This is the biggest danger in the clubs future for me.

If the fans don't keep buying season tickets, were fucked.

The club needs to maximize its income by charging as much for season books as we, the fans, are willing to pay.

To do that we need a massive shot of adrenalin, in the form of a real quality manager and coaching team to convince us to buy.

Ally and his team need to step down at the end of the season. We need guys at the helm who knows what they are doing.

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Yet another article talking about fans not renewing.

This drip drip is as see through as it is futile.

Fans will still renew as they always do but that won't stop the fuds using it as another line of attack.

As for Wilson, just another mouthpiece who is ignoring the biggest scandal in football. His silence has been bought.

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