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Herald Scotland: Potential Fan Groups Merger


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THE Rangers board have held discussions with several supporters groups over a proposal that would bring together the various organisations under one umbrella.

Ibrox director John Gilligan and Stewart Robertson, the recently appointed Managing Director, met with fan representatives last month and a consensus has been reached that could see the Rangers Supporters Trust, Rangers Supporters Assembly, Rangers Supporters Association, Rangers First and Rangers Fans Board come together rather than continue to work as separate bodies. The proposed new organisation would have two representatives from Rangers on board but would be independent from the club and be in a position to buy shares, contribute towards capital expenditure projects and comment on issues in public.

Further discussions are set to take place later this month as the details of the blueprint are fine tuned but the groups have already started gathering feedback from their members over the idea.

A spokesman for the RST told Herald Sport: "The initial discussions are very positive with regards to the existing groups being happy to essentially form one democratic body, voted in by all of its membership, and to try and move away from having so many bodies.

"We saw with the Union of Fans that these groups can work together successfully. The fan groups can work together but this is more about formalising the relationship between the fans and the club.

"The groups have different strengths. Some work well with the Supporters Clubs, the Trust has a history of being more robust in the media and, like Rangers First, have a substantial shareholding as well.

"It is effectively, if you were starting again, coming up with a model that works for everybody."

The move to bring together the various organisations would signal a significant shift in the way the Rangers support is mobilised going forward after several groups have come to the fore in recent years. Representatives from across the supporters spectrum were critical of the previous Ibrox board before they were ousted from power in March and the new regime are keen to build bridges with fans once again, with the discussions between Gilligan, Robertson and the supporters organisations are another step in the right direction in regards to relations between the boardroom and the terraces.

The board will require the financial backing of supporters this term as they attempt to sell 45,000 season tickets and fans now have a chance to ensure their voice is heard.

"We need to be careful that we don't assume that just because everything is fine at the moment with the current board that we can rest on our laurels," the Trust spokesman said. "There has to be a degree of criticism because there will be things that the fans don't like. It is important that the group remains independent.

"Right now, it is about getting it in place, making sure it is good for the fans and for the club. There are various ways in which it could contribute to Rangers. When the fans and the board are on the same page, there is a huge opportunity to create something unique. It is the right point in time to try and do it. It is early days but it is a positive start."

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Many thanks mate !

I like what in hearing and I'm glad the board are looking at all areas of the club and improving.

I like the fact they will be democratic but see the potential for egos and power struggles to come to fruition.

The board need the fans to help financially? The fans need the board to commit financially js

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Feel sorry for the fans who invested in Rangers First thinking it was the clean and true alternative to the toxic Dingwall and RST's Buy Rangers. A lot of people said this was the plan from the outset, seems they were correct.

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Feel sorry for the fans who invested in Rangers First thinking it was the clean and true alternative to the toxic Dingwall and RST's Buy Rangers. A lot of people said this was the plan from the outset, seems they were correct.

I'm a paid up member of RF and see no problem with this proposal.

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Did the Sons of Struth not get an invite?

One body representing the whole support would be good, however RF should remain separate, IMO, as they are really a Bank for Rangers Fans, not just to buy shares, but, to also use the money to refurbish the stadium, player purchases, upkeep of Murray Park, etc.

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Feel sorry for the fans who invested in Rangers First thinking it was the clean and true alternative to the toxic Dingwall and RST's Buy Rangers. A lot of people said this was the plan from the outset, seems they were correct.

As well as being a member of both I also contribute to both . I see no negatives in this move . A united front will only strengthen us as a support.
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If the Club board were serious about a democratic single group then why have they not kept the Rangers Fans Board and used that going forward?

They think this proposal is better?

It's just a shame this is happening now, maybe a couple of years too early for the RSL and their 8 (alleged) members to be represented (tu)

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.....just because everything is fine at the moment....

.....position to buy shares.....

.....contribute towards captial expenditure......

All these existing groups Unite under one body is admirable. How novel?! Voted in by itheir membership? I get it! However, this current amalgam still do not make up the majority of fans. I also see no attendance nor mention of VB?

As for SOS, no doubt we can't be having them transparent, just kept reliably informed in the background just in case things get out of hand.

When the fans and the board are on the same page. Well this little grouping certainly are! Supporters accross the Rangers spectrum, my arse!

An unsurprising pathetic attempt at democracy. An exclusive agenda driven jolly boys club, skillfully steered by a board with an agenda. So, what about the majority?

In between the spin and the hype, all I read is the fans being fleeced for cash, ably assisted by those already sympathetic to the objectives of this current board. ie. little from us and plenty from you!. Another easy revenue stream if you fall for it.

So Dave, when are you ponying up your end? When will you be giving the free thinking majority a a vote? Oh right, it doesn't work like that!

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Where do our biggest and best Vangaurd Bears fit into all this ?

They would be as welcome as a piece of pork at a Synagogue. They don't fit the agenda of fleecing fans.

Get this stripped back to the broader fan base, makining it a fully inclusive body. Invite candidates for election. Publish their background and vision and what they would bring to the proceedings. The fan base votes. End of.

Far too simple and democratic. No conflict of interest. No bringing the baggage and agenda of the current fan groups to the table. Honesty, transparency and accountability. Pity it just doesn't fit with the agenda

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