Some FC Barcelona fans asked me at the weekend (in between watching the best team in the world thrash Valencia 5-1) what's going on with Rangers de Glasgow.
I said it looked as if a businessman had used the fans' own money to take over the club and then let it go bust. They didn't understand. Many Rangers supporters may not understand either.
Barcelona proudly calls itself "mes que un club" which means more than just a club. Rangers is now a mess of a club. But that could change.
FCBarcelona is owned by 150,000+ socios (or members). All have one vote in the running of the club. No-one has more than one vote. This could happen at Ibrox.
What it needs is one Rangers fan with vision, true blue devotion, and a bit of money. He or she takes the lead and enlists the support of another 100 well-off supporters to buy the club and see off the present money-men owners.Then Rangers is passed into the ownership of its fans. Let's say 100,000 members buy in at £500 a time.
That's £50m, enough to start the club afresh. Members elect a president and conveners to look after the various aspects of the business. It should be said that Rangers (2012) FC is unlikely to be run by Big Wullie, chairman of the Kinning Park Loyal supporters club.
Barcelona's affairs are in the hands of business people. They don't get paid. They are expected to bring money in rather than take it out. They do so for the social cachet.
The Ibrox socio might pay £100 a year subscription. Then buy a season ticket or individual match tickets at discounted prices. Unlike the present murky finances at Ibrox, every penny goes to funding the team. There is the democracy bonus. The president and other suits can be voted out. The club does not become the plaything of wealthy individuals.
I should state for clarity that saving Rangers FC does not occupy all of my waking hours. I would rather this model of members owning the club be tried out first at a football team in the east end of Glasgow. Most of Scotland's football clubs would benefit from going down the socio path. If you get my drift. Here endeth today' s lesson in socio economics.
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