MICHAEL MOLS has challenged the Rangers board to prove they regard the club as more than just a cash cow to be milked dry and insists a number of former players are waiting in the wings to provide an international scouting network on the cheap.
The 43-year-old Dutchman - who played up front for the Ibrox side in a more prosperous era between 1999 and 2004 - travelled to Gayfield to watch the weekend's 2-1 SPFL League 1 victory over Arbroath and revealed that an ex-players' collective is ready to help reconstruct a now nonexistent element of the infrastructure at their former employers.
Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, has already described the absence of a scouting system, a by-product of two years of financial turmoil, as "unacceptable" and is endeavouring to pin down chief executive Graham Wallace on details with regard to developing a structure geared towards sourcing fresh talent.
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Mols insists former players from across the globe are eager to provide their services in monitoring foreign markets as a way of "giving something back", but he has expressed doubts over the motives of the men currently in charge at Rangers and demanded greater clarity on finances.
Wallace and his board are on the back foot after last week's interim results brought a stern warning over the viability of the business should supporters follow through with plans to put season-ticket money into a fund set up by former director Dave King that will be drip-fed into the accounts on a game-by-game basis.
Wallace had insisted at the club AGM in December that there was "sufficient cash in the business to fund the ongoing needs of the club in the near term" but the board had to secure emergency loans of £1.5m, with evidence now available that they only had £3.5m left in the bank at that time despite raising £22m in a share issue staged one year earlier.
"The only thing I hope for is that the people in charge of Rangers - or those who are going to be in charge of Rangers - have the right intentions," said Mols. "At some points, I have the strange feeling that they are just trying to make money instead of bringing Rangers back to where they belong. I think it is better to be open so that the fans and other people don't have any questions. There are just too many questions right now and no answers.
"It is difficult to understand what is going on because I am in Holland and do not have all the information. Not even the Scottish supporters know what is really happening, though, and that is a shame for a club as big as Rangers. I knew the club would have to start over from the bottom, but the situation is not really improving after two years.
That is the strangest thing. Football-wise, we have won two championships and that
is really positive given the situation the club is in and that is a great compliment to
Ally McCoist, the staff and the players."
McCoist wishes to strengthen all areas of the team in preparation for the challenges of what looks like being a highly competitive SPFL Championship next season, but he appears to have different ideas from Wallace on quite how advanced rebuilding plans are.
The manager is eager to put his own ideas into operation to re-establish a scouting system, and Mols says he and others are ready to assist.
"There is a simple solution," Mols said. "There are so many ex-Rangers players all over the world. For instance, you have Claudio Reyna in America, you have Arthur Numan, Bert Konterman and Ronald de Boer in Holland, you have Lorenzo Amoruso in Italy. You can use these contacts better if you need some players. They can look for players or provide information if the club wants to know something about a player.
"I know more about the Dutch market and Lorenzo knows the Italian players more than anyone else. Use the contacts. Would these former players want to be involved? Without a doubt. No problem. Everybody is eager to help. The Dutch guys always meet up for Legends games and we had a tournament in Moscow recently where we saw the likes of Jorg Albertz, Rino Gattuso and Pedro Mendes. When you see other former players, you always talk about the club and the situation. It's true we reminisce, but there is a certain kind of bond that exists. You have the same history with the club. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger."
King, exerting growing pressure on the board as he bids to alter the powerbase,
has revealed he is ready to invest £30m of his own money in rebuilding Rangers in a manner that he believes will ensure they are ready to compete with Celtic, should they return to the top flight.
Mols knows of King from his time in the boardroom during the free-spending era of Sir David Murray. He does not doubt where the South Africa-based businessman's heart lies, but warns that it will take more than finance alone to return Rangers to a position of power against a Parkhead club that has developed a solid organisational structure.
"I remember him [King], but I don't know him personally," said Mols. "I know that he
is a Rangers man and hope he has the right intentions for the club. It takes time.
An investment would be a start, but it is
not just to do with money. It has to do with getting the right players, giving players
time to develop and bringing the team to
a higher level."