THOSE Rangers supporters opposed to the direct purchase of season tickets from the club, in order to starve out the board of directors and enact regime change, are gradually assembling a chorus line of popular backers.
Richard Gough, John Brown and Lorenzo Amoruso had all lent their public support to the campaign for supporters' money to be placed in a trust fund until the fans are granted security over the club's stadium (Gough is a director, along with Dave King, of Ibrox 1972 Ltd, the vehicle created as a focus for their efforts). Now the former striker Nacho Novo has revealed that he, too, supports those objectives.
The Union of Fans supporters group are backing former Rangers director King as the figurehead of a boardroom revolution, although there has been no evidence of rapprochement between King and the existing directors after a series of bitter exchanges. "I have been supporting King and before him Paul Murray [another ex-director who wants boardroom change]," said Novo. "They are Rangers people and for me I will always side with them. I will definitely support them and have thought about making this statement before now.
Loading article content
"I hear people asking all the time 'why don't people put lots of money in'. But let's be honest, why would you put money in now when you don't have any clue where it is going? The whole thing is a mess. I will support King 110% because he has Rangers' interest at heart. It won't be easy to get rid of the current board. Sometimes it looks as if we'll be going into administration and then it's denied. But who knows?"
Novo joined Rangers in 2004 and left in 2010 having won three Premier League titles, one Scottish Cup and two League Cups, as well as playing in the 2008 Uefa Cup final. He maintained regular contact with the club and said it pained him to see how both morale and the upkeep of Ibrox and Murray Park had deteriorated.
"It's all very sad, you can see that in the people at the club when you go to the stadium or Murray Park. In my time everyone was happy, the training ground and stadium were excellent. Now it looks as if it's been left and is not been looked after. The spirit is not the same either. I've been at Murray Park and Ibrox and there is something missing.
"It is still a massive club and without the fans the club would not exist. Families are struggling for work and don't have much money yet they will always try to support the club and would buy season tickets. Yet they do not know where the money is going. For me the whole thing is a joke.."
Graham Wallace, the Rangers chief executive, recently confirmed, in his 120-day review of the business, that the club had burned through £70.7m of season-ticket sales, commercial revenues and share issue income between May 2012 and December of last year, by which time only £3.5m was left in the bank.
"It's a lot of money to go and no-one knows how it's been spent or where it is," said Novo. "I think it's a mess. The only people I really care about in all of this are the fans. They are the ones who have spent their money on Rangers and they are the ones who are told nothing."
Novo, 35, is a free agent following a short-term deal at Carlisle.