Growing anger among the fans has led to blunter protests against the board, while the publication of the audited accounts of Rangers International Football Club last week prompted fierce scrutiny of certain costs, payments, wages and bonuses, but also how long the cash reserves would hold out.
The consensus was that at some stage next season - depending on cost cutting and revenue streams - Rangers will need more investment. A second insolvency event is unlikely, since there are enough investors of means who would act to protect their stake rather than see the business fail. There are also wealthy fans who are keen to provide funds under certain circumstances, such as Dave King, but how Rangers deal with that financial imperative will in some ways be determined in the coming weeks.
The RIFC annual general meeting is booked for Thursday, October 24, at Ibrox, but a full hearing at the Court of Session a week tomorrow will ascertain whether or not nominations for four new directors will be added to the agenda, which could result in the meeting being postponed to allow shareholders time for due consideration. Whenever it occurs, it will be a dramatic and possibly decisive occasion. There is a conflict around the club, principally between the incumbent directors and a group of institutional shareholders who want replacements - Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson - appointed to the board.
Only the trauma of insolvency was able to truly unite the club's fan base, but divisions have re-emerged. There appears to be a majority supporting change, with Sack The Board banners more prevalent and the protest group the Sons of Struth quickly becoming established and influential. More protests are planned for today's game against Ayr United at Somerset Park. There will be several casualties in this battle for Rangers' heart and soul, but the most damaging one could be between the club and the supporters. When Rangers Football Club plc entered administration, it carried the effect of a rallying call. Fans were roused to action to save the institution, and from a moment of financial calamity an opportunity emerged. It was to restore Rangers with a stable business base and renewed values, but also to revive the relationship with the supporters, to overcome the disconnection that had grown when the era of Sir David Murray fell into a tailspin of debt and recrimination; for fans to feel, again, that they had an influence on the decision-making process at Ibrox. That chance is being lost again.
Rangers supporters had a chance to reclaim their club, even if there was not the wherewithal to mount a realistic bid to raise the funds to own it themselves. Now, there is rancour between them and the club. On blogs and forums, the annual accounts and statements from individual directors were pored over for every inconsistency and matter of doubt. Trust has broken down, and lawyers' letters to prominent supporters generated a sense of indignation among other fans. A football club is, in essence, the bond between the team and its followers, and disregarding that, or not protecting it, can be damaging.
A victory for the incumbents at the AGM would present them with an immediate problem: how to win back the fans. It may be one they struggle to win. The Easdale brothers either own or have a proxy for almost 25% of the club's shares, while the requisitioners behind the curtailed attempt to call an emergency general meeting last month were backed by up to 28%. Individual fans who are investors make up around 11% of the shareholder base, and how many of them turn up to vote at the AGM could be influential, but so too are larger holdings such as Mike Ashley's. In effect, the battle for votes between the two sides is finely balanced.
Any delay to the AGM will leave more room for fan rebellion to grow. This is stage two of Rangers journey back to the top flight, but not all involved are moving in step. Members of the board are on the defensive, when the only way to truly end the upheaval is to allow the shareholders to vote on the current and nominated directors and ascertain who has the majority backing. Blocking the nominees is, therefore, counterproductive.
Ally McCoist stressed last Friday that he was "not upset" that his salary was published in the accounts. He also noted that the football wage bill will be reduced in the next set of accounts, with lower player salaries and the wage cut that he and his coaches have agreed to. The club remains in transition, since it is maintaining a top-flight team and infrastructure on lower-division incomes, but it is certainly not at peace. It needs to be.