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Spiers on Sport: the sums still don't add up at Rangers, as Graham Wallace knows

I keep asking myself - because it seems a highly relevant question - just how long Graham Wallace will remain in place as Rangers CEO.

Ask some, and they say Wallace is a mere puppet for the main players at Rangers - such as certain institutions or the Easdales - and he will remain only as long as he is tolerated.

Ask others, and they tell you Wallace dares to be an independent thinker, a man not shackled to Rangers for the rest of his life, who is capable of telling the truth as he sees it, without fear for his job.

In truth, Wallace is first and foremost an apparatchik, whose loyalty is to his pay-masters. But this embattled Rangers executive is also an intelligent man, capable of seeing a wider vista, where the long-term security and good health of Rangers are to be found.

Wallace is a fascinating figure in this endless Ibrox trauma, because he will know, being on the inside, what is best for Rangers. And if "what is best for Rangers" is not represented by the current set-up at the club, will he come out and say so in time?

Here is the blunt truth of it. If the current board/principal shareholders can make Rangers thrive, then all well and good.

But if they can't, then they should publicly acknowledge that failing - no shame in it - and make way for others who can.

The evidence of recent times is that the best this Rangers board can do is pass round an old rusted tin with the hope of catching some pennies in it. It is a hopeless state of affairs. It seems an affront to this football club, not an aid to it.

The recent, vague announcement via the Stock Exchange of "the possibility" - but with "no certainty" - of a fresh £4 million equity-issue with existing shareholders looked like one such sticking-plaster measure.

What is this, if not the Rangers FC equivalent of busking on a cold winter's evening on Sauchiehall Street in the hope of scraping some cash? It smacks, almost literally, of a meter at Ibrox about to run out.

If I were Wallace I would find much of this pretty embarrassing. Notwithstanding its painful recent past, this is hardly the way for a modern football club of Rangers' stature to be doing business. And Wallace must know it.

The question is, how bold will he be in fathoming the truth of Rangers? Will he remain sworn and in cahoots with those who currently guarantee his pay-cheque? Or will Wallace come out and say: "Enough is enough. Rangers isn't working. This club needs an entirely fresh approach to things."

To a degree Wallace has already broken rank over the Dave King question. The South African-based Scot, whatever you think of him, has money, and Rangers need it. And Wallace seems more disposed to King than many other power-holders at Ibrox.

Three months have now passed since Wallace openly stated that, to his way of thinking, King should be able to get some power at Rangers via a fresh rights-issue - open to both existing and new equity takers - which the club plans for later this year.

I'm not sure if, behind the scenes, Wallace would be slapped down for expressing such a view. Nor - as yet - do Rangers have shareholder approval for such a rights-issue, and it might never be granted.

But Wallace has a habit of offering glimpses of "the truth" about the long-term viability of Rangers. And it seems to me he doesn't truly believe the current regime at the club can offer a road ahead.

All of these things are complicated, of course they are. The Rangers directors, make of them what you will, could with a grain of truth turn round and say that declining season-ticket sales and rebelling fans were essentially hurting the club.

Wallace himself might say that, were Rangers income-streams holding up as normal at the turnstiles, he could credibly turn the club around in three years. In fact, I believe he could.

But it is a rule of thumb in football - "the club is the fans" - and Rangers are suffering the brunt of that truth right now. There is dislike, distrust, even contempt for those running the club. Many fans are withholding their support - and thus their money.

Those in control of Rangers cannot undo the world - they have to live in it. And if they can't make things work at Ibrox, then others should get their chance.

Admit it, Graham Wallace.

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