• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Timing the only issue

There are lots of positives to the share issue that Rangers have launched, there's no doubt about that.

It allows fans to own a portion of their club, they will hopefully be allowed a say in the way it is run, and they will be protecting it, so that it doesn't suffer the same fate as it has this year.

My only problem with it is the timing. Rangers fans only have until Tuesday to buy shares when they have already shown their loyalty this year by buying around 37,000 season tickets and raising money while the club was in administration.

Factor in the recession and the fact it is nearly Christmas and it's a difficult time for a lot of people to come up with spare cash. I'm certain many Rangers fans will find the means to buy some shares, but sometimes I just feel the fans have been asked to do enough already.

They played a big part in saving the club, but I know they will step up again, as fans always do in a crisis. Look at Hearts supporters, they've stepped up, and Celtic fans did in the past with Fergus McCann.

The share issue is a great idea, though, and it will work in terms of boosting Rangers' ability to rebuild. Everybody goes back to the Barcelona model, but whatever stake the fans take, it is good for the club and it is good for them.

There's no doubt it will cement the fact that Rangers won't go down the route they went down in the past, and we all know where that ended. The fans will know what is happening this time – in fact, a supporters' representative should be appointed to the board to ensure they have an input.

Rangers are in a stable place now. Going down to the Third Division has allowed them to regroup. It's a good idea to get the fans on board now, because they were pulled from pillar to post last summer.

They've been through a lot. In less than a year, they have had the uncertainties of Craig Whyte's regime, followed by the move into administration, which left them fearing for their team's very existence.

They then had to do their bit to try to save the club while getting used to the idea of Rangers playing in the Third Division.

I feel Charles Green has been shrewd. Everybody was talking about how great it was that Walter Smith was coming back as a non- executive director, but people shouldn't overlook the importance of Ian Hart's involvement, too.

Ian is a friend of mine and he's not interested in money. All he cares about is what's for the good of Rangers. He's such an unassuming man; you couldn't meet a nicer guy. It's good for fans to have the reassurance of both of these men having a presence.

They're going to have two great Rangers men on the board, and Charles Green seems to have become genuinely caught up in the club. That's the kind of institution Rangers is – you go there and it does that to you.

Even though Green is a Yorkshireman with no previous connection to the club, it grips you, particularly the passion of the fans. Anywhere you go all over the world – and I know Green and Ian Hart went to Florida and visited all the supporters clubs there – people want to talk to you about Rangers.

Those who are in charge now want to bring in more money to make the club secure and guys like Walter and Ian are Rangers men at heart. That's not to say things can't go wrong again, but I don't believe that will happen under these people.

So if you're buying shares, you'll get what you want, positives and the truth. For someone like Ian, it's not about making money, just making sure Rangers are OK.

Sometimes at a club, there's only so much you can do when a player's head has been turned. That's the case with Ryan Fraser at Aberdeen. I know the Pittodrie club like the back of my hand and it's one of the best for developing young boys; they really look after them.

Players should really have a long think before making the decision to leave, even if a leading English club is chasing them. But if a player is adamant he wants to leave, particularly if there's more money involved, there's very little a club can do.

Fans might ask why Fraser wasn't on a longer-term contract, but other young players at Pittodrie, such as Peter Pawlett and Michael Paton, got long deals and it didn't work out with them, so there's always a balance to be struck.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

130946