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Uncouple the gravy train

SANDY Easdale finally broke his media silence this week and from the way he is talking it is as if he and his brother James know they have already won the vote at Thursday's Rangers AGM.

I have always said he means business long term and that is turning out to be the case. But one man with no long-term future at the club is Brian Stockbridge.

A lot of the red cards held up by fans at last week's match at Ibrox would disappear if the likes of Stockbridge or PR man Jack Irvine were out. Obviously there are question marks about the Easdales as they have continued to work with these people, but if and when they win the AGM vote I think they will be inclined to give the fans an early Christmas present: getting Brian Stockbridge off the board.

I don't know the brothers personally, but Sandy came across as a strong-minded individual, and it seems clear to me he is not a made-up Rangers fan like Craig Whyte. He doesn't want people who take money out of Rangers, he wants people who earn a wage by adding value to the club.

He admitted the club are overspending, and said the gravy train will end. While I disagreed with his pressuring fans by saying if they didn't buy season tickets it could be a fatal blow, they have effectively been left with that situation because Charles Green and all these guys have taken their bonuses and left the club in financial strife. That is why I think he will want Stockbridge out.

A defeat for the four nominees who want a place on the board will disappoint some fans, but while they will continue to voice their feelings, I can't see them boycotting the club.

The supporters have bailed Rangers out before, and will do it again, but there has to be a bit of come and go. If the fans keep buying season tickets, Sandy and James will have to get rid of the people the fans want out so everybody will come together.

I don't think the Rangers fans have fired broadsides about Sandy and James Easdale so far: the main thing is they just don't want people who have been associated with Green and Whyte. As long as the Easdales can dilute that impression then the Rangers fans could buy in to it and the Easdales could still be in charge 10 years down the line.

I know there might be questions about their past, but as a Rangers fan you don't want to walk away from the club. They have said they will not overspend or pay out cash we shouldn't be paying. This might not be where the club want to be long term, but it is at least a start.

I don't blame Ally McCoist for taking the money, or the players. I would have taken it if it was offered it to me. But you can't tell me the club haven't overpaid, for the circumstances and the league they're in. The current board signed the cheques, which is why the Easdales are addressing that situation.

Paul Murray says he will walk away if he loses, and has done his bit, so I have a feeling the new year could be when all the negativity and animosity around Rangers starts to die down. But the Easdales need to prove themselves to the fans through actions, not just words, and get people in who want to work hard. Too many people in recent times - the Greens, the Whytes, the Ahmads, the Stockbridges - have wanted to feed off the carcass. That has got to stop. Come Thursday the Easdales will be in charge. They know what they have to do if the fans are to trust, believe and back them.

IT has been an interesting week for Celtic, with the trouble at Motherwell last Friday, disbanding of the Green Brigade, a £42,000 fine for the "illicit" banners, and that drubbing by Barcelona in midweek.

Although all at the club were having a go at the people who vandalised seats at Fir Park, and rightly so, Neil Lennon must be regretting giving them the extra profile.

I was at Celtic Park when they celebrated the SPL title last season, and having paraded the trophy around the stadium, when Neil got to Green Brigade he stuck the trophy down by the corner flag, as if they were the special ones. I felt it sent out the wrong message, and maybe it unwittingly gave them a platform to do what they have done this season. They created a monster.

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