RANGERS supporters have today launched the Club 1872 fan organisation at Ibrox.

The new unified body will bring together several groups under the one banner in a bid to give the Light Blue legions a stronger voice at Ibrox and further afield.

The core principles of Club 1872 are defined as independence, shareholding, financial contribution, standing up for supporters and engagement.

The group will be run and controlled by supporters and be independent from Rangers as they look to increase the shareholding in RIFC plc controlled by fans to 5%, then 10% and finally above the 25% mark to give fans a major say in the running of Rangers.

Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson commented: “I am delighted our supporters have united under the Club 1872 banner.

“Fans are the lifeblood of this great institution and they have shown unwavering support in good times and bad.

“I wish Club 1872 every success and look forward to working closely with them in the weeks, months and years ahead as we all look to take the club to the next level together.”

Members of the Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First voted overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of Club 1872 and Light Blue legends Willie Henderson and Alex MacDonald joined fans chiefs at Ibrox for the launch on Thursday morning.

Rangers First director Ricki Neill said: “Rangers fans’ groups voted unanimously in favour of one united organisation and I am thrilled Club 1872 has now been launched. I encourage all supporters to sign up and be part of something really special.”

The Rangers First 2014 CIC will be used as the shareholding vehicle, the Rangers Supporters Trust CIC will be used for projects, while Club 1872 Limited will control ownership of Club 1872 IP and other assets other than shares.

And Gordon Dinne of the RST is confident the move is a step in the right direction for Gers fans.

He said: “The Rangers Supporters Trust is delighted that the various supporters groups have been able to come together to form Club 1872.

“Our members have consistently been overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of Club 1872. It has been a long process but supporters now have one, strong organisation which is vital going forward both to represent our support and grow fan ownership.

“We are certain that, in the years to come, Club 1872 will be able to develop and fulfil the original aims of the RST and we hope the Rangers support will join in large numbers.

“The events at the Scottish Cup Final last weekend show how important it is for us to stick together and speak with one voice.”

Fans who already pay into the BuyRangers scheme will automatically become members of Club 1872 and then, on expiry of their payment arrangement with the RST, they will be asked if they wish to continue their membership of the new organisation.

Rangers First will follow the same methods as their members are migrated over to Club 1872 to create a several thousand strong fee-paying group.

Existing funds held by the RST and RF will be ring-fenced and used for increasing the fan-owned stake in RIFC plc, either through a share issue or by making market purchases in the future.

Members will have a choice of three monthly subscription levels of £18.72, £10 or £5 per month and all decisions will be taken on a one member one vote basis.

All cash that is raised will be split into three sections, one for buying shares to increase fans’ say at Ibrox, one for Club1872 projects that would be beneficial for Rangers, for example a fan zone or museum at Ibrox, and which could also include shares if fans wish, and a small proportion that will be set aside for administration to provide support to members.

Craig Houston of the Sons of Struth said: “The fans have done all they can to protect this great club in recent years and now Club 1872 gives all supporters the chance to have a genuine voice, have a say in important decisions and work closely with the Board.”

The Rangers Fan Board and Rangers Supporters Assembly will be dissolved as supporters look to create a “pioneering scheme for a British football club” and “reach a point where we have over 50,000 members all engaged with each other and the club.”

Andy Kerr, from the Rangers Supporters Assembly, stated: “The launch of Club 1872 is a significant landmark for all Rangers fans as it takes us closer than we've ever been to a single representative fans' group.

“The strong bond that now exists between the fans and the custodians of the club augurs well for a return to the high level of success we all expect. I really hope that all our fans will support Club 1872."

John Macmillan of the Rangers Supporters Association, said: “Rangers fans have endured some difficult times of late but supporters have always been there for their club and they always will.”

The Club 1872 working group will now oversee the organisation for a short period of time ahead of the board election process, which is expected to be underway by September.

Alan Fraser, former member of the now dissolved Rangers Fans Board, said: “Rangers are back in the top flight of Scottish football where they belong and I am genuinely excited about the future.

“Supporters, through Club 1872, can now have the voice they truly deserve and I am confident it will be a huge success."