THE admission from Stewart Robertson was frank and honest. The pleas from the floor were emotional, almost exhausted, and from the heart.

Ultimately, actions will speak louder than words at Ibrox and time will tell how seriously Rangers treat the matchday experience of their disabled supporters.

In a question and answer session that lasted around 40 minutes, there was just one query of a financial theme at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday morning.

Such events should be mostly centred around the pounds and the planning, but the answer that John Bennett gave – to a question on behalf of Club 1872 – regarding loans and interest rates was the only time the board had to talk business.

Exchanges between Robertson and supporters on the subjects of vaccine passports and bans handed out to fans relating to an incident in the city centre were a waste of time. Both situations were handled professionally by the man who fielded most of the questions for the second section of the AGM.

Robertson had to hold his hands up to the ‘shambles’ of the Malmo game when quizzed about Rangers’ customer relations and the service that they provide to the people who pay the wages at Ibrox.

He wouldn’t, and couldn’t, argue with points made about the experiences of supporters but expressed hope that the appointment of David Milburn as customer service manager would result in an improvement when fans attempt to engage with the club. There is certainly plenty of scope for progress in that regard.

But it is the disabled Rangers supporters who are due the greatest care and attention right now and they should be the priority for the board moving forward.

Those that raised their cases from the floor had no option but to use the AGM as their platform to make their points heard. Calls for change have been made and heard, but action hasn’t followed.

The first voice on behalf of the disabled supporters stated that he had made this same point at the AGM three years ago. Facilities were described as a ‘disgrace for a club of Rangers’ standards’ as the matchday experience – one which leaves supporters unable to view the action on the park and left sitting exposed to the elements – was relayed in sad detail.

He would tell of how some fans don’t use their tickets in the event of heavy rain for fear of having their feet left soaking in the puddles in the East and West Enclosures. As his voice weakened with emotion, a round of applause erupted from those around him.

“I can’t argue with anything you have said and it is an area where we haven’t covered ourselves in glory frankly,” Robertson said in response. “We had a board meeting yesterday (Monday) where it was discussed and we have got a new Disability Liaison Officer, a chap called John Speirs, who joined us six weeks ago.

“We will work with John and we need to come up with a plan because it is just not good enough that, in this day and age, people are sitting in the conditions they are sitting in watching football. I am not going to argue with what you say.

“I apologise for the conditions you are watching football in and give you word that we will undertake to come back to you so that when we sit here next year, at the very least, we have got a plan in place to improve the disabled access.”

That point was added to by chairman Douglas Park. As he intimated, and Robertson later reaffirmed, the layout of Ibrox and the structure of the stadium mean there can be no quick fix to what is clearly a long-standing problem.

There is at least a real willingness for Rangers to take action and Bennett later insisted the issue had been ‘escalated’ and was now a ‘priority’ for the board. Whatever solution Rangers find, it will come at a cost.

The most noticeable one will come when seats have to be removed and viewing platforms built to overhaul the infrastructure around the ground. And that will have to be balanced up with the loss of revenue if the overall capacity of Ibrox is reduced as a result of the renovations to improve the facilities for those who need extra assistance to be able to cheer on their side.

The answers from Robertson, Park and Bennett were sincere. There is no easy solution, but one must be found as a matter of urgency if wheelchair users and disabled supporters are to feel an equal part of the Rangers family.

The final question on the matter came from Stevie Sinclair. He would make an offer, but it wasn’t one that was immediately accepted by those sitting along the top table.

“What I would like to do is show you just how difficult it is for wheelchair users to access the ground and the poor facilities within,” Sinclair said. “I would like to meet you, and any other board member who is interested, at the Albion car park and join me in getting from there to a viewing position in the ground.

“The catch is, I would like to provide a couple of spare wheelchairs and let you really see the issues and difficulties faced every matchday by wheelchair users. When you are actually wheeling a few yards in my wheels, hopefully it will speed up any plans the club may have to improve the poor facilities throughout the stadium.

“Incidentally, we are not alone having poor disabled facilities. Every other club in Scotland, bar maybe one or two, have atrocious facilities, but that doesn’t mean to say we can’t be a leading club. Will you accept this challenge, board?”

It remains to be seen if the Ibrox hierarchy have the inclination to accept that particular challenge but there is no excuse for not meeting the bigger issue head on.

The AGM provided the forum for concerns to be raised. Rangers can now lead the way and prove that actions really do speak louder than words.