THE actions will always speak louder than the words. Right now, that is a problem for the Rangers board as the discontent amongst supporters, and the disconnect the man in the stand feels with those around the top table, continues to grow as doubts are cast and questions are asked.

Step forward John Bennett. At least the deputy chairman put his head above the parapet on Tuesday, but a two-part interview on RangersTV - one of lengthy answers that were short on detail - wouldn't have won over the more discerning sections of the fan base.

Bennett's love of Rangers is clear and his financial backing simply cannot be questioned or derided. He and his fellow investors have shown they were the right men to save and restore Rangers but taking the club forward is a very different prospect and key issues remain to be addressed.


The social media plug on Tuesday morning saw Bennett admit to failings in the way that Rangers communicate with their fans. The irony on those punters was not lost, then, when the full interview was put behind the RangersTV paywall and only made available free on YouTube after a groundswell of online anger and ridicule.

The phrase 'lazy journalism', one which has become lazy in its own right, was used amid discussions over the Champions League cash and there was an admission that Rangers had 'fallen short' in getting their message across. But this is a club that has pulled up the drawbridge and cut off lines of communication through historic title successes and European runs.

Petty fights have been picked with the SPFL and Press and the chance to shape narratives has been blown as a result of a strategy that was poorly conceived and has been shoddily implemented. As access has been reduced, supporters have been left in the dark over every matter ranging from team news to financial projections and the damage done will take a long time to repair.


Bennett labelled the defeats to Celtic and Ajax as 'unacceptable' but talked up a 'Rangers performance' in the 3-0 loss to Napoli. The showings of Allan McGregor, Steven Davis and Scott Arfield were somehow a justification of their new deals but fans continue to question the goalkeeper position and lack of investment in the midfield.

Bennett spoke about the bar continually being raised, yet the board stand accused of failing to plan properly and spend wisely in the aftermath of title 55 and the run to Seville. However cherished those achievements are, failing to defend the Premiership was a calamitous failure last term and the cup record in recent seasons is abject.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has defended the recruitment and the squad but none of his seven summer signings started against Napoli and an ageing group, one that is short of options from middle to front, doesn't have the look of champions about it. If that proves correct, the Dutchman and Ross Wilson cannot survive at Ibrox.


The previous analogy of the 'four pillars' of Rangers morphed into the 'four cylinders' as Bennett addressed the transfer model. It is one which has seen Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey leave for record-breaking sums to Everton and Ajax respectively but the way in which those funds have been reinvested continues to anger supporters.

The gamble paid off as Connor Goldson signed a new deal in the summer and Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos are now in the final months of their contracts as Rangers run the risk, once again, of losing valuable assets for no return. That is just unfathomable folly in both football and financial perspectives.

The model of buying low and selling high only works if the scouting and recruitment is on point and the signing record under Wilson is far from good enough. As Rangers prepare for another handful of deals to expire next summer, the fear is that there is no long-term plan for the development of the squad in place.


A lot of words were spoken - and platitudes about the 'lifeblood' are all fine and well - but nothing was really said and there was no detail or even a hint of a plan in place. Once fans feel that they are being treated like customers rather than supporters, the board have a huge job on their hands to turn the tide of public opinion.

Right now, they are drowning in concerns over ticketing, customer service and merchandise, as well as areas such as MyGers and European travel. Fans don't want cliches and a questionable tone, they want decisive action and answers on the issues that impact them the most and many feel remote from the club.

Bennett said he was 'struck' by the reaction of fans in the Premier League to the Super League proposal. It is even more extraordinary, then, that Rangers misread the room so spectacularly and signed up for the Sydney Super Cup before being forced into an embarrassing climbdown in a situation that should not be forgiven or forgotten.


Talk of 'best in class' became buzzwords for Bennett in relation to upgrades at Ibrox and Auchenhowie. The New Edmiston House project is repeatedly hyped up and given the big sell, but no answers were provided on why it is now several months overdue and how high the total bill will be before it opens its doors.

The Blue Sky Lounge has been given the same razzamatazz pitch alongside a headline figure of £23million in capital expenditure. Again, no clarity was provided on where and how that cash - some of which has come from the pockets of the punters - has been spent as fans were not provided with the clarity that is being promised.

Work to repair infrastructure such as lifts and roofs has been long overdue and is as crucial as it is commendable. If you were being cynical, you could say a belated update on improving disabled facilities has only come about to give the board a ready-made answer at the AGM in a couple of weeks.