WHEN chief executive Charles Green departed Rangers towards the end of the Ibrox club’s season in the old Third Division back in 2013, their then manager Ally McCoist offered an opinion on how they could go forward.

“What the club needs is to be totally cleansed,” he said. “We need to give ourselves an opportunity to move on. We need to cleanse ourselves so that everyone can see what has been going on and where we are hopefully heading.”

McCoist’s attempts to revive the Glasgow giants following their financial meltdown the year before had been shamefully undermined in the preceding months by those who held positions of power.

READ MOREClub 1872's Dave King deal is a missed opportunity for Rangers fans

He realised that individuals who had the best interest of Rangers at heart and commanded the full backing of the supporters had to be in charge if they were to recover from their off-field implosion and return to the forefront of the Scottish game.

It took another two years for that much-needed change to happen – and the legendary striker had long departed when it finally did – but when Dave King and his allies seized control at an Extraordinary General Meeting in 2015 he was proved to be correct. 


Rangers went from strength to strength, the Pedro Caixinha experiment aside, thereafter. They have since won the Premiership and the Scottish Cup, reached a European final and the Champions League group stages and, after years of posting heavy losses, recorded a healthy £6m pound profit.

There is, with the team nine points behind Celtic in the league, widespread unhappiness with many of those who occupy the boardroom at Ibrox among the fanbase at the moment. Such is football.

Still, their resurgence in the past eight years shows that having the right people at the helm is vital to any organisation’s chances of prospering.

Can Club 1872, the Rangers fans group whose bid to buy King’s major 14.47 per cent shareholding for £13m ended in failure this week when the former chairman withdrew from his agreement with them due to a poor uptake, enjoy a similar revival going forward?

READ MORE: Dave King withdraws from Club 1872 deal as Rangers share bid fails

They have stated that, while disappointed at the outcome of their ambitious initiative, they will be looking to increase their shareholding, which is currently the sixth largest, and have already identified “a number of opportunities” to do so.

There will, though, need to be a squad rebuild if they are to become a major player at Rangers again in the future.

They could do far worse than look along the M8 at the success which the Foundation of Hearts, who have over 8,000 members donating monthly and who became the majority shareholders at the Tynecastle club back in 2021, have enjoyed as they ponder their next step. 

The chief executive of Tesco Bank, the general manager of IBM’S technology business in Great Britain and Ireland, a partner in accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as a corporate lawyer and a chartered taxation adviser currently sit on the foundation board.


That is the high level of professional expertise which is required if fans are to hold real power at a major club. Supporters need to know their hard-earned cash is being looked after by responsible and qualified executives. The total amount that Jambos have contributed is set to pass the £15m mark in the coming months. That is not a sum for well-meaning amateurs to handle.

The current trustees of Club 1872 clearly remember the dark days of 2012 well and obviously believe passionately that having a sizeable stake in and real say in the running of their heroes will prevent them from ever returning.

But is the necessary nous there to achieve their lofty ambitions? James Irvine, who was elected to the board in 2021, is a retired solicitor with an impressive CV and a track record in complex international litigation and arbitration. Many more of his ilk are required. Complaints about communication, governance and transparency persist.

Is sniping from the sidelines at a board which no longer engages with them about the proposed safe-standing section, the price of match day tickets and the My Gers scheme, regardless of how justified their assorted grievances are, really a good look for a body which wants to be the major shareholder?

READ MORE: Rangers boss Michael Beale leads from the front after Thistle cup call

Barely enough people turned up at their latest annual contributors meeting to form a five-a-side team. It was indicative of the low esteem they are held in by many of those they are supposed to represent as well as their diminished relevance. 

One of those who bothered to trap summed up the feeling of a large number of deeply disillusioned Bears when he stood up and said “this is an organisation that is stagnating – there needs to be dynamism and inspiration”.

Michael Beale is set to offload many members of his squad in the summer and bring in new faces and fresh talent in the hope that Rangers can challenge Celtic for the Scottish title next season. There has to be a similar process at Club 1872 if faith in them is to be restored. 

It will be highly unfortunate if those who have ploughed hundreds of thousands of pounds in during the past six years in the hope that fans could achieve a 25 per cent stake ultimately see their money go to waste.