MAYBE Charles Green is right and there really has been what amounts to a stampede of Rangers supporters rushing towards him with their wallets open, desperate to buy into the share flotation the club is about to launch.

Certainly, the figures claimed by the chief executive so far have beggared belief. Around 8000 potential investors have declared their interest, he's said. Somewhere between £15m and £17m will be invested if they all cough up what they've said they will.

If all that dough really does flood into Ibrox, Green will be in demand for lectures to Harvard Business School. Surely there would never have been a newcomer who milked so much money out of a set of supporters while giving so little of himself away.

"I don't care what people think about Charles Green or what the media think about Charles Green, because it's all based on ignorance and not knowing me," he said in an interview only last week. Well, exactly. Neither Rangers fans nor most of the rest of us can claim to know Green yet. Nor can those thousands of supposed investors possibly be sure of what they're putting their money into.

Anecdotal evidence suggests an ongoing and entirely sensible caution towards Green, which doesn't quite square with the impression of unbridled enthusiasm presented by the man himself. There's a difference between buying a season ticket, as 36,000 have done for the guarantee of watching their team, and plunging a required minimum of £500 into shares.

Only six months ago no-one had heard of Green. For the last three of those he's assiduously pushed all the right buttons to get the majority of Rangers supporters onside. Even those who are reluctant or unwilling to get involved in the share issue tend to like him, but they're wary, and understandably so. Many would be far more comfortable about buying into Green in a year or so. If ever there was a set of fans who have been burned, manipulated, deceived and exploited, it's the Rangers support.

Green has often boasted that the club he runs is debt-free and that has always sounded crass towards those who helped oldco Rangers and lost hundreds, thousands or millions as a result of it. Among them, remember, were the 6050 Rangers supporters who paid between £1000 and £1650 for Club Deck debentures back in 1991 and saw their investment turn to ashes a few months ago. A lot of them, comfortable but not necessarily rich individuals, are exactly the sort of people Green will have to rely on in this share issue. It's hard to believe there will be a queue of financial investors for a club with no prospect of making serious money any time soon.

Rangers have been here before. They launched rights issues in 2000 and 2004 and a particularly poor response for the latter was attributed to widespread dissatisfaction with how Murray was running the club (yes, even then). Not even nine-in-a-row, Laudrup, Gascoigne and a mountain of trophies counted for a great deal when Murray went out with the begging bowl eight years ago.

The ironic thing is that you can bet your life Green and his consortium demanded far more information and answers before they took control than they have made available to potential investors so far. When a prospectus is published some answers surely will be provided. Until then, there has been nowhere near the level of transparency any investor is entitled to expect.

Fans are being encouraged to buy into a company for which no accounts have ever been published. The identity of all of the company's shareholders has never been revealed: apparently all of them will be listed in the prospectus, but then again they were supposedly going to be identified once the takeover was complete. There has been far too little time for anyone to make any judgment on how well, or otherwise, the company is being run.

What is the business plan? What, exactly, will any money raised now be used for, given that none of it will go on transfers? If it's for working capital, why is that necessary in the infancy of a new company's ownership? Fans are being asked to cough up £20m for a minority holding in a company which was bought in its entirety for just over a quarter of that five months ago.

Hearts don't have any answers beyond going to their fans, either. Like Rangers, they will go out with a begging bowl just before Christmas. Rangers' minimum investment is £500, Hearts' £110, the latter effectively coming with an ultimatum that if the money doesn't come in owner Vladimir Romanov cannot be held responsible for what might happen next.

The subtext of this is that two of the very biggest Scottish clubs cannot generate enough money on their own without going to the fans for it, fans who already commit via season tickets, the purchase of merchandise and even satellite television subscriptions. The well should be empty, yet the nagging worry of what might happen to their clubs if they don't invest could result in a decent take-up of shares at both clubs.

But it cannot be stressed enough: if Green brings home anything like £15m barely five minutes after first walking into Ibrox, and without delivering anything beyond soundbites so far, supporters will have taken an astonishing leap of faith.