“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” ― J.K. Rowling,
With the democratic process having now commenced to elect the new Rangers First Board, it has become clear there are a number of issues and concerns being flagged up and discussed on social media. Some are fact driven, some are driven by personal feelings of concerns and some via rumours of fan groups and board agendas. It is completely understandable with past events that every Rangers fan is on a defensive mindset given we have been through the emotional ringer for years. We were a fragmented support prior to those events. But after those events we stood together for the greater good of our club, and to ensure those events can never be repeated. Even so, fan groups may have differing views on who runs the club, and how the club is run.
I am not aligned to a single fan group and I respect figures within each of the groups who stood in our darkest hours and asked the big questions, who mobilised fans and said “never again”. I also contribute to more than one group; I share some views with one, and other views with others.
The fan groups and movements which bought shares and forced out the rats was a mission accomplished. The current board have delivered on governance, attractive football and a plan for infrastructure. I can see the appeal for the board to deal with one supporters body: it is far easier to work with as one body as a partner, rather than convince each group individually on strategy and planning for the future. Only future discussions will determine whether a united fans body is possible and whether there is enough common ground to press ahead.
I have read comments on social media from members of some groups asking “under a merger what’s in it for us”, the majority who pay in to these schemes do so for the well being of the club and because they wanted change, whilst looking to protect the club from any future ownership by those looking to line their own pockets. Such a question needs to be answered with a question, what are you are first and foremost a supporter of the club or a supporter of said group?
I believe a single fan body is the way forward, a democratic process that represents the majority of the support, which has a direct channel to the board, to ask the questions when we need answers. Surely this is better than different bodies posing any number of questions, and having to wait for an AGM to be heard. This also gives us clearer transparency and holds the board room to greater account (if required). There are numerous talented people within each group with the club at heart. Pooling such talent is worth more to the club, than having various messages diluted by shouting from the shadows. We’ve been through hell; we have many enemies who belittle us outside of our club. It is time to stand united with the message:
“We are the supporters of the most successful club in the world; together we stood together and did what no other clubs fans would.”
Given we are now talking big money and responsibility, I made my decision on who to elect for the Rangers First board on one factor, asking myself the question, if I was employing them to run my business who would I hire?
Finally, it is important to remember such discussions on social media are not just between you and your fellow support, everything discussed is being copied, quoted and with the comments “The Ranjurs fans are imploding”. As such, I urge everyone to take care in their contribution and take the opportunity to work together than against each other.
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