Archive for January, 2014

Failure To Prepare Was Preparing To Fail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 17, 2014 by BMC Rangers Rants

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I haven’t written a blog in a while. Some would probably be pleased at that. Others maybe not so much.

As each week passes I have thought what could I say about this? what could I say about that? Following events of recent days I thought it was best to try and summarise my thoughts. So here goes.

February 14th 2012. A day etched in the heads and hearts of 100s of thousands of Rangers fans across the world. I still remember it quite vividly. The rumours circulated on Twitter and then before I knew it was on my television on Sky Sports News Breaking News bar. I shook my head and had a deep intake of breath. We kind of knew it was coming, but some said “No this can’t happen to Rangers.” It did. And the rest of that sorry affair has been covered by myself and many others numerous times previous.

The following season was our ‘fresh start’ as it was explained. Charles Green and his regime came in and stuck 2 fingers up to everyone. The fans rallied. The Charles Green roadshow happened. The ‘No Surrender’ Charles Green routine began. Myself and many others seen this as a chance to create a new football ethos at our club. We needed to look at everything from top to bottom. Address scouting, coaching, player development, developing youth. You could look at Swansea who had similar misfortune but drew up a blueprint for how they wanted the game to be played and how they would achieve it at a sustainable financial level. Why could Rangers not do it?

The illegal transfer embargo was thrown at us. We had to get who we could as quick as we could. Cribari. Black, Sandaza, Stella, Argyriou, Shiels, Kyle & Faure arrived. That was us. That was us for the 4th tier of Scottish football A league mainly made up of part times playing football. We had boys on thousands plying their trade against gardeners, postmen, window cleaners. Was it pretty? No it was by enlarge awful. The style of football deployed by our manager represented that of a Sunday league team, whoever the tall player up top is just lump it at him and feed off the scraps. People can agree/disagree all they like. That has been Rangers brand of football for some time now. For tall player see McCulloch, Kyle, Sandaza up until present day Daly. No one raised an eyebrow at the wage bill. A few journalists that Rangers fans love to hate dared question the money we were paying out but the response was

‘We get nigh on 50,000 every other week, we are Rangers so we are different.’

As we plodded our way through the 4th tier in Scotland with a astronomical wage bill the Charles Green Bullshit continued to be delivered at every turn. Chuck knew what the customer wanted to hear, so he told them that was exactly what he was going to do. The IPO happened and being honest I was very pleasantly surprised that we raised £22.5 mil in a very short period of time just before christmas. The christmas message was delivered from Charles Green and at the time the fans again lapped it up.

It was around this time I started to question Charles Green and his regime. I had queried it previously but began to start tracing back. I continually asked for substance and was continually much maligned by the fans that knew best. Charles was going to do this, he was going to do that. But how was Charles going to do it? I always remember when we were told what was happening with the IPO money I said to myself ‘that’s being used for operating costs.’ I take no pleasure in seeing I was right. Chuck bought the club with a loan, that has since been paid back with interest. He and many other people have made a lot of money out of Rangers whilst contributing very little. By the time Chuck left it had become abundantly clear the man was a liar and an absolute bullshitter. We were warned. Sheffield United fans and former staff told us exactly what he would do, and thats exactly what he did.

Green left and Mather came. Again the response was “Give him a chance”. He was clearly out of his depth and moved on quickly. Again with a lovely little pay out. Again we didn’t learn. The Easdale brothers have arrived and are the current ‘give them a chance’ candidates, but finally it appears the rank and file are actually wisening up, but is it too late? Honestly? I don’t know.

Somehow along the way we have managed to squander £22.5 mil IPO money and 2 seasons worth of season ticket money. We are now down to the bottom of the piggy bank again. Less than 2 years after entering administration? It is literally frightening. As I said at the time. The IPO money should of been used to lay the foundations of our very future. But that opportunity has long since gone. We are flying in the SFL 1 17 points clear with a plus 61 goal difference, great. But at what cost? Again we went signings crazy in the summer bringing in no fewer than 9 players. Law, Clark, Mohnsi, Daly, Peralta, Foster, Smith, Bell and Simsonsen. This was to win the 3rd tier of scottish football (no laughing at the back). One of the few positives from the journey starting in 2012 was the emergence of the young talent we weren’t used to seeing at Ibrox. McKay, Crawford, Stoney, Aird, Macleod, Gasparotto etc. However again our manager decided we needed more ‘experience’ and has subsequently loaned out most of this talent when really they should of been continuing their development with the club so when we get back to the top they would of been established first team regulars. But alas that wasn’t Ally’s idea.

People have said, and rightly so that Ally McCoist tenure as manager has been an unfair one. Upheaval after upheaval with transfer embargo’s etc. This is all true. But you know what? Past all that our manager who has been paid £835,000 up until recently has not assisted the future and development of our great club. That’s just my opinion of which quite a few share. Our manager’s solution and answer to most questions is to sign players and bring in experience. People can argue that not to be the case but they’d be wrong. Numerous interviews both in print and on television confirm it. Whilst in a club interview Ally said he wanted to replicate the “Ajax and Porto model” there has not been a single thing to intimate that actually happening. This isn’t all Ally’s fault. Again I’ve stressed this numerous times. Ally didn’t say he wanted a £835,000 salary. Ally didn’t force the club to let him sign 9 players in the summer. That’s not on him. But he is not without fault either. Some refuse to accept that at any cost.

Personally my view of Ally is this. I love Ally McCoist the man. Growing up he was my hero. He always will be. He is a tremendous ambassador of our club. As a football manager? No. His tactics, formation and style of play he repeatedly deploys at such a low level is actually deplorable. He uses the tactics Walter Smith did in the champions league against part time teams. It’s actually a wee bit of a running joke now. As is the continued persistence with playing folk out of position. As is the going with ‘experience’ route at every corner, to the detriment of young players who have shown up well. All these repeated faults are nothing to do with the regime running the club but instead the man in the dugout. People can dispute that if they like, we can agree to disagree. With regard to Ally’s view of the various boardroom line ups. Ally has said in recent times that he does not know anything about the financial side of the club. In which case that kind of clears up why at various times he has backed Whyte, Green, Mather, Wallace etc. If this is the case I’d suggest in all future correspondence Ally speak only of football management decisions. That was there can be misunderstanding from the fans.

In the boardroom? Where do we even start?

As the club hurtles towards its last £1 million we now have Mr Graham Wallace, former COO of Manchester City as the man at the helm. “He is from Man City so must be great” was the chat I was given. You’ll excuse me for remaining sceptical. Past the ‘stitch up’ AGM that some actually thought the requisitioners had a chance of winning we were again stuck with the faceless regime plus the Easdale brother’s and a few other pieces of pond life. Jack Irvine the man who ‘cleaned up’ Craig Whyte’s past arrived. Sandy and James told us they were trusted by the Institutional investors and that they could bring investment, £50 mil according to Jack Irvine. The fans quite rightly called ‘bullshit’ and unsurprisingly no investment has come in. Instead our share price has dropped through the floor whilst Graham Wallace and his band of merry financial consultants have carried out a 120 day business review. The best we can come up with? Ask the boys on the park to take a 15% pay cut. I shook my head as my friend broke the news. Was I surprised ? Not in the slightest. Are some of our players overpaid? Grossly. Is that their fault? Most certainly not. Were they right to reject the proposal? As long as the current incumbents in the Ibrox boardroom are still being paid their full wage then damn right they were.

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Brian Stockbridge, Rangers Finance Director is still in place. The man that has somehow overseen 10s of millions of pounds walk out  the door in 1 and a half years in the bottom tiers of scottish football is still wearing his Rangers tie and blazer. It actually sickens me. The man that told us we were “On track” and that our balance sheet would be the “envy of any team in Scotland” as recently as October. Turns your stomach doesn’t it? Somehow, Some way he and Jack Irvine are still employed by Glasgow Rangers Football Club. And for the life of me I just cannot answer why. Graham Wallace would do well to tell us.

Tonight Andy Mitchell was the first casualty of the impending clear out at our once great club. The youngster was given a 1 year deal last season and was subsequently loaned out as our manager looked to bring in more experience. Is that a surprise? No almost expected. That’s what Rangers do these days. The young boys are on the least so will be the easiest to move on. Porto and Ajax model remember? Expect more to follow.

The harsh reality is this. For at least the last 10 years Rangers have been a lazy lazy club. The answer to everything has been to sign players. Scouting has been awful. Development from within the club has been minimal. We have went down the jobs for the boys route when recruiting instead of looking for actual ability. As a result things have only improved when we’ve spent money on players from elsewhere. It’s just how it has been. Off the field we have been passed from pillar to post to people who do not have a single care for one of Scotland’s greatest Institutions. Our future has not mattered as long as these people have made money and continue to do so. The so called ‘Rangers men’ have come out with all kinds, except one thing which is rather important when shouting the odds. It’s called money. I myself have long believed Dave King would eventually be the saviour, but honestly right now I ask “Where are you Dave King? How can you let this happen to the club you love?”

People continually shout me down, I am negative apparently. I’d ask those reading this to tell me where I am wrong? Sometimes the truth hurts.

Positives? The Rangers Family. That simple. The best fans in the world. If the right person/people stepped forward the fans would again dig deep. The biggest investor in Rangers is the fans. Always has been, always will be. Graham Wallace and his cronies would do well to remember that. Without us their cash cow does not exist.

If Dave King or an other was to step forward and take this club out of the hands of these faceless individuals we could turn this all around. A share issue with someone we trust would be well received. Especially if we actually knew the money was going to Rangers. I still believe this can happen. We could easily be a sustainable business. There is still opportunity. But right now it seems far away.

Right here, Right now I see the whole thing as a mess on so many different levels. But they always say the first part of solving a problem is admitting you have one. We have many sadly. But it can be fixed.

Sadly right back in 2012 on and off the field ‘Failure To Prepare Was Preparing To Fail’.