Another Blue Day

Although it has little to do with Rangers as such, the news that the club’s NOMAD is suspended is not the best of news in the present situation.

With the papers full of speculation on the future of Ally McCoist in the Rangers dugout and, quite frankly, the vast bulk of fans screaming for him to be removed, bad news about any aspect of the club is most unwelcome at the present time.

The difficulties of Daniel Stewart only serve to highlight the precarious state of Rangers’ fiscal position.

We are hurtling towards an AGM which could be the most crucial in the history of the club – something that is now an annual event, if we are being honest – and it is hard to find any positives in the Rangers universe.

The state of play is that a share issue is expected as being a likely outcome of this AGM but that this could be the gateway to the Armageddon that is hanging over the club. I mean by this the ongoing battle between The Consortium i.e. the band of men seeking to usurp control at Ibrox and the besieged and beleaguered Rangers Board.

The Consortium are relying on a Dave King £30 million investment and the incumbent Board are hunting billionaires to keep King out of Castle Ibrox. Well, some of the Board are as Graham Wallace is widely perceived to favour the Dave King side.

King’s ability and willingness to invest are both still very much unknowns, as I have blogged previously. Unfortunately, the SoS stormtroopers who handle propaganda for The Consortium, are seeking to virtually force the present Rangers Board out of business with no firm guarantee that Dave King can or will pony up the money. In short, Rangers could go under with no King lifeboat coming to the rescue.

King has tried to make out he has distanced himself from the likes of the SoS but it is hard to give this much credence. Their attempts at destabilising the current regime certainly play into King’s hands.

The problem for the loyal Rangers supporters is that they are being kept in the dark by pretty much all involved. Dave King, we are told, likes to keep his cards close to his chest. Not good enough, frankly. Firstly, Rangers FC is not the pot in a game of poker and secondly, the shouts by the King camp for transparency from the Rangers Board while being secretive and furtive yourself is rank hypocrisy.

Football is a business and it is a cut-throat one. But Gers fans deserve better than the dribble of communication from both sides in the conflict. I understand that investors often want to do things quietly away from any media glare before they make their move but that is virtually impossible in the present saga.

What we can rely on is that no matter what wealthy investors this present Rangers Board come up with, the SoS stormtroopers will do their masters’ bidding and chase them away.

Which might mean that there will be no Armageddon battle for control of Rangers, after all.

Because if the Boycott Brigade chase away all comers and leave the field open for their beloved King, they might get a nasty surprise if he doesn’t show up.

Then they will get what they have been wishing for all along – Rangers going under.

Only with no lifeline.

As for the managerial issue, it looks like the only person who can change the Rangers managerial position is Ally himself.

If the Board prevail, they cannot afford to replace him. And if King does put his money where his mouth is, Coisty will be bombproof in the Rangers dugout.

At least you can’t say it’s dull…

The Penny Drops For Gers Fans

Hibs came to Ibrox last night and tore apart a Rangers team in a blistering first half performance.

The half-time whistle has surely never been so welcome as it was an absolute rampage by Hibs, who looked likely to continue the rout.

The result was not the most significant thing last night, however.

What was the most significant thing was the perceptible change in the atmosphere. It was like a big penny had dropped and everybody in the stadium finally realised the cold hard truth:

It isn’t going to get any better.

This management team is simply incapable of molding these players into a credible contender for the Premiership. The proof is how much they are toiling – and already well adrift – in the Championship.

At this rate, Rangers’ best hope is a shot at the play-offs. And in this critical season, where progress is absolutely imperative, that is not acceptable.

At least three of the players on display in the famous light blue looked as if they had absolutely no clue as to what position they were supposed to be playing. The tactics were naive, the team shape indiscernible and the leadership completely lacking, both on the pitch and from the sidelines. Hibs dismantled Rangers with an ease that should concern every bluenose.

Of course, Rangers are capable of winning games and putting in some decent displays. They have done so already this season. But it is the underpinning weakness that is the problem. When they come up against an opposition which is proving tough to break down, there is a deeply worrying lack of nous in the dugout to change things around.

I watched Hearts get taken to the cleaners by a poor Celtic team last week and there is no doubt that Hearts are the best team in Rangers’ division. This is the gap that must be filled and what is really disappointing is not that there is such a gap but that it is becoming increasingly clear that the present Rangers management team do not have what is required to even come close to filling that gap.

Rangers are already lagging behind and this just piles the pressure on for every game. This pressure is clearly already getting to some of the players and it is hard to see how this will get any better.

The big keeper is simply not Rangers class and Mohsni is a Bombscare Bertie who does nothing but destabilise the team. Boyd and Miller have proven to be ineffectual buys so far. But you could go through the whole team.

Aird and Templeton had an impact when they came on but it was a big ask of them to drag the team back from a 3-0 deficit.

It’s not a pleasant sound hearing thousands of Rangers fans booing their team but there was very little to cheer. Last night’s dire display has done nothing to dispel the gloom hanging around Ibrox, with off-field issues still very much a cause for concern. A winning team is always a great tonic for such off-field troubles but loyal Gers fans are unable to enjoy that.

Rangers don’t have their troubles to seek but both on and off the pitch strong leadership would go a long way to dispelling those troubles.

All The King’s Men

The boardroom saga rumbles on at Ibrox with the news that Rangers CEO Graham Wallace has had talks with representatives of Dave King.

My understanding is that these representatives were Paul Murray and George Letham. No big surprises there but this is where we enter into the Twilight Zone once more.

When contacted by a prominent daily newspaper, I am told that Dave King denied that these men were his representatives.

Which begs two questions:

1) Why are these men purporting to represent Dave King?

2) Or is Dave King being economical with the truth? We could also ask why he is, if he is.,

Given that Rangers fans want transparency and that this requirement for transparency is often spoken of by Messrs Murray and King, surely it would be very much in the interests of both these men to clear matters up for the fans.

In a nutshell, is Paul Murray representing Dave King in talks with Graham Wallace?

This opens up a whole raft of other questions.

Why is Graham Wallace speaking to Paul Murray? Is he doing so with the backing of fellow board members or has he “gone rogue” and if this is the case, what can be done to stop him?

It is no secret that there is a rift in the boardroom and this is not something Rangers fans want to be reading about, especially in anti-Rangers outlets.

I personally am fed up of all the cloak and dagger, which is playground stuff. We need men leading us, not boys. Yes, confidentiality is often necessary in business dealings but you can’t call for transparency to score points while being furtive and even deceitful. If Paul Murray is representing Dave King, fans should be told and not lied to.

The whole matter hinges around Dave King’s now legendary £30 million to invest. Is the £30 million for real or a mythical figure that keeps Dave King in the limelight while deceiving the Rangers support?

Even if Kings’ 30 mil is real and in place for investment, other questions need answering.

These include a very important one i.e. Is that it? Is the 30 million all there is or is there more to follow? Not as a possible but something far more concrete? I mean, are there other investors lined up or does King himself have more in reserve?

Just as vital is the question: What role does King want for his investment and can he get it? There are huge question marks over King’s suitability as a director of RIFC PLC both from the stock market perspective and from that of the SFA and SPFL. King needs to answer those for his own sake and others.

Should King fail to get a directorship, is he happy to take a back seat and does this also mean there is a very real prospect that he will fall foul of AIM regulations concerning “shadow directors” who hold no office but exercise inappropriate clout?

Can King’s ego handle being just a good guy investor with no hands-on power?

I see the papers are waging a campaign against Sandy Easdale attempting to pressure him not to block this mooted Dave King investment. Easdale may be crazy to try and block this investment if it saves the club but he would be crazier still to rely on it given how precarious it appears to be.

The fact that he is active in seeking alternatives is indicative, not of a churlish anti-King prejudice but of commendable business prudence and responsibility.

As I wrote previously, Rangers require a custodian. Both Dave King and Sandy Easdale may have a lot to do to convince fans they can fill that role.

Being more honest with the Rangers fans would be a good start.