3 Apr 2012

Fans look beyond scapegoats for the truth

They, after all, turn up week in, week out. They stump up for the season ticket, season in, season out.

As many in Glasgow seek to blame everything from global warming to childhood cancer on Craig Whyte – as well as Rangers’ woes – I’m keen to hear the true extent of the mismanagement years before Craig Whyte ever rolled up promising help to a club bought for millions and sold to him for a quid.

First – a word from a lawyer. Not ours, but Adam, lifelong Bear and worth quoting at length I think:  “Rangers cheated the system for years and the Scottish media is scared of the club. Still.

If we are found guilty and a deal is done with the taxman it will be embarrassing.

Please keep up the good work. It’s great that the UK as a whole is seeing what a shambles we have become. Life is more than football and Rangers should be as liable as us all for keeping to the law and paying tax.”

Which seems as good a summary as I’ve yet seen. Celtic fans – not all Bears are burying their heads and running away.

Nonetheless, some were upset at what they see as unfairly dragging the name of a club legend into all this.

Here’s Ross: “…the part of the report which really did infuriate the vast majority of Rangers supporters was the insinuation that John Greig would have had any sort of awareness that this scheme was potentially illegal. He is a great servant of Rangers and you sought to blight his name, which I, amongst many others, believe is totally and utterly unacceptable.”

Many, like Scott, point to systemic corporate failure rather than individual culpability and although the scapegoat-hunters won’t be satisfied, my hunch is that this is near to the reality of events under Sir David Murray’s regime at the club:

“Your piece – and more to follow no doubt – just confirms to me the systematic failings of the RFC management pre-Craig Whyte. Executives more interested in their personal wealth accumulation and boards of Directors who are either ineffectual (Ogilivie) or just football people (Greig) who lack the expertise to challenge and balance decisions made by Executives (your blogs also on the Murray regime paint very well a picture of a culture where the Executives are trusted because they are feared or assumed to be doing the right thing – after all every Director probably laboured under the delusion that every executive decision is made in the best interests of the football club and when they gain financially who is going to question what is going on?).”

Hope of course, is what football support is all about. And Iain’s big quandary is all about hope – the hope that Rangers will win the so-called Big Tax Case: “A big question I would love the answer to and would love someone to ask is: if Rangers got found not guilty in respect to the EBTs would Rangers be entitled to chase for compensation? We have been operating under this now for 4 possibly 5 years and it has hampered our club financially going forward and it would not be in the terrible mess it is in now if this was not under the shadow of the tax case. As I am sure more buyers would have been at the table at the time David Murray was selling up.”

Brian was typical though of many fans who feel let down, sold out, the club they thought stood for certain values now in administration and facing possible (or is that becoming probable)liquidation:

“…let me say I am a Gers fan and that my club has acted, on the face of it against all that I believed my club to stand for, honesty, fairness and a high level of integrity. I frankly am ashamed and embarrassed…That situation will be resolved shortly I’m afraid and Rangers, if what your investigation said is correct, will be no more.”

Large numbers of fans also felt abandoned by the Scottish FA and allied football governing bodies, as Kenny wrote:

“Rangers fans have absolutely no love for the SFA, and at times in recent history have been seen to be ‘at war’ with the SFA. The SFA ,I’m sure you are aware, have done little or nothing to help RFC in admin, unlike the FA’s assistance with Portsmouth FC.”

A small sample of Rangers’ opinions from around the world – let alone around Govan. It’s clear many are more than clear that simply scapegoating the post-EBT management of Craig Whyte is, right now, missing the point and dangerously shifting attention from those who ran the club into deep debt.

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