Posted on Thursday, 10th May 2012 by Lauren
Can you believe it’s been only twelve weeks since Rangers* were officially placed into administration? These three months have been packed full of hilarious twists, bizarre turns, ridiculous rumours and half-truths.
Incredibly, it looks like the saga is set to continue for the foreseeable.
The media had their readers believe that Duff & Phelps were taking massive steps in the right direction. They had a wealthy American buyer ready to commit, the SFA were inventing new legislations to ensure they continue to play football in the SPL and the fans lapped up the idea of a shirt number retired in their honour. The plans seemed to be coming together nicely, considering the circumstances.
And then yet another skeleton crawled out of their incredibly dark closet. They truly are the gift that keeps on giving.
In an interview he gave after he abandoned ship, Bill Miller said that only now was he made aware of the true gravity of Rangers*’ financial problems. He said that these new details, combined with the (dignified) hostility shown towards him by the Rangers* supporters, made him chuck in the towel. Assuming that he’s being honest in his reasoning, we can deduce that Miller was only fed limited information in the run up to being declared “preferred bidder” and once he got an uncensored look at the books, he realised that Rangers* are simply in too deep a hole to save.
Almost immediately, the administrators claimed to have a couple of new bidders prepared to swoop in and save them, and so the whole farce continues. Time isn’t on their side, though, and and the prospect of the whole thing collapsing around them is looking more and more likely. Miller’s revelation over the true depth of the problems at Ibrox will have provoked a few awkward questions from the mystery parties interested in picking up where he left off, and when the administrators answer these questions, I don’t think there’ll be anyone left standing. No prospect of being saved at the eleventh hour. Nothing.
Of course a NewCo will be born; that’s a certainty. I don’t think there’s many people out there who expect Rangers* to go away and stay away forever. Unfortunately, they’ll be back, and although we don’t know when, how or in what form as yet, there’s an incredibly strong feeling amongst the fans of all of the other SPL clubs that there’s only one place for them – SFL Division 3. I’ve yet to hear a compelling argument for any other punishment.
Many people see this ongoing fiasco as a chance to better the long term game in Scotland, and although the opportunity is staring us all in the face, the only people daring enough to think about an overhaul are the fans who’ve already spent years screaming out for change. The ones at the top who have the power to change it don’t seem to want to consider it. Ironic, eh?
I’ve written in the past about some of the main areas of the game that desperately need to be reshaped – appropriate ticket allocation for away games, sensible kick-off times with fans in mind and so on. Additionally, I think we could learn a lot from how things are done in America. I don’t keep up with sports over there – I can watch a bit of basketball but the rules of American football refuse to sink in and I don’t even know how anyone can even see that tiny hockey puck flying around the ice! So I did what I normally do when I’m clueless about something, and I asked Twitter. Within ten minutes I had countless people telling me all about teams giving away free merchandise – hats, t-shirts and so on – to a certain number of people in the crowd of each game. There were others telling stories of being invited on to the court/field/ice to compete for cash or a car. Then there was the ones explaining the “Tweet Your Seat” competition where your seat number can win you a gift card to use on merchandise.
Now compare that to Scotland. We don’t even have WiFi inside stadiums.
I’m not suggesting for a minute that we completely change the way we do things here – there are parts of the match day at Celtic that I love and nobody wants the whole thing to turn into a cheesy, insincere attempt at entertainment- but I think there’s a balance to be had. One that creates a better experience for everyone. One that engages the club with the supporters. One that makes fans feel like more than the cost of a ticket and gets every SPL ground busy.
We don’t need Rangers*, we need to be inventive.
Lauren (twitter @Lauren_McClos and for podcast and website updates @TheLostBhoys & @HomeBhoys)
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