Our friends at Ibrox Noise – the site who last year published a highly inflammatory and mentally deranged article on Jock Stein – are at it again!
In the aftermath of that piece I swore to keep a close eye on these loonies. I wanted to shine a big light, and keep shining that light, on these madmen to give them a taste of the embarrasment that article and its disgusting assertions deserved.
I knew too that people would find them funny, representing, as they do, the low IQ Brains Trust of the Sevco support.
What hare-brained schemes these folk have hatched since then, including the plan to “boycott every SPL away ground” and the one whereby they’d buy Sports Direct shares and give them away for free, in an effort to crash a multi-billion pound company.
They never cease to entertain me.
Today, in the aftermath of yesterday’s piece on the crumbling state of Ibrox, one of their writers has proposed a crazy – but revealing – solution to their mulit-million pound problem, which is getting the ground up to code before someone from the Council finally comes along and slaps a closed sign on the main door and seals the rest off with tape.
Apart from appearing to believe that the Scottish government should have stepped in and saved the old club – and using as the evidence the recent successful (read that word! Successful!) State Aid prosecution against Real Madrid and Barcelona – from its own tax avoidance and other debts, the writer warms to his earth-shattering proposal.
King, he says, will not invest until the club is on a stable financial footing. Which, to me, is a bit of a departure from everything King has actually said himself. Nevertheless, let’s imagine that the writer is correct and not simply using the last of the glue for a purpose not described on the container.
He wants a bank account opened called The Rangers Transfer Fund.
This will enable them to buy footballers and pay their wages whilst the rest of their cash goes out on repairing the stadium and, one presumes, other stuff like buying all the shirts from Sports Direct, that would otherwise sit in warehouses, as per the iron-clad contract.
And how would this “transfer fund” be raised?
Why, by ordinary fans going down to the bank every week and depositing their cheques into the account.
This is estimated (by the writer) to be a multi-million pound endeavour.
Which I suppose depends a lot on who administers it for you.
We’ll not go there, okay?
I find it hilarious for many other reasons, not least of which is that this isn’t a new idea at all but one that gets floated by the crazy people at most clubs, every once in a while. But actually try it out for size – as some supporters groups have over the years – and watch how little cash comes in.
Maybe the writer missed the point of Johnjames’ piece yesterday; fans will only invest in stuff other than season tickets and merchandise if they’re going to have an actual say in the club’s affairs. This is why Rangers First was such a success in the beginning and why organisations like The Celtic Trust do so well.
They know what they are for. What they exist for.
Rangers First is probably the best example in Scotland of an organisation set up to raise money via fan contributions because its simple remit was to buy shares and hold the directors to account. That is a noble and worthwhile cause, and they raised £700,000.
That, of course, was before King’s placemen took the thing over, before a wave of board resignations and an eruption of infighting which makes the Labour Party look like the model of calm and good governance. This was before £500,000 of that cash went to the club for basic running costs via an unsecured loan.
That money will probably never be returned to those who spent it.
The appetite amongst football fans for spending more of their hard earned cash on player salaries than they already do … I suspect that’s fairly limited regardless of who you support, and as the funds raised by Rangers First show there’s never going to be enough of it anyway to make signings and pay wages in the manner the writer seems to believe.
Celtic spent an estimated £24 million on player wages last season.
That’s the sort of money you’re talking about.
The idea that fans will raise that, every single year, above and beyond what they pay for season tickets … it is fantasy land stuff.
People indulging in that kind of scat is fine, as it goes, but it becomes positively ridiculous when they graduate to the next level, which is where the cash would come from above and beyond this daft idea that fans will pay for it themselves.
He goes on to suggest that it come from the lodges, both orange and masonic, from their use of their premises to run fund raisers (how many discos and race nights do you think it takes to build a transfer warchest anyway?) and from the members of said organisations themselves.
Which, I don’t know, I see a few problems with ….
First, if this club is to have any hope at all of surviving into the future then surely the idea is to shatter these kind of links entirely. This shrinks the club’s potential market to the size of a pea, or to put it more lucidly, to the size of the average Orangeman’s brain.
Secondly, those organisations aren’t exactly rolling in cash themselves, otherwises local authorities like the one in Falkirk wouldn’t be spending public, tax payers money, subsidising their annual “get pissed, dress up in Halloween outfits and urinate in the street” festival this year.
He calls this “fundraising in the community.”
Articles like the one in question simply remind the world that we’re dealing with a backward, broken, bigoted institution that simply can’t see past the limitations it has set for itself.
This sense of identity they’re deep into is the first thing they ought to jettison, because it has all too clearly contributed, massively, to their current plight and the one that destroyed the former Rangers.
Celtic fans simply don’t see the world in this way.
Every club in football wants to grow its customer base and expand its markets.
They want to shrink theirs till it fits inside a backstreet pub with a picture of the Queen on the wall.
Before too long, that’ll be where they end up.
In the meantime, we’ve got them to laugh at. Make the most of it.